Easy Christmas Dinner: Best-Baked Ham Recipe

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with honey-thyme glaze.

A flat view of a full baked ham with ham sliced, garnished with thyme sprigs, and roasted carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms as side dish.Baked ham is a traditional dish in my culture. I grew up always having baked ham on the table during Christmas dinner. I never actually knew how to make it and I always felt very intimidated by only the thought of the process. That was until last year I got a ham as a Christmas gift from work and I had to make my own ham. I decided to experiment and give a twist to the classic pineapple and ham recipe. The result was the creation of the best-baked ham recipe ever. Now it’s like my signature Christmas dish and I just had to share my juicy and truly the best-baked ham recipe with you. A perfect main dish to follow our Christmas appetizer platter.

Roasting a ham is not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it’s pretty easy. The oven basically does all the work for you. I wish I knew how easy this was. I would have made ham all year around. If it’s up to my hubby, he would have this ham, literally, every month. Never mind if my heart and belly could survive or not.

A full baked ham with ham sliced, garnished with thyme sprigs, and roasted carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms as side dish.

Some cooking tips:

Okay, before you dive into this recipe let me help you with some handy tips. The baked ham recipe was originally from Epicurious, but I made some minor adjustments to the recipe and swap 1/2 of the honey for molasses. Not because I thought that it would be better, but simply because I ran out of honey. It was a lucky accident.

The first time I made the recipe I call my mom like 4 times because she and the internet instructions were so confusing. First off you need to wash the ham and leave it in water for a good 3-4 hours. If you don’t, the meat will be so salty. So basically you wash the ham with your hand, leave it in the water. Then you wash it with your hands again. Oh, and yes you have to take the plastic off in order to do this. My ham had a layer of fat on one side and on the other side a checkered carving. I removed the layer of fat, leaving just a thin layer behind, and made an incision in the checkered patterns to make them more defined.

A full baked ham with ham sliced, garnished with thyme sprigs, and roasted carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms as side dish.

Best Baked-Ham Recipe
Prep Time
4 hrs 5 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs 10 mins
Total Time
8 hrs 15 mins

This best-baked ham recipe is my signature Christmas dish that I just had to share. It takes a while to make, but it’s very easy and super delicious.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 smoked ham with rind bone in
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup runny honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Thyme sprigs garnish
  • Parchment paper
  • Foil
  • Instant-read thermometer
  1. Fill your sink with water and “wash” the ham in it (without plastic packaging) or add the ham in a bowl with water. Let it sit for 3-4 hours to remove the saltiness.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  3. Place ham in large roasting pan. Wrap the ham completely with parchment paper and then cover ham and roasting pan with heavy-duty foil. Seal the edges tightly. Bake ham the ham till the thermometer registers 145°F.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, boil the vinegar until reduced to about 1 tablespoon and remove from heat. Melt the butter with the thyme and add it to the vinegar. Whisk in honey, molasses, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  5. Remove ham from oven and increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Discard parchment paper and foil. Peel off and discard any rind or fat from ham, leaving a thin layer, 1/4 inch, of fat on ham. Score the other side (the top) on top of ham in a checkered pattern without cutting too deep.
  6. If there is no liquid in roasting pan, add 1 cup water so the glaze doesn’t stick and burn on the pan. Brush ham with half of the glaze and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Brush again with remaining glaze and bake until glaze is deep golden-brown, about 30 minutes more.
  7. Remove from oven and let it cool off before serving. Garnish with some thyme sprigs

A full baked ham with ham sliced, garnished with thyme sprigs, and roasted carrots and potatoes as side dish.

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