Who knew there were multiple ways to prepare ham? Browse through these recipes (and backup plans) as you prepare for your holiday meals.
Ham, glorious ham! Many holiday tables will be graced with the delectable main dish enjoyed by people around the world. A ham is well complemented by scalloped potatoes, asparagus, a fruit salad, and rolls.
Packaged ham comes with preparation instructions. Be sure to pay attention to the cook-time and whether the ham is fully cooked (and needs to be simply reheated) or uncooked (and needs to come fully to an internal temperature). It's recommended that you prepare ham (cooking or reheating) to a full internal temperature of at least 145 degrees. Otherwise, the ham can contain bacteria causing food-borne illness.
However you prepare your ham, you may want to be prepared to drink extra water as ham tends to dehydrate consumers. Foods rich in protein (really all meats) tend to dehydrate. And cured meats, like ham, can dehydrate you even further with the added sodium during the curing process.
Bake Ham in the Oven
Baking ham in the oven is the most common way to prepare a ham. Cooks enjoy the process of planning a holiday meal and scheduling oven time for ham and sides.
With the ham in the oven, you're able to watch the progress of the ham as you also insert and take out other side items. Here's a classic way to bake a ham in the oven:
Cook Ham in the Instant Pot
Instant Pots (or pressure cookers) have become quite popular in recent years. With various sizes of pressure cookers available, you may want to check the size of your ham before deciding on this option.
Pressure cookers are fantastic appliances to cook foods quickly. Be sure to estimate the time for your Instant Pot to come up to pressure (at least 15 minutes) and release pressure (varies depending on manual or natural release) as well as the actual cook time.
Prepare Ham in the Crockpot
Using a small appliance to prepare your ham will give you more space in your oven for side dishes. A crockpot is a common appliance in many households. The slow cooking method retains juices and cooks your ham to perfection.
While many recipes start with spraying your crockpot with nonstick cooking spray, that shouldn't be necessary when cooking a ham. The ham has natural juices that will be released as it cooks, helping the ham to not stick to the sides of your crockpot.
Cook Ham in a Roaster
This is a solid option that will have similar results as baking your ham in the oven. Though using a smaller appliance will free up space in your oven. You'll just set the internal temperature of your roaster, just like you would preheat your oven.
I like using my roaster in the garage. While that might sound strange, it not only frees up space in my oven. It also frees up space on my counters for other food preparation.
Ham Glaze Recipe
Many hams come with a packet of ingredients to prepare a sweet glaze. While this works well, I have to admit I totally botched it one year. I still don't know what happened as I attempted to follow the directions. My only guess is I overcooked it. The glaze became separated and gloppy (totally a real word), and I had to throw it out.
Even if grocery stores were open, I'm not a fan of shopping on a holiday. With little warning, I had to quickly come up with and implement a backup plan. A quick search landed me a recipe that called for everyday ingredients and, may I say, tasted even better than the packet glaze that came with the ham.
Give it a try ... whether this is your Plan A or Plan B glaze for your holiday meal.
How will you prepare a ham for the holidays? Share in the comments below.