How To Cook A Ham

Ham is a popular dish all around the world and can be cooked in many different ways. The perfect ham can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes. Here is a guide on how to cook a ham, including different cooking methods, tips, and FAQs.

Cooking Methods for Ham


Baking is perhaps the most popular method of cooking ham. It is not only easy but also yields a delicious result. Here’s how to bake a ham:

– A bone-in ham
– Dijon mustard
– Brown sugar
– Pineapple juice


1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

2. Place the ham in a roasting pan with the cut side down. Use a sharp knife to score the ham diagonally, creating a diamond pattern.

3. Spread dijon mustard over the entire surface of the ham, making sure to get it in between the scored lines.

4. Sprinkle brown sugar over the mustard, rubbing it in gently.

5. Pour pineapple juice over the ham.

6. Cover the ham tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 12 minutes per pound.

7. Remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of baking to allow the top to brown and caramelize.

8. Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F, it is ready to serve.


Smoking is a popular method for cooking ham that adds a smoky and savory flavor. Here’s how to smoke a ham:

– A cured and smoked ham
– Wood chips (maple, hickory, or oak)
– Honey glaze


1. Preheat your smoker to 225F.

2. Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes before using.

3. Place the ham in the smoker, with the fatty side facing up.

4. Add the soaked wood chips to the smoker, and let the ham smoke for about 3-4 hours.

5. Brush the ham with honey glaze every hour or so, ensuring that it is well-coated.

6. Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F, it is ready to serve.


Grilling a ham is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while still cooking up a delicious meal. Here’s how to grill a ham:

– A cured and smoked ham
– Brown sugar
– Pineapple juice
– Spices of your choice


1. Preheat the grill to medium.

2. Mix brown sugar, pineapple juice, and spices together in a bowl.

3. Score the ham diagonally, creating a diamond pattern.

4. Coat the ham in the brown sugar mixture, making sure to get it in between the scored lines.

5. Place the ham on the grill and cook for about 12-15 minutes per pound.

6. Brush the ham with more of the brown sugar mixture every 30 minutes.

7. Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F, it is ready to serve.

Tips for Cooking Ham

– To keep the ham moist, baste it with its own juices or other liquids periodically during the cooking process.
– Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the ham has reached an internal temperature of 145F before serving. This helps to ensure that any harmful bacteria have been killed off.
– When scoring the ham, be careful not to cut too deep. The cuts should only be around 1/4 inch deep.
– Leftover ham can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, sandwiches, and salads.
– When buying a ham, look for one that is fully cooked, cured, and smoked. This will save you time and ensure that the ham is easy to prepare.

FAQs about Cooking Ham

Q: How do I know if a ham is fully cooked?
A: Look for a bone-in ham that has already been cooked and smoked. This will ensure that the ham is fully cooked and flavorful.

Q: Can I cook a ham in a slow cooker?
A: Yes, you can! Simply place the ham in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add any desired liquid or seasonings to the slow cooker before cooking.

Q: Can I freeze leftover ham?
A: Yes, leftover ham can be frozen for up to 6 months. Wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil before freezing.

Q: Can I glaze a ham before baking?
A: Yes, you can! Mix together brown sugar, mustard, pineapple juice, and any other seasonings of your choice. Spread the glaze over the ham before baking.

Q: Can I use a spiral ham for these cooking methods?
A: Yes, spiral hams can be used for these cooking methods. Simply follow the instructions on the package for cooking time and temperature, and adjust the recipe accordingly.

In conclusion, cooking ham is not only delicious but also easy to do. Whether you prefer baking, smoking, or grilling, there is a method that will suit your taste and style. Use these tips and FAQs to ensure that your ham is perfect every time.

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