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Brown Sugar Ham Glaze and Other Must-Try Versions of This Classic Recipe

Brown Sugar Ham Glaze and Other Must-Try Versions of This Classic Recipe

By Tina Popowski
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Photo Courtesy: Vicuschka/MomentGetty Images

Holiday meals are a time to catch up with loved ones, celebrate the warmth of the season and prepare recipes, both old and new. One iconic staple of the holiday season? The brown sugar glazed ham. Sure, the holidays have come and gone, but that kind of fun — and flavor — doesn’t need to be a Christmas-only kind of deal. Following that line of thought, we’ve rounded up a few excellent brown sugar glazed ham recipes for all diets, skill levels, flavor preferences and times of the year. Enjoy!

The Classic Balsamic Brown Sugar Glaze

This delicious recipe from Betty Crocker keeps things simple — and classic. Without a doubt, the vinegar-based brown sugar glaze's perfectly balanced combination of flavors will keep you licking your lips long after you've cleared your plate. Another pro? Prepping for this recipe requires minimal effort.

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Photo Courtesy: Betty Crocker

A little while before the ham is fully cooked, you'll prepare the brown sugar and mustard ham glaze, apply it to the exterior of the ham and let the whole thing cook for another 20 minutes. A lack of prep time certainly doesn't mean a lack of flavor, though. With a four-and-a-half star ranking, this recipe is sure to please fans of the dish, all while tasting homemade.

As anyone who hosts guests for the holidays (or simply enjoys the thrill of holiday decorating) knows, presentation is just as important as the cooking itself. This classy Lenox Holiday Serving Platter is sure to make your meals a hit at any festive gathering. And the platter is dishwasher-safe, which means you won’t be left scrubbing off that brown sugar glaze residue after the party’s over.

First-Timer? Try This Easy-to-Make Brown Sugar Glaze

Trying a recipe for the first time can be daunting, especially if you don't find yourself in the kitchen very often. This is especially true when you're attempting a meal as well-known as brown sugar glazed ham. If you aren't savvy in the kitchen, fear not. The folks at The Kitchn put together a recipe that really takes the pressure off.

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Photo Courtesy: The Kitchn

Although there’s a decent amount of ingredients, don’t be intimidated; each one adds to the ham's flavor profile — and the instructions are laid out in an easy-to-follow way. So what’s in the mix? Light brown sugar, honey, dijon mustard, butter and apple cider vinegar. In other words, it’ll turn out delicious no matter what. Plus, it's likely you have many of these common ingredients on hand already.

Like most brown sugar glaze recipes, this dish calls for you to spread the glaze over the ham during the cooking process. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this — without making a mess or wasting a batch of glaze — is by applying the glaze with a basting brush. This basting and pastry brush from OXO is an excellent choice for this specific recipe. The silicone handle ensures that the sticky glaze sauce won't pry the brush out of your hand while you're applying it to your meat. The bristles are also spaced for even application and fully heat resistant up to 600 degrees, so you won't have to worry about any bristles falling out or melting while you apply glaze to the fresh out-of-the-oven ham.

Get Adventurous with This Tangy Honey Glaze

While brown sugar ham is known for its sugary outer glaze, not everyone has that same sweet tooth. For a refreshing twist on this dish, a bit of tang is the perfect solution. This recipe from All Recipes calls for dark brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, dijon mustard, orange juice, orange zest and cloves. Unique, right?

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Photo Courtesy: kajakiki/E+/Getty Images

Boiling these ingredients together creates a semi-sweet, semi-tangy reduction to coat your ham with during its cooking cycle. This recipe does require more hands-on preparation time than others on our list, namely because you need to glaze the ham a few times once it's back in the oven. Still, all that extra work only makes for an even more stunning flavor.

Once this honey ham is ready to serve, you'll want to make sure you have the proper knife to avoid any carving mishaps. This MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Carving Knife can help you look like a pro in no time. Unsurprisingly, the long blade makes this knife ideal for cutting through large roasts, such as hams, turkeys and briskets. With an ergonomic grip and built-to-last durability, this carving knife will be slicing and dicing your favorite roasts for years to come.

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Need a Healthier Spin? Try This Keto-Friendly and No-Sugar-Added Recipe

Although the holidays are filled with yummy meals and dishes, those who are trying to maintain a healthier diet are often forced to choose between something that fits their meal plan and what’s truly delicious. Fortunately, this brown sugar glazed ham recipe from This Mom's Menu takes health-aware diners into account. This keto variation doesn’t add any additional sugars or carbohydrates to the plate.

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Photo Courtesy: This Mom’s Menu

Instead, the glaze recipe calls for brown sugar substitute, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and dijon mustard, all of which combine to create a tasty, artificial sugar-free mixture. You won't be able to tell the difference between this healthy variant and the real deal. Pro tip: Since this recipe requires no added sugar, that also means seeking out a ham that isn't already cured in sugar.

When it comes to cutting these no-sugar hams, many of which still have a bone, a ham stand is a must-buy. This wooden ham stand from Jamonprive can help you navigate chopping, slicing and prepping your holiday ham. With iron fittings and nail heads to secure your ham in place, this handy contraption takes the grunt work out of trying to slice up a bone-in ham.