Ham is a fast favorite during the holidays and it’s obvious why: it’s super simple to make, juicy and delicious, and possibly the most impressive main dish. A glistening glossy ham is a thing of true beauty. This year, instead of buying an expensive ready-made one, make your own mind-blowing char siu inspired honey baked ham instead.
If you’ve never glazed your own ham before or if you’ve only ever eaten dry ham, you’re probably wondering why I think ham is so delicious. Trust me when I say a perfectly glazed ham is just the right amount of salty balanced with sweet, with full hammy flavor.
Ham is everything right in the world, at least at the dinner table. Thanksgiving this year is looking a little different so maybe you’re not making a whole turkey, but who’s to say you can’t make yourself a ham?! Ham comes in all shapes and sizes making it perfect for a little pandemic honey baked ham holiday cheer.
What is honey baked ham?
Simply put, honey baked ham is a ham baked with a honey glaze. A juicy, fully cooked ham is glazed with honey and spices and baked through until warm and cozy and lacquered with sweet honey goodness. It’s the perfect easy show-stopping centerpiece for any dinner celebration.
Honey baked ham also happens to be the name of a super popular ham purveyor that sells honey baked hams, but you can easily make your own at home without shelling out the big bucks.
Why this honey baked ham?
Classic honey baked hams are delicious but if you’re going to take the time glaze your own ham, then it’s your chance to shine and get creative! Originally I was going to make a brown sugar bourbon apricot glaze but Mike made a comment about how he thought I was going to char siu the ham and this is the beauty we came up with!
Honey baked char siu ham is a perfect balance of sweetness and umami thanks to a combination of brown sugar and honey, a splash of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and a hint of five spice. Seriously SO GOOD.
In case you need more convincing
- ham is THE EASIEST large format meat you’ll ever prepare. Forget about turkey or roast beef, ham comes fully cooked so all you have to do is warm it through then glaze it with deliciousness
- you’ll love the sweet and smoky flavors of char siu glazed ham
- leftovers are bestovers, end of story
How to make honey baked ham:
- Buy a ham: Hams come fully cooked at the store making this the simplest meat dish you’ll ever prepare. Get a bone-in spiral cut ham, more on that below.
- Let the ham temper: Take your ham out of the fridge and let it come to room temp for 2-3 hours, which will help your ham heat through evenly without drying it out.
- Make a glaze: combine all the glaze ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Prep your pan: add 1 cup of water and a rack to a roasting pan. The water will steam the ham, making it nice and juicy.
- Bake the ham: Place the ham cut side down and bake in a low oven, glazing every 20 minutes, until the ham is warmed through.
- Caramelize: For the last little bit, brush on extra glaze and turn the heat up to caramelize. Let rest and enjoy!
Char siu honey baked ham ingredients
If you love the sweet and smoky flavors of Chinese char siu, you’re going to love this char siu inspired ham. You’ll need: brown sugar, honey, hosin sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, five spice, white pepper, garlic, ginger, and a spiral cut bone in ham. The glaze is so addictive and full of umami you’re going to want to save the extra (there will be extra) to serve alongside the ham!
Brown sugar and honey
We’re going with a combination of brown sugar and honey so the brown sugar can add dark caramel notes while the honey adds light golden notes.
Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet brown Chinese sauce that’s used in marinades and as a dipping sauce. It’s super flavorful: sweet and savory, tangy, and full of umami. They pretty much sell hoisin everywhere now, from Target to your basic grocery store.
This is the secret ingredient that all your Chinese food needs to taste like restaurant style Chinese food.
Shaoxing wine is a rice wine that’s lightly sweet, nutty, earthy and complex. It’s optional for this recipe, but it’ll be 10 thousand times better if you get it. They sell it online and in Asian grocery stores.
If you want a savory char siu, don’t forget the five spice. Five spice is Chinese spice mix made up of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel. It’s full of warming spices that are super reminiscent of classic ham spices like cloves and cinnamon.
If you don’t have white pepper, don’t sweat it, but if you do, use it here. It’s more fragrant, delicate, and floral. It adds pepperiness without overwhelming.
How long to bake honey baked ham
12-15 mins per pound at 250°F, then blast up the heat to 450 for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the glaze.
Bone-in ham vs boneless ham?
- Boneless ham, just like the name implies, doesn’t have a bone in it. The bone is remove before the ham is processed, cooked, and sealed up. Boneless ham has that classic ham shape but isn’t as flavorful or juicy as bone-in ham.
- Bone in ham is ham that has its bone. The bone makes the ham tastier by maintaining and imparting flavors as well as helping it stay moist.
Is bone-in ham better than boneless ham?
YES! Bone-in ham has more flavor and is much more juicy than boneless.
Generally, both bone-in ham and boneless hams are sold fully cooked. Just take a look at the package and make sure it says fully cooked or ready to serve.
Spiral cut vs regular ham
If you’ve never bought ham before, you might be wondering, what is spiral cut ham?! Spiral cut ham are hams that have been cut in a spiral shape making it super easy to carve off the bone. They’re really pretty because the slices fan out nicely. Spiral hams can be both bone-in and boneless. Go for bone-in be cause it’s super juicy.
How much ham per person
If you’re buying a bone-in spiral cut ham, you want to have 3/4-1 pound of ham per person. They sell bone-in spiral cut hams in quarter legs, half legs, and whole legs.
- Bone in quarter hams are 3-4 pounds and serve 6-8
- Bone in half hams are 5-10 pounds and serve 8-22
- Whole hams (bone-in as well, of course) are 10-17 pounds and serve 22-40
What to serve with honey baked ham
How to reheat honey ham in the oven
The best way to reheat honey ham without drying it out is to bake it at a very low temperature. Place your ham in an oven safe dish and give it a couple of spritzes of water or add 1 tbsp to the dish. Cover with foil and bake at 275° until warmed through.
How to reheat honey ham on the stove
Heat a skillet over low heat and a bit of oil or butter. Add a slice of ham and a teaspoon or two of water and warm over low until heated through, flipping once.
How to make copycat Honey Baked Ham
Did you know that there’s a company that sells fully cooked and glazed honey baked hams? If you want to make a copy cat ham, just make a glaze, cover with foil and bake at 325°F until warm, then add a sugar rub and torch it so it brûlées.
- To make the glaze, stir together 2 tbsp melted butter with 1 tbsp dijon, and 1/3 cup honey. Rub this all over your spiral cut ham and bake as per the recipe below. When the ham is warm, remove it from the oven.
- Make a dry rub with 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp each of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp each of paprika, ginger, and allspice. Place half of the dry rub in a small sauce pan and set aside.
- Use the remaining rub and carefully pat it on to the warm ham. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée and crisp up the sugar until it’s bubbly and shiny. It will cool into a crispy shell.
- Add the ham drippings to the reserved dry rub and bring to a boil over medium heat until it thickens into a glaze. Serve alongside the ham.
What to do with leftover honey baked ham
I love leftover ham! Try it in:
Happy hamming I really hope you try this ham because it’s honestly the best ham I’ve ever made!
sticky saucy ham forever,
Honey Baked Ham
This char siu inspired honey baked ham is a perfect balance of sweetness and umami thanks to a combination of brown sugar and honey, a splash of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and a hint of five spice. Seriously SO GOOD.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tbsp hoisin
- 1 tbsp soy sauce low sodium preferred
- 1.5 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp five spice optional
- 1 tsp white pepper optional
- 4 cloves garlic lightly smashed
- 4 slices ginger
- 3 lb bone-in spiral sliced ham at room temp, see notes for scaling
Heat the oven to 250°F and make the glaze: mix the brown sugar, honey, hoisin, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, five spice, white pepper, garlic, and ginger in a small pot and heat over medium until it starts to bubble. Set aside.
Grab a roasting pan and fit it with a wire rack. Place 1 cup water in the roasting pan. Put the ham on the wire rack, cut side down, and brush the first coat of glaze on.
Bake, with a piece of foil on top, for 12-15 minutes per pound of ham until the ham is heated through to 130°F. While the ham is baking, brush the glaze on, every 20 minutes, until the ham is heated through. Our ham was 5 lbs and took about 1 hour.
When the inside of the ham is warmed through, turn the oven up to 450°F and brush on more glaze and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes, brushing with glaze every 2-3 minutes until deeply caramelized. Remove from the oven, let rest for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
Bone in quarter hams are 3-4 pounds and serve 6-8
Bone in half hams are 5-10 pounds and serve 8-22
Bone in whole hams are 10-17 pounds and serve 22-40
Honey Baked Ham
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 190
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6.2g39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.