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How long should I cook a Christmas ham?

asked by a Whole Foods Market Customer over 4 years ago
6 answers 1913 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

Hi -- what size is the ham?

8425a5f0 773c 4ccd b24e 9e75b44477a8  monita photo

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 4 years ago

And how are you preparing it?

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

And what type of ham?

9b94e94b 0205 4f2c bb79 1845dcd6f7d6  uruguay2010 61
added over 4 years ago

If it is the basic hams sold today by most companies it has been pumped with water, salt, sugar, and probably sodium nitrite, sodium phosphate and sodium erythorbate. These hams have reached a temperature during processing that kill trichinia and other pathogens, at least 154 degrees F by USDA regulations. The hams are cooked. This goes with boneless or bone-in. The standard reheating procedure is to put about 1/2" water in a pan and heat the ham, covered, in a 325 oven for 20 minutes per lb. The last 1/2 hour, uncover the ham and glaze to ones preference at a 400 oven. My family use to produce York style hams (somewhat similar to today's style ham, except better) and this was the standard instructions we gave all customers for over 50 years. No one ever complained.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

Oh, my darling pig, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: There are fresh hams and fully cooked hams, do not confuse one with the other! Nor should you confuse smoked hams or cured hams with the fully-cooked variety (both require cooking). Dry cured hams (country hams, prosciutto and others) contain so little water (and so much salt) that bacteria do not survive.

Fully cooked hams bearing the USDA seal should be heated to no less than 140F, non-inspected hams to 165F, as measured with an instant read thermometer. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 5 days. Serve cold or reheat to 165F.


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added over 4 years ago

Cooks Illustrated has a method for a supermarket ham that is already fully cooked, to wit using one of those oven roasting bags, which really does keep the ham from drying out. You can remove it at the end if you want to glaze the ham.

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