Hands down, this is the best baked ham recipe (and easiest). There. I’ve said it. Skip the $75 Honey-Baked stores. You can make a homemade ham with brown sugar mustard glaze for about one quarter of the price of those foil-wrapped shanks AND without having to stand in line. Brown sugar glazed ham will be the centerpiece for holiday meals or anytime you want to feed a crowd on a budget.
This recipe has been updated from its original 2014 publish date for recipe and photos.
I’m a ham junkie. As in — can’t get enough. Could be because I was raised a stone’s throw from Smithfield, Virginia and oven roasted ham was a staple in our house. Whatever the reason, I’m utterly smitten with the salty, savory bite of this piece of pig. My mother, grandmother and aunts served homemade ham on a regular basis and the only thing that differentiated each person’s versions, were the sides they served with it. Aunt Heather served au gratin potatoes. Aunt Lynne preferred potato salad. My grandmother always made angel flake biscuits and my mother liked to switch it up — rice salad, pasta salad, three bean salad… you name it. The central theme was always the brown sugar glazed ham.
I know for many people, oven roasted ham is a holiday item — Christmas, Easter, that sort of thing. I have to say that I would never wait that long for a homemade ham with brown sugar mustard glaze. First because they’re really inexpensive for how much yield you get. And second, because brown sugar glazed ham is sooooo simple to make. No, really.
I should preface that statement by saying that I’m not talking about those dry-cured, country hams that require a days of soaking (and regularly changing the water) before it can finally be roasted. No, the “ham” I’m referring to are the ones readily found in the meat department of the grocery stores, refrigerated, but not frozen. I can usually find a ham shank about 7-10 pounds for around $18-20 — a relative bargain for the amount of meat it yields. The brown sugar mustard glaze is a phenom of flavor and so ridiculously easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with those “pre-fab” pouches of glaze that sometimes come included with the ham.
Steps for Making Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze:
- Add brown sugar and dijon mustard to a small bowl.
- Stir to combine.
See, I told ya it was easy… BTW – I always make an extra bit of this glaze with one additional component (whole mustard seed) to serve with the ham on the side, for anyone who likes a bit more of that sweet/piquant embellishment.
The brown sugar mustard glaze gets spread over the oven roasted ham for the last half hour of cooking (note: baking times will be different depending on the weight of the ham, see recipe below for specifics).
Confession: Back in my early twenties, when I was living on my own in a tiny, one bedroom condo, I decided to make a ham for my boyfriend. I’d never made one before — but how hard could it be?
At the market, all I could find were cooked, smoked hams. Remembering my mother cooking her hams for 2-3 hours, I knew I didn’t want a pre-cooked ham. So I asked the butcher for an uncooked ham. He said, oh you want a “fresh” ham — a “picnic” ham.
I smiled with satisfaction. “Yes, that’s what I want.”
At home I prepped the ham the way my mother had, placing it in a roasting pan with a little water, sealing it tightly with tin foil, roasting it and pulling it out half an hour before it was done to add the glaze. But something didn’t seem quite right. My oven-roasted ham didn’t have that pinkish-hue. It didn’t have that smoky aroma. Undaunted, I pressed on — all the while feeling a persistent something’s-not-right niggle in the back of my head.
When it was time to carve, the brown sugar glazed ham was perfectly cooked, but again — their was no distinctive aroma, no pinkish flesh. My homemade ham with brown sugar mustard glaze was decidedly lacking in smoked flavor. That’s because if it’s not smoked (thus, cooked) it’s not a ham. It’s a h-ork (ham + pork roast= hork). I was more than disappointed and utterly humiliated at my (now obvious) mistake.
Live and learn. The hork was good, however, this homemade ham with brown sugar mustard glaze is better. Best of all, your hands-on time for this feast is less than 20 minutes — and that includes trimming and glazing. I recommend it for the holidays or any weekend.
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Easiest Ever Oven Roasted Ham
It doesn't take much effort at all to make a beautiful holiday ham! See for yourself!
- 8-10 pound ham shank or butt portion
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
EXTRA GLAZE FOR SERVING: (optional)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons whole mustard seed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Trim any excess fat from ham. Place ham into a roasting pan. Add water to the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil so that no steam can escape.
ROASTING TIMES FOR HAM:
A ham should cook for about 18-20 minutes per pound.
8 pound ham: ~ 2 to 2 1/2 hours
9 pound ham: ~ 2 1/2 to 3 hours
10 pound ham: ~ 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the dijon mustard and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Set aside.
When the oven roasted ham has 30 minutes left in the cooking time, remove it from the oven. Take off the aluminum foil and glaze the ham with brown sugar mustard glaze. Return the ham to the oven for half an hour.
Remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
BROWN SUGAR MUSTARD GLAZE FOR SERVING:
Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the dijon mustard, mustard seed and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Microwave the brown sugar mixture in 20-30 second bursts until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Serve the carved oven roasted ham with extra brown sugar mustard glaze on the side for anyone who can't get enough...
If your ham isn't exactly 7 pounds, cook it for 18-20 minutes per pound. Begin glazing the ham 30 minutes before it's completely cooked.
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