Ham is the star at Easter dinner, but cooking techniques vary widely depending on what you buy. Fresh hams take longer to cook than canned ones. Cold-smoked hams are typically simmered, not baked. And store-bought hams often come already fully cooked. These tips will help you make the most of your holiday ham.
- Technically, ham refers to meat cut from back legs or shoulders of a pig. It can be salt-cured, smoked or aged.
- Hams are sold with or without the bone. To determine the amount to buy, estimate needing 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person, or 1/4 pound of boneless ham.
- With all the variety--fresh, partially cooked, fully cooked--it's best to follow package instructions for baking times.
- Fully cooked hams can be served as is, but they'll taste better if glazed and roasted to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Pricier cold-smoked hams are heavily salted. Serve them cold and thinly sliced to minimize saltiness.
- Before carving, let baked ham rest 15 minutes to redistribute juices and keep meat firm.
Top Ham Recipes
Already have your store-bought ham picked out? These five highly rated recipes won't disappoint: from honey-glazed ham that tastes as good as those sold at specialty shops, to ham with raisin curry-chutney glaze, to a recipe for lazy cooks--all you need is a slow cooker and two ingredients!
- Honey-Glazed Ham
- Raisin Curry-Chutney Glaze
- Ham with Pineapple
- Slow Cooker Ham
- Glazed Ham