How to Make Glaze for Ham

Five Methods:Maple GlazeSugar GlazeCola GlazeTropical GlazeChinese Glaze

There are many different ways to make glaze for ham, but the process is usually fairly simple. You can whisk many glazes together at room temperature; for others, you may need to combine the ingredients over heat for the glaze to thicken properly.


Each recipe makes enough for one 8-lb (3.6-kg) ham

Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp (15 ml) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper (optional)

Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) prepared mustard
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

Cola Glaze

  • 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) cola-flavored carbonated beverage

Tropical Glaze

  • 8 oz (225 g) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1 cup (250 ml) apricot preserves
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) minced fresh ginger

Chinese Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) minced garlic
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) grated ginger

Method 1
Maple Glaze[1]

  1. 1
    Whisk the ingredients together. Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl, whisking well until evenly combined.
    • If you'd prefer glaze with a little more kick, add 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) of cayenne pepper to the glaze alongside the black pepper.
    • This glaze will already be quite thick at room temperature, so you do not need to cook it on the stove.
  2. 2
    Add to the ham halfway through cooking. Bake the ham as directed, and brush the entire batch of glaze over the surface of the ham halfway through the overall cooking time.
    • If the glaze has been sitting out for a while, quickly whisk it again before applying it to the ham.
    • For most hams, you'll need to cook the ham for 15 to 20 minutes per 1 lb (450 g) of meat at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius).[2] If you're cooking an 8-lb (3.6-kg) ham, this means you'll need to cook it between 2 to 2-1/2 hours; add this glaze after the first 60 to 90 minutes.

Method 2
Sugar Glaze[3]

  1. 1
    Combine the three ingredients. Whisk the brown sugar and prepared mustard together with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar.
    • If the glaze seems chunky or won't hold together, add another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar and continue whisking. The final glaze should form a thick, consistent paste.
    • Note that you do not need to heat this glaze prior to using it. You may need to periodically remix it, however, if it sits out for more than a few minutes before use.
  2. 2
    Glaze the ham continuously during the last hour. Brush this glaze over the ham once the ham only has an estimated 60 minutes left in cooking time. Reapply the glaze every 15 minutes until the ham is finished.
    • Whisk the remaining glaze immediately before each reapplication.
    • Ideally, you should apply this glaze to the ham a total of four times. Do not re-glaze the ham after it finishes cooking.

Method 3
Cola Glaze[4]

  1. 1
    Combine both ingredients. Place the brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and pour the cola beverage over it. Lightly whisk the two ingredients together until evenly combined.
    • This glaze should be thick enough to use without thickening it over heat.
    • Make this glaze immediately before you intend to use it and only whisk it together well enough to combine the ingredients. The carbonation will eventually flatten after you add the glaze to the ham, but you should try to retain some of it prior to application.
  2. 2
    Glaze the ham during the final 30 to 45 minutes. Cook the ham as usual, then pour or brush this glaze evenly over the surface of the ham during the final 30 to 45 minutes of anticipated cooking time.
    • This glaze can burn easily, so it's important to avoid applying it too early in the cooking process.

Method 4
Tropical Glaze[5]

  1. 1
    Boil the ingredients together. Combine an 8-oz (225-g) can of crushed pineapple and its juice with the apricot preserved and freshly minced ginger in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the glaze reaches a boil.
    • Boiling this glaze is important since it causes the sugars in the apricot preserves to break down and mix into the rest of the ingredients, creating a thick and consistently blended product.
    • Since you need to boil and cool this glaze, it's best to prepare it before you start cooking the ham. You can prepare it up to five days in advance.
  2. 2
    Blend until smooth. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Process on medium speed until a smooth glaze forms.
    • This step is technically optional. If you'd prefer a glaze with chunks of pineapple in it, you can skip the blending process and move directly into the next step.
  3. 3
    Cool to room temperature. Allow the glaze to sit out at room temperature until it cools down.
    • If you don't plan to use the glaze immediately after cooling it, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator for up to five days.
  4. 4
    Use near the end of the cooking time. Bake the ham as usual, and brush this glaze over the surface of the ham once the ham only has an estimated 30 to 40 minutes left of bake time.
    • Quickly stir the glaze again before you apply it.
    • This glaze may burn if you apply it too early, so it's best to use it near the end of the cooking time.

Method 5
Chinese Glaze[6]

  1. 1
    Whisk the ingredients together. Combine the hoisin sauce, honey, five-spice powder, minced garlic, and grated ginger in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until evenly mixed.
    • This sauce does not need to be thickened with heat.
    • If you'd rather not use freshly minced garlic or freshly grated ginger, you can use their powdered forms instead. Use only 1/8 tsp (0.6 ml) of each when opting for the ground and dried versions.
  2. 2
    Brush the glaze over the ham before and during baking. Lightly brush this glaze over the ham immediately before baking it. Once the ham is halfway through its anticipated cooking time, apply the remainder of the glaze and continue baking the ham.
    • Note that you may need to quickly whisk the glaze together again prior to each application.
    • The exact times will vary depending on the weight of the ham. You'll usually need to bake ham for 15 to 20 minutes per 1 lb (450 g) at a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius). For an 8-lb (3.6-kg) ham, you'll need to cook it for about 1 hour before reapplying the second coat; cook it for another 60 to 90 minutes after that.

Things You'll Need

  • Whisk
  • Small mixing bowl OR medium saucepan
  • Blender (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Recipes