Brown Sugar Baked Ham

I thought I’d take a break from the sweet stuff today, and give you at least one savoury recipe for Easter too.  Although I have been thinking way more about the sweet stuff this year.  Can we say chocolate addiction?  Yes, I think I have one.

But today I have baked ham for you.  I’m actually posting this on a bit of a whim.  I baked a ham for supper, and right before serving it thought, hey, I should post this tomorrow, that’s a good Easter meal!  So this is going to be short and sweet today!

I’ve made this recipe a number of times, and I really don’t know that I will be in any hurry to try another ham recipe again.  It’s that good.  It always turns out perfectly, and it is super easy to do.  Although it does take a little time.  I saw this recipe two years ago on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, and was intrigued by it.  The method of cooking is so different in that you boil the ham for several hours in a vinegar/water solution and then bake it for another hour.  To be honest I didn’t think it could possibly be that great, but since she had never led me wrong before (read: I have loved every one of her recipes that I’ve tried!), I decided to give it a go.  And have not made ham any other way since.

Brown Sugar Baked Ham

It’s so good.  So today, when I (on a whim) decided to bake a ham, I tossed it in the pot, started adding the 1:2 vinegar:water solution, and promptly ran out of vinegar before my ham was half covered.  Since I’m not one to change my plans because of something inconsequential like not having the ingredients, I kept going.  And discovered that the 1:2 ratio is really more of a guideline, then a hard and fast rule.  This ham had a 1:5 ratio of water to vinegar and it was just as good as ever.

Also, since I was changing things anyways, I kept going and added some orange juice to the ham when baking it.  Just cause.  And it was delicious.  So now I’m going to be torn when I make ham again, follow the original recipe or not?  Either way it makes amazing ham though, so it really doesn’t matter.  If you’re looking for a new baked ham recipe to try out this Easter, give this one a go, you won’t be disappointed!

Brown Sugar Baked Ham

Brown Sugar Baked Ham

Note: The original recipe calls for a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to water. I have made it that way and it was amazing, but this time I used 4 cups of vinegar and then added water until the ham was covered by about an inch of liquid, which was 20 cups, so a 1:5 ratio. The ham was still just as amazing. So start with a one to two ratio, and if, like me you run out of vinegar, or have a huge pot, it will work just fine if you need to add more water! Also, make sure to use a bone in cut of ham, and not a spiral cut ham, as that would turn out really dry using this method.

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6-9 pound (2.5-4 kg) bone-in ham (half ham, not a spiral cut ham)
2-4 cups vinegar
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
1/4 cup orange juice


  1. In a large pot place the ham and cover it with a vinegar/water solution (see note) until the ham has about an inch of liquid over it. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium so that it isn’t splashing everywhere and allow to boil for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. My ham was 4 kg and I boiled it for 2 1/2 hours which was perfect, all the meat came off the bone easily.
  2. Take the ham from the pot and pull the meat off of the bone, shredding it with two forks, and discarding the fat and bones. It should shred very easily. Layer half the shredded meat in a large baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, dry mustard and orange juice. Drizzle half of this mixture over the shredded ham. Layer the other half of the meat on top of this and drizzle with the rest of the brown sugar mixture. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. At this point you can refrigerate the ham until you’re ready to bake it, up to a couple of days ahead of time.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the ham for one hour and enjoy!


Source: Slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe .



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    • stacey says

      Hi Lora, I haven’t tried it but I think it would work just fine, although it would change the flavour a bit. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

    • stacey says

      Oh, you need to Ashley – just think of the leftovers! Easy meals for a week! That’s my favourite part of making a giant ham or turkey – and seriously, it’s so easy, you can hardly even call it cooking! :) Thanks!

    • stacey says

      Me too! I generally don’t make a ham except around Easter, and not even necessarily for Easter Sunday, but I always want to have ham at some point this time of year! Thanks Erin!

    • stacey says

      I always make turkey for Easter, but my extended family is enormous and we would always have turkey and ham, so even when it’s just my little family these days I always feel the need to make a ham at some point around Easter time too! Thanks Taylor!

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