This easy 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!
What is Virginia Baked Ham?
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 cured 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!
How do you bake a ham in the oven?
I used 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 with brown sugar 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!
The Baked Ham Glaze:
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!
How Long to Bake a Ham:
The smoked ham bakes at 325 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. For instance, I roasted a 10-lb. ham for 2 ½ hours.
How long is Baked Ham good for?
You can safely keep this easy baked ham in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Can leftover Baked Ham be reheated?
Yes! Reheat the ham in a 325-degree F oven for no more than 10 minutes per pound, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees F. If I'm reheating just a small portion of ham (such as a few slices), I like to wrap it in foil before placing it in the oven (this keeps it nice and moist).
What goes with Baked Ham?
We love to pair the ham with:
- Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Cheesy Potato Casserole;
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans;
- Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits;
- Easy Creamed Spinach Casserole;
- and with (my personal favorite) Orange Pineapple Fluff Salad!
Enjoy a little taste of Virginia, my friends! It's truly the best baked ham recipe that you've ever tasted!
Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham
- 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.