Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham

4.64 from 22 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Recipe for the most delicious Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham – sweet, crunchy, salty, and completely addictive with a subtle smoky flavor! 

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week – and be sure to tag @sweetcsdesigns on social media – I love to see your creations!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Don’t want all the extras in a recipe post? We provide a skip to recipe button in the top left corner, as well as a clickable table of contents, just below, to help make this page easier to navigate.

We add lots of tips in our recipe – so you can make this dish, understand why it works and what each ingredient means to the flavor of a recipe. I also answer questions my friends and family have asked about my recipes, to help home cooks of any skill level better understand the processes we use and why!

Bourbon Sweet Glazed Ham

Bourbon molasses glazed ham is a festive and flavorful dish that combines the smoky sweetness of molasses with the rich, oaky notes of bourbon to create a deeply aromatic and enticing glaze. The glaze caramelizes beautifully on the surface of the ham, creating a sticky, glossy coating that enhances the natural savoriness of the meat.

This dish is often studded with whole cloves before baking, infusing the ham with spicy undertones that complement the sweetness of the glaze. Ideal for special occasions, bourbon molasses glazed ham is a show-stopping centerpiece that pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes, making it a versatile and beloved choice for gatherings. You cant count the calories on this one but see nutritional facts at the bottom of the recipe card. This ham is my family’s favorite for Christmas Dinner!

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it on a bed of greens

How to Make Glazed Ham

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Bourbon or whiskey (2/3 cup) – Bourbon adds a rich, oaky depth with subtle vanilla and caramel notes, enhancing the complexity of the glaze’s flavor profile. You can add as much as a cup bourbon to add more kick.
  • Clover honey (1 cup) – Clover honey introduces a light, floral sweetness that balances the robust flavors of the glaze, adding a smooth, mellow layer.
  • Molasses (1/3 cup) – Molasses brings a dark, bittersweet intensity to the glaze, contributing to the rich color and depth of flavor with its smoky undertones.
  • Orange marmalade (1/2 cup) – Orange marmalade offers a zesty, fruity brightness, cutting through the richness of the glaze with its citrusy tang and subtle bitterness.
  • Whole bone-in smoked ham (11 lb) – A whole bone-in smoked ham provides a succulent, smoky base that absorbs and complements the sweet and aromatic glaze, enhancing the overall dish. The glaze will be enough to cover up to a 16-pound ham.
  • Whole cloves (1/8 cup) – Whole cloves infuse the ham with their warm, aromatic spiciness, adding a hint of exotic flavor that punctuates the sweetness of the glaze.

Use this Method to Make the Ham:

Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, lightly boil bourbon, honey, molasses, and marmalade over low heat for 15 minutes- stir to prevent burning while bubbling. Set aside.

Prep Ham. Place the ham in a roasting pan, fat side up. With a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern across the whole ham. There may be up to an inch fat to cut through. Stud whole cloves across the whole ham.

Bake. Spread half of the bourbon glaze over the ham and roast on the rack in the bottom third of the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins – 3 hours, uncovered, until ham reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Place the remaining baste in a bowl and spread additional bourbon mixture on ham as it cooks. Tent ham with foil and let ham stand for 20 minutes before slicing.

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it on a rack

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Glazed Ham

Selecting the Right Ham

  • Type: Choose a bone-in ham for more flavor and a natural guide for slicing. Spiral-cut hams are convenient but can dry out more easily, so they require careful glazing and basting.
  • Size: Estimate about ½ to ¾ pounds per person for a bone-in ham to ensure there’s plenty to go around.

Scoring the Ham

  • Lightly score the ham’s surface in a diamond pattern, making shallow cuts. This increases the surface area for the glaze to adhere to and allows the flavors to penetrate deeper into the meat.

Room Temperature Start

  • Allow the ham to sit at room temperature for about 1-2 hours before cooking. This step helps the ham cook more evenly.

Low and Slow Cooking

  • Cook the ham at a low temperature (around 325°F) to keep it moist and tender. A slow cooking process helps prevent the exterior from drying out before the interior is heated through.

Basting and Glazing

  • Apply the first layer of glaze about 30 minutes before the ham is done, then baste it every 10 minutes until finished cooking. This builds a rich, caramelized crust without burning the sugar in the glaze.

Adding Liquids

  • Place a small amount of water, apple juice, or bourbon in the bottom of the roasting pan and cover the ham with foil for the majority of the cooking time. This creates a moist environment, reducing the risk of drying out.

Rest Before Serving

  • Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it stays moist when sliced.

Customize Your Glaze

  • Feel free to tweak the glaze ingredients to suit your taste. Adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves can introduce a warm, festive flavor.

Use Leftovers Creatively

  • Plan for leftovers by thinking of creative ways to use them, such as in sandwiches, soups, or breakfast dishes. Ham is versatile and can add flavor to many recipes. Try making hot Italian sliders or ham and cheese sliders – yum!

Safety First

  • If using a glaze with alcohol, be cautious of potential flare-ups when opening the oven or if applying the glaze near an open flame.

FAQs

What type of ham should I use for a bourbon molasses glaze?

Opt for a fully cooked, bone-in ham (either spiral sliced or unsliced) as it provides the best flavor and texture, and the bone enhances the taste while ensuring the meat stays moist.

How do I prepare the ham before applying the glaze?

Before applying the glaze, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern to allow the glaze to penetrate deeper into the meat. If using an unsliced ham, consider studding it with cloves for added flavor.

Can I make the bourbon molasses glaze in advance?

Yes, the glaze can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Gently reheat it before brushing it onto the ham to ensure it’s easy to spread.

What bourbon is best for the glaze?

Use a bourbon you enjoy drinking. A mid-range bourbon offers a good balance of flavor and cost, providing the glaze with a nice oakiness without being overpowering.

Can I make this recipe without alcohol?

Yes, for an alcohol-free version, substitute the bourbon with apple juice or apple cider and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to mimic the depth of flavor.

What can I do with leftover ham?

Leftover ham is versatile and can be used in sandwiches, soups, omelets, casseroles, and more. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

How do I know when the ham is ready to serve?

Since most hams are pre-cooked, you’re essentially reheating it. Aim for an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) when checked with a meat thermometer.

How can I prevent the ham from drying out during cooking?

Keep the ham covered with foil for the majority of the cooking time, only removing it to apply the glaze towards the end. This helps retain moisture and prevent drying.

Can I mix up things up?

Yes, you can add brown sugar, mustard, or use dark brown sugar to add more molasses kick. I also like to add pecans for a pecan glaze for a fun kick.

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it on greens

What to Serve with Ham

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and buttery, with a hint of garlic to cut through the sweetness of the ham.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Their slight bitterness and crispy edges offer a great textural and flavor contrast. Try these baked ranch Brussel sprouts.

Sweet Potato Casserole: With a hint of cinnamon and a marshmallow or pecan topping, this dish harmonizes beautifully with the molasses glaze.

Green Bean Almondine: Fresh green beans sautéed with slivered almonds, providing a crunchy, nutty complement.

Apple and Walnut Salad: Crisp apples and walnuts tossed in a light vinaigrette can add a fresh, crunchy contrast to the meal.

Cornbread Stuffing: A slightly sweet yet savory side that pairs wonderfully with the ham’s glaze. Try this sausage cornbread stuffing.

Butternut Squash Soup: A smooth, creamy soup that can serve as a warm and comforting start to the meal. Try this recipe.

Cranberry Sauce: Its tartness and slight sweetness can cut through the richness of the ham, refreshing the palate. I love this recipe.

Scalloped Potatoes: Thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy sauce offer a decadent and satisfying side.

Sautéed Greens: Collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard sautéed with garlic provide a peppery bite that complements the sweet glaze. Or try these Chinese style green beans.

Try these recipes next:

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it on greens

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham Recipe

If you love this easy bourbon molasses glazed ham recipe as much as I do, please give it a five star review and help me share on facebook and pinterest! 

a glazed ham with cloves stuck all over it on greens

CONNECT WITH SWEET C’S!
Be sure to follow me on social media and get in on all the fun!

Only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table? Sign up for my 30 minute dinner plans direct to your inbox!
Find and shop my favorite products in my Amazon storefront here!

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week – and be sure to tag @sweetcsdesigns on social media – I love to see your creations!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Glazed ham recipe
Print

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham

Delicious Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham – sweet, crunchy, salty, and completely addictive with a subtle smoky flavor!
Course Ham
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas ham, main dish, pork, whiskey ham
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 818kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 cup clover honey
  • cup molasses
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 11 lb whole bone-in smoked ham fully cooked, unsliced
  • cup whole cloves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat bourbon, honey, molasses, and marmalade over low heat for 15 minutes- stirring a bit to prevent burning.
  • Set aside.
  • With a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern across the whole ham.
  • Stud whole cloves across the whole ham.
  • Spread half of the bourbon glaze over the ham and roast for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, uncovered, until ham reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees.
  • Baste occasionally with additional glaze as ham cooks.
  • Tent ham with foil and let ham stand for 20 minutes before slicing.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 818kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 90g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 4513mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g

Click to watch the recipe being made below:
[mv_video sticky=”true” aspectRatio=”16:9″ key=”csr94pc04iqtctkrzeij”]

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Jeanne says:

    Hi there! I just went back to start my grocery list for Easter and I think your recipe and I don’t see it on this page. On my Pinterest page , I see the ingredient list, but that’s it.

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      Hey Jeanne – I had a weird plugin go wonky, it should all work now!!!

  2. Dad Whats 4 Dinner says:

    Okay I’m hungry.Pinned! Thanks for sharing with us at #Throwback Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you bring to the party this week.

  3. Morgan @ Managing Mommyhood says:

    I was just telling my hubs how I was craving a glazed ham! This looks awesome!

  4. Audrey@That Recipe says:

    What a beautiful ham! And the flavors sound fabulous together. Thanks for sharing on the #HomeMattersParty . I hope you will join us again next week.