Cooking a ham for Easter dinner? Aside from a prime rib roast or crown roast of lamb, ham is one of the most popular main dishes served at home, and is also a much-requested menu item at restaurants that are open on Easter Sunday.
How long you should cook your holiday ham depends on the weight and type of ham you will be serving. Whether you choose spiral, whole cooked, or a whole bone-in fresh ham, set aside a minimum of two hours to cook the main attraction on your holiday dinner table.
How much ham should you buy? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you allow for approximately one-quarter pound per serving of boneless ham or about one-half pound of meat per serving of bone-in ham.
You should get between three and four servings per pound if you serve a bone-in ham, and slightly more per pound if you cook a boneless ham for Easter dinner. Buy an extra pound or two if you want leftovers to use in the recipes below.
A spiral, glazed ham is a popular choice for Easter, and there is little-to-no preparation other than heat, glaze, and eat. According to Food Network, allow about 10 to 18 minutes per pound cooking time in a 325 degree oven, or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 145 degrees.
Food Safety.gov is a great resource for cooking times for a variety of hams — you don’t want your guests to eat undercooked meat, so purchase a meat thermometer and use the following cooking times as a guide.
- Smoked ham, uncooked whole — 10-14 pounds, 18-20 minutes per pound
- Smoked ham, uncooked half — 5-7 pounds, 22-25 minutes per pound
- Canned ham, boneless — 3-10 pounds, 15-20 minutes per pound
- Spiral cut, whole or half — 7 to 9 pounds, 10 to 18 minutes per pound
- Fresh ham, uncooked whole leg, bone-in — 12-16 pounds, 22 to 26 minutes per pound
Spiral hams and canned ham typically come with cooking directions right on the packaging, but you may need a recipe for fresh or smoked hams if you’ve never cooked one before. Here a few recipes to get you started.
- The Neely’s Glazed Ham with Pineapples
- Sunny’s Easy Glazed Spiral Ham
- Martha Stewart’s Baked Easter Ham
Have leftover ham? Making a ham sandwich or heating up a few slices of ham with eggs for breakfast aren’t the only things you can do with your post-Easter leftovers. Dice up the ham and make a big pot of cheesy ham chowder or classic pea soup. You can also use the leftovers in a ham and broccoli casserole or to make a Hawaiian pizza.
[Image: Cracker Barrel]