Everything you need to know about how to cook a ham for your holiday dinner. Start with a spiralized ham and make a homemade honey ham glaze for a deliciously flavorful tender & juicy ham.
Thanks to the Ohio Pork Council for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
For the first 10 years of our married life I cooked everything in the slow cooker. Have a roast? Slow cook it. Pork chops? With gravy in the slow cooker. Stew? Yes, you guessed it….pull out the slow cooker. Since starting this website 5 years ago, I’ve loved learning how to cook a tender roast in the oven, grill a perfect steak and cook stew in the dutch oven.
Learning how to cook a ham is no different. Don’t get me wrong…I still love a good slow cooker ham. But every now and then I buy a spiral sliced ham and let it do its “slow cooking” in the oven. We’re talking today about how to make a tender, juicy ham with delicious glaze.
Prepping for Easter? Check out our complete Easter dinner menu.
There are different types of ham that you’ll find in the store. In short there are three types: spiral sliced, bone-in unsliced hams, boneless hams. Bone-in unsliced hams allow you to cut slices to your own desired thickness. Boneless hams obviously have the bone removed, then during the curing process the ham is pressed back together to get a uniform shape. Sometimes boneless hams will have a slightly different texture than traditional hams.
My favorite type of ham is spiral sliced. They are super easy because it comes perfectly sliced in sizes ideal for sandwiches or serving. It also makes a beautiful centerpiece on your dinner table. Spiral sliced hams often come with a seasoning packet. I normally throw that seasoning packet away and make my own glaze, which we’ll talk about next!
I like to make a glaze sweetened with honey, brown sugar and maple syrup. I’d have to say that those are my three favorite sweeteners! Add a touch of dijon mustard and black pepper for just a little spice. If you’d like you can add ¼ teaspoon of cloves or ginger. I’ve done this occasionally to give the ham a “Christmas” flavor, but most of the time I leave out those two spices.
Baking a ham is easier than you may think. I simply place the ham in a roasting pan (or 9×13 pan), then pour a cup of ginger ale and a cup of orange juice overtop the ham. This not only adds to the flavor but helps keep the ham juicy while it cooks.
Cover either the ham itself or the pan with foil. Make sure it is covered well so the ham doesn’t dry out.
Set the oven to 350 degrees and bake the ham, basting every 15-20 minutes. Uncover the ham when you baste it, but then cover it back up when you put it back in the oven.
It will normally take about 10-15 minutes per pound to heat the spiral sliced ham to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. We set our oven to 350 degrees and plan for it to take about 1 ½ to 2 hours for the nearly 10 pound hams we buy.
Yes! You can make this ham in the slow cooker. I set the slow cooker to low, place the ham in the crockpot, and pour the ginger ale and orange juice overtop. Then I mix up the glaze and pour it over the ham. After about 4-5 hours the ham should be warmed through. If I cook this ham in the slow cooker, I try to baste it several times while it cooks so that those delicious flavors get distributed all thr0ugh the meat. The part of the ham that is soaking in the juices will have the most flavor though. You could always turn the ham over part way through cooking so the whole ham has time to simmer in the juices.
Slow cooker ham will not look as pretty as oven baked ham, but it will be tender and flavorful.