The Best Cooking Method For A Thicker Glaze On Baked Ham

Food is often one of the best parts of the holiday season, and that's especially true for baked ham. Like turkey, whole ham can be roasted, though it's also well-suited for brining, smoking, deep-frying, and even grilling (via Furious Grill). Its characteristics are sweet, tender, and slightly crisp on the outside, enhanced further by adding rubs or glazes.

As Recipe Tips explains, one benefit of glazes is their shiny coatings on the exterior of foods. Brown sugar-glazed carrots, galaxy-glazed cakes, and unique pastries with an egg wash on top are all popular examples. When it comes to ham, glazes are also used as a flavor booster, especially since many sweet ingredients can be combined to make a glaze, such as brown sugar, honey, fruit, and marmalade, per this separate Recipe Tips source. And if that's not enough, glazed hams are typically more tender and moist.

One of the biggest pitfalls of glazing a ham involves adding the glaze too soon. As Food Network notes, the sugars within the glaze are prone to burning, so if you add it to the ham during the first stage of cooking, you may end up with burnt glaze. Some glazes also end up thin and runny, though starch is the usual fix to thicken this up, per Eating Expired.

Luckily, we've got a tip that will thicken up ham glaze without burning it, and it only takes a few minutes.

Heat up that oven broiler for a thickened glaze

First, it's probably a good idea to refrain from cooking the whole ham under the broiler. That's because the exterior of the ham will likely cook much faster than the interior, as noted by Recipe Tips. Thus, there is an implication that when the dry heat starts cooking in the middle of the ham, the exterior will either overcook or burn. 

That said, we can use the broiler to thicken a ham glaze in a pinch. MasterClass explains that after the ham is cooked, add the glaze over it, then position it under the broiler (make sure it's preheated). A shiny, thickened glaze should be achieved in two or three minutes. As always, watch the ham carefully, so the glaze doesn't burn; broilers are notorious for taking foods from cooked to burnt in an instant.

So, when dinner calls for a whole baked ham, remember to use the broiler for a shiny, thick, and flavorful glaze that will wow your guests.