Mama Shirley Main Dishes




You Need to Try This Wonderful Brown Sugar Molasses Baked Ham Recipe

You Need to Try This Wonderful Brown Sugar Molasses Baked Ham Recipe

There isn’t much that’s better than a delicious baked ham. It’s on many families' tables at Christmas and Easter. The truth is that ham is great at any time. It’s perfect for a Sunday dinner and it can make for great leftovers. You don’t want to make just plain ham, though. Ham is much better when you choose a tasty glaze for the dish. Try this and you’ll want to make it as soon as possible.

Ham Glaze with Molasses and Brown Sugar

Molasses and brown sugar are a natural combination. They go great in oatmeal, as you may already know. But they are also a sweet glaze for a ham that makes the meat taste even better. A ham glaze with molasses and brown sugar is the combination you never knew your ham needed.


But sometimes, too much sweetness can be a little bit cloying. This recipe addresses the too-sweet problem by adding bourbon and orange juice, which makes the flavor of the glaze more complex and interesting.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy. You don’t need to be a seasoned cook to get this dish to turn out right. You can even feel confident to host a holiday dinner for a crowd when you use this simple recipe. It only takes a few minutes to whip up the glaze and the rest just bakes up in the oven with the meat. Because most hams are pre-cooked, the hard part has already been done for you.

Cooking Ham in The Oven

Cooking a ham in the oven is not difficult. You just heat the oven to 350 degrees and let it cook for two hours. Even though most hams are pre-cooked, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to check that it’s cooked to a proper temperature. The bare minimum it should be cooked to is 140 degrees.

Even though hams are so easy to cook, many home cooks are still intimidated by it. But there’s no reason to worry. It really is as simple as just cooking it for two hours in the oven. No extra work is required to make sure it turns out right.

Are you wondering about the difference between ham and pork? Ham refers to a cut of meat, much like steak or chuck roast. Ham comes from the rump or rear legs of the pig. Pork is the general word for any cut of meat that comes from a pig. Other cuts of pork from other parts of the pig include bacon, short ribs, and pork roasts.

Most hams that you buy at the grocery store are pre-cooked, which technically means they’re safe to eat already. But experts advise heating it to at least 140 degrees just to be on the safe side, and also because it tastes better when it’s hotter.

However, if you get a fresh ham that isn’t pre-cooked, the rules change. Make sure you cook a fresh ham that wasn’t pre-cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Fun fact: the USDA recommended cooking temperature for all pork was 165 degrees several years ago, but they have since relaxed the rules. We tend to be more concerned about food safety, so we'd rather err on the safe side anyway.

Ham is one of those dishes that has a reputation for providing a big “wow” factor. This recipe delivers a big bang for your buck. It will be the star of your holiday dinner.

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our Swiss Steak Recipe and our Dude Ranch Beans Recipe.

How Long Will Ham Last?

One of the things about ham is that it often leaves leftovers. This is great for a family looking to stretch their dollar! Depending on the size of your family, ham leftovers could last for just a day or two or a few days. It's important to understand how long you have to eat your ham leftovers before they run the risk of spoiling.

Generally, it's recommended to consume refrigerated ham within 3-4 days. Leftovers should be stored in a sealed, airtight container. This will help preserve freshness. Make sure you don't leave your cooked ham sitting out on the counter or table. If the ham sits out for longer than two hours, it should be discarded.

If you want your ham to last longer, you can freeze it. Frozen cooked ham will stay good in the freezer for one to two months. Be sure to store your ham in a freezer-safe container, sealed. Watch out for freezer burn! Thaw your ham in the fridge before reheating. Note that large portions of ham will take a while to thaw, and should be placed in the fridge 48-72 hours in advance.

Before reheating leftover ham, check for any signs of spoilage. The first indicator is usually a bad odor. The smell of bad meat is often overpowering, so it should be hard to miss. Other indicators of bad meat include an off color, a slimy texture to the meat, and the presence of mold. Even if only part of the ham is affected, the entire thing should be discarded.

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Brown Sugar Molasses Baked Ham Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)


  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Total Time: 135 Minutes


Ham is much better when you choose a tasty glaze for the dish. Try this and you’ll want to make it as soon as possible.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 smoked ham, 6-8 pounds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking dish and set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and molasses in a small saucepan and melt over low heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the bourbon, orange juice, mustard, and cloves. Mix well.
  4. Remove any skin and fat from the ham and place ham in the baking dish. Make 1/4 inch cuts in the ham in a diamond pattern.
  5. Pour the glaze over the ham.
  6. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the ham registers 140F or 165F, basting every 15 minutes with the glaze. Internal temp will be determined by whether the ham was pre-cooked or not.
  7. Remove the ham from the oven and cool in the pan.
  8. When ready to serve the ham, remove the fat from the top of the drippings and remove the whole cloves. Serve the sauce with the ham.
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 120 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: ham glaze with molasses and brown sugar, cooking ham in oven

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