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Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham

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Kick-off the new year with this Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham! A baked ham is an easy main to prepare for any event and this Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham is on the menu for New Year’s Day. The rich glaze is both savory and sweet giving the ham edges a crisp, crunchy, crust.

Baked ham on cutting board

How are you planning to celebrate on New Year’s Eve? Out dancing and parting till the wee hours? Or maybe a quiet home party with family and friends or a simple marathon movie night?

You can absolutely pull this off even after ringing in the New Year and sleeping late on New Year’s Day. What makes this ham so easy to prepare is that it is fully cooked to begin with! All that is needed is to reheat it and apply an exotic orange bourbon glaze to give it a sweet-savory, caramelized crust on the edges.

Baked ham on platter with orange slices
Moist and juicy

Choose your ham:

A ham is a cut of pork from the upper part of the pig’s leg.  When buying a ham, you have choices….a whole or a half ham, a bone-in or a boneless ham. A spiritual cut or even a canned ham.

Prepared ham ready to bake and glaze
Ready to bake

Check the label to see if it is fully cooked.   If it is fully cooked it will only need to be heated.  Do not depend on just a timer for doneness.   Use a good, reliable digital/probe thermometer for accuracy.   According to the USDA’s Official Website, a fully-cooked, store-bought ham should reach an internal temperature of 140°F. 

  • For my 8- pound fully cooked ham I drizzled a measure of bourbon over the surface, covered it with foil and roasted it at 325°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 
  • Next,  I removed the foil and brushed a good amount of glaze on the surface.  I returned the ham to the oven for an additional 30 minutes basting it with glaze every 10 minutes until it reached the required temperature of 140°F.

The Orange Bourbon Glaze:

Any glaze for a baked ham should have a balance of sweet and tangy flavors to compliment the salty taste of the ham. The sweet should contain either, honey, maple syrup, molasses or brown sugar to develop that amazing caramelized crust on the surface of the ham. The tangy part can be a citric juice, vinegar or mustard or a combination of these flavors.

Ham on platter with fork in a slice

Our orange bourbon glaze includes all these elements of sweet and tangy plus we added grated garlic and fresh ginger root for an additional savory flavor.  That measure of aged bourbon compliments the smoky-salty flavors of the ham.  BTW…the alcohol in the bourbon cooks off.

Here is how we made our Orange Bourbon Glaze:

This easy to make glaze has a savory, sweet and tangy flavor and will be amazing on the ham. Make a double batch and keep half of it in a sealed jar in the fridge to glaze pork chops, meaty pork ribs, broiled salmon or chicken.

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan and sauté the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant, do not allow the garlic to darken.
  • Stir the orange marmalade and honey into the saucepan and heat just until melted and syrupy. If cooked too long the syrup will become too thick. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the mustard, orange zest, orange juice and the remaining bourbon. Taste the glaze and add salt and pepper if needed. 

When to Glaze the Ham:

It is important to not apply the glaze to the ham too soon as it will burn. Let the ham cook for 75-minutes to begin warming.  Then, brush the glaze on the ham every 10 minutes to get a rich caramelized crust on the edges.Clove studded baked ham with two slices cut

A baked ham makes a stunning centerpiece for any dinner and is especially nice for a large gathering.  Suggestions for accompanying sides are:  Potatoes Au Gratin,  Easy steamed green beans and a crunchy Apple Salad.  

So what’s for dessert??  Oh, my….we’ve got you covered here!  Bake up this decadent, fudgy, Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake several days in advance and leave an unforgettable impression on your guests.  

Happy New Year, peeps!  ❤️

More Recipes You Will Love

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Oven-roasted sweet potatoes become even sweeter as they roast. The natural sweetness and caramelized edges of these potatoes is phenomenal!  A sprinkling of fresh thyme and a twist of lemon brightens them up.  They are a great accompaniment with baked ham!  
  • Roasted Asparagus with Curry Sauce:  Roasted Asparagus with Curry Sauce is a quick 5-minute roast in a hot oven. The make-ahead creamy curry sauce is made with low-fat mayo and no-fat Greek Yogurt. The dish is topped off with curry dusted cashews.
  • Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Caesar Dressing:   This salad is crisp and crunchy with shaved brussels sprouts, fresh parsley, and a creamy caesar dressing. 

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Baked ham on platter with orange slices

Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham

Baked ham is a classic holiday entrée and our Baked Ham with Bourbon-Orange Glaze raises the bar a notch or two. This is an easy entrée that bakes up moist and flavor-packed! The bourbon-orange glaze adds a crisp caramelization to the edges.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12 to 14 servings
Calories: 134kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


For the Ham:

  • 1 bone-in 8 pound, fully-cooked, half-ham, rind removed (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole cloves
  • ½ cup bourbon divided

For the Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Ham:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and arrange the oven rack to the lower third position.
  • Removing the rind from the ham is optional.  If you do not plan to remove it, skip to the next step of scoring the surface.
  • To remove the rind from the ham, slide a paring knife under the rind on the cut face of the ham to loosen the rind from the layer of fat. Slip your fingers under the loosened rind and pull it back, use the knife as needed to cut away the rind.  
  • With a sharp knife, score the surface of the fat/rind in a diamond pattern, without cutting into the flesh of the ham.  Stud each diamond with a whole clove.  An ice pick or a wooden skewer can be used to puncture a hole in the fat before inserting the whole clove.  

Roast the Ham:

  • Place the ham fat/rind side up on a rack set inside a roasting pan. 
  • Add 1 cup of water or broth to the bottom of the pan and drizzle 1/4 cup of the bourbon over the ham. 
  • Insert a meat thermometer and cover with foil. 
  • Roast the ham for 90 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare the glaze.

For the Glaze:

  • In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter then add the garlic and ginger.  Cook for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.  Add the orange marmalade and honey and heat until melted and syrupy. 
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, orange zest, orange zest and the remaining bourbon.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  

Glazing the Ham:

  • After the ham has roasted for 90 minutes, transfer it from the oven, remove the foil and baste the ham with the glaze. Return it to the oven and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. 
  • Baste the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes until the meat thermometer reaches 140°F.

To Serve:

  • Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. 


  • Removing the rind from the ham is optional. 
  • Scoring the ham and studding with cloves adds some flavor and makes a beautiful presentation.
  • Most hams in the supermarkets are already fully cooked. All that is needed is to heat the ham and apply a glaze.
  • If cooking an un-cooked ham the internal temperature should reach 165°F
  • Applying the glaze too soon will cause it to burn.  
  • To get a heavy, sticky glaze, baste frequently
  • If the glaze has not caramelized to your liking by the time the ham reaches temperature, turn the broil unit on and brown it to your satisfaction.  Watch it carefully and limit the time to 2-4 minutes.
  • Heat the ham to an internal temperature of 140°F
According to the USDA’s Official Website, a fully-cooked, store-bought ham should reach an internal temperature of 140°F.
  • A digital thermometer with a meat probe is recommended.
  • If no thermometer is available, calculate the cooking time at 15 minutes per pound.
  • Do not add the glaze to the ham until it has cooked 3/4 of the


Serving: 5oz. | Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 144mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 28th of December 2022

This is the best glaze any of the six of us could remember. Did a 12 lb spiral cut. Used the same time and temp and even at ten minutes per pound, would have prefered it a little less cooked, but the glaze was absolutely amazing. It crusted up exactly as it should. Made me want to lick my ham... Don't truly understand the difference between an intact ham and a spiral cut when it comes to warming it, but oh, that glaze! Did I mention how good that glaze is?

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 28th of December 2022

Hi, Craig....I am pleased that you and your family enjoyed this recipe. Yes, that savory/sweet glaze is 'over-the-top' delicious with the flavors and caramelized crust! I haven't tried it with a spiral ham but I bet it is especially delicious as the glaze would drip down between the slices a bit. Thank you for your comments and review! Happy New Year to you! ?

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