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Pineapple Ham Glaze Recipe

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This is the best ever pineapple ham glaze recipe! Brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and warming spices combine to make an incredibly delicious sweet and sticky glaze that caramelizes on your holiday ham perfectly. Plus, it can be made ahead of time and takes only 20 minutes to make!

Pineapple Ham Glaze

This pineapple ham glaze recipe is so good, it’s seriously the best glaze you’ll ever put on your ham! If you’re looking for the perfect simple pineapple ham glaze for your Christmas ham, Easter dinner, or a special Sunday meal with your family, then look no further.

This pineapple brown sugar glaze for ham has the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and subtly spiced flavors. Just brush the glaze onto the ham, pop it into the oven, and watch it transform into a caramelized, finger-licking good entrée!

The base is made with pure pineapple juice, which gives it a little tart and tropical twist. It’s sweetened with brown sugar and honey, the Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar add a tangy kick, and the ground cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper add warmth and depth.

What’s even better is that this ham glaze with pineapple juice is perfect for any cut of ham, whether it’s a spiral cut, boneless, or ham slices. This glaze is super versatile and will work on oven baked ham, air fryer ham, or Instant Pot ham

This recipe makes a generous amount of glaze. There’s enough to coat the ham with a sweet, sticky, and caramelized layer, and some extra to drizzle over your ham at the end. You’ll love this quick and easy ham glaze recipe!

Ingredients

Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice gives it a sweet and tart flavor that pairs perfectly with ham. The best pineapple juice to use is 100% pure, without any added sugar or other flavors.

Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor. It also helps the glaze stick to the ham.

Honey: Honey adds sweetness to the glaze and pairs perfectly with the fruity notes of the pineapple juice.

Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard adds a tangy kick to the glaze, balancing out the sweetness and adding depth to its flavor. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a dash of tang to the glaze and enhances its other flavors.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch acts as a thickener in the glaze, giving it the perfect consistency to cling to the ham.

Ground Cloves, Cinnamon, and Black Pepper: These warming spices add warmth and depth to the glaze.

The labeled ingredients for pineapple ham glaze.

How To Make Pineapple Ham Glaze

Combine the ingredients: Start by adding the pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and spices to a saucepan. Stir the mixture together until well combined. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Heat the mixture: Place the saucepan over heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar has fully dissolved.

Prepare the cornstarch slurry: In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together to create a slurry. 

Adding corn starch and water to a small bowl, and then mixing together to create a slurry.

Thicken the glaze: Once the pineapple mixture is boiling, slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Lower the heat and continue to cook the mixture until the glaze has thickened to your liking.

Adding pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper to a sauce pan, and then whisking in the slurry mixture once boiling.

Let it cool: After the glaze has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools down.

Simmering the glaze in a sauce pan until it thickens.

Brush the glaze: Once the glaze has cooled, brush it generously over your cooked ham. If you’re using a spiral ham, make sure to get the glaze in between the slices. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.

Pro Tips

  • If your glaze thickens too much while cooling, mix in a bit more juice or water.
  • Score your ham before applying the glaze for maximum flavor absorption.

Do You Glaze A Ham Before Or After Baking?

You’ll want to apply the glaze towards the end of the baking time. This is to prevent the sugars in the glaze from burning before the ham is fully heated. So, you’d bake your ham most of the way through, and then about 20 minutes before it’s done, pull it out, brush on your glaze, and return it to the oven.

A close up image of a small bowl of pineapple ham glaze with a spiral ham in the background.

How Do You Get Glaze To Stick To Ham?

I find the easiest way to get glaze to stick to ham is to score the surface of the ham before you start baking it. To do this, make shallow cuts in a diamond pattern across the skin and fat layer of the ham. This not only makes the ham look beautiful, but it also allows the glaze to seep into the ham, helping it to stick and infuse the meat with flavor. 

What Is A Substitute For Orange Juice In Ham Glaze?

You can easily substitute orange juice with pineapple juice or apple juice in your ham glaze. These alternatives will still give your glaze a lovely tangy-sweet flavor that pairs just as well with the ham. I especially love using pineapple juice because it adds a tropical sweetness to the glaze that enhances the flavor of the ham. 

How Long Does It Take For Glaze To Set On Ham?

It takes about 15-20 minutes of baking for the glaze to set. This gives the glaze the time it needs to caramelize and stick to the ham without burning.

A side image of a spiral ham in front of an air fryer with a small bowl of ham glaze on top of a napkin.

Do You Glaze Ham Uncovered?

Yes, you should cook your glazed ham uncovered. This allows the heat to caramelize the sugars in the glaze, giving your ham that beautiful glossy, sticky finish.

Can You Glaze Ham A Day Ahead?

I don’t think it makes sense to glaze ham a day ahead. You can absolutely prepare the glaze a day in advance, then apply the glaze to the ham during the cooking process the next day.

Can I Use This Glaze On Other Meats?

Yes, this pineapple glaze is also fantastic on chicken or pork, too. Simply follow the same steps and brush the glaze onto your meat of choice.

Freshly made ham glaze dripping from a basting brush with a cooked ham in the background.

Does The Glaze Store Well?

Yes, you can store any leftover glaze in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. When you’re ready to use it again, heat it up a little to make it easier to spread.

What If I Don’t Have Cornstarch?

If you don’t have cornstarch you can substitute with flour, just double what the recipe calls for. 1 Tablespoon cornstarch = 2 Tablespoons flour. Add the flour and water into a container with a lid and shake VERY well to eliminate lumps, then whisk the flour slurry into the glaze.

Keep In Touch

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of pineapple ham glaze with title text at the top.

Holiday Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other Christmas recipes. Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 12 servings

BEST Pineapple Ham Glaze (with Brown Sugar)

The best pineapple ham glaze recipe.

The best ever pineapple ham glaze recipe! This sticky sweet caramelized glaze with brown sugar can be made ahead of time in only 20 minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  1. To a medium saucepan, add pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and black pepper. Whisk together.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the 2 Tablespoons of water to make a slurry.
  4. Once the pineapple mixture is boiling, slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the glaze has thickened to your liking. Make sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.
  6. Remove the glaze from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Notes

  • Make sure to use 100% pineapple juice for the best flavor. You can use canned or fresh, but avoid juices with added sugar or other flavors.
  • If the glaze becomes too thick after cooling, you can thin it out by whisking in a small amount of pineapple juice or water over low heat.
  • This glaze also tastes amazing on grilled chicken or pork chops!

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/12

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 22.6gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 5.2gProtein: 0.1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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I hope you enjoy making and eating this Pineapple Ham Glaze as much as I do!

The best pineapple ham glaze recipe.

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