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5 of the Best Christmas Ham Recipes

Go the whole hog this holiday season with these succulent ham dinners.
By Published Dec. 13, 2021

Some say the holiday season is about giving presents to those you love. Others may say it’s about spreading joy and cheer. You and me, though, we get that it’s all about the food. And what is a Christmas spread without a big, juicy ham?

Luckily, America’s Test Kitchen has us covered when it comes to the very best recipes for our ham centerpieces, whether our guests prefer a sweet glaze or a little bit of a twist. (Did someone say Coca-Cola brine?)

Whatever you’re after, try one of these ham recipes for your holiday feast.

1. Glazed Spiral-Sliced Ham

Glazed Spiral-Cut Ham

This impressively juicy ham is paired with a glaze that complements but doesn’t overwhelm the meat, but it’s up to you if you choose to make the maple-orange or cherry-port variety—both are delicious. By heating the ham to an internal temperature of no higher than 120 degrees, the meat won’t go dry. → GET THE RECIPE

2. Slow-Cooker Glazed Ham

This succulent slow-cooker option is lacquered with a stovetop glaze that coats the entirety of the ham without slipping off, and without having you make a trip to the oven. Equal parts dark brown sugar and apple jelly thickened with a tablespoon of cornstarch is the secret to this perfect glaze, and for an extra-zesty kick, the test cooks added some Dijon mustard and pepper. → GET THE RECIPE

3. Slow-Roasted Fresh Ham

Slow-Roasted Fresh Ham

This delicious ham dinner is really just bone-in, skin-on pork roast in disguise, with the test cooks selecting shank-end over a sirloin-end ham to make carving a cinch when all you want to do is dig in. The time you put into this one will really pay off: Salting the roast for 12 hours is key for moist, well-seasoned meat. → GET THE RECIPE

4. Coca-Cola Ham

Coca-Cola Ham

Okay, hear us out. I promise you will not end up with a protein that tastes of sickly sweet soda, but rather a perfectly flavorful and exceptionally moist centerpiece with a great talking point. Coca-Cola is combined with salt, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns for a deeply penetrating brine, and a high-heat start in the oven makes the skin irresistibly crispy. → GET THE RECIPE

5. Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy

Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy

If you’re looking for a more casual breakfast-for-dinner recipe, this Southern classic has gotten the ATK treatment by elevating both the meat and the glaze. Bone-in ham steaks are given a boost with bacon, adding a smoky flavor and rendering enough fat to brown the ham. Our test cooks discovered that most gravy made from coffee is far too bitter to be palatable, so in this recipe we use instant espresso powder. Maple syrup balances the coffee, sautéed onion adds depth to the gravy, and finishing it with butter gives a silky texture. → GET THE RECIPE


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