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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.
We LOVE making a comforting country ham dinner. Here we’re sharing a complete guide on how to cook a ham. Find a recipe for honeybaked hams and cranberry ham on our site also. They’re both delicious!
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 over 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 three types of ham you’ll generally find in a store: spiral cuts, bone-in ham, 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 ham will have a slightly different texture than traditional spiral-cut ham.
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.
The shank end of the ham is the lower part of the leg while the butt-end is the higher part. The shank end is the funnel-shaped piece of ham that is lean and makes a beautiful presentation. You are most likely familiar with the shank end for an Easter ham dinner. That is the cut featured in this post.
The butt-end cut is rounder and has a t-shaped bone in it. It is a fattier meat which means it is flavorful and rich.
I like to make a glaze with my 3 favorite sweeteners: honey, brown sugar and maple syrup. 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. Follow these simple steps:
It will normally take about 10-15 minutes per pound to heat the spiral sliced ham to 140ºF. In a 350ºF oven, plan for it to take about 1 ½ to 2 hours for a 10 pound ham.
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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.
Baste it several times while it cooks so that those delicious flavors get distributed all through 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.
Once you’re done serving the ham, you can use the ham bone leftovers to make one of these two delicious soups.
Try one of our popular leftover ham recipes:
The recipe says “,Pour the orange juice over the ham,”but there’s no OJ listed in the ingredients! WT H?
Thank you,this is amazing!!!
This recipe is definitely a keeper. What a delicious ham!
Do you just baste with the glaze, or do you also baste with the juices every 20 mins?
Do you have to cover with foil or can you use a roasting pan w a lid?
Ok I’m excited and nervous, first time “cooking” ham. I have chosen the crock pot, I figure if I screw up I have a better chance saving it in there then the oven (under the foil). I wish you had a few more details on how to do it in the crockpot, I think I have a pretty good idea. I’ll post tonight and let you know if Mr. Porky made it through or if I really butchered him. (Ha ha).
Well it turned out amazing!! My family is big bbq sauce buffs so I added Heniz Hawaii bbq sauce the last 5 mins… that’s why the glaze looks a wee bit different. Thank you so much for your help today!!!!
Should ham be sitting on a rack in roasting pan?
I cook a country ham, and I’m always looking for some way to make it a little juicier. I soak mine for for 24 hours before baking and I need a little help with a recipe for glazing.
Thanks for the tips! I live in Mexico so I used Jamica and orange juice combo.
I use your cinnamon roll recipe weekly….you are the best.
The ham turned out fabulous. I bought a 3 pound sliced ham and I used half of the ingredients and had to turn up the temperature to 400 and cook it about 3 hours to which it finally was cooking at a proper temperature to get it to 140 degrees. I basted it every 15 to 20 mins and it was so moist and tender and flavorful with the orange juice and gingerale.
Great recipe that you can tweak to make your own. We loved it, so moist and flavorful, even the leftovers were delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Made this during the quarantine, absolutely loved it and I had everything I needed already in my kitchen. A hit with everyone in the house!
Why the ginger ale ? What does it do for the ham ? Actually have all the ingredients . Just never made it witt ginger ale
Do u have to use ginger ale ?? Have all the ingredients but scared to use soda