🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

Let's talk ham. Fresh, smoked, cured? Which do I want and why?

I've never made a ham before, but have committed to making one for my cooking club holiday feast this weekend. Several of the recipes on this site look amazing--some call for fresh ham, some for smoked or cured. How do I decide? I'm not sure I've ever had a fresh ham--does it taste like a giant pork chop? Will my cooking club think I cheated if I start with a cured or smoked ham?

asked by Ms. T over 5 years ago
6 answers 11960 views
0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

I'd stay with cured hams, partially cooked hams. "fresh hams" are a bit labor intensive, as are "Virgina" style hams that are dried and salted, which require long soaking to remove the salt and help hydrate them.
This is a good recipe http://www.foodnetwork...
and I think Youtube will offer up video of the processes.

A pineapple sauce served with ham is great addition. use some allspice, cloves and cinnamon in the sauce.
I don't think anyone will think it's a cheat using a cured partiality baked ham anymore than not making procuitio from scratch. The glaze and sauce are the additions you bring to the ham.

BTW: Corn bread, collards and blackeyed peas are must (to me) with ham.

C1925f5b 917a 4e62 8c98 8ff7031b0b36  food54 profile pic
added over 5 years ago

I love Alton Brown for stuff like this. I had actually just watched his city ham video right after I posted my question and before I got your response ;)

2f4926e2 248b 4c22 a6f7 8f2d888b8488  3 bizcard

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 5 years ago

I made a cured ham using the food52 recipe by tastefood "smoked ham with pommegranate molasses, black pepper and dijon at the potluck party and it was amazing. I am actually thinking of trying Wssmom's fresh ham recipe for new years, It will be my first time dealing with a fresh ham I have always done cured and they are wonderful with very little cooking time,

67bf087f e880 479d add5 0f9f3743c495  open uri20140906 32307 1jlfk11
added over 5 years ago

last year I bought a cured aged ham from a place in Kentucky - I paid extra for them to to the prep of scrubbing and soaking, so it was supposedly ready to eat. Holy cow, was it salty. Next time I will do the prep myself, and soak it a looonng time. I have purchased cured hams prepared by Meat Science students at a university, and they were fantastic - not aged however, which is prob why they were less salty. You probably know all this already, but just thought I would share my experiences for the other novices.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

i usually cook a fresh ham. i prefer them because i control the flavoring. they do NOT taste like a pork chop at all. not salty either because they are not preerved with salt and who knows what else.

C1925f5b 917a 4e62 8c98 8ff7031b0b36  food54 profile pic
added over 5 years ago

Thanks for all the helpful tips, folks. I ended up getting a bone-in ham that was cured and smoked and followed this recipe from Epicurious.http://www.epicurious.com...
It came out great! Next time, I think I'll try a fresh ham, just to see what the difference is. Thanks all.

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.