How To Cook A Christmas Ham

Christmas dinner is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy a meal sitting around the table. What you serve is special and takes thought to prepare and serve. A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to make and serves a crowd. Find out how to bake a beautiful ham with cloves and glaze.

Click here to see 9 Things You Should Roast This Christmas (Slideshow)

This first step is choosing a ham. Most of the hams available are already cooked and just require being heated through. There are also several choices such as bone-in (rump), shank, and boneless ham. For a rump or shank, it's about three entrée servings per pound. For a bone-in ham, figure about four to five servings per pound. For extra-easy slicing, buy a fully cooked spiral-cut ham that comes already pre-sliced.

The next step is to cook the ham. Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Score a diamond pattern on the meat's surface and brush with glaze. Do this by using a chef's knife and making diagonal slits about 1 inch apart from each other on the ham. The glaze will penetrate though the cuts. Place whole cloves into the intersections of each of the diamonds.

Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered until the ham reaches 140 degrees for precooked ham and 160 degrees for cook-before-eating ham. Glaze the ham during the last 20 minutes of baking. Use a basting brush to brush the glaze all over the ham.



Cooking Time

Boneless and precooked

1 to 3 pounds
3 to 5 pounds
6 to 8 pounds
8 to 10 pound

3/4 to 1-1/4 hours
1 to 1-3/4 hours
1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours
2-1/2 to 2-3/4 hours

Bone-in and precooked

5 to 8 pounds
14 to 16 pound

1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hours
2-3/4 to 3-3/4 hours

Bone-in, cook before eating

3 to 5 pounds
7 to 8 pounds
14 to 16 pound

1-3/4 to 3 hours
2-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours
4 to 5-1/4 hours

To slice the bone-in ham, cut around the bone first. Then, using a large knife, slice off pieces around the bone. Place the whole ham on a cutting board and cut horizontally along center bone.

For more holiday cheer, visit The Daily Meal's Ultimate Guide to Christmas!

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.