How to cook a SIMPLE Spiral Glazed Ham (without drying it out)

How to make a holiday ham without drying it out #christmasham #thanksgivingham #holidaydinner #simplepartyfood

Today the ham still remains the most popular option not only for Easter, but for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well, despite how much attention Tom the turkey gets.  A glazed ham does not require nearly the work that a turkey does which is the main reason for its popularity.  The tricky part to ‘cooking’ a ham is to not dry it out.

So how exactly do you cook a glazed spiral ham without drying it out?  Well, look no further.

Below are the 6 most common mistakes and some pointers to a delicious spiral ham:

  1. Not all hams are created equal.  Sure, it’s easy to grab a ham at your local supermarket that’s on sale, but truth be told, it’s of poor quality.   Next time, try calling your local butcher and ordering one ahead of time.
  2. In the event you do wind up with a supermarket ham, chances are it has been cured or plumped up.  Cheaper hams have been injected with salt water, as well as artificial flavors, for preserving them in stores.  Check the label!
  3. While pouring a ton of liquid in the bottom of the pan may seem like a good idea to prevent the ham from drying out,  a better option is only pouring in about ½ cup at a time.  This will allow the moisture to ‘steam’ or ‘braise’ the ham.
  4. Be sure to cover the ham with foil or a lid that tightly fits a roasting pan.  The oven is what is considered ‘dry heat’ so keeping moisture ‘IN” means covering the meat.
  5. Throw out the glaze packet!  Making your own glaze is super simple and tastes worlds better. (recipe below)
  6. Meat from the oven will continue to cook after it is taken out.  The internal temperature for ham should reach 145°F, so taking it out at 135°F will allow it to reach the right temperature without drying it out.
How to make a holiday ham without drying it out #christmasham #thanksgivingham #holidaydinner #simplepartyfood

How to Make a Moist Glazed Spiral Ham:

  • Allow the ham to come to room temperature before cooking it by placing it on the counter (lightly covered) for an hour or two.
  • Place the ham in a deep roasting pan and add about a cup of either water or vegetable broth.  Cover it tightly and cook in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes per lb., checking every so often to see if more liquid is needed.  The ham will ‘braise’ in the liquid so it’s important not to add too much, yet not let it dry out.
  • Once the ham reaches 135°F, remove the foil and brush the remaining glaze so it gets in between the slices.   Place the ham back in the oven for about 10 minutes (uncovered) to get those nice crispy pieces on the ends.

The beautiful thing about ham is that it can be eaten at hot, cold or at room temperature.  If you plan on serving this later in the day at room temperature, it’s even more important to take it out of the oven at 135°F , as the heat from inside the ham continues to cook it.    If the ham is taken out at a higher temperature than 135°F it will become dry.

Stick with our guide, and your ham will be moist, juicy and flavorful.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How to make a holiday ham without drying it out #christmasham #thanksgivingham #holidaydinner #simplepartyfood

SIMPLE Spiral Glazed Ham

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 2 hrs
  • Cook Time: 12-15 min per lb.
  • Total Time: 2 hrs + cook time
  • Yield: 1 (8-10) lb Ham 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Throw away that glaze packet!  Our simple glaze requires only a few fresh ingredients which bring out the natural flavor of the ham without over powering it.


  • 810 pound spiral ham

For the Glaze:

  • 1 Cup Light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup Honey
  • ½ Cup Orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cloves


  1. Remove ham from refrigerator at least 2 hours before cooking.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze.
  3. Bring the glaze to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  5. Place the ham in large roasting pan cut side down and brush about ½ of the glaze over the ham.
  6. Wrap with foil or cover tightly with a roasting lid.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes per pound or until ham reaches an internal temperature of 135°F (the ham will continue to cook out of the oven to a final temperature of 145°F.
  8. Remove the ham from the oven and remove the foil.
  9. Brush remaining glaze over ham, be sure to get in between slices
  10. Return to the oven and continue cooking 10 minutes longer.
  11. Remove from oven and loosely wrap with foil and let rest 15 minutes before serving.


If you tried this recipe, leave us a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!   Don’t forget to subscribe to SIMPLE PARTY FOOD to get a weekly email with our latest recipes.  You can also FOLLOW us on Facebook and Pinterest so you don’t miss a thing!

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 13, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    very good tips.

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


    Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

    Verified by MonsterInsights