How Long Should You Bake Ham?

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No holiday meal is complete without a table centerpiece of sweet and savory ham.

Baked ham is iconic meat with various distinctive flavors, meaning that you’ll always find something that fits your culinary needs.

While we enjoy this delectable delight, we can’t help but wonder how long we need to bake a ham.

Well, let’s find out.

Shall we?

So, how long should you bake ham?

For uncooked bone-in ham weighing 2-4 pounds, you should cook it at 325 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes per pound.

However, for boneless ham, weighing between 5-8 pounds, it will take about 30-35 minutes per pound in 325 degrees F oven. 

This article will explain how to choose the proper cut of ham and the common types available.

It will also provide a classic ham recipe that’s delicious and easy to prepare.

Cook times and temperature for ham

The cooking time for ham will depend on whether it is bone-in or boneless and whether it’s ready-to-eat or raw.

However, the internal temperature for uncooked ham should reach 145 degrees F and 140 degrees F for already cooked ham for adequate food safety. 

The best way to guarantee tenderness and doneness is by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the center of the thickest part of the meat.

Pre-cooked and bone-in ham

A half ham weighing 5 to 7 pounds should be heated at 325 degrees F for 18-24 minutes per pound.

Similarly, if it’s a whole ham weighing between 10 to 14 pounds, you should heat it at 325 degrees F for 15-18 minutes per pound. 

Ensure the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F and allow the ham to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pre-cooked and boneless ham

You can heat a pre-cooked ham weighing 6 and 12 pounds for about 10-18 minutes per pound in a 325 degrees F oven.

Like with pre-cooked bone-in ham, the internal temperature should reach 140 degrees F.

Uncooked and bone-in ham

Depending on the cut, uncooked and bone-in ham can weigh between 2 and 8 pounds.

The Shoulder Roll cut can weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and should be cooked at 325 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes per pound. 

However, the boneless ham shoulder will be larger, weighing between 5 and 8 pounds—Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes per pound.

Ensure you measure the internal temperature with a food thermometer before removing the ham from the oven, with a ten-minute rest before cutting and serving.

Tips for glazing and roasting ham

You can brush the glaze generously across the surface of the ham every 10 minutes, 40 minutes before your ham is done, to achieve a perfect glossy coating.

Before placing the ham in the oven, score the ham’s skin in a crisscross pattern to allow the glaze to penetrate the meat while it bakes.

How to choose the right cut of ham

When choosing ham, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Pre-cooked, pre-sliced spiral sliced hams are a great choice, especially if you’re on crunch time.

Pick a cut that’s bright grayish-pink in color and has a firm texture. 

The leg portion (shank end) tends to be leaner and has one long bone, making carving easier.

However, the top half of the ham (butt end) has more tender, fattier meat, providing a richer flavor. 

Ham can also be sold both boneless and bone-in.

If you choose bone-in ham, save the hambone for soups, stews, and greens to elevate the flavor. 

Common types of ham

When shopping, you will notice several types of ham are available.

The following terms refer to how the ham was prepared or the region where the pig was farmed.

Black Forest 

This ham earns its name from the area it was first produced in, the Black Forest region in Germany, and its blackened exterior.

This boneless ham is salted and seasoned with juniper berries and a distinct blend of spices, giving it an indisputable black coating during smoking. 

Once the ham has cured for several weeks, it’s cold-smoked, giving it an intense salty flavor.

Prosciutto

This is an Italian ham that comes from the Parma region.

It’s seasoned, salt-cured, air-dried, then pressed to create a firm and dense texture, and doesn’t need to be cooked before serving.

Prosciutto comes in small slices and is added to a meal when cooking to add a delicious, salty flavor.

Country Ham

This is a popular cut of ham consumed in the southern United States and must be cured, aged, and dried for at least 70 days.

It is dry-cured in salt, smoked over fragrant hardwoods, and aged at least six months.

Country ham is usually sold and consumed in thick slices or as a half portion.

Serrano ham 

This ham comes from Spain and is served thinly sliced, almost like Prosciutto.

However, the most distinct difference is that Serrano contains less fat and moisture, giving it a strong, robust flavor.

Classic glazed ham recipe

Ingredients

For the Ham:

  • 1 9- to 10-pound bone-in fully cooked smoked ham (butt or shank half)
  • Two tablespoons of whole cloves (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups glaze of your choosing

For the Apple-Maple Glaze:

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple jelly
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

For the Mustard-Orange Glaze:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

For the Hoisin-Spice Glaze:

  • Two teaspoons of five-spice powder
  • One tablespoon of peanut oil
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  •  Three tablespoons honey
  • Three tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • One tablespoon of soy sauce

For the Pineapple-Apricot Glaze:

  • Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Eight thin slices of ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Remove the ham from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the glaze of your choosing.
  3. For the Apple-Maple Glaze: Boil the apple cider in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the apple jelly, maple syrup, mustard, allspice, and nutmeg.
  4. For the Mustard-Orange Glaze: Mix the brown sugar, mustard, orange zest, and juice in a bowl.
  5. For the Hoisin-Spice Glaze: Toast the five-spice powder in a small saucepan over medium heat with the peanut oil for about 1 minute. Add the hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and 1 cup of water. Boil and reduce to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
  6. For the Pineapple-Apricot Glaze: Put the lime juice in a saucepan; add the ginger and pineapple juice. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain, then add the lime zest, apricot preserves, and mustard.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Trim off any skin from the ham. Use a sharp paring knife to score through the fat in a diagonal crosshatch pattern without cutting through to the meat. Insert the cloves into the ham (if using), placing them at the intersections of the cuts.
  8. Put the ham, flat-side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 130˚ F, about 2 hours 30 minutes (about 15 minutes per pound).
  9. Increase the oven temperature to 425˚ F. Pour half the glaze over the ham and brush to coat. If the water in the bottom of the pan has evaporated, add more.
  10. Return the ham to the oven and roast every 10 minutes with the remaining glaze until glossy and well browned, about 45 more minutes.

FAQs

Q: How long does ham take to cook at 350? 

A: A standard spiral sliced ham will generally take 10-15 minutes per pound to heat to 140 degrees F.

For a 10-pound ham, it will bake for about 1 ½ to 2 hours in a 350 degrees F oven.

Q: Do you cook ham at 325 or 350?

A: The best temperature to cook the ham in the oven is 325 F.

USDA’s safe temperature guideline recommends that the ham be baked at 325 degrees F.

Q: How long should I cook a 12 lb ham? 

A:  A 12-pound ham will take about 18 to 20 minutes per pound to bake, or about 3 ½ -4 hours.

Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer at the lowest time estimate.

Q: Do you cover ham when baking? 

A: No, you don’t need to cover the ham.

Place in a preheated oven and bake to 325 degrees F.

Bake until its internal temperature reaches 155°F.

Allow the ham to rest for 15 minutes, and the internal temperature should rise to 160°F during this time.

Q: How do you keep the ham moist? 

A: You can add half a cup of water, wine, or stock to the bottom of the pan while your ham is cooking.

This ensures the ham stays moist, providing a juicy, tender outcome.

Q: Should ham be wrapped in foil before baking? 

A: You can wrap your ham in aluminum foil and place it in an oven bag cut side down inside a roasting pan.

This method helps your ham cook evenly without drying it out.

Q: How do you tell if the ham is done? 

A: All raw or ready-to-eat ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.

Ensure you check the internal temperature with a food thermometer before removing it from the oven.

Following the recommended ham cooking temperature will ensure a safe eating experience while preserving the quality of your meat.

In conclusion

How long to bake ham will depend on how thick it is.

If you cook ham at the recommended ham cooking temperature, the result will be ham that’s both safe and perfectly done.

Baked hams have a wonderful flavor on their own, and as leftovers, they’re perfect for sandwiches, snacking on crackers, or just a quick grab-on-the-go bite. 

How Long Should You Bake Ham

Amazing Baked Ham Recipe

Baked ham is iconic meat with various distinctive flavors, meaning that you’ll always find something that fits your culinary needs.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 7
Calories 1144 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10- pound bone-in smoked ham
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups glaze
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple jelly
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 8 thin slices of ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Remove the ham from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the glaze of your choosing.
  • For the Apple-Maple Glaze: Boil the apple cider in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the apple jelly, maple syrup, mustard, allspice, and nutmeg.
  • For the Mustard-Orange Glaze: Mix the brown sugar, mustard, orange zest, and juice in a bowl.
  • For the Hoisin-Spice Glaze: Toast the five-spice powder in a small saucepan over medium heat with the peanut oil for about 1 minute. Add the hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and 1 cup of water. Boil and reduce to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
  • For the Pineapple-Apricot Glaze: Put the lime juice in a saucepan; add the ginger and pineapple juice. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain, then add the lime zest, apricot preserves, and mustard.
  • Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Trim off any skin from the ham. Use a sharp paring knife to score through the fat in a diagonal crosshatch pattern without cutting through to the meat. Insert the cloves into the ham (if using), placing them at the intersections of the cuts.
  • Put the ham, flat-side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 130˚ F, about 2 hours 30 minutes (about 15 minutes per pound).
  • Increase the oven temperature to 425˚ F. Pour half the glaze over the ham and brush to coat. If the water in the bottom of the pan has evaporated, add more.
  • Return the ham to the oven and roast every 10 minutes with the remaining glaze until glossy and well browned, about 45 more minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 1144kcalCarbohydrates: 113gProtein: 112gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 312mgSodium: 9156mgPotassium: 2237mgFiber: 5gSugar: 91gVitamin A: 478IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 199mgIron: 11mg
Keyword How Long Should You Bake Ham? Everything You Need To Know
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