Looking to impress your guests with a mouthwatering glazed ham this Easter? You’re in luck! Cooking ham is a breeze, especially when you have the right tips and tricks. Our Test Kitchen pros are here to show you how to create the perfect picture-perfect glazed ham that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Choosing the Perfect Ham
Before diving into the cooking process, it’s essential to choose the right ham for your celebration. Grocery stores and butchers offer a variety of options, including city hams, country hams, and fresh hams.
Different Styles of Ham
- City Ham: These are readily available at any grocery store. City hams are cured through a brining process and are fully cooked.
- Country Ham: Unlike city hams, country hams are dry-cured and have a saltier taste. You can find both cooked and uncooked options for country hams.
- Fresh Ham: These hams are uncured and uncooked, making them harder to find at regular grocery stores. Local butchers are more likely to carry fresh hams. When cooked, fresh hams have a meatier texture.
Boneless vs. Bone-In
While boneless hams are convenient and easy to carve, they don’t offer the same flavor as bone-in hams. Opting for a bone-in ham, preferably semi-boneless, will prevent the meat from drying out and add more flavor. The shank cut is recommended for novice carvers, while the butt cut is more tender but trickier to navigate.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your butcher for advice on selecting the perfect ham for your needs.
How to Cook a Bone-in Ham
This ham recipe is ideal for serving a crowd or enjoying leftovers. Here’s what you’ll need and how to make it:
- 1 fully cooked bone-in ham (5 to 7 pounds)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Tools Recommended by our Test Kitchen:
- Roasting pan
- Carving set
Step 1: Score the Ham
Score the ham by making 1/4-inch deep cuts in a diamond pattern across the surface. This will allow the glaze to penetrate the meat, enhancing the flavor.
Step 2: Bake
Place the scored ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake at 325ºF for approximately 90 minutes, or until the thermometer reads 130ºF.
Step 3: Glaze and Finish
While the ham bakes, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard, and cider vinegar to make a thick paste. When the ham reaches 130ºF, remove it from the oven and generously spread the glaze over it. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 to 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF.
Tip: Glazing the ham halfway through the baking process prevents the sugar from burning and enhances the flavor without overcooking the meat.
How Long to Cook a Ham
The cooking time for ham depends on its size. Larger hams require less time in the oven compared to smaller ones. As a general rule, for a whole bone-in ham weighing 7 to 10 pounds, plan for 16 to 20 minutes per pound. For hams weighing 10 to 14 pounds, plan for 15 to 18 minutes per pound.
To be safe, start with the lower end of the cooking time and check the internal temperature with a thermometer. Once the ham reaches 140ºF, it’s ready!
How to Carve a Ham
Carving a ham is easier than you might think. With only one large bone to navigate, it’s a straightforward process. Follow our guide on how to carve a ham for the best results and showcase your perfectly cooked ham on a beautiful serving tray.
More Tips for the Best Ham
Here are a few more tips to help you make the best ham possible:
- Buy the Best Ham: For exceptional flavor and texture, consider ordering your ham from a local butcher shop instead of a mass-produced grocery store.
- Don’t Overcook: Remember, the ham is already cooked, so you’re just reheating it. Keep the temperature on the lower side. Follow any specific reheating instructions provided with your ham.
- Explore Different Cooking Methods: If you’re serving a smaller crowd, consider cooking ham steaks on the stovetop. Additionally, a slow cooker can be a convenient alternative to roasting for juicy and flavorful results.
- Customize Your Glaze: Experiment with different glazes to create unique flavor profiles. Brown sugar and pineapple, apricot and ginger, apple cider, or honey and chipotle are just a few options to consider.
- Try More Ham Recipes: Expand your ham repertoire with our collection of delicious ham recipes. From dinner options to Christmas classics and even smoked ham recipes, you’re sure to find a new favorite.
For a complete meal plan using leftover ham, don’t forget to check out our 7-day meal plan!
Now that you have all the tips and tricks, it’s time to get cooking! Enjoy preparing your delicious glazed ham and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.