Monday, March 29, 2010

How To Bake A Ham

I love baked ham, but I usually only eat it at Easter. My mother always bakes the holiday ham and it is always delicious, tender, and flavorful. This year I decided to bake my own too so that we would have some awesome leftovers.

Two words...low and slow, when it comes to baking a delicious ham.

I bought a whole boneless smoked ham. It is more expensive, but there is no waste with fat or gristle and I have no need for the ham bone. The ham is already fully cooked, so essentially I am just heating it up, but that is where the low and slow and the glaze comes in.

I'm not promoting any brand, but this particular brand had a $5.00 rebate, which brought the price per pound down to $1.94 compared to the store brand of $1.99/lb.

1. Remove the ham from the packaging and discard the packaging. Make a few score marks on the top of the ham. I forgot to take a picture of the score marks before the next step, but you will be able to see the marks in later pictures after the ham was baked.

2. Wrap the entire ham tightly in foil two times. Because of the width of my foil, I wrapped once around the width of the ham and once around the length of the ham so that I covered the entire ham.

3. Place wrapped ham in a rimmed baking sheet or pan.

4. Place in a 300 degree oven and bake for 5 hours.

5. Right before the 5 hours are up, prepare the glaze. Mix together the following ingredients into a thick paste. I varied the last three ingredients, because you don't want the glaze to be too thin where it just runs off the ham. Start with the 2 tsp and add to your taste if needed.
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tsp mustard
  • 2-3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp pineapple juice

6. After 5 hours, remove ham from oven and CAREFULLY unwrap the foil with oven mitts. Pour or slather with a spoon the thick glaze over the very hot ham.

(Take note to the three score marks. This is before I added the glaze. I forgot to take a picture of the ham with the pre-baked glaze)

7. Carefully wrap ham back up tightly with the foil, you might need oven mitts. Bake for one more hour.

That is a total of six hours for my smoked fully cooked 6.7 lb ham, about 53 minutes a pound. Adjust your total time depending on the size of your pre-cooked ham. It might seem like a lot of time, but the ham will come out very tender and flavorful and should not be dried out.

***If you are baking a fresh, raw ham, bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes per pound and when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. For more information on cooking a raw ham, click here.

8. Remove from oven and loosen the foil slightly and let the ham sit for 30-60 minutes before cutting into. That will be tough, because it will smell amazing.

9. I used an electric knife, but the ham will be like butter, very easy to cut. The ridges in the ham help guide how thick to cut the slices. There are two ways to cut the ham. (1) I cut ham in half width-wise, then cut one of the halves lengthwise, then I cut across the two quarters for smaller pieces.

Or (2) just cut across width wise for larger slices.

No matter how you cut it...Enjoy!

** Leftovers can be frozen for future dishes. Try my Ham and Asparagus Frittata.

Will you be preparing ham for the holiday? What is your favorite glaze? What type of ham do you buy? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Wow, good information! We're having some people over Saturday and serving ham but we got the easiest way to make it, we're having someone bring the ham!

  2. I've baked ham before but didn't know I need to wrap foil around it. Thanks for the info.

  3. We received a ham as a Christmas gift from our neighbor man. It was so good. I still have the ham bone in my freezer. Better get that used.

  4. HMMM, I have been baking hams for 42 years now and never have wrapped it in foil! I always use a glaze and baste it many times while it is cooking. Have a very Happy Easter!!! XO, Pinky

  5. Yummmm, this makes me want ham!

  6. This is very much like the way I do our ham...I score the top in diamond shapes, put a whole clove in ea. diamond...cook as you do, but basting several times during hour before it is done, I put pineapple slices on the top....
    Gosh, I've made my silly self hungry...and your ham looks so so delicious.

  7. Everyone - Thanks for all of the comments. Just looking at my photos again, makes me hungry to bake another one.

    BJ - I might need to add pineapple slices next time - good idea.



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