Friday, December 19, 2014

Crispy Honey-Glazed Ham – Looks, Tastes, and Sounds Like the Holidays

A great holiday ham glaze needs to have three things; a wonderful flavor, a gorgeous, shiny appearance, and a crispy, crackling crust you can hear across the room. I’m happy to report this easy to make glaze has all those things in abundance.

This honey glaze will work on any size or style of ham, and as long as you keep the mixture quite thick, and caramelize it properly at the end, you will be the proud owner of a magazine cover-quality ham.

As I mention in the video, this was an uncured, fully-cooked, country-style ham, and if you use something similar, I’m recommending you pull it at 130 F. internal temp. Remember, ham is already cooked, so we just want it hot enough to eat. By the way, if you’re using a ham that’s not cooked already, you’re on your own!

The type of ham I used doesn’t contain a lot of added water like most hams in the supermarket, so it’s even more crucial to use a thermometer to achieve the proper temp. The meat has a denser, drier texture, and while the payoff is a superior ham flavor, it can get dry and salty if overcooked.

If you're using a standard ham, you can use the exact same procedure, but maybe go to 140 F., since you have a lot wetter product to work with. I realize many guides say to go to 160-180 F., but I have no idea why.

No matter what ham you use, you’ll need to give the glaze a final caramelizing before it gets anywhere near kale and tiny apples. They say you can crank the oven up to 500 F., or use the broiler, but nothing does a better job than the old blowtorch. If you don’t have one, they’re only $15 at a hardware store, and are an invaluable tool in the kitchen.

So, if a holiday ham is on your menu, I really hope you toss out that packet of who-knows-what, and give this wonderful, crispy honey ham glaze a try. Enjoy!


Enough glaze for a 7-9 pound ham:
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp rice vinegar (or any vinegar), or enough to make a thick paste
pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
For the water in the roasting pan:
2 whole star anise, and a bunch of whole cloves

- Bake ham at 325 F., glazing every 20 minutes until the internal temp is 130 F. for country-style hams, and 140 F. for regular hams.

27 comments:

Jeehan Mikdadi said...

I'm not quite sure where to leave my foodwish but here is mine. Can you please make a buche de noel? I would really love to see your take on this classic! Thank you!

Jeehan Mikdadi said...

I'm not quite sure where I'm supposed to leave my foodwish, but here is mine. A buche de noel. I would really like to see a quality recipe for this classic as I can't seem to find one that I like. Thank you!

Evan Moiles said...

I don't question that this ham is crispy after the torch is taken to it, I question if it will remain crispy and not get just kinda chewy as that sugar crusts begin to cool. But this is Food Wishes so I'll trust your word and try this out if I get tacked with the ham this holiday!

Steven Macks said...

I imagine if I wanted to do a maple glaze I could just substitute the honey one-for-one, yes?

Outlander said...

15 bucks?!? I'm buying one tomorrow!!

Karen Bradly said...

Delicious :)

Chef John said...

Yes, as with all glazed things, the crisp sugar does soften as it sits! But it's still nice and crusty.

Wojciech Jurczak said...

Hello :). the problem is that i live in Poland, and we do not have those already prepared Hams. Is there any possibility, that i could actually use a raw Ham? what should i do to recive the same goal?

Tom said...

Can you buy an uncured half ham like this at the supermarket? Or would I need to order it?

Sean Alesi said...

Can I heat the glaze in a microwave to dissolve the sugar before basting the ham? Seems like it would be easier to work with

Unknown said...

If it's been sitting for a long time it has probably absorbed a bunch of water and you can torch it again lightly (don't need to brown it twice, just get the bubbles). If it doesn't have enough moisture to resist burning you could probably mist it a bit.

barnes said...

Does putting the cloves and anise in the water really flavor the roast? I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Chef John said...

the cloves and anise really did (subtly)flavor the roast. It also made the house smell amazing.

Chef John said...

I'm not sure where you can find an uncured ham in your area, but there's only one way to find out, call around, Google, etc.

Chef John said...

Actually don't want the sugar to dissolve until it's in the oven on ham, but suit yourself!

Sandy said...

Does uncured ham also go by the name of "fresh ham"? Thanks for the recipe. I'd love to try this glaze.

puttermuch said...

This looks delicious and will be on our holiday table this year....thanks Chef John.

P.S. I so enjoy each and every video. Your cheerful voice and wittiness reminds me of my son Will, who is a good cook but not a professional chef :)
Merry Christmas!

Scion said...

Ahh - the signature "pinch of cayenne" !!

Fabi FeelsGood said...

Will this work on a spiral sliced ham? or will that dry it out? I'm thinking of buying one at Costco.

Chef John said...

The glaze works on any ham, but you have to use best practices for heating spiral ham, which I'm not sure of. Regardless of method, if you keep internal temp below 150, it should be dry. Those types are the easiet to dry out, so be careful!

Nathan Sales said...

I happen to have all of these ingredient sitting my my house with the exception of djon mustard! I will be going out to buy this tomorrow and using this recepie thank u for sharing.

Jessica Tschirhart said...

I used this glaze for my Christmas Eve lunchon. It was a big hit. Thank you!

paul coves said...

After years of serving store-cooked hams to my family, I bought the blowtorch, filled the baking dish with water, cloves and star anise and followed your recipe faithfully. The smell in the kitchen was amazing, and the anticipation from my family palpable. Usually the baked Turkey is the star of our Christmas meal, but after the gazed gam, the Turkey may as well have been a bbq store bought chicken. The ham looked amazing and tasted better.
I had to promise to always prepare our ham the Chef John way, or the family would eat out for Christmas dinner. You have changed our Christmas tradition, and that cannot often be said for a recipe, let alone one which Is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Thank you Chef John, you have helped our family (and made me look good).

Patty W said...

Again, Chef John you are my hero. I will be making this recipe tonight for company (Christmas Eve). Your recipe are ALWAYS a hit. And I love your videos and the commentary. Always entertaining!!

Javier Gonzalez said...

Thank you chef for share this recipe this is the second time that we are going to make it for thanks given i made it last year and they love it

Javier Gonzalez said...

Thank you chef for share this recipe this is the second time that we are going to make it for thanks given i made it last year and they love it

Javier Gonzalez said...

Thank you chef for share this recipe this is the second time that we are going to make it for thanks given i made it last year and they love it