Chef John's Honey-Glazed Ham


  • ¾ cup water, or as needed
  • 2whole star anise
  • 12whole cloves, or more to taste
  • 1 (7 pound) country-style ham
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).


  • Step 2

    Pour water, star anise, and cloves into the bottom of a roasting pan. Place a roasting rack into the pan over the water, anise, and cloves; place ham on rack. Cut 1/4-inch deep slashes 1/2-inch apart lengthwise and crosswise across the top of the entire ham.

  • Step 3

    Bake ham in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Whisk brown sugar, honey, mustard, vinegar, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl until glaze has a thick, smooth consistency.

  • Step 4

    Brush glaze all over ham. Continue baking ham, brushing glaze on every 20 minutes, until glaze is deep golden and ham is heated through, about 2 hours 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F (54 degrees C).

  • Step 5

    Use a kitchen torch to heat the glaze on the ham until it is crispy and caramelized, 2 to 5 minutes.

  • Cook's Notes:

    If roasting a regular ham, bake until aninstant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).

    You can use any vinegar in place of rice vinegar, if desired.

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