Knowing how to cook a spiral ham with homemade maple brown sugar glaze in the dutch oven is essential to any cast iron cook’s repertoire. A show-stopper as a holiday dinner, and easy enough to make for Sunday supers. This dish will have you in hog heaven!
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What is a spiral ham
A true spiral ham is pork butt. Though often called the shoulder, it really is the rump and has a bone in it. This bone helps to hold the meat intact as it cooks, and lends itself well to flavoring spiral ham leftovers like Split Pea Soup.
How to cook a spiral ham
A spiral ham can be cooked in a dutch oven, a deep skillet , or a roasting pan (not cast iron). The size of your tool will depend upon the size of your ham. For a nine pound spiral ham like the one in this recipe, you’ll need at least a 5 quart dutch oven or 12-inch deep skillet .
How long to cook a spiral ham
Most store-bought hams are precooked. So what you’re really doing is just warming it back up and caramelizing the glaze on the outside. Bake your spiral ham at 250F for 15 minutes per pound, uncovered for the first half and covered for the second, for best results. Bake until the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer reaches 140F.
Keeping your ham from getting dry
The key here is low and slow, as well as moisture locking. My secret to success is a low oven 225-275F, uncovered for the first half of the allotted time, and covered with tinfoil the second half.
When to glaze a spiral ham
You’ll only need about 20 minutes for the glaze to set and caramelize on the spiral ham. So wait until your ham has reached 140F internally, remove from the oven, glaze, and set back in the oven for 20 minutes.
How to glaze a spiral ham to perfection
Baking it in a dutch oven, the juices will collect at the bottom. When removing the ham to glaze it in the final 20-30 minutes, I remove the juice with a baster as much as possible. Then glaze and return to the oven uncovered.
How to cut a spiral ham
Spiral hams come precut into horizontal slices around the bone. When they’re done cooking, cut from top to bottom and the slices will come off easily.
How much spiral ham per person
A serving of ham is 6 ounces per person. This recipe for the 9 pound ham will serve approximately 22 according to serving sizes. However, this includes the bone weight as well as the assumption that you and your guests can keep yourselves limited to just one slice. I know I can’t!
What to serve with spiral ham
Ham is a pretty hearty meat and often have some sort of honey or maple glaze on them to make them sticky sweet. So the best pairings are going to be more on the warm or citrus side to keep the ham the star of the show. Blanched broccoli, pureed butternut squash, dinner rolls, a winter salad, or a lite carrot soup are all great choices.
Spiral ham leftovers
One of my favorite things about large cuts of meat such as pulled pork, holiday ham, or Thanksgiving turkey is the leftovers. One day to cook a bunch of meat easily to be enjoyed in quick dishes for the rest of the week. One day of waiting for meat to cook low and slow means a week of fantastic flavor filled foods cooked up quickly for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Ham and Cheese Frittata
- Split Pea Soup
- Baked Ham and Cheese Pasta
Dutch Oven Spiral Ham
- 5 quart dutch oven or larger
- sauce pot
- pastry brush
- turkey baster
- knife or kitchen shears
- Cutting board
- instant-read thermometer
- 9 pound spiral ham
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 250F. Remove the ham from its packaging and drain liquid. Transfer to a dutch oven.
- Place in the oven and bake for half of the allotted time (15 minutes per pound). Then remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil, and place back into the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.
- While the ham cooks, make the glaze. Add all the ingredients to a saucepot and whisk over medium-low heat until combined.
- 20 minutes before the ham is fully cooked, remove from the oven. Using a turkey baster, remove as much liquid as you can and dispose of it. Using a pastry brush, pour or brush the glaze onto the ham and coat completely. Return to the oven for the final 20 minutes to seal the glaze.
- Remove from the oven again and let the ham rest in the dutch oven for 15-20 minutes. Cut and serve.