When you glaze a ham it takes on an attractive brown color, and the glaze enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Glazing will also help avoid having the ham dry out during baking. We offer a ham glaze in the deli made by Boar’s Head, or you may choose to create your own from ingredients at hand or to invent your own unique recipe.
Start by baking your ham. The cooking time will vary depending the ham's size and whether there is a bone. If the ham is already fully cooked it only needs to be warmed through. Make certain that you use the right flavor combination in choosing ingredients for your glaze depending the ham you are preparing.
Sweet glazes are best with hams that have been wet cured and are not salty. Sweet glazes can be made from brown sugar, pineapple chunks, fruit juices, honey, maple syrup and even carbonated beverages or dark liquors like bourbon. Tangy glazes should be used on salty hams. These glazes include sweet ingredients, but also include savory ingredients such as mustard, pepper, hoisin sauce or vinegar.
Near the end of the cooking time for your ham is when you will want to apply your glaze. Remove the ham from the oven 30 minutes before it's finished baking. If you are cooking a raw ham, ensure that it's fully cooked before removing it. A ham is fully cooked when the internal temperature is 160 °F. Don’t guess or rely on cooking times from a recipe…use a reliable meat thermometer.
First you want to score the ham. This allows the glaze to penetrate the baked-on crust that the ham will have from having the layer of rind cooking for hours. Make a series of diagonal cuts 1 inch apart across the entire top surface. Turn the ham and make diagonal cuts in the other direction, forming a grid of diamond shapes. If you wish, press a whole clove into the ham in the centers of the diamonds or at the places where the lines intersect.
Generously apply your glaze with a pastry brush to the entire outer surface of the ham. Than return the ham to the oven and continue baking it until the glaze begins to turn brown and shiny. This indicates that the glaze has caramelized and the flavor has taken on a nutty, caramel flavor. Watch the ham while it is in the oven to ensure the glaze doesn't burn. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.