Cooking A Ham At Home Made Easy : 7 Simple Steps

Slicing & Carving Knife 12" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstronDalstrong Gladiator Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

Quick Steps Overview: Classic Glazed Ham

  1. Set up the cooking station
  2. Bring ham to room temperature
  3. Prepare apple-maple glaze
  4. Prep the oven and the ham
  5. Roast the ham
  6. Pour more glaze and cook
  7. Baste until browned

Looking for a great centerpiece for the table for the next family dinner? Then this Classic Glazed Ham is what you need! While a good-sized ham may look overwhelming to cook, it is not. As long as you pick a high-quality ham and coat it with some delicious sauce, you will be able to cook up a handsome piece of meat that can easily serve up to 12 people. 

Cooking ham is a hands-off process that you can do entirely in your oven with minimal equipment. But before we get to the recipe, let’s make some things clear. The word ‘ham’ refers to the hind leg of a pig, usually, one that has been preserved by salting, drying, smoking, or some combination of the three. This is done to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and extend the shelf-life of the meat. 

Today, I am going to take you through some easy ham recipes and my favorite, Classic Glazed Ham. By the end of it, you will have a moist, tender, and delicious inside while the outside is brushed with a beautiful glaze. While this dish is a holiday special, it is simple enough to make at any time of year.  

Slicing & Carving Knife 12" Shogun Series | DalstrongShogun Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

1. Tools You Will Need

While cooking a ham is not rocket science, a few correct tools will help you achieve the desired level of doneness and make sure that your ham-cooking experience is a breeze. 

  • Cutting Board: Ham is a big chunk of meat and a sturdy cutting board is required to prep and slice the meat.
  • Slicing/Carving Knife: A razor-sharp carving knife is required to make sure you can slice up thin and uniform pieces of ham without causing much damage to the flesh. 
  • Apron: A functional apron will not only shield you from splatters and other kitchen messes but will also act as an extension of your hands, helping you store spoons, instant-read thermometers, napkins, and anything else you would need while cooking.
  • Instant-Read Thermometer: This tool will come in handy when you need to check the internal temperature of the ham. Cooking ham is not difficult but you need to be mindful of the temperature so that you don’t serve an undercooked or super dry slice of meat. 

2. Recipe: Classic Glazed Ham

Classic Glazed Ham

Active Time

40 mins

Total Cook Time

3 hours 55 mins




(We recommend bone in hams as they are more flavorful)

  • 1 Bone in, Fully Cooked Smoked Ham
    (9-10 pounds, butt/shank half)

Apple-Maple Glaze

(You can replace this with any other glaze or rub of your choice)

  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • ½ up Apply Jelly
  • ½ cup Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Whole-Grain Mustard 
  • ½ teaspoon Ground AllSpice
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg (grated) 

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Set up the cooking station

  • Gather all the ingredients mentioned above and set up the cooking station. 

Step 2: Bring ham to room temperature

  • Remove the ham from the refrigerator and set it aside. 
  • Bring it to room temperature. This should take about 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Prepare apple-maple glaze

  • Boil the apple cider in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to ½ cup, 8-10 minutes. 
  • Reduce the heat to low. 
  • Stir in the apple jelly, maple syrup, mustard, allspice, and nutmeg. 

Step 4: Prep the oven and the ham

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  • Trim off any skin from the ham. 
  • Use a razor-sharp paring knife to score through the fat in a diagonal crosshatch pattern, without cutting through the meat. 

Step 5: Roast the ham

  • Put the ham, flat-side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. 
  • Pour ¼ inch of water into the bottom of the pan. 
  • Transfer this to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 130 degrees F. 
  • This should take about 2 and a half hours (15 minutes per pound)

Step 6: Pour more glaze and cook

  • Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. 
  • Pour half of the glaze over the ham and brush to coat well. 
  • If the water at the bottom of the pan has evaporated, add more. 

Step 7: Baste until browned

  • Return the ham to the oven and roast, basting every 10 minutes with the remaining glaze, until glossy and well-browned. 
  • This should take another 45 minutes.  

3. Best Seasonings for Ham

You can get very creative with the seasonings when it comes to cooking ham. Be it a sweet and fruity glaze or an all-spice rub, you can add flavor to this hefty chunk of meat in multiple ways. 

Glazes and Rub: 

Mustard-Orange Glaze


  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cup Dijon Mustard
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 Orange

Instructions to use

  • Mix all the ingredients listed above in a bowl and use as directed in the recipe above. 

Hoisin-Spice Glaze


  • 2 tablespoons Five-Spice Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 1 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Water

Instructions to use

  • Toast the five-spice powder in a small saucepan over medium heat with peanut oil for about 1 minute. 
  • Add hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1 cup of water to the saucepan. 
  • Boil and reduce to 1½ cup. This will take about 5 minutes. 

Pineapple-Apricot Glaze


  • Grated Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 8 thin slices of Ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened Pineapple Juice
  • 1 cup Apricot Preserves 
  • ¼ cup Dijon Mustard

Instructions to use

  • Put the lime juice in a saucepan.
  • Add ginger and pineapple juice. 
  • Boil until reduced to ½ cup, 8-10 minutes. 
  • Strain, then add the lime zest, apricot preserves, and mustard. 

Cherry Bourbon Glaze


  • 1 jar Cherry Preserves
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne

Instructions to use

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine preserves, bourbon, honey, cloves, and cayenne.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes. 
  • The glaze will thicken as it cools. 

Ham Rub


  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Powder  

Instructions to use

  • Coat in the rub and then bake ham as directed.  

4. Tips for Cooking Ham to Perfection

  • Cross-hatching the ham’s surface before applying the glaze to ensure that the ham catches as much glaze as possible. This glaze also works on your favorite boneless ham.
  • Give the ham a special twist by adding your favorite fruit preserves or juices to your glaze. 
  • While boneless hams may be easier to cut, you will miss out on tons of flavor that the bones contain. So I recommended you buy a bonein hams for your meal prep. 
  • You do not need to marinate ham. Most hams bought from the grocery store have been marinated and cooked already. Marinating it again can ruin the taste of the ham or make it too salty. 
  • Wrap the ham in aluminum foil or an oven bag before you put it in the oven. This will help prevent it from losing any moisture. Cooking ham without any coverage might put it at risk of drying out and losing most of its flavor. 
  • Cooking time depends on the weight of the ham. If your ham was sold fully cooked, then set the time for 10 minutes per pound. If it is partially cookies at the time of purchase, then time it for 25 minutes per pound. 

5. Alternate Recipe: Cooking Ham in an Instant Pot

Cooking Ham in an Instant Pot

Prep Time

10 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

Reverse Sear Time

5 mins

Total Time

25 mins





  • 5LB Ham (pre-cooked)

Brown Sugar Glaze

(You can replace this with any other glaze or rub of your choice)

  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Green Onions (sliced)
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • ½ stick Butter

Cooking Instructions

Step 1:

  • Combine 1 cup maple syrup, 1 cup brown sugar, and 3 sliced green onions to a mixing bowl. 
  • Mix well 

Step 2:

  • Add trivet to the bottom of a 6qt.+ Instant Pot.
  • Pour 1 cup of orange juice. 
  • Place a 5-pound ham on top of the trivet, and cover with ½ of the glaze mixture.
  • Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. 

Step 3:

  • When 10 minutes are up, carefully release the pressure using an oven mitt or dishcloth. 
  • Carefully lift the pot and set it aside on a plate. 
  • Drain the liquid from the pot. 

Step 4:

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and melt ½ stick of butter. 

Step 5:

  • Once it melts, add the ham. Sear on each side until browned all over. 

Step 6:

  • Remove to a plate and slice. 
  • On top and in between each slice, evenly cover with the remaining ½ of the glaze mixture. 

Step 7:

  • Cut up the ham into thin slices, serve and enjoy! 

6. Nutritional Value

Ham in an Instant Pot





Saturated Fat
















Vitamin A 


Vitamin C






*IU stands for International Unit and is a measure that is used in pharmacy and for the use of measurement of vitamins.

7. Serving Suggestions

Not sure of how much ham to make for your dinner party? 

Generally, planning for ½ pound of ham per person is a good rule to follow. Some guests may eat more, some less but this rule should help you with your planning. For example, if you are serving 12 people, a 6-pound ham should be plenty. 

Once sliced up nice and thin, you can serve your brown sugar glazed ham with a simple slide of classic mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, some sweet and juicy spaghetti squash, or even honey-glazed carrots. 

If you have a bunch of kids over for dinner you can also serve these slices with some buttery dinner rolls, cornbread, potato salad, or every child’s favorite, mac, and cheese. You can also great creative with your leftover ham by trying out different delicious ham recipes.

8. Best Knives to Carve Ham

1. Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

    Ensure every roast, brisket, turkey, and even ham is perfectly and evenly sliced, with effortless motion and seamless maneuverability. This knife comes with an ultra-sharp blade with a narrow design, allowing you to perform cuts with a single stroke. 


    • The hollow oval-shaped divots create tiny air pockets to minimize friction and stuck-on foods. 
    • The knife is pleasing to hold as it is to look at.
    • This functional set will help your transfer meat slices from the cutting board to the plate with great ease. 


    • If you are a seasoned chef, you can take a look at some of the longer blades that can help you slice up large chunks of meat easily. 
    • The design of this set can be too basic for a chef who has a bold sense of style. In that case, you can take a look at some of the other slicing and carving knives.
    2. Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Crusader Series - Dalstrong

      Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Crusader Series - Dalstrong

      This stunningly designed set is what you need if you are someone who enjoys roasting, grilling, and barbecuing. The balanced, razor-sharp carving knife is designed to allow the user to make long, clean cuts that can be enjoyed by everyone. 


      • This all-steel set offers a minimalist aesthetic with unobtrusive beauty, making it the perfect fit for any kitchen. 
      • The stylized groove along the knife offers the added benefits of reducing friction and stuck-on food, ensuring minimal flesh damage. 
      • This set is built to last a lifetime as the solid steel design ensures incredible toughness and resilience. 


      • If you are an experienced chef, you can opt for a longer blade that will make it easier for you to cut through chunks of meat, fruits, and vegetables. 

      3. Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Shogun Series - Dalstrong

      Carving Knife and Fork Set 9” | Shogun Series - Dalstrong

        Cut through almost anything with effortless motion and seamless maneuverability. The ultra-sharp blade of this knife will work by your side all day long, enhancing your speed, precision, and endurance. The contoured shape ensures meat can be easily separated from the bone and comes with a fork that helps you secure the meat in place. 


        • The super-steel core possesses extra high carbon levels, allowing for scalpel-like sharpness with exceptional, long-lasting edge retention, increasing the lifespan of the blade. 
        • The blade is highly impervious to both, heat and moisture, making it the perfect to to handle the heat in any kind of kitchen. 
        • The carefully designed handle offers superior hand control and comfort. 


        • This knife comes with a heavy price tag that might not make it every home chef’s first choice. 
        • Chefs who prefer a more simple style of knives can take a look at some of the other carving knives available. 

        4. Slicing and Carving Knife 10” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

        Slicing and Carving Knife 10” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

          Here’s a blade that is designed for the tough day-to-day demands of a busy kitchen. This versatile blade is perfect for carving roasts, prepping large fruits and vegetables, and slicing ham, loaves of bread and even cake. Create beautiful, long, thin, and uniform sliced of larger cuts of meat like ham without tearing or shredding, with a single stroke. 


          • The tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activities. 
          • The handles are shaped to provide maximum comfort, grip, and maneuverability. 
          • The blade cleans easily and is very simple to maintain. 


          • If you are a new chef, this 10” blade can prove to get slightly daunting. So be patient with this blade as you will have to practice to get a hang of it. 
          • The 10” blade can get a little difficult to store, especially if you have a small kitchen. 

          5. Slicing and Carving Knife 12” | Delta Wolf Series - Dalstrong

          Slicing and Carving Knife 12” | Delta Wolf Series - Dalstrong

            For tasks that require finesse and flexibility, this is the blade you need. This slicer ensures quick and easy slicing and trimming of meats like hams, roasts, and turkey. The slender blade is also suited for prepping large fruits and vegetables in a smooth, quick motion. 


            • The groove near the spine of the knife lightens the blade and enhances agility so you can keep chopping and carving with speed. 
            • The black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating adds corrosion resistance, toughens the blade, and enhances its non-stick properties. 
            • The blade is resistant to both, extreme hot and cold temperatures, increasing its durability of the blade.  


            • I recommend investing in this blade only if you are an experienced chef. Otherwise, the length of the blade can make it slightly daunting to use. 
            • This is a slightly pricey blade however it is worth it if you are a chef that works in a super busy kitchen, dealing with big cuts of meat. 

            9. Frequently Asked Questions

            How long should it take to cook a ham?

            For whole ham, allow 15 to 18 minutes per pound; for a half, 18 to 24 minutes per pound. Ham will be ready with the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

            How do I cook a precooked ham?

            The best way t do this is to place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Add water to the bottom of the pan and cover the whole thing tightly with foil. Bake ham at 325 degrees F for 16-20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer registers 135 degrees F. 

            How long does it take to cook a raw ham?

            It takes 18-20 minutes per pound to cook a whole 10-15 pound ham. It will take 20 minutes per pound to cook a 5-7 pound ham.

            Written by Himani Vaid
            Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.

            Cooking A Ham At Home Made Easy : 7 Simple Steps

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