Juicy Sweet Baked Ham Recipe with Brown Sugar

4.60 / 5 ( 5 Reviews )
9 Comments Jump to Recipe

sweet baked ham recipe

How to Cook a Perfect Sweet Baked Ham

This sweet baked ham recipe is perfect for Easter! Moist and tender with a fabulous brown sugar and mustard flavor. The only ingredients you need are a bone-in ham (not pre-sliced), white vinegar, water, brown sugar, and ground dry mustard. Super easy, super delicious.

I usually either make this ham or the slow cooker ham for Easter. Both great, but both different flavors and different cooking methods. I have to say that this sweet ham recipe is my favorite right now though.

I even bought a 20-quart stock pot one year with this recipe in mind. Your stock pot doesn’t need to be quite that big, but it is a great size for the ham and the liquid doesn’t splash out as much.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it calls for one of the cheapest cuts of ham. Hooray! It ends up tasting so good that no one would ever question it though.

sweet baked ham boiling in vinegar water

Boiling the Ham in Vinegar and Water

Yes, the vinegar does stink up the house a bit. It doesn’t bother me much, but my husband and kids sure think it smells bad while it is boiling!

That is one of the reasons why it is so perfect for around Easter time though because you can keep the windows open or even cook it outside on an outdoor propane stove.

boiled ham sweet baked ham ready to shred

Be Careful!

Don’t boil your ham for too long or the meat will become tough – right about 2 hours should do it.

Shredding the Sweet Ham

After it boils for a couple of hours, you shred up the meat and layer half of it into a 9×9 baking dish or equivalent. Mix together the brown sugar and mustard, then sprinkle half of that mixture over the meat in the dish.

shredded sweet baked ham ready to bake

Baking the Ham

Layer the rest of the meat and sprinkle on the rest of the sugar mixture. The dish will be packed full, but it should all fit. Cover and bake. Easy, peasy!

Even better, you can boil and shred the ham a few days in advance, then cover and keep it in the fridge. An hour or so before the meal, just pop it in the oven.

Pyrex #1086053 Smart Essentials 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set With Colored Lids

Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set

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The best sweet baked ham recipe

sweet baked ham recipe

Juicy Sweet Baked Ham Recipe with Brown Sugar

Moist, tender, and delicious sweet baked ham with brown sugar and mustard.
4.60 / 5 ( 5 Reviews )
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Serves: 8
Adjust Servings: 8


  • 9x9 baking pan


  • 5-7 pound precooked bone-in not sliced ham
  • White distilled vinegar around 1-3 cups
  • Water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground dry mustard


  • Place the ham in a large pot and cover with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar until the ham is covered by an inch or two of liquid. Bring to a boil and cook, boiling vigorously, for 2-3 hours, until the meat easily falls off the bone. Liquid may splash out during cooking. Try reducing the heat, but maintain the boil in order to help limit the splashing. Be prepared that it will smell like vinegar while boiling.
  • After the allotted time, carefully remove the ham from the pot, discarding the liquid, and let it cool until it is easier to remove the meat from the bones.
  • Shred the ham, discarding the fat and bones, and place half in a 9X9-inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and mustard.
  • Sprinkle half of this mixture over the ham. Layer the rest of the ham on top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar/mustard mixture.
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 325°F/160°C for 1 hour.

Recipe Notes

Use a bone-in butt, shoulder, or shank cut of ham that is NOT pre-sliced.


Calories: 800kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 48g | Sodium: 3373mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients: Brown Sugar, Mustard, Pork, Vinegar, Water
Meal Type: Main Dish, #StayHome, Easter
Categories: Meat and Poultry, Oven

Comments & Reviews

  • I’ve made this recipe before and it is absolutely devine! And sooo easy!

  • Melanie,

    You are awesome! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it for Christmas and my family is still raving about it. We will not eat ham any other way now. lol
    I have a question for you though. I used a big pot but the liquid spilled all over and made a huge (huge!) mess on the stove. So worth it though, not complaining. 😉 I have a huge stock pot but I am afraid the ham is so heavy it will drop to the bottom and burn on the bottom. I see that you use a stockpot though. Am I wrong, or do u turn your ham often to make sure it doesn’t burn?

    • Thank you, Shanon!
      The first time I made it, I had a big mess too. Now I use a bigger stock pot (20-quart) and I don’t have any spilling issues. The ham actually ends up floating a bit and doesn’t sink to the bottom and I don’t turn it or mess with it at all while it is boiling.
      You might be able to reduce the heat a bit as well to help reduce the mess, just make sure you keep the boil going.

  • I make this but omit sugar. Sometimes add pineapple or apple juice. Vinegar smell doesn’t bother me at all! Thanks!!!

  • I’m really just trying to get an answer about a really simple question; SINCE vinegar doesn’t taste good remaining in the ham, can adding BROWN SUGAR to the water/vinegar mix nullify the vinegar without affecting the vinegar’s breaking down the ham sinews and whatnot?

    …and, no, you can’t even USE the word “brown sugar” in a search without getting all the OTHER recipes…

    • Hi William, that is a good question. First, I promise that if you cook the ham as instructed, it will not taste like vinegar when you are done. Adding brown sugar or any sugar to the boil will risk making the ham not turn out correctly.

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