Taking The Mystery Out Of Cooking Ham


For many families, a nice juicy ham is the centerpiece and star of every holiday meal. Even non-holiday meals are made more special with the serving of a delicious ham. The only problem is that cooking ham can be an intimidating prospect for some cooks. With so many cooking methods to choose from and so many conflicting sets of instructions, making the family ham can be a daunting task.

Grandma’s Well Loved Method

One of the classic methods of cooking ham involves boiling the ham in water prior to baking it. This method for cooking ham is healthy for a couple of reasons: first, if you change the water halfway through the boiling part of the process you can remove much of the salt and nitrates present in the meat. Secondly, this method lets you cook the meat without the addition of any fats or sweeteners, and the longer cooking time makes the ham more flavorful and moist.

If you would like to try cooking ham by boiling and then baking, start off with a large pot. It should be of a size that will allow the ham to fit snugly but not be too crowded. Cover it with liquid of your choice: usually its plain water with some herbs and seasonings, but you can experiment with wine, cola, or fruit juice added to the water for some interesting taste combinations.

You’ll then bring the liquid to a boil gradually, and when it begins to boil reduce the heat to simmering. Cover the pot and continue cooking ham for 20-25 minutes per pound. Test the ham for doneness with a meat thermometer. It should register 155 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s ready for the heat to be turned off.

After it’s done cooking, ham will continue to develop its flavor for a while, so leave it in the cooking liquid for an hour or two. Then, remove the ham and score the surface of the meat with a sharp knife. You can either cover the ham with a glaze or just poke whole cloves into the surface to add flavor. You may also want to add pineapple rings, but this is a matter of personal taste. Then bake in a roasting pan at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until it’s nicely brown.

This method of cooking ham has been used for many generations. It’s a simple, yet delicious way of cooking ham that your entire family is sure to love.