Are you one of those families who order Honey Baked Ham during the holidays! For many years we did until recently, I started making homemade honey baked ham copycat. Save your money and try this delicious baked ham recipe which is as good as what you buy at the store or even better for a lot less money.
This copycat honey baked ham is moist, juicy with crispy, charred edges and caramelized crunchy ham glaze. It is full of flavor and the aroma is so delightful.
This copycat ham recipe is easy, succulent and will save you a lot of money. Another plus, you can use the same glaze ingredients to make ham sauce. The one you buy from the store doesn’t come with sauce.
Ham is always a centerpiece for our holiday celebration surrounded by other delicious food. Lots of sweets that delight our palates.
There is so much food to go around and each family can even bring home leftovers.
In the Filipino culture, Christmas, New Year and Easter are our big holidays. I have lived in the US most my life and adapted Thanksgiving as one of our special holiday as well.
Once in a while, you’ll find turkey on our holiday spread but ham is always preferred.
Growing up in the Philippines, I was accustomed to Country Ham known as Hamon (Jamon) which we adapted from Spain.
Days leading to our celebration, my mom would have 2 packaged hams hanging in a corner of the kitchen.
I was young to know how my mom prepared it. Delicious but quite salty with an intense flavor and sliced thin. It is definitely an acquired taste. I usually ate it on it’s own like an appetizer.
Its been decades since I’ve had this type of ham. I don’t even know if it is still common in the Philippines.
I started making my own honey baked ham glazing just a few years ago. A former co-worker brought ham to work that was warming in a crock pot and it smelled so good.
I thought she bought it at the store. She made it using this copycat recipe. I told her my mom has a copy of the same recipe she got from the library some 20 years ago but I was working and didn’t have the desire to experiment. It was more convenient to buy.
When the store started serving ham sandwiches, I used to get it. I can literally make another sandwich because it had thick layers of ham and it was delicious. But over the years, it changed. I think they were using the upper slices which was dry and glaze was non-existent.
A couple of months ago, a new store opened in my area. Instead of ordering a sandwich, I ordered 1 pound ham (3 slices) for $15. Again, I was dissappointed, no glaze. I guess the glaze falls apart when ordering by the pound or ordering a sandwich.
This is the reason why I was anxious to learn how to make it. Now that I am not working, I have more time to experiment plus I can make it for less than $25. This is my 3rd time making it.
Anyway, it won’t be long and the holiday is upon us. If your family are ham lovers, try this copycat ham recipe.
What ham to get
In the US, it common to find savory smoked pre-cooked ham with or without a glaze packet.
Note: If it comes with a glaze packet, you will not use that. Save it and use it for something else.
We are so busy during the holidays and a pre-cut ham is the best ham in my opinion. I don’t have to worry about carving the ham.
A spiral cut ham is sliced evenly closed to the bone and if cooked properly is moist and tender.
Another advantage, the savory glaze can drip inside the slices and penetrate the meat.
I get the ham at Sams or Costco. City hams are the most prominent you can find at the stores especially leading to the holiday season.
When you buy ham, it is noted on the label if it is fully cooked, spiral cut, smoked ham with natural juices and the weight. Aside from this, it includes heating and glazing instructions.
So make sure to read the label.
Note: If the ham you get is partially cooked or a different weight, cooking time will be different than mine.
I am using Sams Choice Spiral Cut Premium Smoked Ham with Natural Juices.
Note: You need an UNGLAZED HAM for this ham recipe.
How big of ham to get
If you spend the holidays with family and friends, a 9 pound ham is good enough to serve 10 - 12 people. Allow at least ½ pound per person.
For an intimate celebration of 2 - 4 people, there are unglazed pre-sliced smoked ham sold by the pound.
The recipe card below has a slider and you can adjust the servings thus adjusting the measurement of the glaze ingredients.
If you like some leftovers, consider getting a bigger ham.
How to cook a honey baked ham copycat
Note: THIS HAM IS NOT FROZEN. I have it in the fridge for 2 days. THIS IS A FULLY COOKED HAM SO DON'T OVERCOOK. I ALWAYS FOLLOW THE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED WITH HAM.
- Combine sugar and all the spices and set aside. Reserve ½ cup for ham sauce.
- WARMING HAM - Prepare your roasting pan and line it with heavy duty foil for easy cleanup. I used a wire rack that fits inside the pan. Also, use a deep pan so it catches all the juice.
- Remove ham from packaging and pour the juice (if there’s any) in the pan and place ham cut side down on the wire rack. Pour 6 fl oz Sprite Ginger or Ginger Ale or 7up (½ of soda can) or water.
- Use ¼ cup honey and spread all over ham excluding the cut side. I prefer to use a wood basting brush than silicon. It is easier to apply the honey with a hard brush bristle. You can use a little over ¼ cup but save some for the sauce.
If you like, you can also brush honey inside the slices.
5. Cover the pan tightly with heavy duty foil to keep ham moist and juicy. The ham’s heating instruction states to warm ham at 325 degrees F for 10-12 minutes per pound and DO NOT OVERHEAT.
I always follow the lesser cooking time. 9 pounds at 10 minutes per pound is 1 ½ hours and at 12 minutes it is 1 hour 42 minutes at 325 degrees F on the 2nd rack in the oven.
Tip: Instead of warming for 1 ½ hours, I took it out 10 minutes earlier. It was warming for 1 hour and 20 minutes. I factored in the broiling time of 4 to 5 minutes in the total cooking time. It keeps ham moist.
6. APPLY HAM GLAZE - Remove ham from oven and remove cover. Baste ham with juices and let it sit for a few minutes. Transfer ham in the foil cover and pour ham juice in a container.
Apply 1 cup sugar spice mixture evenly all over ham. It is easier to rub it with your hands except on the cut side.
You can apply sugar mixture in between slices but optional. I use a small strainer to spread it lightly. If you have some leftover, read my tips below.
7. BROIL - Pre-heat oven then turn to BROIL. Place ham in pan and broil at HIGH (500) between 2 to 5 minutes until glaze is bubbly, melted and caramelized to a golden bronze color. Keep an eye on the glaze, it can burn easily.
Mine took 2 minutes.
Tip: If you find specks of sugar in some areas that did not caramelized, use a spatula and press it quickly against the hot ham to melt.
Tip: Locate the ham bone on the cut side and you will notice one side has more meat. When you serve the ham, the side with less meat stays at the bottom.
Another tip: We like the fat charred on the side with more meat. After the 1st broil, wait a few minutes until you are able turn the ham on its side. This next step is optional.
Sprinkle leftover sugar mixture on top of ham and broil for another 2 to 3 minutes. Again, keep an eye on the ham and don’t ovecook the glaze to prevent it from burning.
8. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to platter.
9. MAKE HAM SAUCE. Dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in ½ cup warm ham juice and set aside. In a sauce pan, combine ¼ cup honey, ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ cups ham juice and bring to a boil then lower heat. Add cornstarch mixture while stirring constantly until syrupy. Turn off heat.
Broiling in gas oven or electric oven
When broiling in gas oven, the oven door should be close so smoke does not escape in your kitchen. It can maintain a constant temperature with oven door open or closed.
The oven door should be ajar (not fully open) when broiling in an electric oven. This will prevent overheating otherwise it will automatically shut off.
Cold ham with honey glaze
This is a fully cooked ham and edible as long as it is not frozen. If frozen, thaw for 2 days in the refrigerator.
If you like having ham cold but would like it with honey ham glaze, skip the warming process.
Baste the ham with honey and rub the sugar spice mixture and broil. It is much tastier if you serve it with ham sauce.
Tip: This is convenient for holiday giveaways.
Half ham carving instructions
You can serve ham as is or remove slices from the bone.
Use a sharp long knife and cut around the center bone to free as many slices as desired and transfer to a plate.
Another option, cut it on both sides and leave it attached to the bone.
How to reheat ham
- Fry leftover ham on a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Fry 30 seconds each side or longer depending on your preference.
- Bake or Broil at 350 degrees F or low for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Microwave – Drizzle some ham juice or ham sauce and microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute for 2 slices. Adjust time for more slices.
Tip: I like my servings warm, fat rendered with charred edges. I use my toaster oven to reheat a few pieces. Take 3 big pieces and place ham on a foil in 1 layer. Set BAKE at 350 degrees F for 2 - 3 minutes then turn knob to BROIL for 1 - 2 minutes. Adjust the cooking time depending on ham thickness.
- Refrigerate - Store leftover ham in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days.
- Freeze - Place in an airtight container and freeze for a month. Vacuum sealed can be stored up to 3 months.
Sides to serve with ham
Honey Baked Ham
- 9 pound bone-in spiral cut ham
- ¼ cup honey
- 6 fl oz Sprite Ginger or Ginger Ale or 7UP (½ soda can) or water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika or smoke paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup of sugar spice mixture above
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 cups ham juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Combine brown and white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, paprika and allspice. Set aside. Reserve ½ cup mixture for ham sauce.
- WARMING HAM - Line roasting pan with heavy duty foil for easy cleanup. Use a wire rack that fits inside the pan.
- Remove all packaging from ham and pour ham juice (if there’s any) in the pan. Place ham flat side down on the wire rack. Pour 6 fl oz Sprite Ginger or Ginger Ale or 7Up or water.
- Spread ¼ cup honey all over ham using a hard basting brush and in between slices, if desired except on the cut side. You can use a little over ¼ cup but save some for the sauce.
- Cover pan tightly with heavy duty foil to keep ham moist. Follow the heating instructions that came with the ham. I am using Sams Spiral Cut Premium Smoked Ham with Natural Juices and the heating instruction states to warm ham at 325 degrees F for 10-12 minutes per pound and DO NOT OVERHEAT.
- I always follow the lesser cooking time. 9 pounds at 10 minutes per pound is 1 ½ hours, placed on the 2nd rack of the oven. Note: I took ham out of oven 10 minutes earlier. Read post above for more tips.
- Take ham out of the oven and remove cover. Baste ham with juices and let it sit for a few minutes. Transfer ham in the foil cover and pour ham juice in a container.
- APPLY HAM GLAZE. Rub 1 cup sugar spice mixture all over ham using your hands. Apply some in between slices, if desired. If you have some leftover, read my tips below.
- BROIL. Pre-heat oven then turn to BROIL. Place ham in pan and broil at HIGH (500) between 2 to 5 minutes until glaze is bubbly, melted and caramelized to a golden bronze color. Keep an eye on the glaze, it can burn easily.
- Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to platter.
- MAKE HAM SAUCE. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in ½ cup warm ham juice and set aside. In a sauce pan, combine ¼ cup honey, ½ cup sugar spice mixture and 1 ½ cups ham juice and bring to a boil then lower heat. Add cornstarch mixture stirring constantly until syrupy. Turn off heat.
- This step is optional. We prefer the fat charred on the side with more meat. Consider using the leftover sugar spice mixture for a 2nd broil. After the 1st broil, allow a few minutes until you are able turn the ham on its side. Sprinkle leftover sugar spice mixture on top of ham and broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Again, keep an eye on the ham and don’t overcook the glaze to prevent it from burning.
- Save the remaining ham juice. You can drizzle juice on ham when reheating.
- Refrigerate leftover ham up to 4 days. Longer than 4 days, freeze it in an air tight container up to a month and 3 months if vacuum sealed.
- Fry, bake, broil or microwave to reheat slices of ham.
- FYI, at the store they use a blow torch on the glaze instead of broiling.
- There are more tips on the post. Read how to broil on gas oven or electric oven.
- This amazing recipe was adapted from Todd Wilbur. Looking for more restaurant copycat recipes revealing secret ingredients, check his cookbook.
Other delicious recipes for the holidays
This amazing ham copycat recipe was adapted from Todd Wilbur.
Check out our Honey Baked Ham Copycat.