How to Make DIY Honey Baked Style Ham at Home in the Smoker or Oven


For many people, a huge shortcut to eating while on vacation is to let Honey Baked Ham Co. do most of the work.

The Georgia-based company, which was founded over 40 years ago, has around 500 stores nationwide, including two in San Antonio, with reported sales of up to $ 500 million annually.

Smoked with a sweet, crackling frosting, they’re pretty darn good. Honey-baked hams have made several appearances on my holiday spreads without any complaints. They can be reheated (they’re pre-cooked) using a simple formula of about 10 minutes per pound in a 275-degree oven, with a shallow pot of water placed under the ham, according to the company’s website, honeybaked. .com.

There is only one problem: the price of hams cooked with honey can range from $ 85 for a 7 pound ham to $ 125 for a 16 pound ham. During this time, you can buy a ham at the grocery store for around $ 2 a pound; or less than $ 14 for that 7-pound ham. And just like these honey hams, most are pre-cooked, often with hardwood smoke.

Hams are available in all kinds of sizes and cuts. I generally prefer hams with the bone, but there is nothing wrong with boning them and it is much more convenient to slice them. The hams are labeled as the “buttock” or the “shank”. Both are removed from the hind leg of the pig, and there are some differences between the two.

The ingredients for making your own honey baked style ham include butter, honey, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, allspice, ground ginger, and ground cloves.

William Luther / Personal Photographer

The butt is taken from the top of the leg and contains more fat, while the shank is the lower part and is leaner with more connective tissue as it supports most of the pig’s weight.

“I like everything,” said Joe Saenz, a butcher who owns San Antonio-based Swine House. “The shank will have a ham that’s a much darker and richer color, but you have to slice it very thin compared to the butt or it can get a little harder. But with sufficient cooking time, they both melt well.

Like Colonel Sanders’ original recipe, the Honey Baked recipe was never made public, but several online cooks have dabbled in this recipe with good results.

The DIY Honey Baked Style Ham finished at Chuck's Food Shack.

The DIY Honey Baked Style Ham finished at Chuck’s Food Shack.

William Luther / Personal Photographer

We can get really close to it, and most of the ingredients for making Honey Baked-style frosting are probably already in your pantry: honey, sugar, and cinnamon. It may take a trip to the store for the allspice and ground ginger to give it a little more pop. Stir everything on the stovetop until the sugar is dissolved, and the frosting will have a consistency slightly thicker than the house paint.

The key is to apply this frosting at the start, middle, and end of the heating process. The sugars in the mixture will give the ham a nice blackened exterior which mixes the sweet flavors with the flavorful nature of the ham after a few hours on low heat.

Now, there’s one advantage honey-baked hams have over the DIY variety – the signature thin spiral slicing. These machines slice around the bone and deliver even cuts that look awfully pretty on the kitchen table. You can buy other spiral-sliced ​​hams, but Honey Baked makes it the best.

For your DIY ham, it’s best to just grab a good slicing knife and do your best. Let the knife do the work, with slow, slippery slices, and you’ll have a great, cheaper version of the honey ham experience.

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