How Long to Cook a Ham - The Best Times and Temperatures
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Easter is approaching (April 9th will be here before you know it!), and you're likely putting together your Easter dinner menu and thinking about Easter cakes.
Whether you're planning a spring gathering for Easter or a cozy dinner for the Christmas holidays, knowing how to properly prepare a ham is invaluable knowledge for a home cook. It's also helpful to know how much ham you should make per person so you have a better idea about what size ham you'll need to feed all of your guests.
If this is your first time gearing up to cook a whole ham or you just need a refresher, the times and temperatures listed below will ensure your ham turns out juicy and delicious for your holiday feast.
With the ham out of the way, you can focus on celebrating the big day with Easter treats, Easter table decorations, and Easter egg hunts!
According to the UDSA, fresh and cook-before-eating hams are done and safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Pre-cooked hams should reach an internal temperature of 140°F before serving. Set your oven to 325°F (and no lower) and you're ready to get cooking.
Types of Ham
Hams are labeled a few different ways. "Cook-before-eating" refers to a ham that's been cured but needs to be heated before serving. Pre-cooked hams are packaged (typically vacuum-sealed) hams that have been smoked, baked, and/or cured. You can technically eat them right out of the package, but if you're preparing a holiday dinner you'll want to heat it up.
A "fresh" or uncooked ham refers to a completely raw ham that has not been cured or cooked in any way. This will require the most cooking.
Cook-Before-Eating and Fresh Hams
If you have a whole bone-in ham between 10 and 14 pounds, cook it at 325°F for 18 to 20 minutes per pound. If you have half of a bone-in ham between 5 and 7 pounds, cook at 325°F for 22 to 25 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the ham should be 145°F.
If you have a whole bone-in ham between 10 and 14 pounds, cook at 325°F for 15 to 18 minutes per pound. If you have half of a bone-in ham between 5 and 7 pounds, cook at 325°F for 18 to 24 minutes per pound.
For a vacuum-sealed boneless ham between 6 and 12 pounds, cook at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the ham should be 140°F.
While these times are a helpful guideline to follow, always make sure to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your ham before serving. Just to be safe!
Looking for mouthwatering ham recipes to serve your Easter and holiday guests? We have plenty of delicious ham recipes with sauces and glazes galore!
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