5 Ingredient Easter Ham with Cola-Pineapple Glaze

Chow on 03.23.10
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Easter is coming right around the corner, and I know that some of you are intimidated by the thought of cooking a whole ham. I've got a secret for you...it's insanely easy and just about foolproof.

Ham usually comes in a couple different sizes, a whole ham (like this) half-ham or ham steaks. What they do have in common, is that they're all fully cooked already. All you are doing is warming up the ham, and the best way to do this is slowly in the oven, and then brushing on a glaze and returning it back to the oven at high heat to caramelize.

When you're buying ham, look for "Ham with Natural Juices" or just plain 'ol "Ham." There are several grades of him, and it all has to do with how much water is injected (which keeps it moist). Ham labeled "with water added" or "ham and water product" in the lower quality, and and I don't recommend. There's so much water added to the ham that it becomes tasteless and its texture spongy. Here's a good article about the ham grades.

The best part of Easter ham is that it's cheap! Look - a 11 1/2 pound ham for $31!! This will feed 20 people.

The first thing you want to do, is to take off the plastic wrap inside the plastic wrap. Yes, sometimes there are two layers of plastic, and the thin membrane-ish layer can be easy to miss.

Now take a sharp knife, and score diagonally all-around in one direction:

And then the other direction to create diamond-shaped scores. It will look pretty once it's cooked, but it will also help release some of its fat and also help the glaze stick:

Place the ham inside a roasting pan that's just a couple inches bigger than the ham:

Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cola and 1 1/2 cups of grape juice:

That's it. Nothing else needed for right now. Cover  With tin foil, and put it in a 275F oven. 15 minutes per pound.

In the meantime, let's make the Cola-Pineapple Glaze. In a small sauce pot, add the 2 cups brown sugar:

The remaining 1 cup grape juice and 1 cup cola:

The juice of the can of sliced pineapple (Reserve and pineapple for another use. We just want to the juice.)

And life it simmer for about 20 minutes you get a nice thick sweet glaze.


Okay, now back to the ham. Once it's finished it's slow 'n low warming up in the oven, it will look like this:


See the scoring that we did? Oh....pretty. Now's the time to crank you oven to 425F - as the oven comes to temperature, we're gonna glaze the ham.


Here we go! Brush on the sticky sweet cola-pineapple glaze... go-ahead, give that ham some cola-lovin' all over.


Pop it back in the hothothot 425F oven for 15 minutes and voila!


Deliciousness. You have NO IDEA how much self-control it takes not to just sneakily peel off those crispy sweet diamonds of skin.

I want.

knees weak. help.


Let the ham rest for a good 15 minutes before carving (and in the meantime, you can return the glaze to the stove to warm up for serving). 


Absolutely perfectly pink.

So, with 5 ingredients and about $40, you can feed 22 people.

Or just feed 4 people and have a ton of leftover for other delicious ham-tastic recipes. There's plenty of them, like:

Ham Stromboli

Ham and Potato Pancakes

Ham Cheddar Fritatta

Ham and Egg Enchiladas






Cola-Pineapple Glazed Ham

This is a recipe that I've adapted from Shelisa's Mom (thanks mom!) There's only 5 ingredients and this recipe couldn't be any easier. I'm working with the National Pork Board to create recipes that are super-simple and easy enough for tonight's dinner!

11-12 pound bone-in ham with natural juices
2 1/2 cups grape juice, divided
2 1/2 cups cola, divided
20-ounce can of sliced pineapple (you'll need both the juice and the pineapple)
2 cups brown sugar
Let the ham stand at room temperature for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Set the rack at the lowest position. Rinse and pat dry the ham. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the ham in a criss-cross pattern. Place ham in a roasting pan. Pour just 1 1/2 cups of the cola and 1 1/2 cups of grape juice into the pan and add additional water if necessary to bring the liquid level to 1/2 inch. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil. Roast in oven for 2 3/4 to 3 hours (about 15 minutes per pound) or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 100 degrees F.
While the ham is cooking, prepare the glaze. Combine the remaining 1 cup grape juice, 1 cup cola, the juice from the pineapple (reserve the pineapple slices for later) and the brown sugar in a small sauce pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes, until it becomes thick and glossy. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use (as the glaze cools, it will thicken up, making it easier to brush on the ham).
Take the ham out of the oven when it reaches the first internal temperature of 100 degrees F. Turn the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the ham with about 1/4 of the glaze all over. Use toothpicks to stud the ham with the sliced pineapple, if desired. Once the oven comes to temperature, return the ham, uncovered to oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the liquid is bubbly and the ham has turned to a nice, deep golden brown. The internal temperature of the ham should be 140 degrees F. Remove ham to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
Return the remaining glaze to the stove on medium-low heat to warm the glaze up for serving. Carve and slice the ham, drizzle a bit of the cola glaze on each plate.
Serves 22 to 24