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Adam Richman's Flavor Bomb Ham

Adam Richman's Flavor Bomb Ham
Adam Richman's Flavor Bomb HamNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

When I was living in the South, holiday ham was a staple at my friends' homes. The smell of homemade ham always filled the house with the scent of the holiday and it was incredible. Some ham recipes go way too sweet with the coating on the ham, but this one has a bit of heat from red pepper and ginger, plus bite from the cloves if you add them. It also has some fragrant fruity notes from orange zest and pineapple juice.

Technique tip: Scoring the outside of everything from ham to squid to scallops creates a great amount of surface area for spices and sauces to penetrate, as well as great opportunities for crunch and texture to form on the surface.

Swap option: You can use apple juice or peach nectar in the sauce in the place of pineapple juice. Root beer is a great sub for the cola in this recipe.


  • 1 6-8 pound fully cooked ham
  • Whole cloves, optional
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes



Preheat oven to 325°F.


Place the ham, fat side up, on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan; score fat diagonally into diamonds and stud diamond sections with cloves, if desired.


Cook the ham for about 18 minutes per pound, until meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer registers 145°F.


Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, cola, pineapple juice, mustard, ginger, orange zest, red pepper flakes and cinnamon in saucepan; bring to a simmer and continue cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes until sauce is reduced and slightly thicker.


About 20 minutes before the ham is done, brush about half of the glaze evenly over surface of ham. Then about 10 minutes before the ham is done, spread remaining glaze over ham.


Ideally you're looking for a bit of a crunchy char around those diamond bits you scored on the surface.