Whether you're hosting a large family gathering, a holiday meal, or simply want to enjoy a delicious dinner with your loved ones, a heated fully cooked ham is a great main course. By knowing how to heat a fully cooked ham for the best results, you can ensure that it's cooked to perfection and ready to be the centerpiece of your dinner.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Easy Ham Recipe
- The ham stays moist by cooking the ham in an oven bag and additionally letting the ham soak in hot water for 90 minutes before cooking in the oven. Not only does the bag retain moisture, but it also reduces the cooking by at least ½ hour. The initial low heat roasting is the best way to retain moisture.
- Decreased cooking time because we let the fully-wrapped ham stand in hot water for 90 minutes. This simple preparation time decreased the cooking time by over 1 hour. Not only is this faster, but it also reduces the likelihood of drying out in the oven.
- Fuss-free oven cooking because with the oven bag, there is not need to frequently baste the ham.
- A subtle sweet glaze adds a nice finish to the ham without over powering it.
🍽 Kitchen Equipment
- A large roasting pan
- Large oven roasting bag
- An instant read thermometer
- Sharp knife for carving and a paring knife
- Basting brush
Spiral-sliced bone-in half ham. This is our favorite ham and the one I use most often. Spiral-cut ham is usually sweet and smoky in flavor, and has a moist and tender texture. Using this ham recipe, the sliced ham is still a juicy ham, because it retains the juices in the cooking bag. These bone-in hams tend to have extra flavor even though this is a simple recipe.
Pure maple syrup adds the right amount of sweetness and stickiness to the glaze to pull all of the flavors together.
Orange Marmalade adds citrus notes, sweetness and texture to the glaze.
Dijon mustard adds the spiciness and tang to the glaze that rounds everything out. If you don't have Dijon mustard, be sure to check out this list of substitutions for Dijon mustard along with a homemade Dijon recipe.
Discard the packet with glaze. Most precooked half hams come with a packet of glaze. You can taste-test the glaze if you like, but I am confident you would rather make your own. Whatever you do, do not decide to use the glaze without first trying a little bit with your finger or a spoon.
Types of Ham
- Boneless ham, as the name suggests, does not include the bone. It tends to have a milder flavor and a more uniform texture compared to bone-in ham. It is also easier to carve and serve.
- Spiral Cut Ham is a very popular type of ham that you can find in grocery stores. Spiral ham is a precooked ham and pre-sliced which makes the reheating and carving of your ham so much easier.
- A whole ham are very large cuts weighing up to 18 pounds. Not only do you need to be able to handle this large of ham, you need a roasting pan that it will fit. This is not a choice I would readily make.
- The butt half is the upper part of the ham. This is mostly rump meat which, in turn, makes this part more fatty but also more tender and flavorful.
- The shank half is the lower end, which means it is more leg and less fatty. It is easier to carve, but the cut is slightly tougher than the butt half.
- City ham vs country ham are two types of ham you may hear about. City hams are by far the most common type you will find in your grocery store. Country hams are dry-cured and so are very salty and only used in smaller slices. If the ham is a country ham it will be clearly marked.
If you are selecting another type of ham based upon the criteria above, you may have to change your cooking times.
Substitute brown sugar for maple syrup. In place of ¾ cup maple syrup, use ½ cup + 2 teaspoons lightly packed brown sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons water.
Omit the glaze completely. This is always an option for those who just love pure spiral sliced ham. This leave the options open for making a horseradish sauce or other condiments that you enjoy with baked ham.
🔪 How To Heat a Fully Cooked Ham
☛ Do Not Remove the Outer Packaging Until Later ☚
- Place ham in the sink or a large container. Soak the pre-cooked ham in hot tap water with it's inner plastic or foil covering intact for 90 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Unwrap the ham and put it, cut side down, in an oven bag. Place the ham in a shallow roasting pan. Seal the bag and cut slits in the top of the bag so the bag doesn't pop while cooking.
- Bake the ham for 1 to 1 ½ hours (about 12 minutes per pound) or until the center registers 110 degrees Fahrenheit when tested with an instant-read thermometer.
- Meanwhile make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients listed for the glaze and heat until a sticky sauce consistency.
- Remove ham from the oven. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Using a scissors, cut open the oven bag and roll back sides to expose ham. Brush ham with one-third of the prepared glaze.
- Return the ham to the oven for 10 minutes or until glaze becomes sticky and the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F.
- Remove ham from oven, transfer to cutting board. Brush on another third of the glaze. Tent ham loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining glaze with 4 to 6 tablespoons of ham juices until it becomes a thick but fluid sauce. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl.
- Carve ham as shown below. Use a large serving fork to hold the ham and slices in place while cutting.
🔪 How To Carve Pre-Cooked Ham
Start by gently separating the slices on the top of the ham.
Using your paring knife, cut around the bone and into the slices.
Using your carving knife, cut along the line drawn above.
Finish by cutting down through the pre-cut slices and separating them.
- Arrange carved ham slices on a serving platter. You can either served the ham in slices, or leave the slices of ham partially attached to the bone and serve the whole half of ham. Serve with the sauce alongside.
Start your dinner by serving a veggies platter or how about some hot chocolate bombs to get everyone warmed up for the main feast? While the ham is resting, you can easily make up some sauteed green beans.
Or try these Sweet and Crispy Roasted Carrots and Potatoes. For carrots and potatoes, follow the instructions for parboiling and put them in the oven for the last 15 minutes of baking the ham. While the ham is resting, crank up the heat per the recipe to make them crispy and sweet.
✔ With a bone-in ham, plan on 2 to 3 servings per pound. With a boneless ham, plan on 4 servings per pound of ham.
✔ Always use an instant read meat thermometer to check if your roast is heat through properly. When you insert the thermometer put it into the thickest part of the ham without touching the bone. The finished ham should be heated to an internal temperature of 140°F.
✔ Rest the ham 15 minutes, covered with foil, before carving. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the ham and ensure that it stays moist and tender.
Omit pre-soaking in water. If you choose to skip the initial soak, bring the ham out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature in its wrapping for 1 hour, but not more than 2 hours. Increase your heating time to 15 to 18 minutes per pound. Remove the packaging materials before roasting.
Not using a cooking bag. Cover top of ham loosely with aluminum foil. Baste the ham in its own juices every 20 minutes to keep it from drying out.
Skip the glaze. Do not make any glaze to brush over the ham. Then, use the pan drippings in the bag to make a ham gravy.
Sides to Serve with Ham: Ham is often served with a variety of side dishes that complement its flavor. Popular side dishes include mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, green beans, corn, and dinner rolls. You can also use the ham drippings to make a flavorful gravy to serve with the ham.
Leftover ham can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or frozen in an airtight container for 1 to 2 months.
Precooked packaged ham that hasn't been home-cooked can be stored in its original packaging in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and frozen for 1 to 2 months.
- Source: USDA
Finally, don't forget to keep the ham bone to make some my auntie's classic ham and pea soup.
Enjoy a great feast with this heated fully cooked ham as your centerpiece. You can't go wrong! If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below and a 5 star rating is always appreciated.
How to Heat Fully Cooked Ham To Perfection
- 8 pound spiral-sliced bone-in half ham 7 to 9 pounds
Maple Orange Glaze
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the ham with its inner plastic or foil covering intact in the kitchen sink. Completely cover the ham with hot tap water. Let stand for 45 minutes. Drain the water, cover it again with hot tap. Let stand for another 45 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 250°F. Drain water covering the ham. Unwrap ham and remove the plastic disk covering the bone. Discard all packaging and disk.
- Place the ham in an oven bag with the cut side on the bottom of the bag. Gather the top snugly around the ham, tie the bag at the top and trim excess gathered plastic at the top. In a large roasting pan, set ham cut-side down. Using a scissors, cut 4 slits in the top of the bag below the tie.
- Bake ham for 1 to 1 ½ hours (about 12 minutes per pound) or until the center registers 110 degrees Fahrenheit when tested with an instant-read thermometer.
To Make Maple-Orange Glaze:
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine all of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture is thick, syrupy, and reduced to 1 cup. Set aside.
- Remove ham from oven. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Using a scissors, cut open the oven bag and roll back sides to expose ham. Brush ham with one-third of the prepared glaze.
- Return the ham to the oven about 10 minutes more or until glaze becomes sticky and the internal temperature reaches 130°F.
- Remove ham from oven, transfer to cutting board. Brush on another third of the glaze. Tent ham loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining third of glaze with 4 to 6 tablespoons of ham juices until it becomes a thick but fluid sauce. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl. Carve ham.
- Serve ham, passing the sauce at the table.
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