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The best way to cook a smoked ham is to bake it in the oven.
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In most cases, whole smoked bone-in hams come fully cooked. This makes for easy prep, as all you must do is heat, prepare a glaze or sauce and then serve.


However, choosing the right ham for your meal isn't so clear-cut, as there are many options from which to choose.

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Bone-in Hams and Glaze Ingredients

  • Smoked bone-in hams: Fully cooked smoked hams come in multiple varieties, including bone-in and boneless. For the former, the hams are available whole, as a shank or as a butt half, according to Kansas Farm Food Connection.


  • Glaze ingredients: A smoked bone-in ham might have enough flavor already, but if you want to add a glaze, there are plenty of options from which to choose. For example, you might add a sweetener like maple syrup, something spicy like hot chili sauce and something acidic like balsamic vinegar like renowned chef Jacques Pépin does in this glaze recipe.

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The Best Way to Cook a Smoked Ham

  1. Choose your ham:​ Select a dry-cured, country-style ham, or a wet-cured ham, notes the National Pork Board. The former is made by making a dry smoked ham rub with spices and salt, while there are three types of wet-cured hams that have been brined. If you're looking to serve a whole bone-in ham, choose a ham with natural juices, rather than ham with water added or ham and water products, which are both better for thin-slicing for sandwiches. Ask your butcher to spiral slice the ham to make it easier to cut and plan on each pound of ham providing two to three servings.
  2. Prepare the glaze:​ Mix 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
  3. Prepare the ham:​ If the ham has any leathery skin on it, use a sharp knife to trim it away. Place the ham cut-side down in a roasting pan and brush the meat with the glaze. Cover the ham with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake the ham:​ The best way to cook a smoked ham is to bake it in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven. The ham cooking time calculator from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) recommends cooking a whole bone-in ham, which is typically between 10 and 14 pounds, for 15 to 18 minutes per pound. A half bone-in ham that's between 5 and 7 pounds should be cooked for between 18 and 24 minutes per pound. If you're using an uncooked ham, plan on 18 to 20 minutes per pound for a whole ham and 22 to 25 minutes per pound for a half-ham.
  5. Glaze again:​ After about 45 minutes, remove the ham from the oven and brush on additional glaze. Put the meat back in the oven to continue cooking. Once done, take the ham out of the oven and brush with the remaining glaze.
  6. Check the temperature:​ Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the pork has been heated to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, as recommended by the NC Cooperative Extension. Slice and serve.
  7. Store the leftovers:​ Unless you're serving a big group, you will probably have ham leftovers that need to be stored safely. The remaining slices of cooked ham can be refrigerated for three to five days and frozen for one to two months, according to the USDA FSIS.


Serve your smoked whole bone-in ham with sides such as our Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes or for a quick option, our 5-Minute Easy Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Bake.




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