Why Glazed Ham Might Not Be Worth The Effort This Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving, the star of the show (or rather, the feast) is the turkey. According to the University of Illinois, there are about 46 million turkeys consumed every year on Thanksgiving, and a poll from the National Turkey Federation found that 88% of Americans say they dig into the bird at their holiday feast. But just because it's tradition doesn't mean that it's something all of us actually enjoy eating. A Harris Poll even found that about 19% of people admit they don't like turkey on Thanksgiving, but still eat it anyway. Fortunately, there are plenty of turkey alternatives to serve up, from chicken to duck to meatless meat. One of the most popular, however, is glazed ham.

While it's often found on the table at Christmas parties, you don't have to wait until December to eat your share of holiday ham. However, if you're thinking of making it yourself for Thanksgiving, you may want to reconsider. Here's why you're best off ordering your glazed ham from the store this season.

Glazed ham is difficult to make correctly at home

While it's brave to want to cook all of your Thanksgiving dishes from scratch, you don't have to take on that heroic task. There are some things you can — and maybe even should — buy pre-made at the grocery store or local butcher. One such item? Glazed ham. After all, if you're serving it alongside turkey, it would double your workload in the kitchen to prepare a second main dish. 

Not only that, but making glazed ham at home can be a tricky process. "Glazing your own ham is messy, and it's hard to nail the exact levels of sweetness," The Daily Meal explains. Similar to roasting a turkey, there's a lot that can go wrong when preparing ham (via Eat This, Not That!). Glaze the ham too early and you'll end up with a burnt round coming out of the oven. Score the top too deep and your ham will dry out. Plus, there's a lot of effort required to maintain just the right amount of glaze without it being too dry or too sloppy. Eat This notes that you have to glaze it frequently as it cooks, which is an additional stress to your Thanksgiving prep. Sounds like a trip to the store — or the nearest Honey Baked Ham — is a better bet.