Orange and Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham

CATEGORIES: Christmas, Easter, Kate, Oven Baked, Pork

orange brown sugar ham-7squareI have an obligatory relationship with turkey. Even though our turkey recipe is one of the most popular recipes on our site, it’s not my favorite recipe on the site. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the turkey’s fault. It’s not him, it’s me. Not only are they a ton of work (and not just the turkey, but the accompanying stuffing and the obligatory gravy, which leads to mashed potatoes, all of which lead to avalanches of dishes). Plus, I think I’ve developed a mild turkey allergy as I’ve gotten older (my brother was severely allergic until…well…it’s a long and complicated and way-too-medical-for-a-food-blog story) and I always feel icky afterwards.

Due to my brother’s aforementioned poultry allergy, we always had turkey and ham at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So for me, having a ham isn’t such a big deal, but my husband thinks I’m an abomination.

For Thanksgiving this year, it was just our little family, so we had this orange and brown sugar-glazed ham instead of of turkey. And since lots and lots of people do ham for Christmas, I wanted to share it now because it is You know that glaze packet that comes with your ham? Just toss it. It will never compare. Your ham-eating experiences will never be the same.

The ham part is super easy. Actually, the whole thing is easy, which appeals to me in so many ways. Preheat oven to 325. Line a heavy-duty roasting pan (if you don’t have one, this is the one we’ve consistently recommended. It is clearly not the one I have, but it is the one I wish I had.) with aluminum foil

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and place the rack inside of the foil.

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Place the ham, fatty side up, on the rack (but also make sure the slices are vertical and the flat end isn’t face-down–you want that fat to melt and run between the slices to keep things moist. Sorry. I had to use the m-word.)

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Insert a roasting thermometer (this is the best one I’ve ever used!) into the thickest part of the ham that has not been sliced.

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Place the ham in the heated oven and roast for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the thermometer reaches 140-145.

While the ham is roasting, combine the brown sugar, cloves, juice, zest, mustard, and vinegar. I also add some of our bacon olive oil, which really kind of takes it over the top of Amazingness Mountain, but you could always use regular bacon drippings if you have some lying around.

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Whisk it all together. When the ham has about 30 minutes to go, remove the ham and brush the glaze on the outside of the ham, all the way down into the slices. Place the ham back in the oven and cook until done.

While the ham is finishing off, whisk together the BEST part of ham at my house growing up. It’s a simple sauce made from mayonnaise, mustard, and a little apple cider vinegar, but it was seriously my favorite part of ham as a kid–we couldn’t have ham without it. You can use regular yellow mustard, but I love the deeper flavor of the ground mustard.

When done, remove from the oven and serve with ham dipping stuff (yep, that’s what it’s called. My favorite part of ham dinners as a kid.)

Orange Brown Sugar Spiral-Sliced Ham from Our Best Bites

And there you have it–the BEST ham and the EASIEST holiday dinner in all the land. Promise. This will make a lot–6 pounds will serve in the 20 people range. You can also freeze the leftovers for 3-4 months.

If you’re looking for side dishes, I went old-school OBB and served them with these Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes (although Funeral Potatoes are always an excellent choice), Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans, and this Sweet Cornbread.

ALSO. It’s not too late to order olive oils and get them before Christmas! We’re running low on a few items, so hurry and get them before we’re out! And if you’re looking for these adorable tags from Little Umbrella, you can customize them here for free!

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  1. Oh this looks yummy! We are having turkey on Christmas with my husband’s family, but my mom and I want to do something different for our family Christmas (whenever that happens, looking at Jan 4!) I want ham but I may lose that battle to the prime rib loving men!

  2. Thank you for a ham recipe! I really want to make one for Christmas. I have a question- what sides do you serve this with? We have never had ham before at a family dinner so I’m unsure. THanks!!

    1. IGNORE me i’m so sorry apparently I was too excited about the recipe and didn’t bother reading the last paragraph where you clearly explained side dishes!Thanks again!

  3. I am 100% on Team Ham! Significantly easier than turkey, plus any time I can avoid sticking my hand into a “cavity” (ahem), I’m happy!

  4. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! I’ve been wanting an amazing ham glaze recipe for my ham. We are ham people. Well, I make my husband be one. And I always just use the packet but knew there had to be a better way. Finding one was on my list for this Christmas, and of course, OBB comes through for me like always.

  5. My fam does ham and turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas so I’m excited to see this recipe. I look forward to trying it out.
    Also, I have those little mason shot glasses. Love them!

  6. We always have a glazed ham for Christmas. This recipe looks amazing – but I’m wondering if my kids will let me get away with it. We always just use the packet that comes with the ham. My kids are kinda anti mustard, apple, and mayo, but I may force this on them anyways, because it looks so good.

  7. praise the lord! my hubby’s work gives us a ham every year at Christmas time and I HATE those sauce packets…gag just thinking about them. Definitely going to give this one a try!

  8. I love the crust this makes on your ham. Definitely now making it for Christmas. Two questions- 1) is it easy to find spiral cut hams? Is that something I can get at a normal grocery store? And 2) Is ground mustard the powdered form of mustard or a liquid mustard?

    1. Super easy to find–I would say most hams at the grocery store are probably spiral cut. And the mustard is liquid; some coarse ground mustard is VERY strong, but Creole mustard is mild and flavorful. Walmart actually has a really great, mild coarse ground mustard; it’s just Great Value Coarse Mustard. Or see if you can find Creole mustard; Zatarain’s is a national brand. If you can’t find it at a grocery store, try World Market. Hope that helps!

  9. I’m glad we aren’t the only weirdos who only do ham at Thanksgiving. I grew up doing both, but my husband would much much much rather have ham and I’m not so dedicated to turkey that I mind (since we’ve just done Thanksgiving with our family the past few years). I always thought I was supposed to lay the flat side down, so I’m most excited to try cooking it so the glaze actually gets ON the ham, instead of only the outside.

  10. This sounds delicious. Is it weird that I think the best thing about ham is using the leftovers to make soups? I enjoy the ham itself, but I really love a good soup with bits of ham in it.

  11. Ya know, I love turkey and Thanksgiving… but I think I would be bored if I made it all again in December. I am all about some ham! Plus, I appreciate the fact that it’s much less time consuming than turkey, so I can sit and play on Christmas too. 🙂 Thanks for this glaze recipe, I was looking for something new to jazz it up!

  12. Perfect timing! I was just looking at the ham in my freezer and thinking it would be good for Christmas, but I’ve never had a good glaze recipe. I love the hams from Honeybaked Ham, but they’re so expensive! Looking forward to trying this!

  13. This will be going on my family’s Christmas Eve ham. Have to say I just look at turkey as an overgrown chicken. Do y’all have a new way to save your recipes? Ziplist is sadly gone! I have been a fan of yours for quite some time. Merry Christmas to both of you & your growing families.

      1. Sorry for being nosy, but have you tried from saving/organizing/menu-ing recipes? Love it! Anyway, Merry Christmas and THANK YOU for all your work and recipes!

  14. We just had this for Christmas Day lunch (in New Zealand), didn’t do the dipping stuff, but the ham was so delicious, my niece even asked me for the recipe so I’ll be sharing this link with her!

  15. I made this for Christmas dinner! I’m not sure if it was the ham we bought or the glaze recipe, but it turned out amazing. Usually I’m not much of a meat eater, and we had lots of amazing side dishes, but the ham is really what I zoned in on. The sauce for the ham is a great touch, too!

  16. Hello, I’m wondering if you have a good substitution for a roasting pan. I don’t have one, but would like to try out this recipe! Any suggestions?

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