This beautiful Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham looks like a fancy holiday meal — but it only requires 5 ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep! A rich, sweet, and savory glaze turns a simple smoked ham into a decadent entree that’s perfect for Easter, Christmas or your next Sunday brunch!
If there’s one thing that we know a lot about in Virginia, it’s pork! Here in Madison, Kite’s produces some of the best country ham that you’ll ever taste. It’s absolute perfection when paired with a flaky, buttery biscuit!
But just a couple of hours away, in Smithfield, Virginia, they’re producing pork in just about every variety you can imagine — including these beautiful smoked hams that are ideal for your holiday table.
Needless to say, Virginians are proud of our pork — and today’s baked ham recipe is no exception!
This is the ham that I used for this recipe (a bone-in smoked half ham), but you can use the same glaze and cooking process for a whole bone-in smoked ham if you’re feeding an even larger crowd. If you’re not in Virginia and you can’t find a Smithfield ham, that’s fine. Anything similar will work!
A baked ham is a lot like a Thanksgiving turkey — it sounds intimidating and overwhelming to a new home cook, but once you get in the kitchen and prepare one yourself, you realize just how easy it can be!
I would say that this particular baked ham recipe is even easier than roasting a turkey, because the meat comes already smoked. In other words, you’re just heating and glazing the ham…the hard work has been done for you. In the end? It tastes amazing, it looks impressive, and you’re not stressed or exhausted from the effort!
How does that saying go, “the secret is in the sauce?!” It’s the Brown Sugar Glaze that really makes this ham special.
My simple ham glaze uses only 4 basic ingredients: brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and yellow mustard. It’s sweet, savory, rich, and wonderful on this salty, smoked meat.
The brown sugar glaze will make a simple Virginia baked ham the crowd-pleasing centerpiece of your holiday feast!
Need a few easy sides to serve with it? We love to pair the ham with Aunt Bee’s 3-Ingredient Cheesy Potato Casserole, with Cheddar Chive & Bacon Biscuits, with Easy Creamed Spinach Casserole, and with (my personal favorite) Orange Pineapple Fluff Salad. And don’t forget that the leftovers freeze well (and they’re also delicious on ham sandwiches).
Enjoy a little taste of Virginia, my friends!
Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham
Yield 8-10 servings
1 (9-11 lb.) bone-in smoked half ham*
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil.
Remove all packaging materials and place ham on its side, fat side up, on a rack in the prepared pan; cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Heat approximately 15 to 20 minutes per pound until heated through. For instance, I roasted a 10-lb. ham for 2 ½ hours.
While the ham is in the oven, prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, and yellow mustard.
Once heated through, remove ham from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Uncover ham, brush or spoon glaze over surface. Return to oven, uncovered, and heat for 10 more minutes.
Remove ham from oven and let stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
* You can use the same glaze and cooking process for a whole ham – just adjust the cooking time according to the weight of your ham.