Bourbon-Molasses Glazed Ham on a table in a Studio
(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
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Bourbon-Molasses Glazed Ham

Most store-bought hams are precooked and don’t need anything additional to be eaten as is, but adding an earthy, sweet glaze lends a gorgeous sheen and a welcome boost of flavor. Bourbon tends to have a hint of sweetness, so the molasses and brown sugar play off that quality, while mustard, herbs and spices add savoriness.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.


measuring cup
Servings: 12-16
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch fine salt
  • One (4-pound) cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed


Time Icon Total: 1 hour 45 mins
  1. Step 1

    Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

  2. Step 2

    In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved and the glaze has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Using a sharp paring knife, score the ham by making crosshatch cuts all over the surface about 1/2 inch deep and 1/2 inch apart, creating a square or diamond pattern. Place the ham cut side up in a baking pan, add the water to the bottom of the pan and brush the ham all over with about a quarter of the glaze.

  4. Step 4

    Bake the ham, brushing with more glaze every 15 to 20 minutes until all of it is used up and adding more water to the pan if it gets dry, to prevent the glaze from burning, about 1 hour 30 minutes total, or until the ham is nicely browned and caramelized.

  5. Step 5

    Remove the ham from the oven and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (4 ounces), based on 16 with a boneless ham

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    8 g

  • Cholesterol

    65 mg

  • Fat

    9 g

  • Protein

    25 g

  • Saturated Fat

    3 g

  • Sodium

    1614 mg

  • Sugar

    6 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson