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How Long To Cook A Ham

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Ham is a healthy, filling protein that can be easy to prepare but challenging if you’ve never cooked it.

It requires a recommended cooking time to get the desired results.

It takes between 5 minutes and 3 hours to cook a ham.

This depends on the type of cooking equipment and the weight, cut, and type of ham. 

Cooking ham using the recommended time ensures that it’s well-cooked to the required internal temperature to prevent foodborne illnesses which result from undercooked food.

This article guides you on the duration it takes to cook different types and weights of ham.

Types of ham

Before looking at how long to cook a ham, it’s important to note the different types.

How long to cook a ham is determined by the type of ham. They are:

Fresh ham

Fresh ham is uncooked and starts pink, then changes to white while cooking.

Its cooking time depends on the equipment you’re using, the weight, and the cut of the ham. 

When its internal temperature hits 145 degrees F, you’ll know it’s well-cooked.

Once ready, allow it to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. 

Smoked ham (Cooked)

Cooked, smoked ham is a ready-to-eat variety that you can eat cold.

However, you may prefer heating it before eating.

In this case, the cooking time will vary based on the cut and size of the ham.

It’s ready when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

Before serving, allow the ham to rest for 2-3 minutes.

Smoked ham (Cook before eating)

This type of ham is smoked, but you need to cook it before eating.

When cooking, you’ll know it’s ready when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

Before serving, ensure that it rests for about 3 minutes.

The cooking time for this ham depends on the cut, weight, and equipment you’re using for cooking.

How long to cook a ham in the oven 

When cooking ham in the oven, start at its refrigerated temperature.

Remove it from the oven when the internal temperature is about 5-10 degrees less than required.

This temperature will rise to the recommended amount as you leave the ham to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Let’s look at the cooking duration for the different types and cuts of ham in the oven.

Type of hamHam cutWeight (lbs)Cooking time ( Minutes)Temperature 
Fresh hamBone-in picnic shoulder
Shoulder boneless roll
5 to 8
2 to 3
30
35 to 45
350 degrees F
350 degrees F 
Smoked ham (cook before eatingBone-in half ham
Whole ham
Whole ham
5 to 7
10 to 14
14 to 16
25 to 30
18 to 20
15 to 18
350 degrees F
350 degrees F
350 degrees F
Smoked ham (cooked)Bone-in half ham
Boneless half ham
Bone-in whole ham
Boneless half ham
Boneless whole ham
5 to 7
3 to 4
12 to 14
6 to 8
14 to 16
18 to 20
25 to 30
15
10 to 12
5 to 7
325 degrees F
325 degrees F
325 degrees F
325 degrees F
325 degrees F

How long to cook a ham on a grill

The time it takes to grill ham depends on the type of heat and weight of the ham.

When using indirect heat, ensure that your grills are on medium heat.

If you’re using direct heat, the grills should be on high heat.

Below is the time it takes to grill different types and weights of ham.

Type of ham Weight (lbs)Cooking time (per lb)
Smoked ham (Cooked)8 to 10 minutes
Smoked ham (cook-before-eating)3 to 4
5 to 7
10 to 14
10 to 12 minutes
12 to 18 minutes
30 to 35 minutes

How long to cook a ham in an oven bag at 325 degrees F

When using an oven bag to cooking a ham, follow the steps below:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Pour one tablespoon of flour to the oven bag and spread evenly
  • Put the ham inside the oven bag
  • When the temperature hits 140 degrees F, it’s well-cooked

If the oven bag you’re using is turkey-size and the ham is 12lbs or below, leave some loose space for heat circulation.

After doing so, use a nylon tie to secure the oven bag and cut off the excess part of the bag.

Let’s look at the time range for cooking the different cuts of ham at 325 degrees F on an oven bag.

Ham cutWeight (lbs)Cooking time for a regular oven bag ( 10″ by 16″)Cooking time for a large oven bag ( 14″ by 20″)Cooking time for a Turkey size oven bag ( 19″ by 23.5″)
Smoked picnic 5 to 8 lbs2 to 3 hours 
Bone-in whole cooked ham12 to 16 lbs2 to 3 ¼ hours
Bone-in cooked half ham6 to 8 lbs
8 to 10 lbs
1 ½ to 2 hours 

 2 to 2 ½
Boneless cooked half ham2 to 4 lbs
4 to 6 lbs
10 to 12 lbs
1 to 1 ¾ hours

1 ¼ to 1 ¾ 





2 ¼ to 2 ¾ hours
Rump half ham8 to 10 lbs1 ½ to 1 ¾ hour 
Bone-in whole country ham10 to 14 lbs3 ½ to 4 ½ hours
Bone-in half country ham5 to 7 lbs2 ½ to 3 hours

How long to cook a ham in an air fryer

Cooking ham using an air fryer takes a shorter time than an oven.

The cooking time depends on the size of the ham and whether or not you’re using a normal or an oilless air fryer. 

It’s quicker to cook ham wrapped in foil using an oilless air fryer than the normal one.

The chart below shows the time it takes to cook ham while it’s wrapped in aluminum foil in both oilless and normal air fryers.

Weight (lbs)Cooking time ( oilless air fryer)Cooking time (regular air fryer)
550 minutes55 minutes
440 minutes45 minutes
330 minutes35 minutes
220 minutes25 minutes

It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to reheat leftover ham at 350 degrees F, regardless of size.

How long to cook a ham in a microwave

Cooking ham in a microwave is ideal for the smoked variety.

The cooking time depends on the weight of the ham.

You can cook whole hams in a microwave, but you’ll get better results with ham slices or steak. 

If you cook it whole, the outer part can turn dry and hard before the inside is ready.

By slicing or carving, you allow the inside to cook as well.

For uncooked ham, cover it with parchment paper to prevent overcooking, then put it inside a cooking bag that’s cut on one upper side.

Close the bag and leave a little space to allow air to escape.

Cook on high for between 12 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees F.

Remove the ham and leave it to sit for 15 minutes before you slice and serve.

This resting time allows the internal temperature to rise to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees F for safety reasons.

When cooking half fully cooked ham in a microwave, cover it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and cover using a lid or plastic wrap.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes and ensure that the internal temperature reads 135 degrees before removing it.

Allow the ham to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

To cook half boneless, fully cooked ham, cover loosely with aluminum foil and place it on a microwavable plate containing ¼ cup of water.

Cook for 10 minutes on medium and check if the internal temperature reads 135 to 140 degrees F before removing it.

Ensure that it sits for 12 to 15 minutes before slicing or serving.

FAQs

Should you cook a ham in the oven at 325 degrees F or 350 degrees F?

325 degrees F is the ideal temperature for cooking ham in the oven.

This doesn’t mean you can’t cook it at 350 degrees F.

If you cook at 350 degrees time, it’ll take more time. 

How many minutes per pound should you cook a ham in an oven at 350 degrees F?

Generally, it takes 10 to 12 minutes per pound .to cook a ham in the oven at 350 degrees F.

Adjust the time based on the cut and ham’s thickness. 

How long does it take to cook frozen ham? 

It takes 18-20 minutes to cook a frozen ham in a conventional oven at 325 degrees F.

Using a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker will take 6-8 hours and 35 minutes, respectively. 

Conclusion

Before cooking ham, knowing how long you should cook is essential to prevent undercooked or burnt results.

A well-cooked ham has a moist, tender interior with a golden brown exterior.

The cooking time differs depending on the type of ham, cut, size, and equipment you’re using to cook.

For the best results, use the charts above during cooking.


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