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Five 5-Ingredient-or-Less Ham Glazes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

I love to have fun with recipes by adding tasty twists to familiar foods. Here, ham gets five different 5-ingredient or less glazes to suit whatever flavor profile you're hoping to achieve.


Lemon Pepper Glaze
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
Easy pecan glaze
  • cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup honey
Pineapple Glaze
  • 16 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Kosher salt
Maple-Bacon Glaze
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Apple-Bourbon Glaze
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 small pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pre-cooked spiral ham, sliced on the bias again to create more sections


    For the lemon pepper glaze:

    In a large non-stick pan on medium heat add the olive oil and black pepper and steep until the oil smells and tastes like pepper, about 6-8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, honey, lemon zest and lemon juice to the same pan. Raise the heat until the mixture begins to simmer and slightly reduce. Remove from the heat and rest until it tightens a bit, about 2 minutes. Cut lemons in half and place in water in pan while reheating ham.

    For the easy pecan glaze:

    In a large non-stick pan on medium heat add the pecans and toss until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove the pecans to a plate and add the butter, paprika, and pumpkin pie spice to the same pan. Once the butter is melted and fragrant with the spices add the honey and pecans back in to the pan. Raise the heat until the mixture begins to simmer and remove from the heat. Just add glaze without the pecans for the first half of reheating, then add the pecans when you raise the heat.

    For the pineapple glaze:

    In a saucepot on medium heat add the crushed pineapple, orange juice, light brown sugar and rosemary. Steep and stir until the pot smells like rosemary. Remove the rosemary from the pot and discard. Taste the glaze and season with a pinch of salt and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

    For the maple-bacon glaze:

    Add bacon to a cold pan and turn on medium heat. Cook until crisp and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Chop once cool enough to touch and set aside. In the same pan add to the bacon fat the maple syrup, paprika, garlic and thyme. Stir to combine and cook until slightly reduced. For the first portion of reheating add half the glaze, then when you raise the heat add the bacon to the remaining glaze.

    For the apple-bourbon glaze:

    In a large pot add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, apple cider, and bourbon. Turn the heat to medium high and cook while stirring until the liquid reduces and becomes slightly thickened like a glaze, about 10-15 minutes. Add the butter and stir to melt. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

    For the ham:


    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lay out plenty of aluminum foil to wrap the ham and create a bed for it. Place the ham in the center of the aluminum foil and pull the sides up around the ham leaving the top exposed.


    Pour over half the glaze of your choice getting it in the spirals. Finish tightly wrapping the ham in aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan on a rack. Fill the pan with water, but do not touch the bottom of the ham.


    Cook in the oven until the internal temperature reaches about 140°F (about 15-20 minutes per pound), remember it is already cooked, you just need to bring it to temperature without drying it out.