Cooking a spiral ham can be a daunting task for many home cooks. However, with a few steps and the right tools, you can cook a delicious and juicy spiral ham that will make a perfect addition to your holiday meal. In this article, I will guide you on how to cook a spiral ham step by step.
But before we talk about cooking the ham, let's understand what a spiral ham is precisely. A spiral ham is a pre-cooked ham that has been sliced into a spiral shape, which makes it easier to cut and serve. Spiral hams come bone-in or boneless, and they are usually precooked, smoked, or honey-baked. The precooked nature of spiral hams makes it a perfect low-stress option for your holiday meal.
Now let's move to the cooking process of the Spiral Ham.
Step 1: Preparation
Before cooking the spiral ham, remove it from the packaging and rinse it with cold water. Pat the ham dry with paper towels and place it in a roasting pan. While placing the ham in the pan, make sure that the flat side is down. If you have a bone-in spiral ham, place the bone side down.
Step 2: Glazing
The glaze is what makes the ham sweet and caramelized. Most spiral hams come with a glaze packet to add flavor, and it is essential not to overlook the glaze as it adds the extra oomph to the ham's taste. To make the glaze, combine the glaze packet or other ingredients like honey, brown sugar, mustard, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Brush the glaze over the ham using a basting brush. The ham should be generously coated with the glaze.
Step 3: Cooking
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil, leaving some space for air circulation. Then place the roasting pan in the middle rack of the oven. How long you cook the ham depends on factors like the weight of the ham, oven temperature, the brand of the ham, and whether the ham is bone-in or boneless. Typically, a spiral ham requires 12-15 minutes of cooking time per pound, but you don't have to keep checking the oven. Use a thermometer to know when the ham is done. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the ham without hitting the bone, and when the thermometer reads 140-145°F, the ham is ready to come out of the oven. This should typically take around 2-3 hours.
Step 4: Resting
Once the ham is done, remove it from the oven, and place it on a cutting board. Tent the ham with a piece of aluminum foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This resting time allows the juices inside the ham to redistribute, making it juicy and tender.
Step 5: Carving
Once the ham has rested, it's time to carve it. Begin carving by finding where the spiral slices start and follow the pre-cut lines. You can use a serrated knife to cut through the ham skin before carving. Cut along the bone in a circular motion, working your way down the ham. If you have a boneless ham, start slicing from the narrow end.
And that's it! You've cooked the perfect spiral ham for your holiday meal.
- You can add cloves to the ham, giving it an extra flavor profile.
- Baste the ham every thirty minutes to keep it moist and juicy.
- If you prefer a caramelized flavor, remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- If you have a glaze packet, do not use it during the first hour of cooking. This is because the extra sugar in the glaze can burn in the oven, making the ham less desirable.
- Save the ham bone to make a flavorful leftover ham soup.
Cooking a spiral ham is an easy task that anyone can do at home with the right tools and a bit of patience. The key to a perfect spiral ham is to know the correct cooking times and the importance of resting the ham. By following these steps, you're sure to have a delicious spiral ham that will delight your guests and leave them asking for more. Happy cooking!