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How to Bake a Pre-Cooked Spiral-Sliced Ham

by
author image The LIVESTRONG.COM Team
The LIVESTRONG.COM editorial team works hard to help you live stronger, healthier and happier. We are a team of editors working hard to bring you informative and engaging healthy lifestyle content.
How to Bake a Pre-Cooked Spiral-Sliced Ham
Find out how to bake a pre-cooked ham without drying it out. Photo Credit gkrphoto/iStock/Getty Images

A pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham provides you with an entree that's both simple to prepare and convenient to serve. Such hams are particularly popular for holiday meals and buffet dinners. As its name implies, pre-cooked ham has been previously baked, smoked or cured and comes ready to eat. By placing the ham in the oven, you're simply warming the meat to bring out its flavor and aroma. You can also apply a flavorful glaze to lightly caramelize the meat’s surface. Spiral-sliced hams are sold already cut to the bone into thin, continuous slices, so the meat is easy to serve.

Things You'll Need

  • Broiling or roasting pan
  • Foil
  • Glaze (optional)
  • Pastry brush
  • Instant-read thermometer
Preheating the oven ensures that your oven is the optimal temperature before you cook your ham.
Preheating the oven ensures that your oven is the optimal temperature before you cook your ham. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 1: Pre-Heat the Oven

Place your oven rack on the lowest level. This allows the center of the ham to remain in the center of the oven while baking, ensuring that it's cooked evenly and thoroughly. Check the ham’s packaging for heating recommendations and heat the oven accordingly; otherwise, heat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the USDA, you shouldn't cook meat at temperatures any lower than this.

Avoid using a flimsy aluminum pan for cooking, as this can increase the risk of spilling dangerously hot broth.
Avoid using a flimsy aluminum pan for cooking, as this can increase the risk of spilling dangerously hot broth. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 2: Prep the Ham

Remove the wrapping and any additional covering on the ham. Select a large broiling pan or roasting pan. If using a lightweight, disposable aluminum pan, place it on a baking sheet for stability. Aluminum pans on their own are often too flimsy to control and may cause you to drop them or spill hot broth.

Covering the roasting dish keeps your ham from drying out too much.
Covering the roasting dish keeps your ham from drying out too much. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 3: Get Ready For Baking

Place the ham cut-side down in the pan. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or cover the ham tightly with aluminum foil to keep it from drying out.

Average cooking times for a pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham range from two to three hours total.
Average cooking times for a pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham range from two to three hours total. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 4: Cook the Ham

Heat the ham for about 10 to 18 minutes per pound at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow approximately two hours for a half ham and three hours for a whole ham.

Glazes are optional, but they can add extra delicious flavor to your ham.
Glazes are optional, but they can add extra delicious flavor to your ham. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 5: Glaze the Ham

If you'd like, use a pastry or basting brush to glaze the ham as desired. If your glaze contains sugar, wait until the last hour of cooking to apply it so it doesn’t burn. If you are using a ready-to-use glaze that came with the ham, follow the directions on the packet.

Make sure you don't open the oven or uncover the ham too frequently, as this can cause the ham to dry out.
Make sure you don't open the oven or uncover the ham too frequently, as this can cause the ham to dry out. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 6: Check the Temperature

Periodically check the ham’s temperature with an instant-read thermometer, taking care to place the thermometer so it touches the meat only and not the bone. Replace the lid or foil after checking the temperature. To prevent the ham from drying out, limit the amount of times you open the oven.

Make sure your ham is at the correct internal temperature before removing from the oven.
Make sure your ham is at the correct internal temperature before removing from the oven. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 7: Finish Cooking

Remove the ham from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit if the ham was packaged

in a USDA-inspected plant (at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit if it wasn't), according to the USDA. Again, make sure the tip of the thermometer does not come in contact with the bone when taking the temperature.

You beautiful pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham is now ready to serve and eat!
You beautiful pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham is now ready to serve and eat! Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Step 8: Let Sit Before Serving

Allow the ham to rest for 20 to 30 minutes after removing it from the oven and before serving it. This will make it easier to pull apart the already-cut pieces.

Tips

  • Save the ham bone after all the slices have been removed.
    You can use it as the base for a flavorful split pea, bean or lentilsoup.
  • Heat the ham only long enough to warm it. It requires no
    further cooking for safe eating, and heating it too long or at too high a
    temperature will cause it to become dry.

What Do YOU Think?

Are you a fan of ham? What's your favorite way to prepare it? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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