Baked Ham with Rum and Coke Glaze

by Cathy Pollak
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colaham2Is there such a thing as a ham of your dreams? I didn't think so until I had this one. BAKED HAM with RUM and COKE GLAZE is not your ordinary, dried out, gross, nasty, ham-holiday-dinner that you are used to. It is one of the best ham's I have ever had in my life.

It's so juicy, and puts Honeybaked Ham to shame. Trust me. Even after refrigerating and reheating the next day, it is still perfectly, PERFECT. (The ham sandwiches are to die for.)

If Easter for you means ham, this is the one for you. Let's have a little HAM 101 before we get started.

First of all, never ever buy a spiral-sliced ham. That is one of the first precursors to having a dried out piece of meat. The extra-processing ruins any chance of a juicy ham. All the pieces are exposed to air which leaves you with dried, processed meat. Yuck.

You need to pick the right cut and the BUTT half is the only way to go. A whole ham is way too hard to carve. A shank has all the connective tissue. But a BUTT is easy to slice with easy to see muscle groups, making carving a cinch.

You also want a BONE-IN ham. Do you know what a boneless ham is? It's ground ham that is mushed back together. It's not pretty people.

Also, do not buy a ham that says, "ham and water product added" You will end up with a sponge. It's GROSS. You need a ham that says, "natural juices or water added or no water added".

So to recap, you are looking for a butt half, bone-in, no slices removed, natural juices or water added/no water added ham. Those are your criteria. Now go find the meat and let's get started.

Baked Ham with Rum and Coke Glaze
Adapted from Cuisine at Home

For the Ham-Bake
1 butt half, bone-in ham, 6-9 lbs (1 lb of ham serves 2-3 people)
3 cans Coke (12 ounces each) (enough to cover bottom of roasting pan, but not touch ham)

For the Glaze-
Reduce; Mix In:
2 cans (12 ounces each) Coke
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons dark rum
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Bake ham with 3 cans of Coke, tented, for 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare the glaze.

Reduce 2 cans of Coke for the glaze to 1/2 cup over medium-low heat, about 40 minutes (watch carefully to prevent from over-reducing). Mix in remaining ingredients and simmer to dissolve.

After baking the ham for 1 hour, uncover it and begin glazing, brushing every 15 minutes during the last hour of baking. (Check to make sure there is still some Coke in the bottom of the pan; add more as needed.) Remove the ham once an internal temperature of 110 degrees is reached if it an already cured ham. If you have a partially cooked ham, make sure the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Allow it to rest 15 minutes, carve, and serve warm.


Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at

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