Wondering if ham is gluten-free? You’re in the right place! Check out this article on what to look for when it comes to buying gluten-free ham. Plus BRANDS THAT ARE!

I’ve also included our family-favorite recipe for sweet baked ham. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Gluten-free ham on a plate with a fork taking a bite
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Is Ham Gluten-Free?

Sometimes, but not always!

Ham in its natural form is gluten-free. However, sometimes ham is subject to cross contamination with gluten during processing. Some ham is made with gluten-containing ingredients like broth, spices, and glazes. (Including deli ham.)

For these reasons, it’s very important to check the nutritional facts and label before buying ham products at your local grocery store. Many ham glaze packets contain gluten, so you may be able to eat the ham without the glaze packet.

But if you’re sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, stick to brands that are clearly labeled gluten-free.

What Is Ham Made Of?

Ham is a type of pork that comes from the back thigh of a pig.

Most ham is cured before it hits the grocery store aisles, meaning it does not need to be cooked before eating. To cure the meat, ham is injected with chemicals like sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite, and brown sugar, salt, and natural flavors. Then it is cooked in a smoker or oven before being packaged.

“Fresh ham” is uncured ham. It has not been cooked, smoked, or injected with chemicals and other ingredients. This type of ham does need to be cooked before eating.

You also might like these articles on gluten-free thanksgiving recipes, gluten-free thanksgiving desserts, are potatoes gluten-free, and are oats gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Hams

There are a few brands that sell certified gluten-free ham, and others that sell gluten-free ham (not certified). Here are some of the top options:

Gluten-Free Ham Recipe

gluten-free ham on a plate with cheesy potatoes and asparagus

Ham is synonymous with holiday cooking, no matter the time of year! In our family, we love preparing a delicious gluten-free sweet baked ham for both Easter and Christmas.

I ALWAYS use bone-in ham that is NOT pre-sliced. It makes all the difference in taste, texture, and moisture! Trust me, once you try this ham, you’ll never go back to pre-sliced lean boneless ham!

This recipe has a delicious and flavorful brown sugar sauce that makes this ham truly incredible! It contains the perfect balance of sweet brown sugar, savory mustard, and tangy apple cider vinegar.

Pair your sweet baked ham with classic cheesy potatoes and asparagus or green beans for the perfect holiday meal!

For gluten-free sides to go with ham, try these recipes for gluten-free scalloped potatoes, gluten corn casserole, easter fruit salad and deviled eggs with relish.

You also might like these dessert recipes for gluten-free coconut cake, gluten-free lemon cake, gluten-free lemon cream pie and gluten-free carrot cake.

Check out this full collection of gluten-free easter desserts!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Delicious sweet brown sugar glaze
  • Moist and flavorful
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Great for holiday dinners
  • Easy to make in advance

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll neeed to make this gluten-free ham recipe:

Gluten-free sweet baked ham ingredients on a countertop
  • Ham: Be sure to use a bone-in butt, shoulder, or shank cut of ham that is NOT pre-sliced. The Costco Master Carve Half Ham (Applewood Smoked) works great here too!
  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is the perfect balance to brown sugar and mustard. It adds tang and moisture and makes a DELICIOUS glaze!
  • Dry mustard powder: A little dry mustard powder is all you need for an amazing ham with a savory flavor.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar is the absolute BEST way to dress up ham! It gives the glaze that sticky, sweet, irresistible flavor that makes baked ham so tasty!

You also might like this 3 ingredient ham glaze.

How to Make This Recipe

BOIL THE HAM

  • Slice the ham into 5-6 inch size chunks, removing the bone and fat. 
  • In a very large pot, add 3 cups of cider vinegar, 6 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. 
Ham boiling in a pot
  • Add the ham chunks to the liquid and bring to a boil. 
  • Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours until the ham is tender and easily shredded. (NOTE: Leave the lid on as much as possible during cooking. If you need to add more liquid, add 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.)
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish or large roasting pang. Carefully remove the ham from the pot and place the ham in the baking dish and start to pull it apart a little bit.
Brown sugar and spices in a bowl
  • In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 cup brown sugar with the dry mustard. 
Brown sugar and spices layered in a baking dish
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the ham. Cover the baking dish with foil. 
  • MAKE-AHEAD STOPPING POINT! At this point you can refrigerate the ham until you’re ready to bake it. The ham can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. 

BAKE THE HAM

Gluten-free sweet ham in a baking dish
  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Bake the ham (leave covered with foil) for 1 hour.
  • Stir the ham to toss in the brown sugar sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Use leftover ham to make this Scottish lentil soup with ham.

Storage Instructions

Store gluten-free ham in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Slice extra ham to make delicious deli-style ham sandwiches!

FAQs

is honeybaked ham gluten free?

Sometimes, but not always. Ham on its own is naturally gluten-free, but sometimes storebought hams are made with gluten-containing glazes, spice packets, and seasonings. If you have Celiac disease or eat a gluten-free diet, it’s always best to read the ingredient list and look for a gluten-free label.

What cooked ham is gluten free?

Several brands sell gluten-free cooked ham, including Kirkland Master Carve Half Ham (Costco), and Burgers’ Smokehouse Boneless Sliced Sweet Smoked City Ham. Dietz & Watson and Jones Dairy Farm also sell certified gluten-free ham.

Are Smithfield hams gluten free?

Yes, most Smithfield hams are gluten-free and safe to eat if you have Celiac disease. You can check the Smithfield website for a full list of gluten-free hams.

Can gluten intolerant people eat ham?

Yes, gluten intolerant people can eat ham, but they should be careful to read labels before consuming. Sometimes ham comes in contact with gluten during processing, and some brands add gluten into the glazes and seasoning. To be safe, look for ham with a gluten-free label.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t use pre-sliced ham: For this recipe, it’s important to use a bone-in butt, shoulder, or shank cut of ham that is NOT pre-sliced. I love the Costco Master Carve Half Ham (Applewood Smoked).
  • To make in advance: This gluten-free ham is great to make up to three days in advance! Simply prepare the ham as instructed, cover it with foil, and then refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it.
  • For serving: We love pairing this gluten-free ham with gluten-free cheesy potatoes and sauteed asparagus, green beans, or green salad. Rolls, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes would also be a great option! Check out this full collection of gluten-free Easter recipes!
Gluten-free sweet baked ham on a baking dish with a fork picking up a piece

MOre Gluten-FreE easter recipes

I hope you love this gluten-free ham recipe as much as we do! If you try this gluten-free ham, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

Gluten-free ham on a plate with a fork taking a bite
5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Sweet Baked Ham

Ingredients

  • 5-7 pound bone-in ham NOT a spiral ham
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups brown sugar divided
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
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Instructions 

BOIL THE HAM

  • Slice the ham into 5-6 inch size chunks, removing the bone and fat.
  • In a very large pot, add 3 cups of cider vinegar, 6 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the ham chunks to the liquid and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours until the ham is tender and can easily be shredded. (NOTE: Leave the lid on as much as possible during cooking. If you need to add more liquid, add 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.)
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Carefully remove the ham from the pot and place the ham in the baking dish and start to pull it apart a little bit.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 cup brown sugar with the dry mustard.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the ham. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  • MAKE-AHEAD STOPPING POINT! At this point you can refrigerate the ham until you’re ready to bake it. The ham can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.

BAKE THE HAM

  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Bake the ham (leave covered with foil) for 1 hour.
  • Stir the ham to toss in the brown sugar sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 1894kcal | Carbohydrates: 442g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 1212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 431g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 453mg | Iron: 6mg

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Hi, I'm Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I'm here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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