Smoky and salty flavors from the ham with a decadent brown sugar maple glaze with toasted pecans on top make this Brown Sugar Pecan Maple Glazed Ham one of the very best I’ve made.
It’s unique, it’s incredibly delicious, and it’s perfect for any occasion you want something a bit different to serve.
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Brown Sugar Pecan Maple Glazed Ham Recipe
A friend of mine gave me a ham she had because her family wasn’t big on ham flavors. Me, LOVING ham, said, “thank you thank you thank you”.
So next came the preparation plans. I didn’t want to simply throw it in the oven and just bake it. I stood in front of my pantry for a long while and came up with this insanely delicious baked ham recipe.
I wanted something totally unique and super tasty of course. Brown sugar is a given with ham.. they’re best friends flavor-wise. How could I spin that?
We all know brown sugar, maple and pecans go amazingly well together. The flavors would be nutty, sweet, molassessy (HEY.. it SHOULD be a word!), and honestly, a PERFECT pairing with a salty smokey ham!
What Ingredients Do You Need?
- Ham: A quick word about ham. There are a variety of ham cuts you can buy for this recipe. For this post I used a Bone-In Picnic ham because it tends have more fat, and thus more flavor. See more information below about what kind of ham you might want to buy for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Pecans – Please use pecan pieces. Whole pecans won’t work as well with this recipe.
- Butter – I recommend using salted butter, but use what you have on hand.
- Chicken Broth or water
What Type of Ham Should I Buy?
- Leg Ham: The majority of the ham roasts that you can purchase in the grocery store are from the back end of the animal (the leg cuts). They are usually sold bone-in, smoked, and seasoned (brined). These cuts are typically slightly leaner than the shoulder cuts.
- Shoulder Ham: Also known as the Boston Butt. This is the cut that you would make pulled pork with, and it contains more fat – so usually more flavor. They will be more ‘forgiving’ of a cut to roast because of the higher fat content.
- Boneless Ham: Also called ‘old-fashioned ham’, aren’t an actual cut from the animal. These are made from quality smaller cuts of meat not big enough to sell as a whole roast and are pressed together to form the oval shape you buy them in.
NOTE: There is also the Spiral Ham that is available. This is typically a leg roast that has been pre-cut into easy-to-serve slices which is convenient. However, I do not recommend using this type of ham for this recipe as it’s very easy to overcook and dry out. However, if that’s what you have on hand you should use it. Just be mindful of the cooking time and follow the directions on the packaging.
Cooks Tip: Most ham cuts are smoked and fully cooked nowadays, but please read the label on the ham you purchase just to be sure what you’re dealing with. If the ham you purchase is not fully cooked, it will say so on the label. “Cook and Serve” usually indicates the roast is not fully cooked. “Heat and Serve” will be fully cooked and will indicate that on the label. Partially cooked ham will require a longer cooking time than the others, so it’s important that you consult your label on the ham you buy for the cooking time and temperature.
How to Cook a Ham Roast
Making this pecan glazed ham is quite easy by following the steps below. You’ll find even more detailed cooking directions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Cooks Tip: If you remove the packaging from the ham and it has a ‘netting’ material around it, be sure to remove it along with any other bone guard (a covering that is placed over the cut bone so it doesn’t pierce the packaging) before proceeding with the recipe.
Hopefully, the ham will have a fat cap (squarish-looking patch with skin and fat still attached to the ham). Most people might cut this away but please don’t remove it. It helps to keep the ham nice and juicy in the oven as it bakes and it’s normally not eaten when the ham is done roasting.
With a sharp knife, score a diamond or square pattern into the skin and fat, trying not to cut into the meat of the ham. If it happens, it’s not the end of the world… so don’t worry.
The scoring on the ham helps produce more surface area for the heat to render the fat, as well as the ham glaze to get into the meat as it roasts.
Place the ham into your roasting pan and add 1 cup of water or chicken broth.
Place it into a preheated oven and bake it, uncovered, until you reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. In the last half hour of baking, make up the brown sugar maple glaze.
Baste the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes or so. Be generous with the glaze as you’re only basting for 30 minutes or so. In the last 10 minutes of the basting, then sprinkle the pecan pieces over the top, making sure they get stuck in the sticky glaze. Continue roasting for the last ten minutes.
If you want a deeper, toasted, and caramelized look to the top of this awesome maple glazed ham, then broil it for a few minutes but keep a super close eye on the ham because the nuts and the sugar burn in the blink of an eye!
Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes. There will be juices at the bottom of the pan that are sweet and salty, and make a nice “au jus/gravy” to drizzle on top of the ham if you feel you want it even juicier- which is never a bad thing.
Need something to serve with this beauty? Try my Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Boats that echo the maple flavors in the glazed ham as does my instant pot creamy mashed potatoes with caramelized onions also. They’re a hit whenever I make those side dishes and take them to pot lucks and such.
The flavors in the maple pecan ham with the saltiness, the sweetness, and the nutty slight crunch from the pecans just set this main attraction apart from anything else you’ve had.
I hope you try this recipe, and when you do, please leave a star rating below, and comment about what you thought of it! I want to hear from you 🙂
Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by The Salty Pot today!
- 1 bone in ham, approx 6 lbs
- 1/2 c butter
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 c pecan pieces
- 1 c water or chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350
- Remove the netting from the ham if present
- Wash and pat dry
- With a sharp knife, score the fat cap deep enough to just go through the fat but not score the meat in a diamond or square pattern
- Place the ham in the baking dish and pour the water in the bottom
- Bake uncovered until for 30 minutes a lb or until the internal temperature reaches 145F
- In the last 30 minutes of roasting, make up your glaze. Combine the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup together in a saucepan. Melt and then begin glazing the top of the ham every 10 minutes.
- In the very last 10 minutes of roasting and the final baste, sprinkle the pecans over the top of the ham.
- If you desire a more caramelized top, quickly broil the top until you reach the desired color but watch as the sugar will burn very quickly.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 -12 Serving Size: 1/3 lb each
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 2020mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 44g