This Orange Bourbon glazed ham recipe produces excellent results. The rich, tangy glaze takes a perfectly cooked ham to another level.
Get ready to take your ham to the next level!
From making the glaze to when should you apply it, I've got you covered.
I also share a flawless method for roasting a precooked ham to ensure juiciness every time, so stay with me!
Why orange bourbon glaze?
Let’s be honest, ham can be pretty boring. It is important to cook it properly so it’s juicy, but it also needs help in the flavor department.
I chose orange and bourbon because the flavors work so well together.
The tangy, sweet orange marmalade is a perfect pairing for the richness and body of the bourbon. Together, both complement the salty ham flavor.
I also add fresh ginger, which perfectly accents the orange marmalade.
Orange Bourbon ham glaze ingredients
My orange-bourbon ham glaze includes:
- Orange marmalade: you can opt for the chunky kind that contains orange zest, or choose a zest-free marmalade. We like the bits of zest in ours.
- Maple syrup
- Fresh ginger: if you choose a smooth marmalade, you'll want to mince the ginger very finely or even make a paste of it.
- Unsalted butter
How to make the Orange Bourbon ham glaze
Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan.
Simmer for 30 minutes: this will remove the boozy flavor from the bourbon, along with most of the alcohol.
Be aware that this will smell quite strong at first. But trust me: it cooks down into pure awesomeness.
Let glaze come down to room temperature before you apply it to the ham.
When to glaze the ham
Timing when to glaze your ham is critical: it really depends on how you are cooking it. Glazes are typically sugary and can burn easily.
In my recipe, you wrap the ham right in the beginning, so it's perfectly safe glaze the ham right away.
Then, when you unwrap the ham near the end of the roast, you glaze a couple more times. This ensures that the glaze will be thick, sticky and perfectly caramelized.
(See the recipe card for details on the exact timing)
How to cook pre-cooked ham
This Orange-Bourbon Glazed Ham recipe is virtually foolproof and delivers juicy results every time.
Below are the key points for roasting a perfect ham every time (again, see the recipe card for more specifics).
What type of roasting pan for ham?
Use a pan with 2 inch or higher edges: you'll have a lot of pan juices and you don't want them to spill.
We like to wrap tinfoil inside the roasting pan because it makes for easier cleanup.
Preparing the ham for roasting
Rinse and dry the ham thoroughly.
If you are using a spiral ham, you'll get great results if you take the time to get the glaze down between slices.
If you're not using a spiral sliced ham, cut a criss-cross pattern into the fat all over the outside of your ham (don't cut deeply into the meat: you just want to "scratch" it). Then liberally apply the glaze into the cuts and all over the ham.
Wrap the ham tightly in tinfoil and place on bottom of the roasting pan.
Insert a leave-in thermometer at the thickest point of the ham, taking care NOT to touch the bone.
What temperature to cook the ham?
Cook the wrapped ham at 250º F: this is a "low and slow" roast.
Once the ham's internal temperature reaches 100º F, remove it from oven and crank the temperature to 425º F.
Then, carefully unwrap your ham.
SAVE THE HAM DRIPPINGS
You'll notice that you have a LOT of drippings.
Whatever you do, don't throw them out! This liquid has amazing flavor because the juices from the ham are mixed with the glaze.
Instead, remove most of the juices to a fat separator so that you can serve the de-greased sauce with the sliced ham. Not only is this delicious, but it also keeps the ham moist.
Once you've removed most of your pan juices, give the ham another liberal glaze.
Next, put the ham back in the hot oven.
Keep an eye on the glaze: you want caramelization, but not burning.
After 5 minutes, glaze again and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
How long does it take to cook a ham?
Our ~11-pound, bone-in spiral ham took about 2.5 hours in total.
This works out to about 15 minutes per pound.
When is ham done?
Keep in mind that although the ham is already pre-cooked, we want to roast it to an internal temperature of about 120º F. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Note: lots of sites say to cook the ham to 140º, but we find that the ham dries out too much at that temperature.
Once you unwrap your ham at the 100º F mark, the final two glazing applications at the higher oven temperature (followed by a rest) will bring your ham up to the final temp you want.
How to reheat leftover ham
Most likely, you will have leftover ham. Lucky you!
Reheating ham is really easy.
We simply cook the sliced ham in a pan with leftover juices.
Put a burner on low heat and cook just long enough to heat the ham slices through.
You could also microwave your ham: I'd suggest placing some slices on a microwave-safe plate, adding some of the juices, covering, and microwaving for 1 minute, or until warmed through.
Great leftover ham recipes
Some of our favorite uses for leftover ham are:
- Added to soups, like my Ham and navy bean soup or Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup
- Keto Ham Salad Spread (keep in mind that the sweet glaze means the ham isn't keto—still delicious!)
- Diced up for salads and omelets
- Added to mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes.
- Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
- Added to green beans
Side Dishes for Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham
Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham would pair perfectly with mashed potatoes (especially with some of that juice drizzled over the top). Check out my Perfect Meal-Prep Creamy Mashed Potatoes.
I'd also suggest a green vegetable, like Easy Microwave Broccoli, Easy Microwave Brussels Sprouts, or Green Beans with Bacon and Onions.
A salad like Arugula-Shaved-Fennel Salad would also be a great choice.
That's it! I hope that this easy Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham will be a hit with your family.
Stay safe. Stay well.
P.S. If you're looking for other options for Easter Dinner (or other holiday), check out Easter Dinner Ideas (that aren't ham)!
Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham
This Orange Bourbon glazed ham recipe produces excellent results every time. The rich, tangy glaze takes a perfectly cooked ham to another level.
- 8-10 lb bone-in, spiral sliced ham, excess fat removed
For the Orange-Bourbon Glaze
- 1 cup orange marmalade (see Recipe Note #1)
- ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- Rinse the ham and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the glaze is thick and syrupy, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before glazing the ham.
- Preheat oven to 250º F with the rack in the lowest position. Glaze the ham with ⅓ of the glaze, taking the time to make sure that glaze gets between ham slices.
- Wrap the ham tightly with foil and set in a foil-lined roasting pan. Insert a leave-in thermometer into the ham through the foil, making sure to avoid the bone.
- Roast until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 100º F (see Recipe Note #2). Remove and increase oven temperature to 425º F.
- Unwrap the ham, being careful to avoid steam burns. Remove most of the juices from the pan to a fat separator; set aside. Glaze the ham with ½ of the remaining glaze; return to roasting pan.
- Roast for 5 minutes, remove and apply the remaining glaze, then roast for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove ham and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the degreased pan juices.
- If you like a smooth glaze, choose an orange marmalade that doesn't contain orange zest and grate the ginger with a microplane rather than mincing.
- This can take up to 2.5 hours, depending on the size of your ham.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 8 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 18gSodium: 2000mgProtein: 35g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!
AHH -- I haven't had ham in SO LONG, and this article is bringing back such happy memories of this Christmas food treat!
Thanks, Lillie! Ah, yes, I do remember hams at Christmas too! But mostly Easter... 🙂
Erin Gierhart says
The flavors sound delicious and that ham looks so juicy and tender. Thanks for all of the great tips! I look forward to trying this with some mashed potatoes and that fennel salad!
Thank you, Erin! I hope you enjoy this meal!
Soheila Hakimi says
Wow! This looks incredible and who doesnt love a fail proof recipe. Also your leftover suggestion of adding it into a soup to give a nice flavour is making me fantasize about additional meals I can make with it after the first dinner, which I really appreciate because I hate wasting food!
Thank you, Soheila! I also hate food waste, which is why I have a "clean out the fridge" stew every once in a while. 😉
This recipe sounds fantastic! Ham is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Saving for a later date 🙂
Thank you, Lindsay! I hope it's a hit!