How to Cook an Easter Ham

A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to prepare and serves a crowd
How to Cook an Easter Ham

Find out how to prepare an Easter ham.

An Easter egg hunt can work up an appetite — and a simple yet delicious Easter dinner is necessary after all the festivities. Between decorating Easter eggs, filling Easter baskets, and hosting family, it doesn’t leave you with much time to prepare dinner. A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to make and serves a crowd.

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 through the cuts. Place whole cloves into the intersections of each of the diamonds.

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

Cut Weight 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.

From Easter menus and party ideas to the best Easter dinner, dessert, and cocktail recipes, we’ve got you covered. Find all this and more on The Daily Meal’s Easter Recipes & Menus Page.


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