A classic baked ham, dripping in a glaze of brown sugar, dry mustard, and apple cider vinegar, makes a commanding centerpiece for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Mother’s Day. The impressive and abundant main dish feeds a crowd, and having a stash of leftover ham is a very good thing. If this is your first time preparing a whole ham, you might feel intimidated, but fear not! This article will guide you through the process, ensuring a juicy and succulent glazed ham that will have everyone singing your praises.
How to Shop for Ham
First things first, let’s determine the type of ham you have. Did you walk away with a smoked ham? Or do you have a fresh ham on your hands? Is it bone-in or boneless? No matter the variety, the recipe below will guide you to a delicious glazed ham. Remember, avoid “country ham” for this preparation. Now, equip yourself with a shallow, heavy-duty roasting pan, a good meat thermometer, and a pastry brush to coat the ham with glaze.
How Much Ham Per Person
Before we delve into cooking times, let’s discuss portion sizes. Depending on the size of your crowd, you can buy a half or whole ham. A half ham can easily feed 12 people, while a whole ham can satisfy up to 30. As a general rule, allow ⅓ pound per person for boneless ham or ½ pound per person for bone-in ham. Here’s a breakdown of servings based on ham weight:
- 5-7-lb. bone-in ham equals 10-14 servings
- 5-7-lb. boneless ham equals 15-21 servings
- 10-15-lb. bone-in ham equals 20-30 servings
- 10-15-lb. boneless ham equals 30-45 servings
How Long to Cook a Ham
The cooking time for your ham depends on its size and whether it’s bone-in or boneless. While the ham cooking instructions below cover all bases, it’s important to keep an eye on internal temperature. A half ham will generally cook in 1½-2¼ hours, while a whole ham could require anywhere from 2½-4½ hours. Aim for around 20 minutes per pound for an uncooked half ham and 18-20 minutes per pound for an uncooked full ham. Roast until the interior temperature reaches 160°F. For precooked ham, reheat for about 18 minutes per pound to reach 140°F. Bone-in ham is preferred for its flavor and affordability. You can also save the ham bone to make stock or add it to other dishes.
Approximate Cooking Time for Fresh Ham
- 5-lb. fresh ham: about 1 hour 40 minutes
- 7-lb. fresh ham: about 2 hours 20 minutes
- 10-lb. fresh ham: 3 hours-3 hours 20 minutes
- 15-lb. fresh ham: 4 hours 30 minutes-5 hours
Approximate Cooking Time for Precooked Ham
- 5-lb. precooked ham: 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours
- 7-lb. precooked ham: 2 hours-2 hours 45 minutes
- 10-lb. precooked ham: 2 hours 30 minutes-3 hours
- 15-lb. precooked ham: 3 hours 45 minutes-4 hours 30 minutes
How to Glaze Ham
To beautifully finish your ham, use a sharp knife to slash the fat into a diamond pattern. This will help the glaze sink in. Brush the surface with the glaze and return the roast to the oven, following the specified heat reduction. Use any remaining glaze as a delicious side sauce. Once the glazed ham is caramelized to perfection, baste it with the drippings, then let it rest on a platter before garnishing it to your heart’s desire.
Now that you know how to cook a ham, the possibilities are endless. Try variations like smoked ham glazed with brown sugar and Dijon mustard, slow-cooker ham for a hands-off holiday meal, or spiral-sliced ham with rosemary and bourbon for a unique twist. Serve any of these options with delightful side dishes such as spoon bread, mac and cheese, or quick garlicky green beans.
Remember, a well-cooked ham is the key to a memorable holiday feast! For more amazing recipes and tips, visit Ekilove.