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Honey-Baked Pork Roast

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active time 30 mins
Total time 4 hrs, 15 mins

Serves 16 (serving size: about 3 oz. pork and about 2 1/2 tsp. sauce)

Instead of the traditional cured ham that’s full of sodium and nitrates, bake the flavors of honey-baked ham into a pork picnic roast. The meat slowly roasts so that the sugar-honey spice rub bakes into a shellac-like crust. And the roast slices like ham, with firm but juicy slices that go perfectly with a simple honey-mustard sauce. We use a skin-on picnic roast here, which is cheaper than a Boston butt roast—making the holiday a little more affordable. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin, but leave the fat layer on to insulate the meat as it cooks.


  • 1 (5-lb.) bone-in pork picnic half roast
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 277
  • fat 16.7 g
  • satfat 5.7 g
  • monofat 7.6 g
  • polyfat 1.9 g
  • protein 19 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 70 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 422 mg
  • calcium 29 mg
  • sugars 10 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 7 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

  2. Trim tough outer skin layer from pork, leaving as much fat as possible intact. Discard skin. Rub 2 1/2 tablespoons honey over pork. Combine sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a bowl; rub mixture evenly over all sides of pork. Place pork, fat side up, in a foil-lined broiler pan.

  3. Bake at 300°F until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 170° to 180°F, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes before cutting into thin slices.

  4. Combine remaining 1/4 cup honey, mayonnaise, and remaining ingredients; serve sauce with pork.