Sage and Brown Sugar Glazed Whole Ham is the perfect holiday meal. Easy to prepare and a breeze to bake, this flavor-packed dish will please every guest at your holiday table.
A whole ham is a classic and pretty traditional meal often served at Christmas or Easter dinners but serving it up on a random weekend is just as good. This sage and brown sugar glazed whole ham is perfect for the holidays and every day in between.
Making a whole ham can be intimidating to many people, but this recipe is super simple, and with the easy ham glaze on top, you get the most flavorful slice of meat on your plate every time. Check out this recipe below and see how your dinner plans got better.
- Brown sugar
- Ground sage
- Dijon mustard
- Apple juice
- Spiral cut bone-in ham
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Sage and Brown Sugar Glazed Whole Ham
- The first thing you’ll need to do when making this recipe is get the glaze ready. It will take a few minutes to reduce, so I like to get it going on the stovetop while I open the ham and get it in the roasting pan.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the brown sugar, sage, cinnamon, salt, mustard, and apple juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until it has reduced by one-third. You’ll be left with 2/3 of the total volume you started with. This will meld the flavors and thicken it up a bit.
- Place your ham in a roasting pan and brush the glaze over the top of the ham, making sure to get it in between the layers of meat. Get in between those slices and make sure you thoroughly get that ham glazed. More glaze = more flavor, and we want this ham to be PACKED with flavor. You should use about half the glaze on this initial treatment.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until the ham is warmed through and has darkened on top. You’ll want to glaze the ham 2-3 more times during baking, making sure it’s getting nice and flavorful.
- Reglaze the ham every 30-45 minutes to ensure it does not dry out. If necessary, cover the ham in foil.
- Finish the ham off with a final brush of glaze, and then let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Substitutions for Brown Sugar Glazed Whole Ham
Dijon Mustard. The glaze is simple but mega flavorful! Of course, there is brown sugar, and I like to kick up the flavor with sage and Dijon mustard. If you have whole grain or something similar, that will work well. This gives the glaze a nice tangy and savory edge.
Variations for Brown Sugar Glazed Whole Ham
Different cuts of ham. This recipe works best with a spiral-cut ham. This means the ham is still on the bone and cut in a circle around the bone. There are so many options for buying ham. You can read more about the different cuts in this article!
Farmstead Recipe Tip
Your cooking time will vary. A spiral cut ham is pre-cooked, so all you are doing is warming it through. This is roughly 10 minutes per pound at 350 degrees, so if you have a 10-pound ham, you’ll cook it for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Make sure you let the brown sugar glaze for ham reduce so that it’s thick instead of runny. This helps it to hold onto the meat better and keep it from completely running off, although some of it will slide to the bottom of the pan, that’s what the basting will help fix.
Getting the glaze to stick to the ham also helps create a nice crust on the outside that helps to hold in all of the juicy flavors.
Most recipes will have you put the glaze on during the final hour or 30 minutes of the ham cook time to help prevent the ham from getting too dark from caramelized sugars, but we have our ham being glazed throughout the cooking process to ensure that it really penetrates the deep layers of meat and creates a wonderful crust on the outside.
Ham is a naturally salty cut of meat, so using sweetened glazes like this one really helps to complement each other. Glazes are usually made with a base of brown sugar, honey, or even maple syrup. In our case, we use brown sugar.
Adding glaze to your ham helps to add color, flavor, and texture to the baked ham. The cooked glaze on the outside forms a nice crust that helps to seal in the ham juices and the glaze between the spiral cut layers so that when you go to slice into it, the meat is perfectly cooked and packed with flavor in every bite.
Looking for more great recipes and ideas?
Sage + Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sage ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard or whole grain
- 1 cup apple juice
- 10 pound ham spiral cut, bone-in, pre-cooked
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, sage, cinnamon, salt, mustard, and apple juice.
- Bring up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered until reduced by about one third, 5-8 minutes.
- Place ham in a roasting pan. Brush glaze over ham, being sure to get it in between the layers of ham.
- Bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until ham is warmed through and darkened on top (about 10 minutes per pound). Glaze ham every 30-45 minutes, being sure the ham is not drying out. Cover with foil, if necessary.
- Finish ham with a final brush of glaze and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.