Brown Sugar and Spice Dry Ham Rub Recipe -
Brown Sugar and Spice Dry Ham Rub Recipe
  • READY IN 10 mins

Brown Sugar and Spice Dry Ham Rub

Recipe by  

"I created this recipe when frustrated by the packets of glaze that came with spiral hams bought at the grocery store. It is sweet, with the perfect amount of spice, and makes a nice crust on the outside of the ham, similar to the famous ham store's. This recipe makes enough to cover a 3 to 5 pound ham. Store in an airtight tin if not using immediately."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 1/2 cups Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins

    10 mins


  1. Mix together brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, mustard powder, onion powder, and pepper in a bowl until well blended. Makes enough rub to cover one 3 to 5 pound ham. To be sure sugars form a crust, do not cover the ham during cooking. If not using immediately, store in an airtight tin.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 23, 2008

We really enjoyed this rub. It was just what I was looking for! I didn't have pumpkin pie spice so I just used equal parts of cinnamon & nutmeg.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 26, 2013

It was good but I didn't experience the "crust" as others have, even following the 550, down to 325 as directed. I probably wouldn't make it again, as I prefer more of a fruity sweetness. I'm finding it hard to use this ham in leftovers because of the distinct brown sugar taste.


37 Ratings

Dec 10, 2010

This was enough for my 8.5 lb. fully cooked shank ham. Didn't have pie spice, so used 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves. Only used 1/2 tsp. ground mustard. Scored it and rubbed it all over the ham, then put it in my Lisk roaster covered and forgot it for 2 hours. It came out moist and delishious. The juice in the bottom of the pan was great on baked sweet potatoes.

Nov 28, 2009

Fantastic! We smoked a precooked ham for 3 hrs @230 degrees. I first smothered the ham in regular yellow mustard. Then I used this rub over the entire ham and massaged it in. At the 2 1/2 hr mark I mixed up honey & BBQ sauce and put it all over the ham. It looked and tasted awesome! The entire family loved it for Thanksgiving.

Jul 06, 2012

I'm so glad that everyone has enjoyed this rub! I just wanted to add a quick note. When I make my ham with this rub, I preheat the oven to 550. I cook the rubbed ham uncovered at 550 for about 20 minutes. I then turn it down to 300 or so (whatever the ham directions call for) and cook it for the length of time called for on the directions. This makes the rub crust nicely and helps seal in the juices. I've used this method with all types of hams and never had dryness issues :)

Sep 19, 2012

I don't want to "mess with" the ratings for this particular recipe as is, but I do have some feedback that I think may help others trying this recipe in the future. I, like many users of, read a recipe, read some (if not all) of the reviews to get ideas on how to tweak the recipe, and then just go for it! In this case I was working with not having the pumpkin pie spice or all the ingredients to make my own. So I took the advice of another reviewer and tried garam masala in place of the pie spice. I also followed another reviewer's suggestion and basted the ham with a basic yellow mustard before putting the rub on (in other words "under" the rub). I also followed the additional cooking recommendations that the recipe's author added under the reviews to kind of crisp the outside of the ham and seal in the juices before the low temperature cooking (cook on 550 degrees for first 20 minutes) instead of having to cover the ham. The results: 1) DON'T ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN OVERHEAD FAN FOR YOUR RANGE (LOL, we are in a rental cottage and quickly discovered how loud the smoke detector is! I'm glad it works!) 2) With that adventure behind me and the ham finished cooking, I am happy to say that the flavor of the outer/encrusted pieces of ham were FANTASTIC! We were fighting over who got those pieces! Thanks for a fun and delicious cooking adventure and good luck to you other adventurers out there!

Dec 25, 2008

Fabulous. Just fabulous. This really made my once-a-year ham really shine.

Jun 14, 2011

I will never cook ham another way again. This was so good. It was a good the Heavenly Ham that my Mother in Law buy every year at Christmas time. I used a smoked ham and cooked it in my crock pot for about 6 hours. It turned out soft an juicy. I didn't have pumpkin pie spice so I substituted 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.


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  • Calories
  • 71 kcal
  • 4%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18.2 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Sodium
  • 5 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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