Bourbon Glazed Ham is a fancy glazed ham recipe that needs to be the star of the show! Be it Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or special occasion an oven baked ham is a crowd pleasing popular choice. This bourbon maple glazed ham is easy to make, flavor packed and a joy to present.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about this maple bourbon glazed ham recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to get everything you need to make the recipe from your local shops. The grocery store will stock the majority of ingredients with ham commonly available at special times of year. The bourbon can be easily sought in a small size bottle from the liquor store.
- Popular: despite being very straight forward to make, glazed ham is a highly popular and much loved dish to pop onto the table. Everyone of all ages enjoys chowing down on the sweet glaze with soft juicy ham.
- Suitable for beginner cooks: whilst you might think glazing a ham is a difficult process or shrouded in mystery, it is actually very simple to do. We simply combine the glaze ingredients and heat until the sugar dissolves, do a bit of prep work, glaze the ham and then reglaze regularly as it cooks. By following the photos and instructions, you should fee confident that you can turn out the goods or ham so to speak 😂👍.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the honey bourbon glazed ham recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Cloves: these get pushed into the ham before it is covered in the glaze and oven baked.
- Cinnamon sugar: sweet and festive. This aromatic spice is a great addition to a glaze for ham as it brings a cinnamon fragrance and flavor.
- Mustard: we use a small amount of Dijon mustard in the glaze. This is smooth and you will notice it won't fully dissolve even with high heat.
- Honey: sweet, sticky and rich. This lovely ingredient is for both flavor and texture.
- Bourbon: the bourbon gives a great rich flavor to the glaze. We only need a small amount of it and it does not overwhelm the flavor of the ham itself.
- Maple syrup: another sweet and sticky ingredient perfect to use in Christmas cooking. The maple syrup is a complimentary flavor to the bourbon, brown sugar and honey.
- Brown sugar: the sugar gets dissolved in the liquids on the stove top. So we don't actually notice the granulated texture. However we taste it in the top surface of each slice of ham.
- Ham: we want to use a bone in half leg of ham as shown in the photo above.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by combining the ingredients to make the glaze.
- Add glaze ingredients to sauce pan (Photo 1)
- Remove skin (Photo 2)
- Make gentle cuts (Photo 3)
- In both directions across the ham (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Bourbon Glazed Ham
To make the bourbon glazed ham, we start by combining the ingredients to make the glaze. To do so we add the brown sugar, bourbon, maple syrup, honey, mustard and cinnamon sugar to a sauce pan.
Then we turn the heat on and stir this combination of ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Once it does, we turn the heat off.
To prepare the ham, we want to remove the packaging and place it onto a clean, dry cutting board.
Then we want to cut around the shank like you see me doing in the photos above. This is so that we can remove the skin and cover the shank with tin foil throughout the cooking process.
Next we want to remove the skin from the ham. To do this, we slide our fingers underneath the skin where it meats the open face of the ham. Then push your fingers across the width of the ham and slide them towards the back. The skin will easily pull away from the ham, often in one clean piece.
Once we have removed the skin from the ham we want to gently make cuts across the surface of the ham and then repeat these cuts diagonally back to the other side.
When all of the cuts have been completed we can place a clove in the diamond created from the diagonal cuts. You can see what this will look like in the photos below.
- Add the cloves (Photo 5)
- Wrap bone end in foil and place on baking rack (Photo 6)
- Stir glaze on stove top till sugar is dissolved (Photo 7)
- Brush the ham with the glaze (Photo 8)
Once the cloves have been pushed into the ham place it onto a wire rack above an oven tray.
Then use a pastry brush to coat the surface of the ham and exposed bone end with the glaze.
- Glaze exposed ham also (Photo 9)
Next place the ham into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once the 1st 15-20 minutes are up, we want to use oven mitts to remove the ham from the oven, place it onto a heatproof surface and then reglaze it with the bourbon sugar mix.
- Reglaze the ham every 15 - 20 minutes (Photo 10)
Continue this process for the next hour using the bourbon mixture to reglaze the ham every minute to 20 minutes.
Once up, turn the oven off and let the ham sit for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the oven.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
When it comes to serving the ham, you are likely to want to have it with sides galore. Some pairing options to consider are with the Creamy Garlic Potatoes, Skin on Roast Potatoes or the Air Fryer Potato Cubes.
Carving and slicing the ham is the easiest way for everyone to grab the tongs and fill their plate and you can always carve more as needed.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the ham with bone in in a ham bag that has been soaked with warm water and vinegar.
Store leftover slices of cut ham in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge.
How to Freeze
To freeze leftover ham, use a knife and prongs to cut it from the bone and discard the bone. Then place the cut slices of ham into zip lock bags, push down to release the air and seal.
Slices of ham or diced ham can be kept for up to 3 months and need to be thawed before being consumed.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use either maple syrup or honey instead of the combination of both. In which case you need to use double the specified amount ie 1 cup of either.
- The cloves are optional. If you don't want to use them, you can omit them.
- If you want to use this glaze to cover a whole leg of ham then it is recommended that you double the quantities to ensure the glaze is enough for the larger size portion of ham.
- I like to present the ham with fresh rosemary as it adds a pop of colour and festivity. You can also use fresh thyme.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Preheat the oven before you start working with the ham so that it will be ready to go when you have glazed the ham.
- The mustard will break down slightly when heated but not fully. So don't be deterred if there is some slight blobs of it throughout the glaze.
- The ham will be heavy. So set your work station up as close to the oven as you can. This will save you from carrying the heavy ham around too much.
- It is a good idea to line the baking tray under the wire rack with tin foil. This will help when it comes time to clean up. If you notice during the cooking time smoke starts to waft out of the oven when you open the door to glaze, pour some water into the base of the baking tray. This will also help to keep the ham moist as it cooks.
- Got leftover ham and want to repurpose it? Use it and make the Potato And Ham Bake 😉👌. Or add it as an extra ingredient to the Potato And Broccoli Bake.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is bourbon glaze made of?
Bourbon glaze is made of bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and mustard.
Do you glaze ham before or after cooking?
You glaze the ham as it cooks and reglaze it every 15 to 20 minutes.
Is it OK to glaze ham the day before?
Yes! You can glaze and make the ham the day before then simply carve and serve it on the day you want to present it.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Decadent dinners that offer a little bit more than a bowl of past are very worth your time and efforts. Here are some more recipes along the same lines that produce fantastic results:
- Scallop Fried Rice
- Beef Back Ribs
- Greek Lamb Shanks
- Slow Cooker Pulled Lamb
- Pork Osso Bucco
- Chicken Ribs
- Oven Baked Pork Ribs
- Dutch Oven Pulled Pork
- Pulled Beef Brisket
Bourbon Glazed Ham
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup/125 ml maple syrup
- ½ cup/125 ml honey
- ½ cup/125 ml bourbon
- 1 tbs djion mustard
- 1 tbs cinnamon sugar
- 5 kg/ 11 pound bone in half leg of ham
- rosemary sprigs
- Preheat the oven: preheat the oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Prepare the ham: remove the packaging from the ham and place it onto a clean dry cutting board. Use a small knife to make a cut around the exposed bone end. Then starting at the exposed ham end, gently slide your fingers under the skin and pull it back and off the ham. The skin can then be discarded. Wrap the bone with tin foil. Next use a small knife and cut across the surface of the ham, as lightly as you can not cutting too deeply. Then make cuts in the opposite direction in a diagonal manner. Next push a clove into the diamond formed by the cuts across the ham.
- Glaze: place a medium sauce pan onto the stove top and add the brown sugar, bourbon, maple syrup, honey, mustard and cinnamon sugar. Then turn the heat to high and stir as the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved and the glaze has thickened, turn the heat off on the stove top.
- Glazing the ham: use a pastry brush to coat the surface and exposed ham edge in the glaze. Then place the ham into the oven and let it bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Once the time is up, use oven mitts to remove the baking rack from the oven, place it onto a heatproof surface and reglaze the ham. Then repeat this process every 15 to 20 minutes for the next hour.
- To serve: once the ham has been cooking for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turn the heat off. Then you can let it sit in the oven as it starts to cool. Once the ham has say for 5-10 minutes, use oven mitts to remove the baking tray and rack from the oven and place it onto a heatproof surface. Then transfer the glazed ham onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife and prongs to carve the ham into slices.
- Note 1 - Brown sugar: the sugar gets dissolved in the liquids on the stove top. So we don't actually notice the granulated texture. However we taste it in the top surface of each slice of ham.
- Note 2- Maple syrup: another sweet and sticky ingredient perfect to use in Christmas cooking. The maple syrup is a complimentary flavor to the bourbon, brown sugar and honey.
- Note 3 - Honey: sweet, sticky and rich. This lovely ingredient is for both flavor and texture.
- Note 4- Bourbon: the bourbon gives a great rich flavor to the glaze. We only need a small amount of it and it does not overwhelm the flavor of the ham itself.
- Note 5 - Mustard: we use a small amount of Dijon mustard in the glaze. This is smooth and you will notice it won't fully dissolve even with high heat.
- Note 6 - Cinnamon sugar: sweet and festive. This aromatic spice is a great addition to a glaze for ham as it brings a cinnamon fragrance and flavor.
- Note 7 - Ham: we want to use a bone in half leg of ham as shown in the photo above.
- Note 8 - Cloves: these get pushed into the ham before it is covered in the glaze and oven baked.