Wood-Fired Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
Every holiday feast deserves a show-stopping centerpiece that creates days’ worth of leftovers for use in other dishes. Enter this brown sugar-glazed ham baked in your Ooni pizza oven. This recipe, from backyard grill expert and Ooni Ambassador James Synowicki, tastes best when fired with wood to get the maximum smoky flavor. He recommends adding a little fruit wood (think apple or cherry) for extra flavor in the ham and its pineapple garnish.
Often referred to as Yule ham (though enjoyable year-round), baked ham is a time-honored way to make a standard holiday meal feel extra special. This ham is moist and tender inside, with a sweet and sticky exterior slightly charred from the brown sugar glaze. A charred pineapple garnish ensures every bite is succulent and flavorful, leaving you and your guests wanting more. Suggested accompaniments include smoked almonds for nibbling and a bright, zesty salad to create a colorful table spread.
By choosing a slightly larger ham, you’ll be setting yourself up nicely for those holiday leftovers. A festive Hawaiian pizza, ham sandwiches with cranberry and cheese, or simply a midnight snack when no one is looking.. the possibilities abound.
Notes: This recipe is suitable for larger 16” ovens with a taller internal height due to the size of the ham. We recommend wood-fired cooking, as the smokiness of the fuel adds a rich flavor to the meat over a longer cook.
Make sure to double check that the smoked ham you plan on using is fully cooked. (Check the package to ensure it is; a fully cooked ham just needs to be heated through to 140°F [60°C].) Feel free to substitute any quality smoked ham available to you.
10 minutes prep time, 90 minutes cook time
1 hour 40 minutes total time
For the ham
1 smoked buffet ham, mid-thigh, approximately 5 pounds (2.2 kilograms)
2 tablespoons (32 grams) orange juice
1 tablespoon (16 grams) Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons (2.5 grams) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons (30 grams) water
For the brown sugar glaze
½ cup (125 grams) orange juice
2 teaspoons (5 grams) cornstarch
½ cup (111 grams) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (32 grams) Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon (0.5 gram) ground ginger
For the pineapple garnish
1 whole ripe pineapple, rind removed, cored, and sliced into 8 to 10 rings
8 to 10 glacé cherries (optional)
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven to 350°F (167°C). Use the infrared thermometer to quickly and easily check the temperature inside.
If cooking with wood/charcoal, use a charcoal bed and close the baffle.
If cooking with gas, keep the oven at the lowest setting. If you find the temperature becomes too high, turn off the oven at intervals and cook with the residual heat.
Place the ham flat side down in the skillet. Combine orange juice, Dijon mustard and rosemary in a small bowl. Brush the ham with the mixture using the pastry brush.
Bake the ham uncovered at the mouth of the oven for 15 minutes, rotating four times until the exterior of the ham begins to char.
Remove the pan, pour water into the skillet and cover tightly with foil. Reduce the heat to 325°F (162°C) and return the pan to the mouth of the oven to cook for one hour, giving it a quarter turn every 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Create a slurry by mixing half the orange juice with the cornstarch in a small bowl to prevent the cornstarch from clumping in the glaze. Add the mixture to a small saucepan along with the sugar, mustard, ginger and remaining juice, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
After one hour, remove the ham from the oven and increase the heat to 425°F (218°C).
Remove the foil, brush the ham with the glaze and return it to the oven uncovered until it caramelizes. Turn the ham every few minutes to keep the sugar from burning. (If cooking with wood and/or charcoal and the flames begin rolling too close to the ham, open the fuel hatch.)
After 15 minutes, the ham should reach an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C), but use a meat thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Once the ham is cooked, remove it from the oven, cover with foil and set aside while you grill the pineapple slices.
Place the grizzler plate in the oven and increase the heat to 450°F (232°C). Preheat the pan for 5 minutes.
Brush both sides of the pineapple slices with the liquid in the bottom of the ham pan. Place the slices directly on the hot grizzler plate and cook for up to 5 minutes per side.
Slice the ham into thin strips using a sharp carving knife. Serve the hot pineapple slices (and optional glacé cherries) with each portion of ham so every guest gets a juicy slice.