The Chew: Michael Symon Christmas Ham with Habanero Glaze & BBQ Sauce


The Chew: Michael Symon’s Christmas Ham with Habanero Glaze

Chef Michael Symon was in charge of the Dish of the Day, a Christmas ham with habanero glaze. He said that when he thinks about Christmas, he thinks about ham. Symon said that if you have a smoker at home, you could smoke your ham at the same temperatures that he roasted it.

Symon said that brining a ham doesn’t affect the texture but gives a wonderful flavor throughout it. His brine included things like garlic, rosemary, peppercorns and coriander seeds. He said in Cleveland, where he’s from, he keeps the ham in the garage overnight to brine because it’s cold out there.


Symon said the best part of the ham is the skin, and scoring it with a diamond pattern will give you a nice crispy skin. Next, he made the habanero glaze with orange juice, lime juice, brown sugar, chipotles in adobo sauce and mustard. Symon suggested putting a slice in the habanero chile to give you flavor but not a ton of spice. Check out his recipe for a delicious twist on traditional ham below.

The Chew: Michael Symon Christmas Ham with Habanero Glaze & BBQ Sauce

Michael Symon cooked up his Christmas Ham with habanero glaze on The Chew.

Michael Symon’s Christmas Ham with Habanero Glaze 



For the Brine:

  • 10 lb. fresh ham,  bone-in
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Habanero Glaze:

  • 1 gallon orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice, fresh
  • 1 habanero chile (cut a slit in one side)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups Cleveland BBQ sauce*

For the Cleveland BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2  ounces chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup stadium mustard


To make your brine, bring to a simmer the salt, sugar, garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaf and four quarts of water over high heat. Whisk the mixture until the sugar and salt are dissolved and then let cool away from the heat. In a large container, completely submerge the ham in the brine. Refrigerate overnight and use a heavy plate if you need to keep the ham submerged.

The next day, remove your ham from the brine and pat it dry. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and let the ham sit at room temperature for an hour. Score your ham and make a diamond pattern, then place it in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F and roast the ham for an hour and a half or until the internal temperature is 150 degrees F.

To make the habanero glaze, put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and boil over medium high heat until it’s reduced by half (This will take an hour). Next, baste the ham with the glaze and continue to roast for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Remove ham from oven and let it rest for 45 minutes before serving.

*To make the Cleveland BBQ sauce: Heat the olive oil, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt over medium low in a saucepan until the onion is translucent (about two minutes). Stir in the coriander and cumin and cook for a minute, then add the brown sugar and cook until it melts (about two minutes). Add the cider and sherry vinegars and raise the heat to medium high. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes or until it’s reduced by a quarter.

Remove the BBQ sauce from the heat. Puree the chipotles in a blender or food processor and add it to the BBQ sauce with the mustard. Let it cool and then add it to the glaze. You can store the BBQ sauce in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.


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