How Long Do You Cook Ham

How long you cook ham depends upon whether it is precooked, or not. Raw ham must be cooked for twenty minutes per pound till it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F whereas precooked ham takes about fifteen to eighteen minutes per pound. The time to cook ham also depends on the size of the ham. When reheating cooked ham, the meat thermometer should read 140°F.

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To safely thaw ham keep it on a platter and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours (four to five hours per pound). Alternatively, wrap the frozen ham in plastic, fill the sink with cold water, and keep ham in it till thawed. Make sure the ham does not come in contact with water as it results in loss of flavour. Do not leave the ham outside or in warm water as it encourages bacterial growth.Thawed ham can be kept in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Frozen ham can also be cooked without thawing. Increase the cooking time by one and half times, when cooking frozen ham. Ham cooked slowly is more tender, and juicy.

Like all meats, make sure you do not overcook the ham. If you do not have a meat thermometer, use these tips to determine the doneness of the meat. When cooked, the meat starts shrinking away from the bone. Also press the meat with your finger. Cooked ham will show more resistance than uncooked ham.

Wrap the ham in foil first. Roast the ham in a preheated oven at 325°F to avoid drying out the ham. Do not add water to the roaster. To add more flavour, it is advisable to glaze the ham towards the last thirty minutes of cooking. When done, remove the meat from heat and let it rest for fifteen minutes or so. Remember, the meat continues to cook for a while even when removed from the oven.

To prepare the glaze, add equal amount of mustard powder brown sugar and sprinkle on the ham towards the end. Alternatively, add apricot jelly or another flavour of your choice and corn syrup, and glaze the ham.

Leftover ham can be used for other dishes like casseroles, beans, soups or stews, fritattas, omelets or in sandwiches. You can also use it in appetizers like tortilla rolls, or pastas. Ham can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to six months. Some of the popular side dishes served with ham are fried apples, baked asparagus, potatoes, and salads.

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