Why You Shouldn't Use The Glaze Packet That Comes With Ham

Whether it's an annual holiday feast or an ordinary Sunday lunch, ham acts as the perfect centerpiece to the table. Often packaged pre-cooked, ham is an easy source of protein for feeding a crowd, as all you have to do is cook it until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit (via Southern Living). From there, all that's left is to brush on the sweet glaze, slice it, and serve it.

The sticky glaze that coats the skin plays an important role in a ham, as its sweetness gives the perfect balance to the meat's natural saltiness. Because most hams come with a glaze packet that typically contains added sugars and preservatives, all you have to do is add water and let it cook until thickened (per MyRecipes). However, sometimes the easy route does not yield the most delicious results. 

Seeing that most hams come pre-cooked and only require a simple pop in the oven, putting a little love into a glaze made from scratch is the least we can do, right?

Homemade is better

According to MyRecipes, a homemade glaze is much tastier and will yield fresher results. The honey glaze packets that come with the ham are meant to save you time and make your life easier, but making a glaze from scratch is quite simple and worth the extra time when you taste the elevated difference. From a maple-mustard glaze, Dijon-marmalade glaze, and blackberry-mustard glaze, to a pineapple-prosecco glaze, mustard-molasses glaze, and even a coffee-pepper jelly glaze, myrecipes creates unique combinations to help you change it up each time. In fact, Jody Williams, owner and chef of Buvette in NYC, perfected her glaze recipe by reducing apple cider vinegar, Brandy or cognac, and mustard into a velvety sauce that makes the surface of a roast ham glisten.

While the ham packet doesn't provide as much authentic flavor, that doesn't mean you should throw it away. A user on Facebook asked for advice on what to do with her leftover glaze packets instead of letting it go to waste, and another user commented back, saying they like to incorporate it into their oatmeal. This sparks ideas for many things that need an extra oomph of brown sugar and honey, such as candied yams, streusel toppings for muffins or cobblers, or even incorporating it into the dough of your favorite cookies.