Ham is a traditional entrée when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Choose your cut of pork, prepare, serve and enjoy it alongside your favorite dishes. You can find several choices of ham cuts in your local grocery store from cooked to uncooked.
The majority of hams sold in grocery store are intended to be served as the main entree for meals and they are cut into 4-5 pound pieces. This sized ham will provide you with about a dozen servings, depending on who’s eating. The bone in cut seems to be popular in most homes and you can find this cut available in both uncooked and precooked selections. I like using the bone in ham since it’s perfect in making a great ham soup after Christmas.
Here’s a quick description of the various cuts of ham.
Cuts of Ham
- Shank – comes from the lower half of the pig’s leg with less fat
- Butt – comes from the upper half of the pig’s leg with more fat
- Spiral – is usually precooked and presliced
- Boneless – all the bones are removed and the ham is wrapped or canned
If you have decided to cook your ham, you need about 30 minutes per pound for uncooked hams with a bone, weighting in at 4-5 pounds. If you are reheating a precooked ham, 20 minutes for the same weight size. Keep an eye on your precooked ham, you don’t want to overcook and dry the ham out.
Place your ham with the fat side on a rack, in a shallow roasting pan. The rack keeps the ham out of the dripping. No basting is required for this cut of meat. Roast your ham at 325 and allow the ham to rest for about 20 minutes before you start slicing into the meat.
Use a cooking thermometer to make sure that the ham is fully done. For 4-5 pound uncooked hams you want to reach 170 degrees and for precooked 140 degrees.
If you are going to glaze your ham, about 30 minutes before the ham is fully cooked remove it from the oven. Trim some of the fat off of the ham, score diamond cuts into the ham; cover it in the glaze and pineapple rings. Mom used whole cloves to hold the pineapple rings in place, while the ham finishes baking for another 20 minutes.
- 1 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. dry mustard
- 1 Can pineapple slices
- Whole cloves
Mix the brown sugar and dry mustard together and slowly pour in the pineapple juice to get a medium thick paste. Place the pineapple rings on top of the ham and secure them using the whole clove as a pin. If you’re feeling creative, form a design with the pineapple rings.
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