How To Make Ham Glaze With Brown Sugar?

Using brown sugar to create a delectable ham glaze is a delightful way to enhance the flavor of your ham and add a sweet, caramelized touch to your holiday or special occasion meal. With its rich molasses nuances, brown sugar pairs beautifully with ham’s savory, salty flavor, resulting in a dish that will have your guests begging for seconds.

Whether preparing a ham for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion, This article, will explain how to make ham glaze with brown sugar.


  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark, per taste)
  • 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (orange juice may be substituted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves (optional )
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon (optional )

How To Make Ham Glaze With Brown Sugar?


1. Combine Ingredients

Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients. Measure one cup of brown sugar into a small saucepan. You can use light or dark brown sugars depending on the flavor intensity you prefer.

2. Add Honey And Mustard

Add 1/4 cup honey to the brown sugar for sweetness and a lustrous finish. Then, add 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard, which gives the glaze a tangy and mildly spicy flavor.

3. Pour In Fruit Juice

Next, pour in a quarter cup of pineapple juice (or orange juice, if you prefer) or apple juice. The fruit juice balances the glaze’s richness and tartness with a fruity flavor.

4. Optional Spices

You may add optional seasonings if you wish to enhance the flavor profile. A pinch (approximately one-fourth of a teaspoon) of ground cloves and cinnamon can add a warm, aromatic accent to the glaze. Stir all ingredients in a saucepan.

5. Heat And Simmer

Heat the mixture in a pot over medium heat by bringing it to a simmer. To make sure that the brown sugar dissolves fully and that all the ingredients come together to make a smooth, thickening glaze, you have to stir the mixture all the time. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes to do this.

6. Simmer And Reduce

Allow the glaze to simmer for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. When finished, the glaze coats the back of a spoon. Continue stirring to prevent the sugar from burning or adhering to the pan.

7. Cool

Once the glaze has reached the right thickness, take the pan off the heat and let it cool. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes. As it cools, it will thicken.

8. Prepare And Glaze The Ham

You can begin preparing the ham while the glaze cools. Typically, the ham will be baked or roasted in the oven. Remove the ham from the oven one hour before it is completely cooked, and score the surface with a diamond pattern. Scoring helps the marinade penetrate the ham.

9. Brush On The Glaze

Use a pastry brush or a spoon to heavily brush the brown sugar glaze all over the ham, making sure to get it into the cuts you made. This will let the sweet and sour tastes of the glaze soak into the ham.

10. Finish Baking

Return the ham to the oven and resume baking according to your recipe. Generally, you should bake the ham until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Every 15 to 20 minutes for the rest of the cooking time, baste the ham with the sauce. This helps the marinade caramelize and gives the ham a wonderfully sweet crust.

11. Rest And Serve

After the ham has been completely cooked, please remove it from the oven and rest for a few minutes before slicing. The resting period permits the fluids to redistribute throughout the ham, preserving its moisture. When you’re ready to serve, slice the ham and drizzle any remaining marinade over the top for a flavorful boost.

How Long Does A Ham Bake?

  • The ham used in this recipe has already been prepared; you are essentially reheating it. Due to the size of the meat, however, it will require some time.
  • I prefer to broil mine at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes per pound. Therefore, you will bake a 10-pound ham for approximately two hours.
  • When preparing a boneless ham, you need between 10 and 15 minutes per pound. However, these typically heat quickly due to their lighter weight.

Taste Variations

This is a basic recipe to get you started; you can add various ingredients to tailor it to your preferences.

  • Juice: Try substituting pineapple juice with apple cider, cranberry, pomegranate, or orange juice.
  • Spices: Combine the spices with powdered ginger, allspice, and cardamom. If desired, you may also insert whole cloves into the ham
  • Sweetener: You can use honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar for up to half of the brown sugar.
  • Flavorings: You can add more flavors to your sauce if you want to. For a spicy kick, add up to 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard or 2 minced chipotle peppers from a can. You can add up to a half cup of crushed pineapple to the glaze to make it more interesting. Mix sweet and sour tastes by adding a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Tips For The Perfect Glaze

  • You may use fresh, frozen concentrate or canned pineapple juice in this recipe; they all work well.
  • I’ve prepared this dish with both dark and light brown sugar. The flavor of light brown sugar is more neutral than dark brown sugar, which has a stronger molasses flavor. You can utilize either one with success.
  • The flavor of freshly ground nutmeg is far superior to bottled ground nutmeg. You can purchase whole nutmegs and use a microplane grater to grate them.
  • The homemade ham glaze is suitable for both bone-in and boneless ham. If using boneless ham, you must score it first.
  • Ham leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

A ham glaze made with brown sugar is a simple yet exceptional addition to any ham recipe. With its sweet, glossy finish and a trace of warmth from the brown sugar, it will surely become a family gathering and special occasion favorite.

Read More: How To Cook A Turkey In A Crock Pot?

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