Honey-Bourbon-Glazed Ham


During the holidays, there’s nothing quite like Honey-Bourbon-Glazed Ham for a mouthwatering culinary experience that tantalizes the senses and makes parties more memorable. Perfectly cooked, the ham has a mouthwatering blend of sweet and savory flavors, and the thick, caramelized glaze gives it a glossy shine that begs to be enjoyed. The rich, smoky appeal of whiskey and the golden sweetness of honey combine harmoniously in each soft slice to create a palate-pleasing symphony. Every mouthful of the glaze-coated ham is a culinary adventure, as its exquisite crust preserves its succulent flavor. The glaze is a masterwork in and of itself. The Honey-Bourbon-Glazed Ham becomes the focal point of a festive spread as the scents of the season fill the air.


  • One 18-pound, bone-in whole or spiral-cut smoked ham, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Place the ham in a large roasting pan and add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan with foil and bake the ham for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, basting occasionally with any accumulated juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 120°.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and cook over moderately high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until a lightly golden caramel forms, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly add the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, chile and orange zest; let sit for about 20 seconds, until fragrant. Carefully add the bourbon, soy sauce and honey. Return the glaze to a simmer and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the foil and brush the ham with the glaze. Roast for 30 minutes longer, glazing every 10 minutes, until the top is lightly caramelized. Transfer the ham to a platter and let rest for 15 minutes. Skim the fat from the pan juices and transfer them to a bowl. Serve the ham with the pan juices.

Equipment Required

A good convection oven is essential to achieving the ideal balance of caramelized glaze and luxurious suppleness. Using a professional-grade carving knife ensures that the ham’s rich flavors are showcased in precise, clean slices. Having a reliable meat thermometer is crucial to ensuring the ham is cooked to perfection. To guarantee equal cooking and glaze caramelization, use a robust roasting pan with a fitted rack. The ham is then delicately brushed with the delectable honey and bourbon mixture using a pastry brush, which adds a harmony of flavors that lifts the meal to the next level. Having these instruments at your disposal makes creating a delicious Honey-Bourbon-Glazed Ham a simple and delightful culinary project.

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