A Honey Baked Ham with a touch of bourbon and fragrant spices that blows away anything you can buy but at a fraction of the price. An incredibly simple and delicious meal you can prepare for holidays, parties and gatherings, with little effort.
Have you ever tasted a Honey of a Ham? If you have, you’ll understand why there are lines out the door of their stores every holiday season. The ham is moist and the outer crust is sugary and flavorful. It was always my first choice for serving at parties or during any holiday because honestly, it’s a treat. However, they are a little pricey and not everyone has a store near them. Well, now anyone can make a delicious tasting ham at home whenever they want.
I’ll be honest with you because I like to keep it real on thegeneticchef.com. The first time I made this ham it was so good, it got devoured. I served it at Easter and people went for thirds. That ham got picked to the bone and I shouldn’t have been surprised because it was spectacular.
When I made it for my family for Christmas dinner, I placed it in a different slow cooker that was bigger than the one I used before to fit the size of the ham. I cooked it on low for 4 hours. I knew right when I took it out of the slow cooker that it was overcooked. I was pissed because I had my whole family to feed and they didn’t hold back when something wasn’t good. My brother is the first one to speak either way and I was waiting for it. My sister is the total opposite and wants everyone happy so even though this ham was like chewing leather, she was going to say it was good. You know what happened? No one said a thing. It drove me batty and I finally had to speak up and say the ham basically sucked.
Why did that happen? Why was the ham different this time? It’s because not all slow cookers are the same. Remember the old inexpensive ones that had the flowers on them? If you have one of those KEEP IT! Low meant you could cook things for hours without burning. That was my Dad’s slow cooker. The second time I used a more expensive slow cooker - one that I paid way too much for just for the name. Well apparently low means high.
For that reason, I recommend using an oven unless you have a slow cooker you trust that works the way it’s supposed to work.
Remember, city hams are already cooked. All you have to do is heat them up. It should be easy. One more thing: Ham tastes good hot or cold so better to go under than over. If people complain about your food, tell them to leave. Maybe that’s why no one in my family said anything that day.
Best ham to buy:
Buy a good quality ham. One that is bone-in because that has more flavor and you can make a soup with it afterward.
Buy one that isn’t plumped up with a solution like some celebrity’s lips that just had bad botox injections.
I like to buy a spiral cut because it’s easier. A lesson I learned by accident is to buy the shank end instead of the butt end because the shank end has one bone to cut around and it’s fattier which translates to delicious. The butt end is round at the bottom. This is what I used to go for because I thought it would be meatier. Instead, I found it was harder to slice leaner translates to not juicy. The only time a round lean butt is good is, well, you know.
How to make this incredible honey baked ham:
Lay out a long piece of heavy duty foil - big enough to cover the ham up the sides on a baking sheet.
Place two thick slices of onion on the bottom center with some cloves pushed in them. I usually use 6 but if you like cloves, add what more.
Place the ham on top of the onions flat/cut side down.
Pour the honey bourbon mixture over the ham and bring up the side of the foil to wrap containing the liquid. Wrap that ham up.
Place it in the 275 degree oven and cook for about 15 minutes per pound. Remember it’s better to serve it warm and tasty instead of hot and leathery. It's already cooked. If you are using a good reliable slow cooker, cook it on LOW for about 2 hours. If you’re not serving right away, set it to the WARM setting. Keep it wrapped if not finishing right away. Save those juices because we are going to heat that up and serve it hot alongside the ham like a loose gravy.
Tools you’ll need to make this delicious honey baked ham:
Perfect sides to go with this ham:
- 30 minute bourbon baked beans (ham and beans? Why not!)
- Roasted carrots with butter and dill
- Perfect mashed potatoes
- Rich and creamy garlic mashed potatoes
- Roasted spiced acorn squash
- Silky smooth carrot puree
- Peas and pancetta
- Perfect rice pilaf
- Perfect rice
- Big tall beautiful popovers
- Sour cream drop biscuits
- Soft and fluffy dinner rolls
Life is too short for mediocre food.
This post contains affiliate links for the products I use in my kitchen.
Bourbon Honey Baked HamPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 7 - 10 pound spiral cut ham preferably shank end - see cooking times below
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons (1 shot) bourbon
- 1 small onion halved, each half stuck with 3 - 4 cloves
- Remove ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Position the oven rack to lower third of oven.
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Mix the honey and bourbon together in a measuring cup.
- Lay out a long piece of heavy duty foil - big enough to cover the ham up the sides on a baking sheet.
- Place two thick slices of onion on the bottom center with some cloves pushed in them. I usually use 6 but if you like cloves, add more.
- Place the ham on top of the onions flat/cut side down.
- Pour the honey bourbon mixture over the ham and bring up the side of the foil to wrap containing the liquid. Wrap the ham up and bake for about 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours depending on size - 15 minutes/pound. 7 pound ham - 1 hr 15 minutes8 pound - 2 hours9 pounds - 1 hour 15 minutes10 pounds - 2 ½ hours. Remove from the oven and keep it wrapped until ready to glaze.
When ready to glaze:
- Unwrap ham opening and spreading out the foil to cover the baking sheet and still contain juices so they don’t run out.
- Combine the sugar mixture ingredients together and sprinkle all over the top of the ham. It may seem like a lot but use it all because it will mix with the ham/bourbon juices. Get it in between the slices.
- The rack should be in the lower third of the oven so the ham isn’t too close to the broiler. Broil the ham until the top is golden and crispy and the sugar mixture caramelizes. This should take 3 - 5 minutes. You may want to rotate the pan so every bit gets caramelized. Check and keep an eye on it until it’s golden and bubbling.
- Transfer ham onto a serving platter and pour juices into a small saucepan and heat until it starts to boil. Serve juices alongside ham.
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