How to Brine Your Christmas Ham

Brining makes all the difference when you cook your Christmas ham
ham

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This is how your Christmas ham will look when you brine it.

Brining your Christmas ham will impart flavor and moisture. This year, before you roast it in the oven, make sure you brine it first — it will make all of the difference in flavor, taste, and texture.

The basic ratio for a brining solution is one cup of salt to one gallon of water. Add in fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, smashed garlic, and peppercorns to infuse flavor into your saltwater solution. Some brining solutions incorporate brewed coffee, tea, or beer for extra flavor, but this does not take the place of the water in the ratio. The rule of thumb is one hour of brining is required for every pound of meat, so a five pound ham should brine for five hours. Watch the clock carefully — if you leave your meat in the brine too long, it will turn to mush.

All of your guests at the dinner table are going to wonder what you did differently this year.