How to Cook a Christmas Ham

Staff Writer
A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to prepare and serves a crowd

Find out how to bake a beautiful ham with cloves and glaze.

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!

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