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spiral ham on a platter
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3.60 from 5 votes

How to Cook a Spiral Ham

How to cook a spiral ham is an easy recipe to bake in the oven for your family's next holiday dinner.  It's a perfect low carb meat for Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.  This savory ham is moist and juicy, and is not sweet.  It's easy to make this crowd favorite with all the pro tips in this recipe!
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 22 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best baked ham, how to cook, spiral ham
Servings: 26 servings
Calories: 437kcal
Author: Brooke


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced and separated into rings
  • 15 small garlic cloves peeled
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 10 pound spiral ham
  • curly parsley for garnish


  • Move the oven rack to the lowest position in the oven, this will allow the meat to be in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 275°F, and remove all the packaging from the meat.
  • Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat and saute the onion until soft while stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic cloves and saute for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Transfer the onion and garlic to the roasting pan and add the fresh thyme sprigs and the bay leaf.
  • Deglaze the skillet with ¼ cup of unsalted chicken broth.  Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden turner.  Pour the liquid from the skillet into the roasting pan, then pour the rest of the chicken broth into the roasting pan.
  • Place the meat cut side down on top of the onion slices and cover tightly with foil.
  • Cook at 275°F for 12 minutes a pound or until a meat thermometer reads 140°F.  A 10 pound spiral ham would take roughly 2 hours.  Uncover the ham during the last 30 minutes. (If you want to apply a glaze, check recipe notes for recipe ideas and instructions.)
  • Remove it from the oven and tent with foil.  Let the ham rest for 20 minutes so the juices can redistribute.
  • Remove the sliced onion and garlic cloves from the roasting pan and place in a serving bowl.  Pour the pan juices in a bowl and skim the fat off.  Use the pan juices to baste the sliced ham after it has rested.
  • Serve the meat with the cooked onions and garlic cloves, spiced applesauce, a homemade mustard sauce, or gravy.


  • Want more flavor? Use bone-in instead of boneless.
  • Want to cut down on baking time? Let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour to increase the internal temperature.
  • Need moisture? Add 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth to the roasting pan, place a shallow pan with water on the oven rack, or use an oven bag.
  • Should I use a meat thermometer? Yes, insert it the thickest part of the meat.  You'll want a reading of 125-140°F.
  • Why tent with foil?  The internal temperature will continue to rise 5-15 degrees, and the juices will redistribute.  Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • If you want to make a glaze, mix the ingredients together in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, reduce to simmer until it thickens like honey then remove from the heat. Rewarm the glaze over low heat if it thickens too much when it cools.
  • How to make a homemade glaze: Choose ingredients from the 5 categories.
  • Sweet: Light brown sugar for a neutral taste, dark brown sugar for a stronger taste, honey, maple syrup, strained marmalade or apricot jam
  • Tangy: Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar
  • Liquid: Orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, apple cider
  • Warming Spices: cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon
  • Savory Spices: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ancho chili powder, sage
  • If you want to apply a glaze, increase the temperature to 400°F during the last 20 minutes, brush the first glaze all over and in between the slices.  Cook for 10 minutes, then apply the second glaze.  Apply the third glaze, after it's cooked. To get the glaze to caramelize, put the meat under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn't burn. (We need not use a glaze for this recipe.)


Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 2077mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 2mg