6 Tips for Cooking the Best Easter Ham
04.06.2020 Meat Tip Monday
Spring is officially here! The sun is shining, the grass is getting greener each day, and Easter is just around the corner. Although some of your Easter traditions may not be possible during quarantine, you can still have a delicious holiday meal with your family at home. The star of an Easter meal is, of course, the ham. In this week’s Meat Tip Monday blog post, we’re sharing six important things to know about cooking an Easter ham.
1. There are 3 main types of ham
Not all hams are created equal, so it’s necessary to know exactly what you’re buying before you hit the check-out counter. Broadly speaking, there are three main types of ham available during Easter.
- Cured Ham: These hams tend to be pink in color and are often sold ready-to-eat. Although some require cooking, so double check the label before buying or eating. Cured hams that need to be cooked are labeled with cooking instructions.
- Cured & Smoked Ham: These hams are exactly the same as cured hams, just with the additional step of smoking the ham.
- Fresh Ham: As its name indicates, this is an uncooked cut of ham that requires cooking before eating. Fresh hams have the same color and texture as a fresh uncooked pork roast. This type of ham is not commonly served at holiday meals.
2. Most cured hams don’t need to be cooked
Be sure to check the label of your ham as many cured hams (but not all!) as well as cured and smoked hams are ready-to-eat. It’s up to you and your taste buds if you prefer to eat your cured ham cold or cooked through.
3. Plan on about 1/3 pound of ham per person
Once you have chosen the type of ham, the question is now how much ham should you buy? If ham is the main entrée at your Easter celebration, plan on a third to a half pound of ham per person when buying a bone-in ham or a quarter to a third pound per person when buying a boneless ham.
4. Spiral-cut ham is already sliced
If you are short on time, a spiral-cut ham may be the one for you! This type of ham is already in thin slices and all that’s left for you to do is slice them away from the bone.
5. You can also cook your ham in the slow cooker
If you would rather not use the oven or if you looking for an easier method, you can also cook your Easter ham in the slow cooker. The low and slow heat gently braises the ham, making it the most tender holiday ham you’ve ever eaten! This cooking method requires five to six hours and works best with a spiral-cut ham that’s fully cooked and no larger than 10 pounds (for a six-quart slow cooker).
6. Finish the ham with a glaze
Dress up your holiday ham with a flavorful glaze lacquered on the outside! To ensure success, glaze your Easter ham towards the end of its cooking time. Big hams need a couple hours to reheat, so for the most flavor without drying it out, treat your ham to a glazed coating in the last 15 minutes or so of its cook time.