Skip to content

Grandma’s Ham

Grandma’s Ham: A Delicious and Nostalgic Treat

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can rival the warmth and nostalgia of Grandma’s ham. This classic dish has been passed down through generations, bringing families together with its savory flavors and tender texture. In this article, we’ll explore the history behind Grandma’s ham, the secrets to its mouthwatering taste, and why it continues to be a beloved favorite. So, grab a seat at the table and let’s dive into the world of Grandma’s ham!

The Origins of Grandma’s Ham

Grandma’s ham has a rich history that dates back centuries. It was a staple in many households, particularly during holiday gatherings and special occasions. The process of curing and smoking ham was a way to preserve the meat before the advent of refrigeration. This tradition was brought to the United States by European immigrants, who adapted their own methods to create unique flavors and techniques.

Over time, Grandma’s ham became synonymous with family, love, and tradition. It was a dish that took time and care to prepare, often requiring days of curing, smoking, and glazing. The aromas that filled the kitchen during this process were enough to make mouths water and hearts swell with anticipation.

The Secrets to Grandma’s Ham

What makes Grandma’s ham so special? The secret lies in the quality of the ingredients and the attention to detail in the preparation. Grandma knew that the best hams came from well-raised pigs, fed with a balanced diet and given plenty of outdoor space to roam.

She also understood the importance of the curing process. This involved carefully rubbing the ham with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, then allowing it to rest for several days. This step not only preserved the meat but also infused it with a depth of flavor that couldn’t be replicated.

The Glaze that Seals the Deal

One of the most iconic elements of Grandma’s ham is the glaze. This sticky, sweet, and tangy coating adds a burst of flavor and a beautiful caramelized crust. Grandma’s secret glaze recipe often included a combination of brown sugar, mustard, honey, and spices.

As the ham cooks, the glaze slowly caramelizes, creating a glossy finish that is as visually appealing as it is delicious. The glaze also helps to lock in moisture, resulting in a tender and juicy ham that melts in your mouth.

Grandma’s Ham: A Tradition Worth Savoring

Grandma’s ham is more than just a dish; it’s a symbol of love, family, and tradition. It’s the centerpiece of holiday meals, the taste of childhood memories, and the reason why we gather around the table. As time passes and new generations take up the mantle, Grandma’s ham continues to bring joy and warmth to our lives.

So, the next time you savor a slice of Grandma’s ham, take a moment to appreciate the legacy it represents. Let the flavors transport you back to simpler times, and share the story of Grandma’s ham with those around you. Because in a world that’s constantly changing, some traditions are worth preserving.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a different type of meat instead of ham?

Absolutely! While Grandma’s ham is the classic choice, you can experiment with different meats such as pork shoulder or even turkey. Just remember to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.

2. How long does it take to cure a ham?

The curing process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size and thickness of the ham. It’s important to follow a trusted recipe and allow enough time for the flavors to develop.

3. Can I make the glaze ahead of time?

Yes! The glaze can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before brushing it onto the ham.

4. Can I use a store-bought glaze instead?

While store-bought glazes can be convenient, they often lack the depth of flavor that comes from making your own. If time is a constraint, look for high-quality glazes that use natural ingredients.

5. Can I freeze leftover ham?

Absolutely! Leftover ham can be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for up to three months. Just be sure to label it with the date and use it within a reasonable time frame.

6. What side dishes pair well with Grandma’s ham?

Grandma’s ham pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as roasted potatoes, green beans, glazed carrots, or a fresh salad. Let your personal taste and creativity guide you!

7. Can I make Grandma’s ham in a slow cooker?

Yes! Grandma’s ham can be made in a slow cooker for a hands-off approach. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.

8. Can I make a vegetarian version of Grandma’s ham?

While it may not be possible to recreate the exact flavors and textures of Grandma’s ham in a vegetarian version, there are plenty of delicious plant-based alternatives available. Explore recipes that use ingredients like seitan or tofu to create a similar smoky and savory experience.

In Conclusion

Grandma’s ham is more than just a dish; it’s a labor of love that brings families together. From its humble origins to its mouthwatering flavors, this classic recipe has stood the test of time. Whether you’re carrying on a family tradition or starting a new one, Grandma’s ham is sure to create memories that will be cherished for years to come. So, gather your loved ones, fire up the oven, and let the aroma of Grandma’s ham fill your home with warmth and happiness.

Grandmas Ham compressed image1

Grandma's Ham

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 18


  • 1 whole ham , weighing approximately 12 pounds
  • 1 liter of ginger ale , preferably Vernors® brand
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 can (8 ounces) of pineapple slices , drained (keep the juice reserved)
  • Toothpicks (quantity unspecified)
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) of maraschino cherries


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Place the ham in a roasting pan.
  • Pour ginger ale into the roasting pan.
  • Rub brown sugar over the ham.
  • Attach pineapple slices to the outside of the ham using toothpicks.
  • Secure a cherry into the middle of each pineapple slice using toothpicks.
  • Pour the reserved pineapple juice into the pan with the ginger ale.
  • Tent aluminum foil over the ham.
  • Bake the ham in the preheated oven for 4 hours.
  • Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Keyword Christmas, dinner, Dishes, Fruit, Ham, Ideas, Main, Meal, More, Pork, Recipes, Whole
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


Recent Recipes

Never Miss A Recipe!

Join thousands of subscribers and get our best recipes delivered each week!

Table of Contents