A new and straightforward method to prepare high surface area Cu-ZrO2 catalysts is presented. This method considers a reflux treatment of commercial hydrous zirconia in the presence of a copper-containing NH4OH solution. The method allows the stabilization of high surface area ZrO2 supports with highly dispersed CuO throughout the support surface. It was observed that the addition of copper by this reflux treatment decreases the crystalline character of the ZrO2 support and increases the surface area. The potential catalytic application of these materials is exemplified with the CO oxidation and methanol reforming reactions.