Friday, April 10, 2009


Almost all hams have either been partially or fully cooked before they are packaged.
A partially cooked ham has been brought to an internal temperature of 137 degrees F, which kills any bacteria. This ham still need to be cooked more before serving in order to make it more tender and delicious.
A fully cooked ham is one that has been brought to an internal temperature of 148 degrees F and needs no further cooking. You can eat it directly out of the package, but heating will enhance the flavor.

Baking Your Ham

The most traditional way to prepare a whole ham is to bake it.
For a ham that has only been partially cooked, you will need to allow about 20 minutes per pound in a moderate (350 degrees F/175 degrees C) oven.
A fully cooked ham will require about 10 minutes per pound in order to be heated all the way through.
Although ham is perfectly delicious all by itself, you can make it extra-special by using a glaze. The most popular glaze recipes contain combinations of fruit juice, wine or whiskey, honey, mustard, brown sugar, fruit preserves and spices. Brush some of the glaze over the surface of the ham before placing it in the oven.
To help keep your ham moist and juicy:
Place the ham cut-side down in a baking pan. If it's going to be in the oven for more than an hour, you also may want to place a foil "tent" over your ham in order to keep it from drying out.
Continue to brush the ham with glaze and baste it with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so, until it is heated through.
To finish the ham and give it a deliciously caramelized coating, remove the foil tent, brush it with glaze and pan juices one more time, and then turns your oven to the broiler setting. Allow the outside of the ham to get nice and browned-this should only take about 5 minutes, but watch it closely so it doesn't get too dark.
When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (80 degrees C), the ham is ready for serving.

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