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A brown sugar glazed ham emerging from the oven.

Simple Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze


This is a very simple baked ham recipe. There’s no scoring and no studding with cloves, because neither of those steps is necessary. Using a moist heat cooking method for the first half of the process, followed by a blast of high heat at the end to caramelize the surface will yield a beautifully burnished ham with moist, tender meat.

I am a huge fan of Dakin Farm hams (no affiliation here … truly just a long-time fan since my VT aunt and uncle introduced me to their products years ago.) I think the secret to making a good ham lies in the quality of the ham itself. 


  • Dakin recommends estimating 1/4 lb per person buffet style or 1/2 lb per person for dinner, depending on appetites.
  • Cook 10 minutes a pound at 325ºF.
  • Cook fat-side up in a roasting pan filled with about 1/2 inch of water covered tightly in foil for the bulk of the time.
  • During the last 30 minutes, remove the foil, crank the heat up to 425ºF, brush with a simple glaze at least twice.
  • Let rest 20 minutes before carving.


For the ham: 

For the glaze (halve this recipe if making a half ham): 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

For serving:


  1. Heat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Calculate your ham’s cooking time. For this recipe, you’re going to roast your ham for 10 minutes a pound total, but you’re going to crank the oven temperature up to 425ºF during the last 30 minutes, during which time you’ll glaze it twice. So, calculate your ham’s total cooking time; then subtract 30 minutes to calculate how long the ham will be in the oven for the first portion of the cooking period. (For example, if your ham weighs 13.69 lbs, you’ll roast it for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 325ºF; then 30 minutes at 425ºF.)
  3. Place ham, fat side up, in a roasting pan large enough to fit it. Add 2 cups of water or enough so that the water reaches about 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Set the timer for the amount of time you calculated in step 2. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze: whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, and freshly squeezed orange juice. Set aside. 
  5. After the first portion of the cooking is complete, remove the ham from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 425ºF. Remove the foil. Brush the ham all over generously with the glaze and return the ham to the oven for 15 minutes. Brush the ham again generously all over with the glaze and cook for another 15 minutes. (If you have any leftover glaze, dump it over the ham during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.) 
  6. Remove ham from the oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. 
  7. Carve by removing large chunks of meat and slicing up those chunks. See video for guidance. Don’t worry too much about the ham bone — save that for after dinner. Remove as much meat as possible. Save the bone for soup. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked, ham, recipe, simple, brown sugar, glaze