Roasting and Baking Tips for the Perfect Holiday Ham

Here are some great tips to help you bake that perfect holiday ham:

Do not overcook ham or it will become dry and tough. Fully cooked ham should be cooked to 140 degrees F. To ensure doneness, use a meat thermometer.

Although a cured ham doesn’t need additional cooking, baking releases juices that accentuate the flavor while tenderizing the meat.

Some recipes create a “little sauna” by adding liquid to the bottom of the roasting pan (just below the rack with the meat on it) and loosely tenting foil over the meat. This prevents any chance of the meat drying out.

A low oven temperature (325-350 degrees F) (recipes vary on the temperature)… If you’re following a recipe… follow your recipe as to oven temperature and time…otherwise… figure about 20 minutes a pound at 325 degrees F.

The ham is placed cut side down on a flat rack.

If the label on your ham says “cook before eating”, then cook until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.

When placing a meat thermometer, insert it in the thickest part of the meat and be sure the thermometer is not touching a bone because this can give you a false reading.

Do not use sharp utensils that may pierce the ham when trying to turn it because piercing causes valuable juices to escape.

To add extra flavor, apply a glaze to the ham during the last 20-30 minutes of the cooking time. Take care that the glaze does not burn as this will spoil the flavor.

Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Photo:  From Williams Sonoma Williams Sonoma Kurobuta Ham

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