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How to cook ham

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The 4 Commandments To Cooking The Perfect Ham

Glazed ham is one of the most classic holiday staples. While it can feel intimidating (as any large cut of meat does) cooking a delicious ham is much easier than you’d expect. Since it’s already cooked, the work on your end is minimal. Follow these simple rules to impress your family with the juiciest, most flavorful ham of all time.

1. Don’t buy too much.

 Though everyone loves having leftovers, (we’ve got you covered with leftover ham recipes) getting the right sized ham is important. The bigger it is, the longer it takes to cook, and the more likely it is to dry out. The general rule is 1/2 to 3/4 pound ham per person, and it’s always good to err on the slightly heavier side for hungry guests.

2. Keep it covered. 

If there’s one thing you want to avoid, it’s a dry ham. Make sure to keep that baby well covered in foil to keep those precious juices in the ham — not at the bottom of your roasting pan.

3. Glaze the sh*t out of it.

A good glaze takes a ham from meh to AMAZING. My personal favorite is this simple brown sugar dijon glaze, which comes together in a single bowl. No matter which recipe you choose, make sure you’ve got some source of sugar like honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar — that’s what will give your ham that beautiful lacquered finish.  Keep that glaze near your oven and brush over your ham every 10 to 15 minutes in it’s last 45 minutes of cooking. (Don’t forget to re-cover with foil!) When it’s done, let it rest with tented foil for 15 minutes, and slice. Queue the oohs and aahs.

4. Serve it with the right sides. 

Your beautiful glazed ham deserves equally delicious sides. We love serving with a scoop of perfect mashed potatoes and some simple veggies like honey glazed carrots and oven-roasted asparagus. Oh, and don’t forget the bread! These garlic butter rolls are a major crowd-pleaser. For more inspiration, check out our 50+ amazing Easter side recipes.

Have you made this recipe? 

If yes, tell us how you like it in the comment section below. And don’t forget to rate it!

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Yields: 1
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins

fully cooked whole ham (boneless or bone-in), about 10 pounds

1/2 c.

brown sugar

1/4 c.

dijon mustard

1 tbsp.

apple cider vinegar

2 c.

apple cider

Sliced apples, for serving platter

Fresh thyme, for serving platter

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  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Place ham on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and diagonally score. Cover with foil and bake until warmed throughout, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. During the last 45 minutes of cooking, make glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together brown sugar, dijon, apple cider vinegar, and apple cider. Simmer until reduced by half, then brush glaze on ham every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Remove ham from oven and let rest 15 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter with apples and thyme.
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