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Today, I am going to show you how to slow cook a precooked ham in the oven. With this method you’ll get a perfectly baked ham slathered with a homemade Brown Sugar Glaze. It’s a tasty and easy dish you can make in the oven for special occasions or a holiday meal. It’s always a crowd-pleaser and makes Christmas or Easter dinner extra special with no muss or fuss. Let’s get started!
All About Ham
Cured, smoked, and baked are all indicators that the ham you’re about to buy has been pre-cooked. In fact, most ham you buy at the grocery store is already safe to eat and you just have to reheat it. Plus around Easter or Christmas, they tend to go on sale!
I always buy a fully-cooked, bone-in, spiral-cut ham because it’s an easy way to have most of the work already done for me. But taking a few extra steps while baking your ham can bring it from good to great. I love the Kirkland Signature Ham from Costco because the flavor and price can’t be beaten.
What Else Do I Need?
- A meat thermometer is pretty essential when cooking big cuts like this one. Invest in a good one like this and you’ll be set for a long time.
- The last thing you’ll need for this recipe is this Brown Sugar Ham Glaze. It’s such a simple addition but it really takes this ham to new heights. Of course, any glaze is fine, but I love this glaze recipe because it’s the best pairing of savory and sweet, matching garlic with maple syrup, brown sugar, and mustard. All glazes should basically do the same thing: caramelize the outside and give more flavor. Some (most?) precooked ham come with a glaze packet in the packaging. That will work fine, but I prefer my glaze flavor MUCH better.
How to Bake a Precooked Ham
For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what you can expect when making this recipe:
Preheat Oven and Prep Ham
Preheat oven to 275° F. If you are baking a precooked, bone-in spiral cut ham, the great news is it’s already cooked and you’re just basically reheating.
The bad news is if you over bake it, you can dry it out easily. Since it’s already sliced, it really doesn’t take much to dry it out. A great way to keep your ham from drying out, is to place the ham face down into a baking dish or roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Keeping it covered with aluminum foil (or heavy duty foil) will keep that moisture in!
Bake and Baste Ham
Place your ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Bake in the oven 12-15 minutes per pound (or cook according to specific package directions). Baste 1-2 times during the cooking time with ham juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Be sure to separate the slices as you baste. This ensures the ham will stay moist.
Pro Tip: I’ve seen lots of different recipes that tell you to baste with the glaze as the ham cooks, but I’ve found better results basting with cooking liquid that comes from the ham juices to keep everything moist, and then finishing with the glaze.
Make the Brown Sugar Glaze
Make the glaze while ham is baking.
In a small saucepan, measure out all the glaze ingredients (brown sugar, real maple syrup, yellow or dijon mustard and garlic) and stir over medium-high heat. Simmer glaze until sugar melts and becomes syrupy about 1-2 minutes.
Glaze, Broil and Let the Ham Rest
Once your ham is done cooking, increase oven temperature to 425° F add the glaze to caramelize and lock in some extra flavor. Instead of using the premade glaze that comes with the ham, I opt for my Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe. I like to separate the slices (since this is a spiral ham, after all) and brush the glaze onto as much of the ham as possible.
Bake glazed ham at 425° F for 10 minutes or until sticky and set. Remove ham from oven and cover with foil to rest 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve.
How to Carve Bone-In Baked Ham
Baked ham with a bone running right through the center can be a real pain if you don’t know what you’re doing. The only way to get the meat off is to work with the bone and cut around it.
- But first things first: let your ham rest 10-15 minutes after glazing, tented with foil.
- Transfer ham to a carving board (or cutting board with a kitchen towel underneath).
- Place ham bottom side up, locate the center bone and cut around it completely.
- There are natural sections of meat, separated by fat all around the bone. Cut through these separations to get slices. Place onto a serving tray.
Storing Leftover Ham
Have any leftovers? Allow ham to cool completely to room temperature. Store in a covered airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days! Or, if you are looking to make a different dish from the leftovers, consider leftover ham recipes such as my Ham Salad or Ham and Bean Soup.
FAQ About Ham
The best way to bake your ham is at low heat for a longer period of time. If you’re using a fully-cooked ham, you’re just heating it through so you can serve it with dinner. Generally, you will bake at 275° F for 12-15 minutes per pound. Most hams come with baking directions that you can follow, but most will fall within these guidelines. You’re going to want the internal temperature to be 145° F for pre-cooked ham and 160° F if cooking an uncooked ham. So for a 10 lb. cooked, bone-in ham, the cook time would be 2-2 1/2 hours or until 145° F.
Yes, you sure can! Cut the ham from bone (if yours has one) and wrap the slices in plastic wrap and stack wrapped pieces into a plastic resealable bag. The plastic wrap will help hold in the moisture. If you have a ham bone, you can freeze it as well if you want to make soup with it later. Ham will stay fresh in the freezer for 1-2 months without losing any flavor.
Side Dishes to Serve with Ham
And of course, you can’t have baked ham without:
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Funeral Potatoes
- Classic Potato Salad
- Mom’s Potato Rolls
- Traditional Deviled Eggs
- Hot Cross Buns
- Colorful Carrot Salad
- Strawberry Salad
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
…and some Carrot Cake for dessert. 😉
More Holiday Dinner Main Dishes to Try!
- Simple Sunday Meatloaf
- Pineapple Glazed Ham – with pineapple juice in the glaze!
- Slow Cooker Ham Recipe
- Perfect Roast Turkey
- Smoked Turkey
- Garlic Pork Loin Roast
- Prime Rib
Now you have all of my tips and tricks to serving a juicy and tender ham. Save this recipe for your Easter or Christmas dinner table. The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!
If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
How to Slow Cook a Precooked Ham in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 275° F. Unwrap ham and place face down in roasting or baking dish. Cover well with foil.
- Bake 12-15 minutes per pound (or cook according to specific package directions). Baste 1-2 times through cooking with ham juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Be sure to separate the slices as you baste. This ensures ham will stay moist.
- Make the glaze while ham is baking. Increase Oven temperature to 425° F.
For the Brown Sugar Glaze
- In a small saucepan, measure out all the ingredients and stir over medium heat.
- Simmer glaze until sugar melts and becomes syrupy about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and glaze hame generously, being sure to separate the slices of spiral ham to get the glaze into all of the nooks and crannies
- Bake glazed ham at 425° F for 10 minutes or until sticky and set. Remove ham from oven and cover with foil to rest 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve.