Everything you need to know about how long it takes to cook the best spiral ham in the oven is all right here. These simple steps ensure it is moist, juicy, & ready on time. No guesswork, just the most fantastic holiday ham you ever tasted.
This easy recipe for baking spiral ham will be better than an expensive one you buy at Honey Baked Ham. Follow the simple steps & have a great meat thermometer on-hand to ensure your ham is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. In a few hours brunch, lunch, or dinner is ready.
This spiral ham recipe is perfect for just about any holiday meal. It is traditionally served at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Serve spiral ham with delicious sides like mashed sweet potatoes & sauteed Brussels sprouts with bacon & brown sugar.
What is great about the information I will share with you and the easy recipe at the bottom is any beginner can cook a spiral ham. You do not need to be a gourmet chef or an experienced home cook to roast a ham in the oven. It takes little prep and can come out seriously impressive with minimal effort - but let's keep that our secret!
Prepare the Glaze for Spiral Ham
The glaze for a spiral ham is the final touch that makes it the most popular way to cook & enjoy ham. Most spiral hams you purchase come with a packet that you can use. You can also make a homemade one.
The recipe card below includes a homemade sweet & savory brown sugar mustard glaze that is fantastic on any spiral ham. With any glaze, it should be prepared about 30 minutes before the ham is ready to come out of the oven. Do not prepare it too early.
Homemade Glaze for Ham
For the glaze, combine 1 cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup orange juice (pineapple juice can be substituted) & 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Next, add ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, & a pinch of cloves. Stir to combine & set aside.
This is enough glaze for an 8-10-pound ham. Make more if you have a larger spiral ham. For another yummy glaze, try my recipe for Pineapple Glaze for Ham.
HINT: Wondering when to add the homemade glaze or packet to your spiral ham? Do NOT put the glaze on before warming it up. If you put it on at the beginning the sugars will burn and be overcooked.
The glaze should only be added in the final 20-30 minutes of cooking. This will ensure the glaze comes out crackling, crunchy, & sweet on every slice of your ham.
What Size Ham to Buy?
Wondering if you need a medium or big ham for the holiday? Follow my easy guide on how much ham to serve per person.
Keep in mind how many sides and if you are offering a buffet with other meats and main courses. If you are serving this for Thanksgiving, follow my guide for how long to cook a turkey breast for the ultimate protein combination.
What Temperature to Cook a Spiral Ham?
This recipe is for preparing, glazing, & simply warming up a spiral ham at home. To accomplish this, heating it through is best at a low temperature. This prevents the exterior of the ham from drying out before the interior meat is warm. This is the secret to the best hot and juicy ham you ever had.
Preheat your oven to 325°. Anything higher than that will dry out your ham. Place the spiral ham in a deep-rimmed baking dish or roasting pan. Cover the ham tightly with foil to seal in the juices as it roasts in the oven.
How Long to Cook a Spiral Ham
Most spiral hams you buy at the store or butcher are between 8 and 12 pounds. They come fully cooked and are not raw like other hams. Check the package to be sure you have a pre-cooked spiral ham before following these directions.
At 325°, count on heating your spiral ham for 10-12 minutes per pound. Bake it in the oven covered with foil to help retain the moisture. You do NOT need to add water or broth to the pan.
When Will I know the Ham is Done?
You want the interior to read 130° on an internal meat thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, it is time to add the glaze & get it under high heat to brown & caramelize! The additional cooking time with the glaze will bring the ham to a final 135°. See that step below.
Here is a quick guide for how long to cook spiral ham per pound at 325°. The math is done for you! I recommend checking the internal temperature about 10 minutes before it may be ready to ensure it is not overcooked.
- 8# spiral ham - 80-95 minutes
- 9# spiral ham - 90-105 minutes
- 10# spiral ham - 100-120 minutes
- 11# spiral ham - 110-130 minutes
- 12# spiral ham - 120-145 minutes
Most spiral hams came with a bone. These bone-in hams help create that easy spiral cut around it that we all recognize. There may be boneless options too. The above times are for a bone-in spiral ham. If yours is boneless, I recommend cutting the cooking time by 10-15% depending on the size of your ham roast.
Bake Ham with Glaze
Once the spiral ham has reached 135° on a meat thermometer, it is time to put on that yummy sweet glaze. Remove the ham from the oven and uncover it. Now is the time to up the temperature on the oven to 400°.
Grab the glaze packet or make the recipe above for a homemade glaze. I like to divide glaze contents in half. Then brush the ham all over with ½ of the glaze.
Place the uncovered ham back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Do not baste or spoon juices over the ham during this stage. You will be tempted to do so to keep it juicy but all it will do is cause the glaze to thin out and rinse or wash off.
After 10 minutes add the remaining glaze. Brush this on and create a second layer of that yumminess. The layering I find builds flavor and once it is a bit cooked & crispy, the second brushing seems to stick and adhere better to the ham. It's a bummer when that glaze just slides off!
Leave ham uncovered to caramelize the exterior surface and bake until the ham reaches an internal temperature of around 135 degrees F, approximately 10 more minutes. The ham will then be ready to rest & during that time, it will reach the desired 140°.
How to Slice & Serve Spiral Ham
Spiral hams are presliced which makes it easy to slice so that it almost falls apart. Pull or slice the spiral ham into large and small servings so everyone can enjoy as much as they want.
Serve the ham immediately when it is warm and at its juiciest. Here are some great side dishes & dessert ideas for your holiday meal. This includes gluten-free, low-carb, & healthy recipes to serve with ham.
Storing Spiral Ham Leftovers
Leftover ham stores well in the refrigerator. Place slices and pieces in an air-tight container. If yours has a bone, no need to remove it before storing but you can. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Ham also freezes well. Place your leftovers in an air-tight container. You can store it with or without the bones. I prefer removing the meat from the bones before freezing. It saves freezer space but it also helps it defrost faster and more evenly later.
To defrost the leftover frozen ham, place your container in the refrigerator. Let it thaw for 1-3 days, depending on the amount. Enjoy cold in a sandwich or salad. Leftover ham is also great in soup, casseroles, or for breakfast with eggs.
Reheating & Using Leftover Ham
Reheat leftover ham in an oven or toaster oven preheated to 325°. Place slices in an oven-safe dish and warm until it is your desired temperature, 5-15 minutes depending on how much ham you are warming.
Here are some great recipe ideas for enjoying ham leftovers. Whether you have slices, pieces, or just the bone, try these recipes and enjoy every bit of your tasty spiral ham.
- Pot Pie Soup - add chopped ham to this amazing creamy soup that tastes like classic comfort food.
- Slow Cooker Collard Greens - add the ham bone or pieces to tender collard greens cooked in the CrockPot.
- Breakfast Sliders - instead of sausage, use sliced ham in this yummy Hawaiian rolls slider recipe.
How Long to Cook a Spiral Ham
- roasting pan
- 8-12 pounds spiral ham
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Remove the packaging and glaze packet, if included, from the spiral ham. Place it in a deep-rimmed baking dish or roasting pan. I suggest placing it with the bone & the cut side down. This allows the exterior of the ham to protect the exposed part from drying out. This also ensures the ham is ready for brushing the glaze on when it comes time.
- Cover the ham with foil. Place in the preheated oven and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°. It takes about 10-12 minutes per pound - see the guide above for time estimates.
- Just before the ham is done - prepare the glaze. You can make it according to the store-bought packet instructions that came with your ham or make your own. Above is a recipe for a homemade glaze that I love. It makes a lot which allows for twice the brushing per the steps I shared above and in this recipe card.
Glaze the Ham
- Remove the ham from the oven and uncover it. Now is the time to up the temperature on the oven to 400°.
- Grab the glaze packet or make the recipe above for a homemade glaze. I like to divide glaze contents in half. Then brush the ham all over with ½ of the glaze.
- Place the uncovered ham back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Do not baste or spoon juices over the ham during this stage.
- After 10 minutes add the remaining glaze. Brush this on and create a second layer of that yumminess.
- Leave ham uncovered to caramelize the exterior surface and bake until the ham reaches an internal temperature of around 135 degrees F, approximately 10 more minutes. The ham will then be ready to rest & during that time, it will reach the desired 140°.
- Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing & serving. ENJOY!