This spiral ham is coated in a homemade brown sugar glaze, then baked in the oven to tender and juicy perfection. A simple way to prepare ham that’s both easy and elegant. You’ll be sure to get rave reviews from family and friends!
Whenever the holidays roll around, I always keep a spiral ham in my fridge for a flavorful meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. The homemade glaze takes this ham over the top and turns a regular packaged ham into a gourmet dinner.
How do you make spiral ham?
Start by simmering butter, brown sugar, honey, spices and pineapple juice to make a thick and sweet glaze. Pour half the glaze over your ham, then cover it with foil. Bake the ham until it is warmed through. Uncover the pan, then pour the rest of the glaze over the top of the ham. Turn up the oven heat, then bake the ham for a few more minutes until it is browned and caramelized. Cut the ham slices off the bone, then serve and enjoy.
What is the difference between a spiral ham and a regular ham?
The main difference between a spiral ham and a regular ham is the way they are cut. A spiral ham is sliced in one long, continuous cut which ends up being a spiral around the ham. The ham is still attached to the bone, but is separated into slices of equal thickness. A spiral ham is super easy to cut and serve, because all you have to do is cut the slices away from the bone. I use this type of ham for the holidays because it feeds a lot of people and is so effortless to prepare.
How long does it take for ham to cook?
A ham needs to cook for about 15 minutes per pound in the oven at 350 degrees F. This is for a standard bone-in spiral cut ham around 7-8 pounds in size. While this recipe calls for a 7 pound ham, you can adjust the recipe for a larger or smaller piece of meat by simply changing the cook time accordingly. If you’re using a much larger ham, you can double the glaze amount.
Tips for the perfect spiral ham
- This variety of ham is always pre-cooked, which means all you’re really doing is reheating the ham to a safe temperature. You’ll want to aim for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. I insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the ham before it goes into the oven so that I can kep an eye on the temperature as it cooks.
- You can change the flavor of the glaze by adding other spices such as ginger or allspice. Feel free to swap out the pineapple juice for apple cider or orange juice.
- Leftover ham will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or can be frozen for 2 months. Reheat individual portions of ham in the microwave, or place a covered pan in the oven and reheat at 325 degrees F until ham slices are warmed through.
- Prepare the glaze just before you plan to use it. The glaze will harden in the fridge if you make it in advance. If your glaze thickens too much, you can microwave it for 20-30 seconds to loosen it back up again.
How much ham per person?
I recommend purchasing 3/4 pound of ham per person. This will ensure that everyone is well fed! If you’d like to make sure that you have plenty of leftovers, count on buying 1 pound of ham per person.
I make this spiral ham all the time during the holiday season and for good reason – it’s absolutely delicious each and every time!
Side dishes to pair with ham
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Cranberry Salad
- Candied Yams
- Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Spiral Ham Video
Spiral Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 8 lb bone in spiral cut ham
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- cooking spray
- fresh herbs and fruit for garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg to a medium sized pan. Place the pan over medium heat.
- Bring the pan to a simmer and cook for 4-6 minutes or until glaze is syrupy.
- Place the ham in the baking dish and pour half of the glaze over the top. Cover the ham tightly with foil. Reserve the other half of the glaze for later use.
- Bake the ham for 2 hours, then uncover the ham.
- Brush the remaining glaze over the ham. If the glaze has started to harden you can liquefy it by microwaving it for 30 seconds.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Place the ham, uncovered, in the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until glaze is caramelized and browned.
- Transfer the ham to a serving platter, then garnish with fresh herbs and fruit as desired. Spoon the pan drippings over the ham. Slice the ham, then serve.