How To Cook A Ham Roast

If you are trying to figure out how to perfectly cook a ham roast, look no further! The ham is cooked in the oven with tangy orange juice and heated to the perfect temp with a golden, woody glaze of maple syrup and brown sugar. The caramelized outside combined with the orange juice keeps your precooked ham moist and delicious while reheating.

And if you are looking for the perfect side dishes for a ham roast, try my moist Cornbread Casserole or my long time family friend’s recipe for Green Bean Casserole!

Close up image of a ham roast being glazed

A precooked ham roast is a great way to save time during the holidays, especially when you are cooking for a large family or group of friends.

That being said, cooking one can be tricky! It is more convenient to have your ham precut, but it does cause issues with retaining natural juices. Spiral hams have a tendency to dry out very quickly when reheated incorrectly, which can kill a whole dinner. But, the good news is If you follow this recipe, your ham will come out tender and delectable every time.

Anyone who has ever cooked a spiral ham roast knows it can be difficult to achieve that perfect balance of crispy, caramelized skin and moist inner meat. It is not something you want to prepare without knowing what you’re doing! Luckily, we’ve got all the tips and tricks for making your holiday meal planning as easy as possible this year. Here’s how to heat and cook a precooked spiral ham roast in the oven without turning it into ham jerky!

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Ham Maple Glaze Recipe

  • The combination of the orange juice and maple glaze is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
  • Once you know how to reheat it, it’s a quick and easy process! The oven does all the work!
  • It’s the perfect centerpiece for a holiday meal, and everyone will love the crispy edges paired with tender meat.
Slices of Ham Roast on a Plate in front of a spiral cut ham and mashed potatoes

Equipment Needed To Cook a Ham Roast

  • Roasting pan
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Baster or pastry brush

Ingredients For Your Brown Sugar Maple Ham Glaze

  • Spiral cut ham (precooked boneless ham)  
  • Orange juice

Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Whole cloves (optional)
Ingredients for roasting a spiral cut ham

How To Cook A Ham Roast Without Drying It Out

Step one: Prepping Your Ham Roast

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. If there is a rind (hard skin) on the ham, remove that outer layer using a sharp knife.  Do not remove the fat layer.  
  3. Place ham in a shallow roasting pan – fat side up, cut side down.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut a diamond pattern into the surface of the ham (if you purchased a whole, um-sliced ham).  If you would like to use the cloves (these are optional), stick the whole cloves into the points of some of the diamonds on the ham. 
  5. Pour orange juice all over the ham.  Cover the ham roast tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven.

Step 2: Bake The Ham & Make The Brown Sugar Glaze

  1. While the ham is baking, make the glaze:  Melt butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and pepper  together at medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring until smooth.
  2. Bake the ham for 2½ hours.  Then remove the foil and brush some of the sweet glaze on the whole ham.
  3. Return the ham to the oven, uncovered.  Then baste it every 10 minutes for another ½ hour.  Baste the baked ham once more when you remove it from the oven.   
Step by Step Instructions of roasting a spiral cut ham with captions

Step 3: Serving Your Ham Roast

  1. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer.  For food safety, cook ham until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees fahrenheit.  
  2. Let the ham rest for a few minutes before creating thin slices and serving at your dinner table. 

What to Serve/Pair with Your Maple Syrup Glazed Roasted Ham

If you are making this spiral ham recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas you are going to want to serve it up with all the yummy traditional sides, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli casserole, and dinner rolls.

For your dessert table, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin fluff, caramel apple dump cake, pecan pie brownies, and a beautiful golden apple cider bundt cake!

Popular Substitutions & Additions 

  • You can also use this recipe as the foundation for maple bacon glazed ham! Just wrap your ham in bacon for extra moisture and flavor!
  • Don’t have maple syrup – replace it with honey or agave nectar.

How To Reheat & Store Spiral Ham

Best Way To Store Reheated Ham Roast

To lock in the moisture, you want to wrap your ham in aluminum foil as soon as possible after serving. This keeps it from air drying.  Do not let it sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. When you go to refrigerate it, seal it tightly in your foil and place it in a gallon Ziploc bag.

How Long Will Spiral Ham Last In the Fridge?

Spiral ham should last 4-5 days in the fridge. It is great for making leftover ham dishes like breakfast hash, omelets, white bean, and ham soup, and of course, cold cut sandwiches!

Can I Freeze Ham Roast Once it’s been reheated?

Yes, you can freeze a spiral ham even after it’s been reheated. You’ll want to let it come to room temperature (inside your foil wrap) to avoid freezer burn. It will last 2 months in the freezer. 

How To Reheat Your Spiral Ham For the Second Time Without Drying it out

Once you’ve created the perfect ham, you don’t want to dry it out.  So, just like the first time we cooked the ham, we want to add some moisture.  For best results, reheat the ham in a 325-degree oven. 

The first step is to place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan.  Place ½ to 1 cup of cold water in the bottom of the pan (you don’t want the water level to reach the ham).  Wrap the whole thing tightly with aluminum foil.  Heat only until heated through.  (It will take about 15 minutes per pound of ham.)

To reheat the leftover ham in the microwave, the best way is to cover the ham slices with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Only heat until warmed through.  Start with 30 seconds on high heat.  Then it is a good idea to turn the ham over before heating again.  

Roasted Ham in a pan with glaze and an sliced orange

Spiral Ham FAQs

How long do I bake a precooked spiral home for by the pound?

If you have a large or small ham, you will want to bake it according to the weight. You will need about 15 minutes per pound of ham roast at 325 degrees F.

How do I know my ham roast is heated all the way through?


A good way to know when your ham is done cooking is by inserting an instant read thermometer in the center of your spiral home to check for doneness. You want the internal temperature of your ham roast to be at least 140 degrees F before you take it out of the oven.

How do I thicken up my glaze?  

If you find that after adding all ingredients together, your glaze is too runny – simply mix in a tablespoon of cornstarch into a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of cool water until the cornstarch dissolved. Add it to your warm glaze, stir until it thickens to your desired consistency, and remove it from heat as soon as the mixture starts boiling again.

Which is better, bone-in or boneless spiral ham?

Bone-in spiral ham tends to hold its moisture better. It is also preferred by many for the flavor it adds to your ham roast. Boneless spiral hams are easier to carve, making them great for holiday meals where you have a lot of people coming over at once and need more servings fast! I the end, the preference is up to you!

I would prefer to do this ham in the slow cooker – how would I adjust this ham recipe?


The only thing you will need to adjust is the cooking time.  Cook the ham at low heat for 4 – 5 hours. (Lower temperatures will help to keep the ham moister.)

My ham came with a glaze – can’t I just use that?


That’s up to you. I don’t find the glaze packet that comes with the ham to be very good. I really like to make this simple glaze as I think it adds so much extra flavor and will give you a lovely juicy ham.

I don’t care for orange juice – is there a good substitute?


You could use pineapple juice for an excellent alternative. You may even want to add some pineapple rings (use toothpicks) to the outside of the ham.  

I think I’ve had baked ham that included cloves – how would I include them?


If you would like to add cloves, just place them into the points of some of the diamonds that you cut into the ham.  

Could I use white sugar instead of brown?


Yes, substitute the same amount.  I just prefer the more caramel flavor of the brown sugar in this recipe but white sugar will work in a pinch.

I can’t find a spiral-cut ham –  what other type of ham could I use?

There are so many types of ham that it is hard to know which is the right ham.  I think a spiral ham is just easier to serve but most types of smoked ham, or precooked ham, will work well in this recipe, as you are cooking the ham with a brown sugar ham glaze until it is a safe temperature.  Popular choices are shank end, butt end (or butt portion), hind leg, or shoulder roast.

a landscape image of oven baked, roast ham

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How to Cook a Ham Roast

This spiral ham roast is cooked in the oven with tangy orange juice and heated to the perfect temp with a golden, woody glaze of maple syrup and brown sugar. The caramelized outside combined with the orange juice keeps your precooked ham moist and delicious while reheating.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked Ham, Ham Dinner, Ham Roast, Holiday Dinner, How to Cook a Ham, How to Roast a Ham
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 23kcal

Ingredients

Ham Ingredients

  • 1 8-10 pound spiral cut ham (precooked boneless ham)  
  • 1 cup orange juice

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1/2 cup  salted butter
  • 1/2 cup  cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 10 whole cloves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • If there is a rind (hard skin) on the ham, remove that outer layer using a sharp knife.  Do not remove the fat layer
  • Place ham in a shallow roasting pan – fat side up, cut side down.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut a diamond pattern into the surface of the ham.  If you would like to use the cloves (these are optional), stick the whole cloves into the points of some of the diamonds on the ham.
  • Pour orange juice all over the ham.  Cover the ham roast tightly with aluminum foil. 
  • While the ham is baking, make the glaze:  Melt butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and pepper  together at medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring until smooth.
  • Bake the ham for 2½ hours.  Then remove the foil and brush some of the sweet glaze on the whole ham.
  • Return the ham to the oven, uncovered.  Then baste it every 10 minutes for another ½ hour.  Baste the baked ham once more when you remove it from the oven.
  • Check the temperature with a meat thermometer.  For food safety, cook ham until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let the ham rest for a few minutes before creating thin slices and serving at your dinner table.

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @allthingsrachelk or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles
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Sweet Tea and Sprinkles Hello

I'm Rachel.

Photographer, Food Stylist and Recipe Developer behind all the colorful, yummy recipes you see here!

I’m a people-person who loves brownies, lives off dry shampoo, adores my little family of three and constantly tells myself I will go to bed early, start working out tomorrow and promises to one day drink more water than sweet tea! 

I don’t create culinary masterpieces but I can make a casserole and doctored up box cake recipe with the best of them! If you love easy, semi-homemade recipes that remind you of your favorite comfort foods and look like a million bucks, this is the place for you friend!

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