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Johnston Baked Carolina Ham

This unique recipe for baked ham comes from Johnston County, NC. Ginger ale, mustard and thyme give it a savory character while honey and molasses sweeten the deal.


10 lbs cured ham

2 cups ginger ale

¼ cup honey

¼ cup molasses

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 tsp ground thyme

1 tsp paprika



Small bowl

Small pot

Baking pan

Cooking brush

Meat thermometer



Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix brown sugar, mustard powder, thyme and paprika in small mixing bowl.

Rub ham thoroughly with spice mixture.

Place ham in a roasting pan.

Press whole cloves into the top of ham at 2 inch intervals.

Pour ginger ale over ham and into pan.

Heat butter on low heat in small pot.

Add honey and molasses to melted butter and mix thoroughly about 45 second to 1 minute.

Remove from heat.

Brush ham with butter/honey/molasses mixture.

Place ham in oven.

Bake for 4 ½ to 5 hours (22 minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb).

Baste ham with ginger ale and ham juices from the pan every half hour.

Check the temperature of the center ham with the thermometer after 4 ½ hours. (The internal temperature of the ham should be at least 160 degrees and the thermometer should not touch the bone).

If the temperature is at least 160 degrees in the center remove from the oven. If not, cook another ½ hour.

Allow the ham to rest for 20 minutes before carving.





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