Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard GlazeBack in the olden days before my daughter brought Tim into the family, my hams were mediocre at best.  Tim changed all of that with a little advice about how his mom bakes ham and the best tasting ham topping I have ever had.  Funny how two simple ingredients, plain ol’ yellow mustard and brown sugar can elevate a ham to gourmet standards.

Just think, no more laborious scoring and sticking cloves in each little criss-cross and mixing up whatever glaze I once used.  So much Sunday time wasted on the ham.  Good grief.

A word about bone-in, fully-cooked hams.  You can buy them in three ways:

  1. A whole ham:  Works great if you are feeding a lot of people.
  2. The butt portion:  Offers more meat and less bone.  Slightly more expensive per pound than the shank portion.
  3. The shank portion:  The bone runs through the middle of the ham and there is less meat than the butt portion.  Some people feel that the shank meat is “sweeter”.  Costs less than butt portion.

The butt portion costs a little more than the shank because there is less bone and more meat.  It is my preferred cut.  However, in the pictures below, I used the shank portion because, theoretically, I have a nice bone left over to make ham and bean soup.  That’s a post for another time maybe in November or January or the end of October.  I don’t know; you’ll just have to wait for it.

I used a Smithfield® brand ham and it was excellent.  I am not promoting one brand of ham over another, but I want to pass along that this is great ham.  Generally there have been two brands of ham from which to choose at my local grocery stores–Cook’s® or Hormel®.  I have never been able to bring myself to pay Hormel® prices, so I have always bought Cook’s®.  Now, though, Smithfield® hams are available and I have come to prefer them.

And one more thing.  I realize that I am probably going to step on a lot of toes with this next statement, but I don’t buy spiral sliced hams.  To me, they taste different and seem to be dryer after baking.  Sorry if I offended anyone.


Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Simple ingredients come together to make an absolutely wonderful sweet, tangy, smoky ham. The prep and baking process couldn't be easier!


  • bone-in, fully-cooked ham (also referred to as 'ready to eat')
  • yellow mustard or mustard of choice
  • brown sugar


  1. Wrap the ham in aluminum foil and seal tightly. Place in a baking pan and bake in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes per pound of ham. To figure out how long to bake your ham, divide the weight of the ham by 4 (because there are 4 fifteen minute segments in an hour). Example: a 12 pound ham will bake for a total of 3 hours. 12 divided by 4 = 3
  2. Unwrap ham for the last hour of baking and glaze with the yellow mustard/brown sugar glaze (See Glaze instructions below). Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Re-glaze and bake for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered. Note: The internal temperature of the ham should be 140-degrees F.
  3. For the glaze:
  4. Mix yellow mustard and brown sugar in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. That's one part mustard to two or three parts brown sugar. Start with the smaller ratio and adjust as needed. Taste the glaze before applying to ham to make sure that it is as sweet or tart as you prefer. The ham that I used for this recipe weighed between 6-7 pounds. I used 1 cup of yellow mustard and 3 cups of brown sugar. Your glaze should be kind of soupy, but still thick enough to stick to the ham while baking, about the consistency of lightly warmed honey.

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze

This is the shank portion of a ham. It can be distinguished by the elongated portion where the bone extends.
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
This is the butt portion of a ham. See how it is rounded?
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
From the front view, the shank portion and the butt portion look the same, so, like I said, turn the ham around to the back side and see if there is a  a rounded end or a  tapered end.  Rounded = butt. Tapered = shank. Oh, here’s an FYI. Ham steaks are cut from the center of these two pieces.
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard GlazeI double-wrap my ham in aluminum foil to ensure that it is completely encased.  This helps to hold in the cooking juices and gives a moist ham.  I usually place the ham in a 9″ x13″ baking pan.  Bake in a 325-degree oven for 15-20 minutes per pound or for however long the label recommends.  Did you know that the baking time is generally on the label?  Depending on the brand of ham you are using, the directions may either be on the front or the back of the label.
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard GlazeBaked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
The yellow mustard/brown sugar glaze is so simple.  Remember the ratio.  1 part mustard to 2-3 parts brown sugar.  Mix well.  The consistency will be similar to warmed honey.  That paints a beautiful mental picture, doesn’t it?
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
Pull back the foil cover for the last hour of baking.  Leave the ham sitting in the foil and apply 1/2 of the glaze on the exposed surfaces, including the cut side of the ham. Leave the ham uncovered (but still sitting in the opened foil) and return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, apply the remaining glaze and bake for an additional 30 minutes with the ham uncovered.  (30 minutes + 30 minutes = 60 minutes = 1 hour)
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
 At the end of the cooking time your ham will have this wonderful mustardy sweet glaze baked onto it. While it bakes, the glaze bubbles and will get caramelized in a few places. Initially, upon taking the ham out of the oven, portions of the glaze may seem to have formed a “crust”. However, as the ham cools, the moisture quickly softens those caramelized, crispy parts to more of a thickened, sweet and tangy syrup. It’s hard to explain; you’ll just have to experience the wonders all for yourself. 🙂
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
You can actually see how tender and moist this ham is. Serve it with a simple tossed salad and these Sunday Best Rolls for an easy Sabbath meal.  When I have this meal at my house, Tim usually makes the glaze, Gavin helps out with the salad, and I make the rolls.
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
What?  You didn’t know that a 3 year old can help make the salad?

Hey, you’re going to have a leftover ham bone. Here are a couple of ways to make good use of it:

Refried Beans
Refried Beans
Split Pea Soup with Ham
Split Pea Soup with Ham



  1. says

    Hey, Mom. you wrote “Mix yellow mustard and brown sugar in a 1:3 ratio. That’s one part mustard to four parts brown sugar.” I think you meant “one part mustard to three parts brown sugar.” Love ya!

      • LadybugM Susa says

        I been doing this for years….but I do one other step….I buy one large frozen apple juice and dilute with water and add the ham to the juice….overnight and turn it after twelve hrs…… makes the ham so moist and for some reason my ham is not that salty….I have been doing this for years…thanks to a hint from The Food Maven…Arthur Schwartz….

        • Jenny says

          I do this same thing with a small can of pineapple juice. I have been using the brown sugar/mustard glaze forever, and I still say nothing beats it!!

        • lydia says

          Hey this was such a relief when I read ur post…I hv no brown suger.So Im heating applesauce..a little mustered..A lil maple syrup..2tablespoon margerine and a cup if suger(applesauce is unsweeten..And lastly A pinch of salt..After Pre-Cook Smoked Ham in oven 45min..Lightly pour my Applesauce Glaze(About 4to6 lines)Across the top…then I pray it taste ok..after Put bck w the glaze in oven uncovered..Maybe 30 min more…

  2. Latosha Bullock says

    I made this for the first time this thanksgiving and it was a hit. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out, and so easy. I think I found a new tradition for the holidays.

  3. Ginny says

    I bought a shank portion today that I plan on having for Christmas. I’m ham-impared so this will be the recipe I’ll be using. Since I won’t have to buy cloves, molasses, etc, I won’t get confused. Thanx for this easy recipe and for letting me know that the shank portion is sweeter. I never knew that.

  4. Ginny says

    Okay, I made the glaze for my ham shank this morning. It’s better than I thought. I used 1 cup mustard and 3 parts light brown sugar. Simple yet delicious. But this morning I took a closer look at the label on the ham, and it says “Hickory Smoked.” Will the glaze still work? And after I remove the packaging from the ham, do I rinse the ham and pat it dry or do I just pat dry? Sorry for all the ?’s but I wanna cover all my bases. Thanx for your response.

  5. Ginny says

    I was correct: You are heaven sent. Your recipe was a great hit. I got so many compliments. Everyone loved it. Even later on the night people wanted to make a ham sandwich but they were still full. I’ll be using this recipe forever. And the 1:3 ratio of glaze was more than enough for an almost twelve pound ham shank but I used it all anyway. Thanks again.

    • says

      Ginny, I’m so happy for you! Thank you for letting me know that you were a rock star with the ham! haha I’ll be sure to pass along your success story to my son in-law since he was the one who showed me how to make this super easy ham. He acts like a proud, happy papa whenever I tell him that someone likes his ham recipe. 🙂 ~Terri

  6. Ginny says

    And please tell your son in law that he’s sent from heaven also. Your daughter is a very lucky woman. I don’t know many men who can bake a ham. May you and your family have a Happy New Year!

  7. Frank D Rooney Sr says

    I’m 73 Years old, and I grew up with this receipt for ham every Easter, but with a small twist. My mother added a pineapple ring with a cherry in the middle, one for each person at the dinner table. She stuck them to the ham with toothpicks during the last hour the ham was uncovered and the glaze was being done. Nothing better than a roasted pineapple ring to go with the glazed ham at dinner. The cherry was always a favorite with the little kids also. We always used the butt portion of the ham, more ham for a larger family. It was fun to read about something you had as a tradition when you were a kid that many years ago and it is still a tradition with others today. Enjoy it, we always did.

    • says

      Frank, I agree–roasted pineapple is excellent and would go especially well with this ham glaze. My grandkids love roasted pineapple so I’ll have to add it to our Easter ham this year. Thanks for sharing your story. Happy trails! ~Terri

  8. Mr. Shaver says

    Going to cook one of these today (butt portion) I’m thinking maybe that I’ll add some ground cayenne to the glaze for a lil’ kick though and maybe some fresh grated nutmeg. Should be pretty tasty along side some scalloped potatoes and green beans with pearl onions!

  9. Chris says

    I am going too try to smoke a couple butt hams using this recipe. Any idea what temp. I should set me pellet smoker to and how long per pound it should take to reach an internal temp. of 140 degrees. They are both 8 pound ham’s. Thank you for the great recipe.

  10. Don Huffer says

    I am going to do this today, but I am going to use a trick that my mother used stick 8-10 cloves around the ham and pineapple also.

  11. says

    I have used this recipe before and it is delicious, but someone told me once that if you put the ham in a cooking bag with a can of Pepsi and nothing else, it gives the ham a moist sweet flavor and it really works. I have a Double G smoked whole ham for Christmas and I will make your recipe this year. Happy holidays.

    • says

      Joyce, I will definitely have to try the can of Pepsi trick with the next ham that I bake. The baking bag sounds like a great idea, too.

      I’m glad that you like this recipe. I’ll pass your compliments along to my son in-law since he was the one that introduced it to me! ~Terri

  12. Jen says

    I was seriously just looking for a new spin on My Christmas Ham when I came across your recipe. Can’t wait to try it! Thank you in advance!

  13. Marie says

    Terri…..I totally agree with your comments….I would never buy a Spiral Ham….too dry…..and I love your recipe….I will be making this for Christmas dinner tomorrow with homemade lasagne, big salad, roast asparagus, hot Italian bread…and homemade cheesecake and lots of love and games with my family. Thank you for this great recipe and your valuable comments….Marie Merry Christmas

    • says

      Marie, you must be Italian! My Italian friends always serve either spaghetti or lasagna with everything. 🙂 Your meal sounds delicious! We’re having roasted asparagus, too. It’s ridiculous how many pounds of asparagus six adults and 3 kids can put away. lol Along with the asparagus we’ll be having a prime rib roast (Tyler Florence recipe), rosemary potatoes, apple salad with apple cinnamon vinaigrette, sourdough bread. For dessert, my daughter is making creme brulee. I might throw together some tomato-artichoke soup with roasted garlic — I said “might” — to go along with the meal. We tend to get a bit fancy with our Christmas dinner. It is the ONLY meal of the year where we go overboard.

  14. says

    this sounds great, and east too. Can you make this a day before. My time is limited on Easter sunday and 2 1/2 hours in the oven might cut into eating time. I have an 11 pound butt. How would reheating be the next day. would I dry it out? thinking I could slice it up, put it back in the baking dish with all the juices, covered up and then reheat to may be just warm on sunday. Don’t want to dry the ham out. What do you think. I’m no cook… all the help I can get is appreciated.

    • says

      Hi Donna. Those are good questions, but a little bit tricky to answer. 1) The ham can be cooked a day ahead and will taste great the second day. 2) I feel that the ham should be left whole after baking. Allow it to cool, then wrap it well and refrigerate it. 3) On serving day, rewarm the ham and then slice it. 4) There are several reasons that I do not recommend slicing the ham a day ahead: first, there will tend to be moisture loss when reheating the ham; second, and this is completely an aesthetic reason, the glaze will stain the ham slices a yellowish color wherever it touches them. It won’t effect the flavor of the ham, just the appearance. 5) If you want to slice the ham on serving day and then reheat it, I feel that it should work fine. Reheating it with the juices will help to keep it moist; be sure to cover the ham with foil to help retain moisture while cooking. 6) For such a theoretically easy thing to make, a ham can sure make us crazy nervous. 🙂 ~Terri

  15. Deanna Williams says

    Used your recipe for my ham this year and it was absolutely amazing. I used spicy brown mustard instead if yellow and it was a hit. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  16. Violet says

    This recipe made the most moist, delicious ham I have ever made for Easter!!!!! Thank you, Thank you! I always boiled my ham with carrots, onions, peppercorns and celery as my Mum always did for over 30 years (we are New Englanders bland food rules). Last year my family said “can we try a Baked Ham next year?” I said yes and searched the Web and up popped your posted. I have been bragging for days. Sooo Sooo Easy and just plain perfect. YOU ROCK and made me a star this Spring. Me and my girl are going to try your rolls next. We are hooked.

    • says

      Yay, Violet! I am so excited for you and your success. We had this ham as well for Easter dinner. Even after all these years of making ham from this recipe, I am thrilled each time with how the ham turns out. 🙂 Have a good day and thanks for leaving such a great comment. ~Terri

  17. Olga says

    Thank You for publishing your recipe! I was undecided about whether to buy a spiral honey glazed ham or just an unsliced ham. The difference in price sold me on the Smithfield butt ham. Not knowing exactly how to prepare it, of course I googled it and found your recipe. Your step by step pictures are such a help and and the taste is awesome! It was a hit at a luncheon today!

  18. Melodie Terboss says

    I have done this for my Easter ham for many years I also make a gravy from the drippings, everyone abosulety loves it!

  19. Caryl Ridley says

    Love your recipe ! It is basically like mymother-in-laws but she added three tablespoons of peanutbutter and man it is fabulous !

  20. Karen says

    I am going to try this today! This is probably a dumb question, but do you take the hour that you glaze the ham off of the 15 to 20 min per pound? Or is it an additional hour?

    • says

      Karen, I realize that I am answering your question too late, but perhaps the answer will benefit someone other readers. The glaze time is part of the cooking time. Example: I have a ham that needs to be cooked for two hours. I will cook it, covered, for one hour. I will then remove the foil, glaze the ham and bake for 30 minutes (the ham will have cooked for 1 hour 30 minutes). At this point I will remove the ham from the oven and glaze the ham with the remaining glaze, return the uncovered ham to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

  21. Devon says

    I hope you can help!!! I have a task of cooking 8 precooked water pressed hams for a church service to feed the homeless. Since these hams are already cooked & have what I call a casing around it, would you believe that the glaze would adhere the same or do you think I should score the ham(s)?

    • says

      Hi Devon. Scoring the hams would be fine and would probably help the glaze penetrate a little deeper into the hams. However, I always use precooked hams as well and they have a skin or casing on them. The glaze adheres satisfactorily; some of it works its way off of the ham, but a fair amount stays on the ham, too. Bottom line, it is really up to you whether you score the hams or not. Things should work out well either way. Best wishes with your adventure. Bless you for helping take care of the homeless. ~Terri

  22. sheri boren says

    Can’t wait to try it for Christmas 2017, sounds like grandmas. Thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  23. Dana says

    I am new to cooking ham…mine says ready to eat…does that mean I don’t have to cook it before doing the glaze?

    • says

      Hi, Dana. Cured hams are often labeled as “ready to eat” or “fully-cooked”, but generally are reheated before serving. Although it is technically simply reheating the ham, we refer to this as baking or cooking the ham. The USDA states, “Both whole or half, cooked, vacuum-packaged hams packaged in federally inspected plants and canned hams can be eaten cold, right out of the package.”

      This recipe calls for a fully-cooked (ready to eat) ham. The ham is reheated (cooked/baked) and the glaze is used during the cooking process. Hams can be reheated in the oven, plain, with no glazes or other toppings. They taste good on their own, but the flavor can be enhanced by adding a glaze and/or toppings.

      Some people like to score their hams (make shallow diamond shaped cuts in the ham) before adding any extras. Whole cloves are a common addition to a scored ham, with a clove being pushed into each diamond shape. Pineapple slices, along with cloves, are a popular traditional topping. Other toppings include glazes made with maple syrup, honey or various fruit juices.

      Hams labeled as either “partially cooked” or “uncured”, need to be cooked according to package directions. They have different cooking parameters than do fully-cooked, ready to eat hams.

      • Dana says

        Thank you so much. I am very excited about this ham and glaze. This is actually the glaze we use on our meatloaf and it is amazing. Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it.

  24. Lisa says

    We have brunch at my sons house Christmas mornings.This has become family tradition the past seven yrs .Everyone brings their favorite dish to share ,but this yr I’m trying something different.Saw your recipe for mustard glazed ham.WISH ME LUCK !

  25. Cecilia says

    Hi there new to this site, im going to try it on new years day, my question to you is this, I usually cook it in a cooking bag, should i take it out of the oven the ham, take off cooking bag and put sauce on top, and continue on with ur recipe , plze help

  26. Ellen says

    I just made my ham tonight with your “mustard and brown sugar” glaze and it was very easy to make and absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I even saved a lil glaze on the side to dip my ham in!!! Thanks For Your Recipe!!!

  27. Kristina Heyden says

    If I were to make this without the glaze, would it change the uncovered cooking time? Would the ham dry out without it? Thanks!

  28. Nicole says

    I have never baked a ham before and tried your recipe today, using a 10lb smoked ham shank. I followed your recipe exactly. Super moist and flavorful. Thank you!

  29. Vanessa Roberts says

    My mother used to bake her ham this way and was always delicious. I had been looking for a receipt made the same way, thanks for posting it. I know my Easter Ham will be delicious.

  30. Kristina Ritter says

    Do i need to let the ham rest after removing it from oven or can i cut and serve right away. Thanks

  31. Pearlie says

    I’m using this recipe for the first time this year for our family Thanksgiving dinner it looks delicious and the ingredients are all very simple which is what I like so I’ll let you know how it comes out thank you for sharing bless you

  32. says

    I tried this B.sugar mustard glaze on a 10 pound spiral ham but cooked it in a large cooking bag. 325% 1st he. Then 180 the last 21/2 hrs. Delicious! I’d cook it again. I give it 4 stars. Washington state annie.

  33. Adrienne Farrell says

    I made this for Christmas this year. BEST ham I’ve ever made!! I had a 12lb. shank ham, followed the time as given, and it was perfect!! Used more mustard than the 1:3 ratio. I’ve never had such a moist ham!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I will always use it for cooking hams!

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