Um, please stand by while I overcome an emotional moment while g(L)azing (get it?!) at the crunchy exterior of this ham…
Thank you for your patience. People, you have not lived unless this ham has been in your life. This literally takes any ham I’ve ever had and slaps it across the country to a land where mediocre hams are welcome, because they ARE NO LONGER WELCOME HERE.
It’s just unreal how good this is, you guys. The glaze is sweet and hugs the outside of the ham as the fat renders and becomes crispy/crunchy in the oven. It caramelizes over the surface of the ham and sneaks into every single little nook and cranny that we slice into the ham before it bakes.
The meat on the inside is impossibly juicy and tender thanks to a low and slow oven time. And when you get a bite of tender, juicy ham + crispy, caramelized glaze, it is SO GOOD I can’t even put it into words. Oh my goodness. You need this. NEED.
Let’s talk glaze. Here’s what we’ve got:
- Brown sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Yellow mustard
- Garlic powder
We let that cook and reduce by about 1/3, the alcohol cooks out, and it becomes sticky and sweet and complex and EVERYTHING that is good in the world. It’ll reduce down to abouuutt one cup, and you will slather it all over your ham every twenty minutes for the last hour and a half it’s in the oven.
So – there are a few things we need to discuss here that make this ham super extra good and way better than any I’ve ever had in the past…
- Don’t get a spiral sliced ham. Get one that isn’t sliced yet. The pre-spiral sliced will make the ham dry out as it bakes in the oven and not allow all that delicious juiciness to stay packed into the meat
- Remove the skin/rind/whatever you want to call it that’s all over the outside. You want to expose the layer of fat that’s underneath. DON’T cut that off…it’s legit the best part. Some of the skin pulled right off for me, leaving the full layer of fat underneath, and some wanted to pull the fat off with it, so for at least half of the ham, I used a sharp knife and sliced the skin off, leaving as much of the fat beneath as possible
- Slice a diamond pattern in the ham before baking. This doesn’t have to be exact or pretty, but you want to slice about 1/2 inch deep lines all across the ham that form a “diamond” pattern. This does two things: allows the fat to render more successfully and get crispier, and (more importantly) creates a ton of little nooks and crannies for the glaze to sneak into as it bakes in the oven.
These three things will leave you with THE BEST ham, people. I won’t steer you wrong.Print
Bourbon Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- 9 pound ham – NOT spiral sliced – you want the kind that isn’t sliced yet (see note about pound changes)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Pull the skin/rind off your ham that covers the surface. I pulled as much as I could off and then sliced off the rest with a sharp knife. Make sure to leave as much of the fat underneath as you can (it’s the best part)
- Slice a diamond pattern about 1/2 inch deep across the whole ham (doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect)
- Place on top of a roasting rack in a roasting pan cut side down
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours
- When you’re about an hour into your baking, make your glaze. Combine all ingredients into a medium pot, bring to a boil, and boil for several minutes (about 5-8, maybe longer) until the glaze has reduced and thickened. It needs to reduce to about a cup.
- For the last 1 1/2 hours of baking, remove the ham from the oven and generally brush the glaze all over the ham every 20 minutes. Don’t be shy! Once you glaze it, pop it back in the oven and glaze it again 20 minutes later. Don’t glaze it within the last 10 minutes of oven time so that the final layer has a chance to caramelize
- When it comes out of the oven, let it rest for at least ten minutes and then carve it up and serve!
If you buy a bigger or smaller ham, you can easily just adjust the cook time to work for you. The formula is 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven, so adjust the cook time based on that, and no matter how much longer or shorter it is, still glaze just for the last 1 1/2 hours of oven time.
If your ham is much bigger than this, you might need to make a bigger batch of glaze.
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more yummy Thanksgiving recipes? Check these out: