How to Bake a Ham

Tasty and sumptuous, ham can be a welcome addition to your repertoire of meals. Uncover the ways of baking ham and savor delicious meals with your family and friends.

Baking ham is easy to do as long as the proper steps are taken. Before you get to the actual cooking, the preparations that come before are just as crucial.

The Raw Pork

When you buy the pork check the expiration date to make sure it is still fresh. If you are going to cook the meat within three days there is no need to freeze it. Otherwise, put the meat in cold storage at a temperature of 40 F and below.

Thawing by Refrigerator

Before you start cooking, the frozen meat has to be thawed. The first method is to cover the meat with foil, set on a plate / bowl and put in the refrigerator. Set the temperature between 35 to 40 F. Before you start baking ham give it enough time to thaw. For small pieces the duration is 5 hours per lb. For larger ones it is 6 to 7 hours per lb.

After the process is complete you can cook it. It can be refrigerated for five days. It is possible to freeze it again after the five day period but flavor will be lost. Therefore it is best to cook once it has been thawed.

Thawing by Cold Water

Put the meat in an airtight bag or plastic. Fill the sink or bowl with cold water. Put the bag of meat in there. Replace the water every half hour. For smaller chunks the duration will be 3 hours. For a larger piece it will be half an hour per pound. Make certain that water cannot get in the bag as it can spoil the meat. Unlike the refrigerator method, this thawing cannot be repeated.

It is possible to start baking ham without thawing but the cooking time will double. Do not defrost the meat in the kitchen. What will happen is that the outer portions will attain room temperature but the insides will remain cold. This will ruin the meat.

Baking Tips

There is more to cooking than just putting the meat in the oven. To get the most flavor, avoid hurrying the process. Set the temperature at 325 F and give it half an hour per pound. To roast always put the fats section up (for basting). To keep the flavor and texture even, turn it halfway through the cooking process. When turning it over use a wooden spoon because pointed utensils will take away the juices.

When you are done baking ham remove the meat and leave it alone for 15 minutes before cutting it up. This makes the meat easier to dissect and serve in edible chunks.

You can use a meat thermometer to certify the temperature is correct. Put this in the meat before the cooking procedure and leave it there throughout the whole process. Alternatively you can use the instant read variant. After cooking, insert the thermometer into the thickest part. To get an accurate reading avoid hitting a bone.

In the end, the best way for you to learn the ins and outs of baking ham is to go and do it. By following these guidelines, any potential pitfalls and mistakes will be prevented and avoided.