How to Bake a Juicy Tender Ham

Baking a tender ham is a simple task if you follow these easy steps.

One of the best things about buying a precooked ham from your local grocery store is that baking it is so simple. You only have to heat it, making for less time in the kitchen — or more time to perfect your sides. An apple juice glaze gives the ham a subtle, sweet taste when added prior to baking the ham. Feel free to get creative with the glaze and put your own personal spin on the basic recipe below.

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A meat thermometer ensures the ham is heated to the ideal temperature. Any additional baking time, whether the ham is covered or uncovered, puts you in control of the tenderness. Soaking your ham in water before preparation also contributes to tenderness. Soaking is also a healthier choice because it helps reduce the amount of sodium consumed.


Step 1

Soak the ham in water the night before cooking. Drain water and trim fat and rind from the ham. Place the ham in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp. of ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon, 2 cups of apple juice, 1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger to a separate mixing bowl. Mix well.

Step 4

Pour half of the mixture over the ham. Insert a meat thermometer at least 1 inch into the ham. Bake the ham fat side up and uncovered for two hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Step 5

Pour the remaining mixture onto the ham. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let it stand outside the oven for an additional 10 minutes before carving.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 lb. fully cooked boneless ham, 33 percent less sodium

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 cups apple juice

  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

  • Cooking spoon

  • Meat thermometer

  • Aluminum foil