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Toss That Packet and Make This Easy Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Instead

Easter ham

From traditional side dishes to a spectacular dessert, a lot of planning goes into a tasty Easter dinner. If the star of your meal will be a big, beautiful ham, have you considered glazing it for even more flavor? These days, most spiral-cut hams from the grocery store come with a glaze packet, but take it from me—the first step to cooking the perfect Easter ham is to throw that packet in the trash.

With this super easy and quick Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze, you can add a sweet and savory sauce that will coat every inch of that ham. This glaze cooks on the stovetop, is ready quickly and brings big flavor to the Easter party!

Related: 100 Best Side Dishes For Easter Ham

Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze <p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze

Krista Marshall

What kind of glaze to put on ham?

When adding glaze to either spiral cut or whole ham, almost every recipe you will find, including this one, has sweet and savory elements. So it is a personal preference on what ingredients give you those flavor notes.

Many recipes include brown sugar or honey for the sweet and vinegar, mustard or citrus for an acidic touch. The combination of these leads to a glaze that will carmelize in the oven and give your ham a glossy finish and delicious crispy edges.

Related: 60 Easter Dinner Ideas For Last-Minute Planners

Ingredients for Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze

For this recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients, many of which you might already have.

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp stone-ground mustard

  • 2 tsp cornstarch

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Ingredients<p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Ingredients

Krista Marshall

How to make Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze

I've been using this same glaze for every baked spiral ham I've made for well over ten years. The first time I made a ham, I knew I wanted a homemade glaze, so I researched what was out there. I finally created this recipe after taking ideas from a few variations.

Even though most glazes I saw included Dijon mustard, I chose stone-ground because of the extra zing of flavor and thicker texture. I also used orange juice and added a dash of cloves because it complimented our family's favorite ham condiment, Orange Raisin Sauce.

Ready to see how I make it? Don't blink because this is going to be fast!

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Ingredients Combined<p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Ingredients Combined

Krista Marshall

2. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Whisked<p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Whisked

Krista Marshall

3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Boiling<p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Ham Glaze Boiling

Krista Marshall

4. After simmering, the glaze will begin to thicken. Look for it to coat a spoon. Remove from heat and cool completely. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Hame Glaze Coating Spoon<p>Krista Marshall</p>
Brown Sugar & Mustard Hame Glaze Coating Spoon

Krista Marshall

When To Glaze The Ham

I bake a spiral-cut ham at 325° for fifteen minutes per pound, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°. With about twenty minutes left, increase the heat to 425°, pour the glaze down over the ham and finish cooking.

The higher temperature helps to caramelize the sugar in the glaze and gives the ham a beautiful deep color and the "crispy bits" my family fights over.

Related: 12 All-Time Best Baked Ham Recipes

What to do if the glaze starts burning?

I won't lie, we like our ham with some deeply browned bits, so if mine starts to burn a little, I let it go. But if you don't want any blackened edges on your glazed ham, watch it carefully, because the high sugar content can cause it to happen, and place foil on the parts that are getting too dark too quickly.

Related: 25 Ham Glaze Recipes You Should Bookmark

Can the glaze be made ahead?

Yes! When it comes to pulling off a big holiday meal, anything you check off your to-do list ahead of time makes it so much easier. This glaze can be made earlier in the day and just hang out on the stove. You can also prepare it one or two days in advance and keep it in the fridge until ham time. It might need to be warmed up to thin back out to a pourable consistency though!

Best Tips for Making Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham

  • Mustard Swap. You could use dijon, spicy brown or even plain yellow mustard in place of the stone ground.

  • Cornstarch Only. While flour can sometimes be used as a thickener in place of cornstarch, it will NOT work the same here.

  • Pour and Brush. When you pour the glaze down over a spiral cut ham, be sure to grab a basting brush to get all the nooks and crannies.

  • Citrus Changeup. Pineapple juice is a great alternative to oj.

  • Grilling Season. This glaze can also be brushed onto grilled ham steaks for a summertime meal.

Next Up: 50 Best Recipes For Leftover Ham

Brown Sugar & Stoneground Mustard Ham Glaze

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup orange juice

    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

    • 2 tbsp stone-ground mustard

    • 2 tsp cornstarch

    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

    • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.

2. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.

3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. After simmering, the glaze will begin to thicken. When it coats a spoon, remove from heat and cool completely. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.