Ham – How to Cook

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How to Cook a Ham

Glazed Baked Ham

Glazed Baked Ham

We use this recipe for Glazed Baked Ham both for our Christmas Eve feast and our Easter dinner.
Like many other things in the kitchen, cooking a ham is done by feel and experience. Now a days, a ham is usually purchased precooked so at home we just want to finish off the cooking, making sure it is heat through, and the taste enhanced by various glazes. It is not unusual for cooking instructions to be included when you buy a ham. You can purchase either a whole ham or half a ham. When the ham has been halved it comes with either a shank end or a butt end. I prefer the butt end as I think that there is less waste in this portion. You can also buy a ham with the bone in or boneless. Although a boneless ham is easier to carve and does not have waste, it is more expensive and I think that maybe the bone gives a better flavor.

Method of Cooking a Ham:

Place the ham meat side down in a roasting pan with fat side up. Cover with lid or foil wrap. You can add a bit of water to the bottom of the pan but I don’t usually do this. Cook at 300- 325F degrees according to directions that came with the ham or check the chart at the bottom of this page.

After about 30 – 45 minutes remove from oven and take off the rind leaving the white fat exposed. You can do this with a sharp knife inserted between the fat and rind. Just gently pry the rind off with a twist of the knife.

Score the fat into diamonds. Place a whole clove into each diamond and return ham to oven. I usually give the ham another 30 minutes of cooking time before glazing it.

Remove ham from oven and apply glaze. In our household this usually consists of covering the ham with Maple Syrup. Other ideas of a glaze will follow.

Return ham to oven – move temperature up to 400F degrees to brown the top of the ham. Total cooking time will vary but for half a ham (5- 7 pounds) approximately 2 hours at 300 – 325F degrees is just about right. Guard against drying out the ham.

Let ham sit for 20 minutes covered before carving and serving.

Cooking Times for Precooked Ham Oven 300F

Ham TypeWeightApprox Cook
Time Per Pound
Whole Ham8 – 10 lbs
20 minutes
Whole Ham10 - 15 lbs18 minutes
Whole Ham15 - 18 lbs15 minutes
Half Ham5 – 8 lbs25 minutes



Pineapple, Orange, and Honey Glaze

1/4 c. pineapple juice from can of pineapple
1/4 c. orange juice
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar

Brown Sugar Glaze (My Mother’s favorite glaze)

1 ½ cups Brown Sugar
1 ½ Tsp Dry Mustard
¾ Tsp Ground Cloves

Gingerale Glaze

1 ½ Tsp Dry Mustard
Jelly – cranberry, or orange marmalade, or red current
Mix mustard into jelly and add Gingerale to make a runny paste

About Pat Tate

Always a very busy person Pat has been interested in cooking and collecting recipes. In an effort to sort out a mound of favorite recipes and to be able to pass them on to the next generation she started this site Family, Foods, and Friends. Again she invites people to join her and to share their cooking adventures.

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