Glazes for ham tend to focus on either the sweet or the savory in order to offset the salty and sweet taste of ham. You’ll find numerous recipes for glazes for ham, many on the Internet and still more in cookbooks. If you’re used to the same glaze each time you prepare ham, it can be fun to try other glazes for ham to change the taste of your final product.
Many glazes for ham rely on a sugar source, frequently mixed with sweet spices. For ham glazes consider honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, applesauce, orange juice or a combined variety. Cloves are some of the standard choices for studding a ham or spicing up glazes. Other sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger can flavor up a glaze and give it extra taste and interest.
Perhaps one of the most unusual glazes is the cola glaze. This combines cola, either ground or prepared mustard, cloves and brown sugar. Many love this modern glaze for ham. You can add to it by baking the ham covered with pineapples or cherries for extra flavor. You could instead try cherry cola. Though cherry is not a common flavoring of meat in the US, cherries are very common as meat flavoring in German cooking.
Sugar glazes of many types can have savory spices added. In the above cola glaze, mustard offsets the sugar. Many glazes for ham have mustard added, or may use pepper, or even chili to give the taste more kick. Sometimes a ham glaze may be combined with an acid like pineapple, lemon juice, orange juice or even vinegar. Semi-sweet plums or cranberry juice are good choices too.
Some glazes for ham are more savory and aren’t particularly sweet. People may choose to merely glaze the ham with Dijon mustard, or any yellow mustard. You can use any mustard of your choosing, and you might try some hot and spicy varieties for more taste. Usually, you do need at least a small amount of sugar to get the “glazed” look. If you don’t like table sugar, maple syrup or honey, consider an apple or pineapple juice and mustard glaze.
Some hams, especially those that are spiral spiced come with their own glaze, usually in powdered from. You may reconstitute this with a bit of water or orange juice, depending on the instructions. If you’d like something different, skip the commercial glaze and make your own. It will usually taste fresher, and better than powdered and reconstituted glazes.