Coca Cola Ham Recipe

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IMG_9219-001This recipe is for those looking to do something different, other than roast turkey. Don’t get me wrong, I love roast turkey but I’m keen on having it back to back. A problem I was presented with this past weekend as Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. Enter ham.IMG_9192

Hams are cooked and they come boneless, bone-in, honey glazed or smoked. This recipe does not use an uncooked leg of ham. I like smoked hams and this is what you want to look for. Since the ham is cooked, you have little worries about doneness – your concern is about adding the flavours you want to the ham.

Most hams come with a packet that when added with water, will make a glaze you’re supposed to paint on the ham. Avoid temptation – thrown that packet out. What I am going to show you is a Coca Cola glaze, yes, we are going to use the popular soft drink as a glaze with your ham.IMG_9194-001

Coca cola is merely the base as other ingredients are added into the mix: your other major ingredients are regular ballpark mustard (or any mustard you prefer, ground ginger, cider vinegar, brown sugar, allspice berries, cloves and black pepper. There are also some sliced onions and fresh thyme leaves to balance sweet, sour, smoked and savory.

This is an easy dinner to prepare, the flavour the ham takes on is a sticky sweet and sour flavour (thank the mustard) and a wonderful aroma of smokey ham studded with cloves and undertones of allspice and thyme. Serve the ham with mashed potatoes, some roasted root vegetables and you have  wonderful holiday ham.IMG_9229-001

Coca Cola Ham

(serves 10)

1 bone-in cooked smoked ham (spiral ham)

whole cloves

750 ml. Coca Cola (or try Root Beer, Dr. Pepper or Cherry Cola)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup French’s mustard (or any mustard you prefer)

2 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

6-8 allspice berries

6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 medium onion, sliced

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. Remove the netting and plastic wrap from your ham. If a spiral ham, simply score the part of the ham that isn’t spiraled (usually bottom half of ham) in a cross-hatch pattern. Insert whole cloves all over the ham and place in a deep roasting pan.
  2. Meanwhile, pour your Coca Cola, vinegar, mustard, ginger, brown sugar, black pepper, allspice in a medium pot and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and reduce until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Adjust flavouring according to taste. Take off the heat.
  3. Pour the Coca Cola mixture over the ham, carefully try to get some sauce in between the spiral slices too! Lay the sliced onions around the ham and top the ham with thyme leaves. Cover the roasting pan (with lid or aluminum foil) and place in your pre-heated oven for 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140C.
  4. During the roasting period, baste the ham with the Coca Coca glaze every twenty minutes. After 2 hours, remove the cover and roast uncovered for another 20 minutes and baste one more time.
  5. Remove from the oven, place on a platter and strain the remaining glaze in the pan and pour into  gravy boat for those who want a little extra on their ham. Serve immediately. Pair with a Vourvoukeli Rose.IMG_9240-001


© 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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5 Comments for “Coca Cola Ham Recipe”



I think the ham-in-coca-cola recipe originated with Nigella Lawson.

I prefer to use ginger ale because of the gingery taste, which goes perfectly with the salty ham.


Cate, the recipe did not originate from Nigella. Coca Cola ham is a dish with its origins in Southern US cooking and it’s Nigella who should be paying homage to the American south.


Paul your are right this recipe originated in the south. I am 74 and have used some versions of this since I started cooking. Has anyone cooked a brown paper bag ham yet. This is really an old one .