How to cook Maple Glazed Ham in an electric roaster oven for a sweet and sticky holiday dinner your guests will remember.
The irresistible smell of a ham roasting in the oven is sure to bring back happy holiday memories. Whether you’re making it for Easter, Christmas, or Sunday dinner, ham is one of the easiest and most popular special occasion meals.
My favorite recipe for special occasions is maple glazed ham in an electric roaster oven. The maple glaze adds just enough sweetness to bring out the spiral ham’s savory, smoky flavor.
Why Use An Electric Roaster Oven
An electric roaster is basically a smaller version of a regular oven, powered by electricity. I always think of it as a cross between a Crock-Pot and a toaster oven. The main reason to buy an electric roaster is to roast a Thanksgiving turkey, but it is useful any time you need extra oven space.
I love to use my electric roaster for holiday meals because it’s essentially an extra oven. By cooking this maple glazed ham in a roaster oven, I can reserve space in my regular oven for other holiday favorites, like potatoes, rolls, cakes, pies, or roasted vegetables.
You can use it for much more than holiday ham or turkey:
- Cooking two whole chickens at once
- Making large amounts of baked potatoes, stew, chili, meatballs, ribs, roasts, sauces, hams, casseroles, pies, or pretty much anything for a large group.
Which Electric Roaster is Best?
I recommend the 22-Quart Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid, which can cook a turkey up to 26 lbs. This is an updated version of the roaster I own, and also slightly larger. I cannot imagine needing anything bigger than this.
I’ve owned my electric roaster for over five years, I use it a few times a year, and it still pretty much looks and works as if it’s brand new.
Some models come with removable serving dishes – something I really think is worth buying. They’re great for serving at parties, and even if your roaster doesn’t come with serving dishes, you can buy them separately. Prices for electric roasters generally range from $30 to $130, depending on size and quality. I swear by my electric roaster, but there are a few pros and cons to consider:
- The extra oven frees up cooking space for other delicious dishes
- Food, including spiral ham and large roasts, cook faster than in a traditional oven
- The smaller ovens are low maintenance. You can set it and forget it (with a thermometer)
- An electric roaster is pretty big and can take up kitchen space. I keep mine in the original cardboard box in the basement when I’m not using it.
How To Buy A Spiral Ham
Maple Glazed ham is one of the easiest and most impressive holiday dishes. At the grocery store, look for a high-quality ham that’s large enough to feed your crowd.
In fact, spiral hams are already fully cooked when you purchase them. So you’re not really cooking it, just heating it through. And in this case, adding a sweet homemade maple ham glaze. So after you’ve bought the ham, you’re halfway to the finish line.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying your holiday ham:
- Get a fully cooked ham, also known as a city ham. Check for the words “fully cooked.”
- Choose a bone-in, spiral sliced ham. These hams are easy to serve and look beautiful on a platter.
- Wondering what size spiral ham to buy? Generally, each person will eat 1/3 to 1/2 pounds.
- Sometimes holiday ham comes with a glaze packet. For this recipe, you will be making your own male ham glaze. However, instead of throwing away the glaze packet, you can just add it to your homemade glaze.
How To Use a Probe-Style Food Thermometer
A probe-style food thermometer really helps when cooking a large piece of meat like maple glazed ham. I have a Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Professional Digital Cooking Thermometer, and it works perfectly. If you want the most accurate, top-of-the-line probe thermometer, I also recommend the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm, rated #1 by Cook’s Illustrated.
To use the thermometer, insert the probe into your roast, and set the alarm to go off when it reaches the desired temperature. You won’t have to lift the roaster lid or unwrap the ham to check the temperature, so the ham stays nice and juicy. How to know that your spiral ham is done? The thermometer should register 140 degrees F.
Preparing and Heating the Ham
The key when cooking maple glazed ham in an electric roaster is to heat the ham all the way through and keep it from drying it out. Here are some helpful tips:
- Tightly wrap the ham in foil to keep moisture inside.
- Heat slowly in a moist environment. Your electric roaster is a smaller space than a regular oven, so it keeps moisture close to the meat as it cooks.
- Using a food thermometer to monitor the ham’s internal temperature
You’ll apply some of the homemade maple glaze when the ham is 3/4 of the way done cooking, then again when the ham is almost finished. You can also turn up the heat and uncover the ham during the last few minutes of cooking to caramelize the maple glaze if you like.
How To Cook a Maple Glazed Ham
Here are the easy step-by-step instructions for my maple glazed ham recipe:
- Start by pouring 2-4 cups of water into the bottom of the electric roaster. Use enough water to cover the bottom of the roaster to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Place the roasting rack inside.
- Lay down a few sheets of aluminum foil on a countertop or work surface, overlapping so the juices from the ham will not leak out in between the sheets of foil. Use heavy-duty foil. You want enough foil to completely cover the ham. If you have regular size foil, you will probably need 3 sheets. If you have jumbo oversized foil, 2 sheets will be plenty.
- Carefully take the ham out of its packaging. If there are accumulated juices inside the packaging, try to save those to pour back onto the ham before roasting.
- Place the ham on its side, so the cut side is facing you. This is important so that when you pour on the glaze, some of the glaze falls between the ham slices for an extra flavorful bite.
- Lift the foil and wrap it around the ham, leaving the top open. Place the ham in the roaster on the roasting rack.
- Next, insert the thermometer probe in the center of the ham. Try not to touch the bone with the probe.
- Pour the juice from the packaging, if you have any, over the ham. Secure the foil so the ham is wrapped tightly, but leave it loose enough so you can open it later to pour on the glaze.
- Secure the lid on the electric roaster, making sure it’s secure. The wire for a probe thermometer is thin and flexible, so you will still be able to close the lid. Turn on your electric roaster to 275 degrees F. Set the thermometer to alert you when the ham reaches 140 degrees F.
- Once the oven reaches 275 degrees, the ham will take 15-20 minutes per pound to heat through. An eight-pound ham takes just over 2 hours to heat through.
- Try to time your cooking so the ham finishes about half an hour before you want to serve it. If you have to keep the ham warm for up to two hours, that’s fine, but it can dry out. Be sure to keep it covered
Ham Glaze Recipe with Maple Syrup
Preparing the maple syrup glaze for your ham requires only a few simple steps:
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, Dijon mustard, and allspice (recipe below). If you don’t want to use allspice, you can use cinnamon or dried ginger. Allspice is one of my favorite ingredients, so I use it every chance I get!
- Optionally, if you want to use the glaze packet that came with your spiral ham. Simply pour the glaze packet into the saucepan. You’ll probably need to add some water too, just use the amount suggested on the packaging.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the glaze mixture to a boil. Boil the maple ham glaze for two minutes, being careful not to let it boil over. This recipe makes enough glaze for a 6- to 8-pound ham. If yours is bigger than eight pounds, make 1 1/2 or two times the glaze recipe. You can also halve the recipe for smaller hams.
How To Glaze Spiral Ham
- Once 3/4 of the estimated cooking time has passed, or your ham reaches an internal temperature of 100 degrees F, it’s time to pour on the glaze! My 8-pound ham took 1 1/2 hours to reach this point.
- Remove the lid from the roaster, open the top of the foil wrapping, and pour 2/3 of the glaze mixture over the ham. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture for later.
- Re-wrap the ham and put the lid back on the roaster.
- Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees, use a pastry brush to brush the remaining glaze over the ham.
- Re-wrap the ham and continue heating at 275 degrees F until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
- An optional last step is caramelizing the maple glaze on the outside of the ham. To do so, open the foil and turn up the roaster to 425 degrees. Roast the ham at 425 degrees with the lid on and the foil open for ten minutes. This helps make a crisp, dark caramelized crust on your maple-glazed ham, but it will dry the ham out a little bit. I do this because I like a bit of a “crust” on the outside.
This table provides a quick reference guide, summarizing key steps in the ham roasting process:
|1. Buy Spiral Ham
|Choose fully cooked, bone-in, spiral sliced; 1/3 to 1/2 pounds per person.
|2. Use Food Thermometer
|Insert probe into ham, set alarm for 140°F.
|3. Prepare and Heat
|Wrap ham in foil, heat slowly in roaster, apply glaze at 3/4 done and near finish.
|4. Cooking Process
|Add 2-4 cups of water in roaster, depth of about 1/4 inch, place rack inside.
How To Serve Maple Glazed Ham
I love to present the impressive maple glazed ham on a platter. You can garnish the dish with lettuce, grapes, or sliced oranges for color. After removing the ham from roaster, there will be juices and glaze left behind in the foil.
Don’t let this maple syrupy gold go to waste! Pour the liquid over the ham for moisture, flavor and shine. I don’t recommend using all the liquid, because it might be too much sugar, salt, and water to your holiday feast.
Enjoy making a stunning maple glazed ham in an electric roaster oven! It’s a beautiful, classic holiday dish, and no one will know how easy it is!
More Easy Holiday Recipes
Now that you have a simple honey ham recipe as your centerpiece, here are my favorite side dishes to serve alongside maple glazed ham in an electric roaster:
- Ham and Cheese Scones
- Honey Roasted Carrots with Garlic & Thyme
- Christmas Deviled Eggs
- Candy Cane Amish Sugar Cookies
Maple Glazed Ham in an Electric Roaster
For the ham:
- Fully cooked bone-in spiral sliced ham, 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup 125ml maple syrup
- 1/2 cup 100g brown sugar
- 1/2 cup 125ml apple juice
- 1 heaping tablespoon 20g Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon 1g allspice (or cinnamon, or ground ginger)
- Electric roaster oven
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Probe-style food thermometer
- Pastry brush
- Pour 2-4 cups water in the electric roaster oven, so the bottom of the roaster is covered to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Place the roasting rack in the bottom of the roaster.
- Lay 2-3 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on a countertop or work surface, overlapping the edges. Use enough foil to cover the entire ham.
- Remove the ham from its packaging, reserving any juices. Lay the ham on the aluminum foil on its side, with the cut side facing you.
- Lift the foil and wrap it around the ham, leaving the top open.
- Place the ham in the roaster on top of the rack. Pour any juices from the packaging over the ham.
- Insert the food thermometer probe in the middle of the ham, trying not to touch the bone with the probe. Wrap the top of the ham tightly with the foil, but leave the foil loose enough that you can open it later.
- Secure the lid on the roaster, and turn on the roaster to 275 degrees F. Set the probe thermometer to alert when the ham's internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
- Heat the ham to an internal temperature of 100 degrees F (approximately 1 1/2 hours, depending on size). Meanwhile, make the glaze.
- Combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil glaze for 2 minutes.
- When the ham has reached an internal temperature of 100 degrees (approximately 1 1/2 hours), open the foil and pour on 2/3 of the glaze.
- Re-wrap the ham, and continue heating until it has reached an internal temperature of 120 degrees (approximately 30 minutes).
- Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining glaze on the outside of the ham. Re-wrap the ham and continue heating until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees (approximately 20 minutes).
- Optional: Open the foil and turn the roaster up to 425 degrees F. Bake the ham at 425 degrees for 10 minutes to caramelize the glaze.
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