How to build a glaze - DIY style!

How to build a glaze - DIY style!
The elements of a cracking ham glaze

We're a little obsessed with ham glazes - they give our delicious, juicy hams an extra burst of flavour and really make a centrepiece for your table.

Every year we try to come up with a glaze recipe we declare our BEST EVER! but really, so long as you're hitting the right flavour notes you can't go wrong. People have been intimated about glazing hams for too long, so enough is enough: here's your definitive guide on how to build a ham glaze.

It's all about the balance of flavours

You'll need a little bit of acid and something sweet which will nicely balance the fat and salt that come from the ham, then add some chefs kiss umami with a few spices and a touch of heat if you dare. As you cook your glaze it will reduce - this intensifies the sweetness by caramelising the sugars, and why acid is such a crucial ingredient. You'll typically want a ratio of about ?:?, but play around as it cooks until it tastes delicious - and then douse your ham (tips here on how to prep and cook your ham).

Find your winning flavour combination


  • Dijon mustard
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Citrus - juice and/or zest
  • Malt vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut vinegar


  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Manuka honey
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Pineapple juice
  • Rum
  • Molasses
  • Marmalade
  • Bourbon
  • Peach (puree? juice? jam?)
  • Apricot jam
  • Karma cola

UMAMI (spice and heat)

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Chinese five spice
  • Star anise
  • Sweet sting hot honey
  • Jalapeno
  • Red chilli
  • Chipotle
  • Aleppo pepper