All About Ham
Types of Ham
Bone-in: "Bone-in" have at least the leg or hip bone still intact. They are also available whole, as a shank-half or as a butt-half.
Butt: A meatier portion, it has a round, blunt end.
Shank: This portion has a tapered end and is generally easier to carve than the butt-end.
Semi-Boneless: Some of the bones have been removed -- only the center bone remains.
Fully Cooked: Nearly all hams sold in supermarkets today are fully cooked. They only need to be heated through before serving.
Boneless: All the bones and most of the fat have been removed before cooking. These are processed to reform the shape of a ham and bound to hold the meat together. Boneless hams make carving extremely simple.
Wet-Cured and Smoked: These have been soaked in or injected with a brine (a salt solution that may also contain varying amounts of water, sugar and spices to cure, then hung in a smokehouse to absorb smoke from a fire or injected with liquid smoke flavoring for the flavoring.
When choosing a ham, select one with a minimal amount of marbling for the lowest fat and best taste.
Uncooked hams must be cooked to an internal temperature of 155-160ºF before eating.
- Bone-in raw ham (butt end): 3 hours
- Non-spiral, pre-cooked ham: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Spiral, pre-cooked ham: 2 hours (spiral hams cook faster because the heat penetrates better)
- Ham steak: 30 minutes
If you intend to glaze your ham, remove it from the oven 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Prepare your favorite ham glaze and apply evenly over the surface of the warm ham. Return the glazed ham to the oven and continue to cook, uncovered, 25-30 minutes.
To carve a bone-in ham, place the ham on its side and cut off a few long slices to create a flat surface. Turn the ham onto the cut surface and make perpendicular slices down to the bone. Cut along the bone to release the slices, then remove the slices with the fork.
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