A delicious brown sugar ham recipe for the holidays, this Brown Sugar Honey Ham caramelizes in the oven, making it the perfect recipe if you like your holiday ham sweet and savoury.
Brown Sugar Honey Ham Recipe
Growing up, I had never been a big fan of salty grocery store hams.
I loved the ham when it was used in leftovers, but on it’s own, it was overly salty and not too exciting.
However, boneless grocery store hams are often way cheaper than spiral hams or butcher hams and they’re readily available year round, so I wanted to try something a little different to make an affordable boneless ham delicious and exciting. Enter: Honey Caramel Ham.
Honey-caramel ham. Just saying it makes my mouth water. A decadent, savoury-sweet holiday treat, this Easter ham recipe has changed my mind about boneless hams.. I’m craving another just writing about it…
OK, I’ll give you the recipe first, and then I’ll go make another. Let’s make this quick!
Now, if you’re willing to splurge, you can of course use this recipe for a spiral ham or butcher-style ham. The cooking times are going to be different, so adjust accordingly.
Butcher-style hams also sometimes require you to trim or render the excess fat, so using a prepared boneless ham would be easier when you’re managing several holiday dishes at once.
The honey and brown sugar in this recipe combine to create a light caramel sauce that seals in the juices of this ham and creates a slightly sticky coating. You can cook the ham under the broiler for the last few minutes of the cooking time to harden that caramel coating, if desired.
Make sure you have a reliable meat thermometer when making this recipe. You want the ham to reach 145ºF – it will raise a few degrees while resting after you take it out of the oven.
If you’re looking for some tasty side dishes to serve with your ham, check out:
- Creamy Potato Pea Salad
- Garlic Parmesan Risotto from Kylee Cooks
- Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Devilled Eggs
- Mayo-free Caesar Salad (with homemade croutons!)
- Ginger Ale Glazed Carrots from the Soccer Mom Blog
- Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
- Brussel Sprout Salad
- Roasted Carrots with Fresh Rosemary from Salty Side Dish
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Skillet Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary from Kylee Cooks
And, if you’re looking for recipes to use up that leftover ham in, check out:
- Breakfast Egg and Ham Sliders
- Ham Tetrazzini from Kylee Cooks
- Homemade Ham and Cheese Lunch Pockets
- Hawaiian Pasta Salad
- Cheesy Ham Pot Pie from the Gunny Sack
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich Sliders
- Mason Jar Cobb Salad
How to Make a Honey-Caramel Ham
First, gather your ingredients and tools:
- Brown sugar
- Honey – can be swapped for maple syrup
- Boneless Ham – this recipe is written for a 5-7lb ham. For a larger ham, you may need to increase the recipe and cooking time)
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful:
- Small saucepan
- Deep baking tray with lid or tin foil
- Sharp paring knife
- Measuring cups
- Meat thermometer
First, you’re going to want to “score” your ham by using the paring knife to cut a grid-like pattern into your ham, at least half an inch deep. If you’re using a ham similar to mine, you can follow most of the lines, but I skipped every second line on the horizontal cuts.
Add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching the pan or drying out the ham.
Meanwhile, combine the honey, brown sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. You can stir the mixture a bit at first to encourage the ingredients to mix, but try to resist the urge as the honey-brown sugar mixture is thickening into a caramel as that can actually increase the chances of it burning. Once the mixture is thickened and starting to bubble, remove it immediately from the heat.
Pour the honey-caramel mixture into a glass measuring cup for ease and pour on top of the ham. It should run into those cuts and create a thick layer of sticky caramel over the whole ham.
Using a spoon, scoop up some of the honey-caramel mixture from the pan (or from the measuring cup) and pour it into any of the cuts that you think the caramel didn’t flow into. There’s no such thing as too much glaze or caramel goodness with this recipe, so definitely err on the side of over-saturating some areas rather than missing any.
Cover with tinfoil and bake at 325F, about 15-20 minutes per pound.
Check with the meat thermometer about 2/3 through the cooking time to get an idea as to how much longer your ham needs. You don’t want to risk over-cooking, which can happen if your oven runs too hot or the water evaporates through a hole in the lid or tinfoil.
Use the time that the honey-caramel ham is baking to prepare your other holiday dishes.
Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest at least 10 minutes.
If you like a blackened, crispy edge to your ham – remove the tinfoil and set the oven to broil for a couple minutes.
After letting the ham set for a bit after removing from the oven, spoon any extra honey caramel glaze (from the pan) over the ham for a last bit of a sweetness and moisture.
And there you have it! This Honey-Caramel ham is sweet and savoury, a decadent main dish for your holiday celebrations – or just a special supper! (Look at the bottom of the post for a free printable recipe.)
Here’s your free printable Honey-Caramel Ham recipe:
You can swap the honey for maple syrup. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1529Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 677mgSodium: 10344mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 235g
You can swap the honey for maple syrup.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I hope your family loves this juicy Easter ham recipe as much as mine does! Let me know if you give it a try!
Original picture from 2016: