Learn how to cook a whole, boneless ham with the best glaze. It’s an easy option for entertaining because they come pre-cooked. All you do is add flavor.
It’s funny to me that ham can seem daunting to make since it almost always comes pre-cooked. Whether you’re cooking a whole, bone-in ham, or a boneless ham like this recipe calls for, all you’re really doing when you’re cooking ham is heating it through and adding flavor.
That’s why ham is so great for entertaining. You don’t have to worry about under or overcooking your meat, all of the hard work is done for you, you only have to do some finishing touches.
So, what is boneless ham?
Ham is pork that is cured or smoked from the leg of a pig. The big hams that you see with the bone in them are processed as they are. Boneless ham is typically pieces of the leg meat jelled together and wrapped in a casing. Kind of like a large, delicious piece of ham deli meat.
Why do you want to make boneless ham?
Boneless hams tend to be much quicker to cook (aka heat) and they’re easier to slice because they tend to be smaller, and there isn’t a bone to work around. While bone-in hams are sometimes spiral-sliced, which does make things easier, you do still have to work around that pesky ham hock.
So, if it’s your first time hosting a holiday meal, or you consider yourself to be more of a beginner cook, opt for a boneless ham. It’s much less hassle with plenty of meat to go around.
How do you cook a boneless ham?
This is the really easy part. All you have to do is set the ham in a baking dish with some water and cover it. It steams and heats in the oven for about an hour, I usually do 15 minutes per pound.
Now, you can stop right there. The ham is pre-cooked, as I’ve mentioned, and it’s totally safe to eat at this point. But, I prefer to add some flavor and texture with a glaze.
The glaze I use is very simple – some butter, brown sugar, orange zest, and spices. It gets brushed all over the ham in several stages, and in between each brushing, it goes back into the oven to caramelize.
When the ham has finished baking, you must rest it for a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing so it stays juicy. But the beauty of it is that you can serve it hot or cold and it will be lovely. Perfect for leftover ham sandwiches!
I'm Christine Pittman, a cookbook author and busy mom of two. My recipes are made from scratch, they're quick, and they're fresh. I started this website over 10 years ago and I'm delighted that over a million people now come to visit every month to try my recipes. Thank you for visiting and for joining me on this delicious journey!Find out more about me here.
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