Maple Pecan Glazed Ham

This year, what if HAM got to be the star of your holiday table? All done up good and proper with orange, maple, and pecans….such a delicious masterpiece.  Maple Pecan Glazed Ham is just 5 ingredients and 5 simple steps – a recipe you’ll make again and again.

Maple Pecan Glazed Ham Recipe

This year, what if HAM got to be the star of your holiday table? All done up good and proper with orange, maple, and pecans....such a delicious masterpiece. 

Howdy! Chef Alli Here.  

Move on over turkey.  You’re very tasty, but ham is FABULOUS…..especially a beautiful ham like this recipe makes…..all caramelized, sticky and luscious on the outside; tender and moist on the inside. YUM. 

Because it’s easy to get overwhelmed when cooking big pieces of meat, we can tend to discouraged pretty easily and fearful thoughts can come to mind: 

  • What if I cook this and nobody likes it??
  • How much ham do I need to buy?
  • What if I cook this and ruin it?
  • What if I don’t even want to do this now?? 

Well, guess what? What if I told you that HAM is by far the easiest meat to cook for your holiday meal? It’s the truth and this recipe will make you a BELIEVER. 

What to love about this ham recipe – 

  1. This ham is a show-stopping masterpiece
  2. Who doesn’t appreciate a 5-ingredient recipe?? 
  3. So, so easy – just 5 steps from start to finish. 

Which ingredients do I need to make this ham? 

  • A bone-in ham (a half ham or a whole ham is fine) 
  • Pecans
  • Orange marmalade
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Butter 

How to cook a maple-pecan glazed ham in the oven 

**Full, printable recipe card below – just scroll on down within this post to find it! 

  1. Remove the packaging from your ham, tossing the sauce packet that is usually included. If desired, you can score the outside of your ham (how-to instructions below) to make it look super pretty.  These little crevices on the exterior creates a place for your sauce to “seep down” into. 
  2. Lay out two very long sheets of extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil, crisscrossing them over each other to create an X. Place the ham flat-side-down onto the center of where the foil crisscrosses. Wrap the ham very tightly in the foil, using more foil if needed to cover the ham really well.
  3. Place the wrapped ham into a roasting pan, then bake the ham at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes per pound. **As an example, an 8 lb. ham would cook for about about 2 hours, or until it reaches 145 degrees F. at the center.  
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the ham glaze by combining the orange marmalade and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium high heat; bring the glaze to a boil, then remove it from the heat.  Using a flat whisk, add the butter, whisking until melted, then add the pecans; keep the glaze warm. 
  5. Near the two-thirds mark of the cooking time, unwrap the ham. Using a silicone basting brush, slather the ham, all over the exterior, getting down into where the ham is scored (If you did this step) using half of the prepared glaze. Continue to bake the ham, unwrapped, until it is hot throughout and 145 degrees F. at the center when tested with an  instant-read meat thermometer.

Maple Pecan Glazed Ham

Easy Recipe Tips for Making Maple Pecan Glazed Ham

How do I know which ham to purchase?

  • Sometimes this can be the hardest part of making a ham! You will likely find lots of options out there when shopping for ham, but this recipe calls for a cured, pre-cooked ham, which is exactly what most grocery stores sell in abundance. 
  • In short, if the label of the ham says it is cured, smoked or baked, the ham is pre-cooked and then packaged. **Always check the label of the ham to be sure it states that you are purchasing a fully cooked ham so you have that reassurance.

So technically, when I purchase a cured (pre-cooked) ham, I’m essentially just re-heating the ham when I bake it?

  • Yes, that is correct.  If you bake an 8 pound ham at 325 degrees for 10 minutes per pound, it will take about 2 hours to cook.  The finished internal temperature of a baked ham should be 145 degrees F. at the center of the meat.  

What is a spiral-sliced ham and can I use one for this recipe?  

  • A spiral-sliced ham is a cured bone-in ham that has been cut into horizontal slices that are still attached to the bone at the center of the ham.
  • Spiral-cut hams are pre-sliced as a convenience to home cooks since all you have to do is slice down through the slices, right where the ham connects to the center bone. Voila! Ham slices ready to serve.

And, yes, you sure can use a spiral-sliced ham for this recipe, if preferred. 

What are the pros and cons of spiral-sliced ham?

  • Spiral-sliced hams do have a tendency to dry out very quickly when they are cooked. It’s easy to overcook a spiral-sliced ham because the pre-cut slices are very thin.
  • I recommend that spiral-sliced hams be covered with foil when cooked and that a lower oven temperature of 275-300 degrees F. be used.
  • Cooking a spiral-sliced ham at the lower temperature of 275-300 degrees F. allows the ham to get fully cooked to the center without over-cooking the slices at the outside of the ham. You can remove the foil during the last few minutes of the cooking time if you want the exterior of the ham to brown a bit.
  • It’s easy to overcook a spiral-sliced ham.  You’ll know when this has happened as the slices will curl up and the meat will be pretty dry and chewy. 

How do I know how much ham I should buy? 

Here’s a good rule of thumb:

  • For serving bone-in ham (like this recipe calls for) plan to purchase 1/2 – 3/4 lb. per person, since bone-in ham is heavier. (You’ll need more ham per person since the bone is part of the ham.)
  • When serving boneless ham, plan to purchase 1/3 -1/2 lb. per person.

I always buy on the higher side per person because I want to make sure I have ham leftovers.

**Whole bone-in hams usually weigh around 10-18 lbs. and feed 20-36 people. Half bone-in hams usually weigh in around 5-10 lbs. and feed 10-20 people.

Which tools are helpful for baking a ham? 

How do I know when my ham is fully cooked? 

  • It’s best to use an instant-read meat thermometer that you will insert right into the center of the ham, taking care not to touch any bones as you do so.  In a few seconds when the temperature stops rising as you watch the dial, this is the internal temperature.  The ham should be 145 degrees at the center to be fully hot throughout for serving. 

Why is scoring a ham important? 

  • Scoring a ham is actually very easy, and a very important part of creating a flavorful and juicy ham. Scoring means to make shallow cuts into the fat layer that covers the ham. 
  • Well, because hams have a thick layer of fat that insulates the meat and the fat actually bastes the ham as it bakes.  Scoring the ham will allow slits in the meat to gather the ham glaze as your baste or pour it over the ham, adding lots of flavor.  Sweet meets salty – a delicious combination, for sure. 
  • Plus scoring the exterior of the ham makes for a stunning presentation at your holiday table. 

How to Score a Ham: 

  1. Place the ham on it’s side on a thick wooden cutting board. 
  2. Using a sharp knife, start about 1″ away from the big end of the ham, slicing into the ham approx. 1/2″ of an inch, circling the ham in a line. Continue to make additional cuts, circling around the ham in 1″ intervals until you reach the other end of the ham.
  3. Next, cut across the incisions you have just scored in the ham, slicing diagonally about 1″ apart, creating a criss-cross pattern over the exterior of the ha.  Ta dah! You’ve just scored a ham. 🙂 

How do I glaze a ham? 

  • I think it’s easiest to use a silicone basting brush to glaze a ham since the bristles can get down into every nook and cranny of the exterior of the ham.  Or, you can simply use a spoon to pour the glaze over the ham.  Once glazed, return the ham to the oven, uncovered, so the glaze can caramelize and get nicely sticky and the ham reaches the internal temperature of 145 degrees F. at the center. 

How Do I Thaw a Frozen Ham?

  • Defrosting time depends on the size of the ham. I usually allow 4-5 hours hours of refrigeration thawing for every pound of boneless ham and 6-8 hours for every pound of bone-in ham, since the bone at the center makes thawing take a bit longer.
  • As an example, a 10 pound boneless ham will need approx. 40 hours (almost 2 full days) to thaw in refrigeration. A 10 lb. bone-in ham will need approx. 80 hours (about 3 1/2 days) to thaw in refrigeration.
  • Always allow yourself a little extra thawing time to be on the safe side. A fully thawed and unopened ham can stay in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after it’s thawed.

How long can I keep a ham in the freezer? 

  • Properly stored in the freezer, a ham will maintain the best quality for 3-4 months, but will remain safe way beyond that time. I recommend a ham stay no longer than 6-8 months in the freezer, though I have cooked a ham once that had been in my freezer for one year with zero problems.

Does leftover ham freeze well?

  • You better believe it.  I love having leftover ham for sandwiches, quiche, quesadillas, and skillet tortellini….oh man! I often chop up my leftover ham and freeze it in 2 cup portions in freezer bags – this seems to be a good amount for most recipes, and it feels so good to pull the ham out of the freezer when I need to get dinner on the table. This year, what if HAM got to be the star of your holiday table? All done up good and proper with orange, maple, and pecans....such a delicious masterpiece.

Printable Maple Pecan Glazed Ham Recipe 

Maple Pecan Glazed Ham

A detailed guide on how to choose and cook a ham. Solid information on preparation methods, cooking times, and internal temperature with lots of tips and tricks for success. You'll be able to create a delicious ham masterpiece year after year.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Chef Alli

Ingredients

  • 1 8-10 lb. bone-in, cured and cooked half ham, shank end or butt end either one
  • 1/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Remove all packaging material from the ham, discarding the glaze packet that is usually included. If desired, use a knife to make a criss-cross pattern over the exterior of the ham to score the skin and make it look pretty.
  • Lay out two very long sheets of extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil, crisscrossing them over each other to create an X. Place the ham onto the center of where the foil crisscrosses, flat side down. Wrap the ham very tightly in the foil, using more foil if needed to cover the ham really well.
  • Place the wrapped ham into a roasting pan, flat-side-down. Bake the ham at 15 minutes per pound of ham until the ham is hot throughout and has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. **As an example, an 8 pound ham will take about 2 hours to cook.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the ham glaze by combining the orange marmalade and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium high heat; bring the glaze to a boil, then remove it from the heat.  Using a flat whisk, add the butter, whisking until melted, then add the pecans; keep the glaze warm. 
  • Two thirds of the way through the baking process, remove the ham from the oven, unwrapping it; using a silicone basting brush, liberally slather it with half of the prepared glaze.
    Continue to bake the ham, uncovered, for the the remaining time, or until it reaches 145 degrees F. internal temperature at the center when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer and is nicely caramelized and sticky on the exterior.
    Keep the remaining glaze warm to drizzle over the pieces of ham to be served.
    **If desired, double the glaze and have extra to serve alongside the sliced ham. 

Notes

Cooking Notes

How do I know how much ham I should buy? 

Here’s a good rule of thumb:
  • For serving bone-in ham (like this recipe calls for) plan to purchase 1/2 – 3/4 lb. per person, since bone-in ham is heavier. (You’ll need more ham per person since the bone is part of the ham.)
  • When serving boneless ham, plan to purchase 1/3 -1/2 lb. per person.
I always buy on the higher side per person because I want to make sure I have ham leftovers.
**Whole bone-in hams usually weigh around 10-18 lbs. and feed 20-36 people. Half bone-in hams usually weigh in around 5-10 lbs. and feed 10-20 people.

Which tools are helpful for baking a ham? 

How to Score a Ham: 

  1. Place the ham on it's side on a thick wooden cutting board. 
  2. Using a sharp knife, start about 1" away from the big end of the ham, slicing into the ham approx. 1/2" of an inch, circling the ham in a line. Continue to make additional cuts, circling around the ham in 1" intervals until you reach the other end of the ham.
  3. Next, cut across the incisions you have just scored in the ham, slicing diagonally about 1" apart, creating a criss-cross pattern over the exterior of the ha.  Ta dah! You've just scored a ham. 🙂 

How do I know when my ham is fully cooked? 

  • It's best to use an instant-read meat thermometer that you will insert right into the center of the ham, taking care not to touch any bones as you do so.  In a few seconds when the temperature stops rising as you watch the dial, this is the internal temperature.  The ham should be 145 degrees at the center to be fully hot throughout for serving. 

How do I glaze a ham? 

  • I think it's easiest to use a silicone basting brush to glaze a ham since the bristles can get down into every nook and cranny of the exterior of the ham.  Or, you can simply use a spoon to pour the glaze over the ham.  Once glazed, return the ham to the oven, uncovered, so the glaze can caramelize and get nicely sticky and the ham reaches the internal temperature of 145 degrees F. at the center. 
**If desired, double the glaze and have extra to serve alongside the sliced ham. 
www.ChefAlli.com 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked ham, bone-in ham, easy, holiday ham

Nutrition

Sodium: 18mg | Calcium: 35mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 78IU | Sugar: 29g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 72mg | Cholesterol: 5mg | Calories: 169kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 5g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 32g | Iron: 1mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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