How to Make the Perfect Holiday Ham

Take a break from turkey this holiday season and prepare a perfectly glazed ham instead

Alexis Murphy
The sweet, sticky glaze of our holiday ham debunks its ham and cheese sandwich reputation.

Miss Piggy, cover your ears, because we can’t get enough of holiday hams. While our friends from the The Muppet Christmas Carol go on and on about that goose getting fat in one of their most popular Christmas songs, the Cook editors at The Daily Meal have been day-dreaming about  slicing into a big, fat, bone-in holiday ham come Christmas Day.

How to Make the Perfect Holiday Ham Slideshow

Although a traditional staple of Christmas dinner for centuries, holiday ham has caught some flak over the years, even from people besides Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. Ever hear a relative say, "We’re just not ham people"? Don’t worry, we have, too, and we’re here to set the record straight. The pinkish meat gotten a reputation as a processed, boring meat usually found between two slabs of bread with some cheese, but we’re happy to tell you that a roast holiday ham is a whole different story.

Juicy and sweet, a roast holiday ham gets its flavor from its thick outer layer of fat and a sweet, citrusy glaze that gets slathered on while baking. While there are many different techniques for preparing a ham, and a variety of recipes for the glaze, we constantly turn to one of our favorite recipes, which was passed along to us by a family member. To be as thorough as possible, we headed south and spoke with executive chef and owner of Trax Restaurant & Café in Pennsylvania, Steve Waxman, to develop our recipe even further. Waxman, who smokes and roasts all of his own meats, is a firm believer in a bone-in roast ham, and has his own secrets for adding flavor to the meat by using spices and a glaze. With our recipe and Waxman’s tips, we’ve perfected the ultimate ham recipe for you to enjoy this holiday season. Our friends The Muppets are right when they say that Christmas is coming, but put the goose away this year and prepare our perfect holiday ham.  

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce


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