Bourbon brown sugar glazed ham makes a rich, elegant, and delicious meal for holidays or special occasions. I love simple recipes with just a few ingredients and this one fits the bill.
One day when I was “cookbook surfing,” I came across this recipe for Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham in the old Time-Life, Foods of the World, American Cookbook.
Though I no longer have the hardback, I still have the small spiral-bound cookbook, which has all the recipes, but not the history and photos. And this is still one of my favorite ways to make ham.
There are lots of different glazes for a ham, and choosing a glaze is never easy. Bourbon glazed ham tastes delicious and is a simple recipe, great for when you have your family over on holidays.
Cooking With Bourbon
While I don’t like drinking any dark-colored spirits, bourbon included, I have no problem cooking or baking with them. Since the alcohol evaporates, all that’s left is the rich flavor that compliments the sweet brown sugar.
For the bourbon brown sugar ham glaze recipe, you can use whatever bourbon you’d like! Different bourbons will give the glaze a slightly different flavor, so choose one of your favorites.
How to Make Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze
Want to learn how to make a bourbon glaze? The bourbon ham glaze only requires a few ingredients and is absolutely delicious!
- ⅓ cup bourbon whiskey
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Optionally, whole cloves.
Making the glaze is as easy as combining the ingredients together in a bowl.
Do You Put Glaze on Ham Before Cooking?
The glaze works (and tastes!) best if you put the glaze on the ham after you’ve baked the ham at 325 degrees (without basting) for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
When the meat can easily be pierced with a fork, take it out and let it cool enough for you to cut away the rind.
Score the ham by cutting deeply through the fat. You can make a cross-wise or diamond pattern. Finally, use a pastry brush to cover the ham with your bourbon and brown sugar glaze.
Then, return the ham to the oven and continue cooking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the sugar has melted and formed a brilliant glaze.
Are There Different Types of Ham?
There are different cuts of ham, like boneless or bone-in hams.
The shank end of the ham has a straight bone which makes it easier for slicing.
As always, buy the best quality ham you can afford. No amount of glaze can compensate for canned ham.
I was able to find a spiral-cut, smoked, eight-pound ham for just under $2 a pound at my local big box store. Depending on the time of year, grocery stores offer similar discounts.
The best part about bourbon brown sugar glazed ham is it can be cooked ahead of time the old-fashioned way or slow-cooked.
Then when it’s almost time to bring it out for dinner, you can add on the bourbon and brown sugar glaze for a ham and finish cooking it in the oven in under 30 minutes.
If you’re looking for some side dishes to go with ham, how about Lawry’s Famous Creamed Spinach?
Or the Crispiest Ever Roasted Potatoes?
Also, try the Best Potato Salad I’ve ever tasted!
Bourbon And Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- 8 lb ham pre-cooked and spiral cut, if possible
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the ham fat side up on a rack and set in a shallow roasting pan. Bake in the middle of the oven, without basting, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat can be easily pierced with a fork. The internal temperature should read between 130 and 140 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, combine bourbon, brown sugar and dry mustard in a small bowl.
- When ham is cool enough to handle, cut away the rind, then score the ham by cutting deeply through the fat until you reach the meat and make a cross-wise or diamond pattern.
- Pat or use a pastry brush to cover the ham with the bourbon and brown sugar mixture. If using cloves, pierce a whole clove into the center of each diamond.
- Return the ham back to the oven and continue cooking and additional 15-20 minutes, or until the sugar has melted and formed a brilliant glaze.