This ham glaze is a combination of butter, brown sugar, pineapple juice and spices, all simmered together until thickened. Coat a ham in this glaze, then bake the ham to golden brown perfection and watch the rave reviews come in.
A homemade ham glaze turns an ordinary store bought ham into a flavorful and festive dinner option. This glaze has just a handful of ingredients and is ready in 10 minutes. Skip the store bought glaze packets and make your own – you’ll be happy you did!
How do you make ham glaze?
To make this recipe, place butter, brown sugar, pineapple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a pan. Bring the pan to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook the glaze for 5-7 minutes or until it has started to thicken. Cool the glaze slightly, then pour it over your ham and bake.
Tips for the perfect glaze
- You can use fresh, frozen concentrate or canned pineapple juice; they all work well in this recipe.
- I’ve made this recipe with both dark brown sugar and light brown sugar. The light brown sugar produces a more neutral flavor, while dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor. You can use either one with good results.
- Use freshly ground nutmeg if you can, the flavor is way superior to ground bottled nutmeg. You can buy whole nutmegs and grate them yourself on a microplane grater.
- This glaze is best made right before use. It doesn’t store well because it will harden if chilled. If your glaze has cooled and becomes overly thick, you can microwave it for about 30 seconds to loosen it back up again.
Do you have to glaze a ham?
You do not have to glaze a ham, but I highly recommend it. A glaze adds a lot of flavor and helps to keep a ham from drying out as it bakes. It also gives your ham that glossy sheen which makes it look so attractive. An alternative to a glaze would be a dry rub, such as my homemade BBQ rub.
How do you glaze a cooked ham?
I like to pour half of the glaze over the ham, then cover the ham and bake it until it’s warmed through. I then uncover the ham, add the rest of the brown sugar mixture, and finish baking the ham at a higher temperature so that the ham gets browned and caramelized from the glaze.
Ham glaze variations
This is a basic recipe to get you started, there are so many different ingredients you can add to customize it to your tastes.
- Juice: Try using apple cider, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice or orange juice instead of pineapple juice.
- Spices: Mix up the spices by using ground ginger, allspice or cardamom.
- Flavorings: Feel free to add other flavorings to your glaze. Add up to 2 tablespoons of mustard for a savory kick, or 2 minced canned chipotle peppers for some heat. You can also add up to 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple to add texture to the glaze.
How do you cook a ham?
The simplest way to cook a ham is to bake it in the oven. The ham should bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes per pound. Be sure to cover your ham so that it doesn’t dry out. Ham is ready to serve when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees F.
I serve this recipe for every holiday and it always gets rave reviews! The pineapple and brown sugar pair beautifully with the flavor of the ham, and people always ask for seconds.
More holiday recipes to serve with your ham
Ham Glaze Video
Ham Glaze Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- Add the butter, brown sugar, pineapple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to a pan. Place the pan over medium heat.
- Bring the pot to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes or until glaze is syrupy.
- Pour half the glaze over your ham. Cover the ham with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes per pound.
- Uncover the ham and pour the remaining glaze over the top. Increase the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until ham is caramelized and browned.