A pre-cooked, spiral-sliced ham is relatively 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. In fact, it can even be eaten without reheating, according to Ohio State University. By placing the ham in the oven, you're simply warming the meat to bring out its flavor and aroma.
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Before you put the ham in the oven, you can also apply a flavorful glaze to lightly caramelize the meat's surface. Pre-sliced hams are sold already cut to the bone into thin, continuous slices, so the meat is ready to serve.
How to Cook a Pre-Cooked, Bone-In Spiral Ham
Things You'll Need
1 pre-cooked spiral ham
Broiling or roasting pan
Preheat 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, preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, per the USDA.
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 hold a heavy ham and may cause you to drop them or spill hot broth.
Get Ready to Bake
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.
Heat the Ham
Heat the ham for about 10 to 18 minutes per pound at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, according to FoodSafety.gov. Allow approximately 2 hours for a half ham and 3 hours for a whole ham.
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.
Glaze the Ham
If you'd like, use a pastry or basting brush to glaze the ham. If your glaze is made with 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.
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 number of times you open the oven.
Remove the ham from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, per the USDA.
Again, make sure the tip of the thermometer does not come in contact with the bone when taking the temperature.
Let it Rest
Allow the ham to rest for 20 to 30 minutes after removing it from the oven before serving it. This will make it easier to pull apart the already-cut pieces.
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 lentil soup.
Pre-Sliced Boneless Ham Recipe
If you're wondering how to cook a boneless ham, the method is a bit different. While the bone typically helps keep the ham moist, you'll want to pay closer attention when cooking a boneless ham. Using a homemade glaze also adds flavor and moisture to boneless ham.
Follow the pre-sliced boneless ham recipe below to prevent your meat from drying out.
Things You'll Need
5-lb. boneless, pre-sliced ham
1/2 cup apricot jam
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. dark rum
1 clove garlic
For the Glaze:
Heat the Jam
Place 1/2 cup apricot jam in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Heat the jam, stirring often, until it becomes completely liquefied.
Strain the Jam
Pour the jam into a sieve positioned over a small bowl, and toss out any of the solids that are left over.
Add Your Flavorings
Pour in 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, ¾ cups maple syrup and 2 tbsp. dark rum, stirring as each of the ingredients are added.
Mince a single clove of garlic to a very fine consistency, and add it to the bowl of glaze ingredients. Stir the glaze until the garlic is blended in well.
For the Ham:
Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 270 degrees Fahrenheit, and place a rack inside a large roasting pan.
Prep the Ham
Place the ham on the rack and cover the top of it with foil, making sure that there are no holes.
Bake and Glaze
Allow the ham to cook for 30 minutes, and remove it from the oven. Apply the glaze to the ham, and place it back into the oven. While the ham finishes cooking, add glaze every 15 minutes.
Allow the Ham to Cook
Cook the ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the ham. The ham should take an additional 30 minutes to an hour to reach the proper temperature.
Glaze and Serve
Apply the glaze once more, and serve the ham while it's hot.