How much ham should you buy? For a holiday feast plus leftovers, pick up 6 oz (175 g) per person if it’s boneless, or 12 oz (375 g) per person if it’s bone-in.
What You’ll Need
- Large roasting pan with high sides to accommodate larger hams, and a rack insert to allow air to circulate
- Instant-read meat thermometer to check doneness with the most accurate results
- Foil for covering the ham if it’s browning too quickly, and for tenting the ham to keep it warm while it rests
- Sharp chef’s knife for scoring the fat layer on top of the ham before cooking
- Wide pastry brush for applying glaze
- Long, sharp carving knife and fork to neatly slice meat
Preparing the Ham
If your ham has both the fat layer and skin on top, it’s called a rind-on ham. It should be scored through the tough, inedible skin to help render the fat underneath. When it’s roasted, you carve off that skin and fat layer and then slice the meat. You can also remove the rind before cooking with a sharp boning knife, or briefly steam it first, as we have in our Root Beer Glazed Ham—it makes the job easier.
The most basic way to flavour a ham is to stud it with whole cloves—just score the fat layer on top and spike a whole clove in the middle of each diamond. (No fat layer? Just press the cloves right into the meat.) Another classic way to dress up ham is with canned pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. Attach them at even intervals to the meat with toothpicks during the last 15 minutes of baking and turn the oven up to 400°F (200°C) so the fruit can caramelize.
The most popular way to flavour a ham is with a sweet, syrupy glaze. Here are a few combinations to experiment with:
- Molasses + black coffee + ground allspice
- Pineapple juice + Dijon mustard + honey
- Brown sugar + cider vinegar + fresh thyme
How to Roast Ham Like a Pro
- Line the roasting pan with foil first to make cleanup a breeze.
- If the ham is rind-on or has a thick layer of fat, pour some water into the roasting pan to prevent the fat from splattering and smoking.
- Apply the glaze during the final 30 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn.
- Invest in an instant-read thermometer that can sync up with your smartphone or tablet. It will alert you when the ham is ready!
- Ham is getting too dark before it’s done? Cover it with foil, which will protect the outside from the direct heat.
- The glaze hasn’t formed a nice crust? Turn up the oven to 400°F (200°C) and watch it closely for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Forgot about the ham and the glaze is burnt? No problem. Just slice off the charred parts and discard them.
|Cut||Preheat oven to…||Roast for…||Cook until internal temp is…||Let rest for…|
|Half bone-in ham (shank or butt end)||
|25 to 30 min. per 1 lb (500 g)|| 71°C (160°F)
|15 to 20 min.|
|Whole boneless ham||
|15 to 20 min. per 1 lb (500 g)||71°C (160°F)||15 to 20 min.|
|Half boneless ham or smaller||
|20 to 25 min. per 1 lb (500 g)||71°C (160°F)||10 to 15 min.|
|15 to 20 min. per 1 lb (500 g)||71°C (160°F)||10 to 15 min.|