Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham

5 from 42 votes
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With the festive season on the horizon, you should definitely have a delicious baked ham recipe up your sleeve, and this is it! This brown sugar mustard glazed ham is absolutely bursting with flavor and will be the ultimate juicy addition to your Christmas feast!

If you enjoyed my brown sugar mustard ham glaze recipe I guarantee you will fall in LOVE with this perfectly sticky brown sugar glaze too.

Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham in a gold line serving plate
Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham

What is Picnic Ham?

It seems to be a theme lately that I am giving you all new recipes thanks to my grocery orders being wrong! I did NOT order this type of ham in my last grocery order, just like I didn’t order alllll the celery that had me making my cream of celery soup lol! But hey, here we go with learning about another cut of pork!

Here’s the thing, picnic ham isn’t really ham. And it’s not just for picnics either (I spent a great many childhood years thinking this was the case!). Picnic “ham” is actually technically pork shoulder because it’s cut from the pig shoulder rather than the leg/hind. It’s a super-economical alternative for real ham (from the hind legs) and the word “picnic” refers to its common use in casual dining. There’s some useful info for your next foodie table quiz!

How to Make Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham

Follow these simple steps to bake this super juicy picnic ham with crispy charred edges and a mouthwatering glaze!

  1. Cover the ham in aluminum foil, place in the oven and bake until the temp reaches 145 F.
  2. To make the glaze, combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Then remove from the heat.
  3. Remove the foil (and the rind if you wish) and brush on the glaze (about half).
  4. Place the ham back in the oven at 400 F for 15 minutes and then brush the ham with the leftover glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the ham, slice, and serve!

close up Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham in a gold line serving plate

Getting the Glaze Just Right

Some of the key ingredients for the perfect baked ham glaze are brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey. I’ve gone for brown sugar and maple syrup with this recipe and the salty ham combined with the sweet glaze is literally heaven on the taste buds. You can add in some honey too if you like, or swap it in. I also used some yellow mustard, salted butter, garlic, cinnamon, and cloves.  I personally find that the mustard gives the ham just enough “tang” without being too overpowering.

You can use whatever spices you like really, but this mix always works best for me! My best tip with this one is to make sure you don’t keep the glaze simmering for too long. Otherwise, it’ll turn into a hard caramel as it cools, which makes it REALLY hard to slather onto the ham when you’re glazing. It’s best to lightly simmer and quickly remove it from the heat.

close up slicing Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham using fork and ham knife

What Side Dishes Work Best With Baked Ham?

Ham is so versatile there are any number of side dish options to choose from, but a few crowd-pleasers I like to go with are the BEST buttery garlic mashed potatoes and roasted garlic Parmesan Brussels sprouts! You could also opt for a salad and some dinner rolls on the side if you want something a bit lighter.

Leftover Ham is the BEST!

Use your ham leftovers in recipes like my split pea soup using the ham bone, ham and noodle casserole or my ham and mushroom crustless quiche for a great breakfast the next day! I usually chose a larger ham than I need because there is nothing like using the ham bone in soup and the meat from the ham to make one meal last for 3 or 4! Heck if you are super adventuresome, try my ham and kale lasagna!

Happy cooking!



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Picnic ham may not be the most common cut of ham to make, but this brown sugar glazed recipe yields a tender, juicy and easy to bake ham!


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Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Picnic Ham

Picnic ham may not be the most common cut of ham to make, but this brown sugar glazed recipe yields a tender, juicy and easy to bake ham!
5 from 42 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Main Course
Karlynn Johnston


  • one 4-5 pounds picnic ham
  • 1 cup water

Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

  • 1/4 cup melted salted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Baking the Ham

  • Preheat the oven to 325 °F.
  • Pour the water in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the ham, fat side up, into the roaster, then cover with aluminum foil.
  • Roast in the oven approximately 30 minutes per pound, r until the roast reaches temperature of 145 °F. Remove from the oven.

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • Combine the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat.
  • Discard the aluminum foil. You can remove the rind at this point, or leave it on. Score the top of the ham with knife, through the fat layer.
  • Brush 1/2 of the glaze onto the ham, making sure to get glaze into the cuts.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 400 °F. Place the ham back into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, Brush the ham again with the remaining glaze and return to the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes then remove the ham.
  • Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Leaving the rind on  while cooking helps keep the ham moist. The fat will melt under the rind instead of crisping up and drying out and will baste the ham will cooking.
  • When basting with the glaze, you can always remove the rind before basting, we always leave it on and just make sure to slice through to the meat layer.  

Nutrition Information

Calories: 106kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 52mg, Potassium: 33mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 142IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Vernita Hankins says

    can you use molasses instead of maple syrup, I don’t have maple syrup

  2. Andrea says

    This was my first time ever cooking a picnic ham, but my family LOVED it! The glaze was delicious, the ham was moist, and even my picky eater liked it. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

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