This year, I’m planning the holiday menu and plan on keeping it simple with all our favorite sides, like strawberry shortcake fluff, an asparagus almondine, bacon green bean bundles, classic cheesy hash brown casserole, glazed carrots, broccoli casserole, oven-roasted lamb, and this maple glazed ham recipe.
One of the best parts about making a candied ham, especially for the holidays, are the leftovers all week. It doesn’t take much creativity to come up a few good recipe which I’ve covered more on below in the post along with recipes. There are so many recipes to make to use up this succulent meat. In the Mid-west selling hot shaved ham on a Sunday after church was and still is a huge part of culture. Many grocery stores and delis were trying to make themselves stand out and selling a pound of hot ham with 6 free crusty-top rolls on a Sunday and it soared in popularity and still is very trendy today.
Buying a Ham for your Holiday Table
Today, pork hams in the supermarket are fully cooked. From ham steaks, cubes, to spiral hams, to boneless hams, bone-in hams, and partially boned. All varieties of hams come from the leg hind of a hog or pig. You’d be hard pressed to find a ham that’s not precooked because in order for it to become ham, it must go through a process from it’s roast cut. Before it hits the grocery shelves, the pork is aged, and cured, then smoked or cooked.
Rest assured that the ham you’re buying from your general grocery store is already (most likely) cooked and ready to eat, whether it gets heated in the oven, toasted, or microwaved. If a ham is not cooked and sold fresh, it will say it directly on the package. Typically, fresh pork ham is harder to find but if you’re looking for it, try calling your local butcher shop.
Be sure to read the package for directions. Check the label to ensure what you’re buying whether it’s partially cooked, fully cooked, or uncooked. TIP: The shank end of a ham is fattier while the butt end is leaner and easier to slice.
How to Make Maple Glazed Ham Homemade
- Whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, orange juice, mustard, and pepper.
- Brush coating glaze over the top of the ham.
- Bake in 300°F oven for 2½ hours on a roasting pan with a rack.
- Continue to baste the ham with the wet glaze throughout baking.
- Boil remaining glaze on medium heat.
- Brush syrup over top.
- Serve immediately.
Styles of Ham
- Black Forest Ham: This type of ham is salted and seasoned with juniper berries, coriander, pepper, and garlic. It’s then cured and cold smoked.
- Country Ham: Popular is the southern United States, this type of pork roast ham must be cured, aged, and dried for 70 days but typically are for 6-12 months. Most country hams are uncooked and dry cured with salt and must be cooked before eating, unless noted that it is a fully cooked ham. Country hams have their own special category with a variety of styles and flavors. Whether baked, smoked, or fried, they are delicious and full of flavor. In addition, they are known for being salty as well as more expensive compared to other hams. Country hams can be purchased uncooked or cooked online at Edwards Virginia Smokehouse or Smithfield Marketplace.
- Honey Ham: The ham is wet cured in a honey mixture that must contain at least half honey as the main sweetener. Typically pre-cooked, they are best reheated before serving.
- Maple Ham: Just like the honey ham, this ham roast is wet-cured in a maple syrup mixture containing 50% maple syrup as the main sweetener. Also traditionally pre-cooked, it just needs heating before serving. This sweet and savory ham is among one of my favorites.
- Smithfield Ham: Smithfield is a brand label but don’t get that confused with Smithfield style hams because these country hams must be cured within the city of Smithfield, VA. Notably, this style ham is salty with a pungent flavor. In addition, they are usually cooked long and slow before serving.
- Virginia Ham: A type of country ham known for it’s delicious taste. This type of ham comes from razorback hogs raised in Virginia. Virginia hams come from peanut and peach fed hogs. It comes cured and may be sold cooked (smoked or baked), uncooked, and pre-sliced. Virginia ham is saltier and known for being eaten in smaller quantities. It is among my favorite.
Maple Glazed Ham Ingredients
Ham: I am using a boneless ham. Usually, hams come with a packet of seasoning in liquid form. Toss the packet out and make your own maple glaze. You’ll cut out the preservatives, excess salt, and different forms of sugar including corn syrup.
Maple Syrup: I like to use natural or pure maple syrup. It has the best flavor. The darker the syrup, the deeper the flavor.
Sugar: Light brown sugar caramelizes, candies and adds a deep molasses flavor. For even more of a molasses flavor, use dark brown sugar. Since the ham is warmed in the oven for a couple hours, the sugars in brown sugar will melt and adhere to the top of the ham with a crunchy topping. Tip: Broil the ham for just a few minutes to get a crunchy topping.
Orange juice: The acidity cuts through the sweetness and adds a wonderful flavor of it’s own profile. Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best results. I used about 1 navel orange.
Spices: a good mustard like Dijon will add the right amount of tang and a little salt will help to balance the sweetness in the sauce mixture.
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves or whole cloves
- pineapple juice
- hickory smoke
Ham Serving Sizes
When it comes to what size ham you should get, you need to calculate boneless and bone-in (spiral cut) hams differently. Figure approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of a pound for boneless ham. A lot of people forget that when they buy a bone-in or spiral ham, they need to account for the weight of the bone so figure your total ham weight higher at 3/4 to 1 pound per person when buying it from the grocery store
What to Do with Leftover Ham
DO NOT throw those protein leftovers in the trashcan where they do not belong. After eating leftovers in their original form for days on end, it’s nice to add a little variation to your meals. I highly suggest making a pasta with cream, peas, broccoli, and bow tie pasta with ham pieces. Also, a cheesy quiche recipe is perfect for breakfast. Here are a few more recipes to make using leftover ham after Easter. With a little creative inspiration, any one of these dishes make a great choice to pair with ham.
- Ham Mozzarella Spring Pasta
- Ham Pinwheels
- Ham Salad Wraps
- Cheesy Ham Egg Bake
- French Dip Sliders with Ham
- Hash Brown and Egg Breakfast Muffins
- Jalapeno Cheddar Ham Cornbread
- Korean Soup
- Ham and Cheese Pasta
Reader Tips and Questions
What’s the difference between a spiral cut ham and a regular ham?
Spiral cut hams are cut in one continuous cut around the bone. They pack extra flavor as well. Regular ham like a boneless ham is cut into slices and doesn’t feature a bone to cut around in the middle.
Can I dump the glaze on all at once?
If you try to dump the sticky glaze on all at once, most of syrup mixture will slide off and be wasted. Layering the glaze throughout the cooking process helps each layer to caramelize and develop flavor that’s locked into the meat.
Will my ham be dry if cooked uncovered?
Using the glaze throughout the baking process helps to seal in the moisture but feel free to use aluminum foil over the top to lock in extra moisture.
Why do people put such a sweet glaze on the ham if it comes with a packet or already glazed?
Most glazes come in a packet and while they are tasty, it’s always nice to learn how to make one on your own since those packets may contain only a small amount of actual “maple” or “honey” in them. In addition, those packets are also filled with preservatives and a lot of extra salt or sugar that’s not needed to achieve the same great taste.
Should I score the ham in a diamond shape?
It’s your choice. Depending on what type of ham you buy, you may have to do the cutting yourself with a sharp knife a large fork. Scoring the ham cuts through the outer layer of fat on the roast pork and allows for the glaze to penetrate even deeper. How to score a ham.
Baked ham is one of the go to meals for big family celebrations and the holidays. You’ll love this sweet, salty, and savory glazed maple ham at your next party.
Maple Glazed Ham
- 7 lb boneless ham fully cooked
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Line a 9 x 13 casserole dish with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Reserve ¼ cup mixture; set aside.
- Place ham cut side down in baking dish.
- Brush with ¼ cup mixture.
- Bake in oven, uncovered for 2½ hours or until internal temperature of ham reaches 140°F.
- Baste and brush remaining mixture over the top every 30 minutes.
- Bring remaining ¼ cup mixture to a boil on the stovetop in a small saucepan.
- Brush syrup mixture over the top.
- Serve immediately.
- Store leftover for 5-6 days in an airtight container.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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