Want to avoid holiday stress? Bake a precooked delicious ham for your holiday meal. Cooking a precooked ham is about as easy as it gets – yet makes the best main entree for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Cooking a Precooked Ham for the Holidays
Holiday Dilemma Number One – Which to serve, Ham of Turkey?
Cooking a precooked ham is probably one of the best ways to avoid holiday cooking stress. Pop the ham in the oven for a few hours, make a tasty glaze, and you are ready for a great holiday meal.
- Make sure the ham that you purchase comes fully cooked and ready to eat. Always buy fully cooked and not a partially cooked ham.
The perfect side dish for a holiday ham is scalloped potatoes. Learn how to make the best Christmas Scalloped Potatoes for your holiday feast.
Choosing the Perfect Ham
- First rule of thumb if you are looking for the perfect holiday ham, always buy a bone-in ham. Bone-in ham makes a much juicier and tastier ham.
- How big of a ham to buy? 1 pound of ham equals about 3 servings. If you want leftovers then plan on buying 1/2 pound per person. This will vary depending on whether you choose a bone-in ham or boneless. But 1/2 lb. per person should guarantee you have enough for everyone including leftovers.
- A ham “with water added” has about 15 % water added to the ham. Look for a ham with a little lower added water content for better taste. The lower the water added also means a little bit more expensive.
How Long to Cook a Precooked Ham
Whole Ham: You want to bake about 15-20 minutes per pound. The internal temperature should be 140 degrees.
Half Ham: You want to bake about 10-15 minutes per pound. A fully cooked boneless half of ham 4- 6 lbs. bake 1-1/4 to 2 hours. Safe temperature of 140 degrees
How to Cook a Precooked Ham – Cooking Your Precooked Ham
Remove Plastic Wrap! Make sure you correctly unwrap your ham before cooking. There could be 2 layers of plastic wrap that needs to be removed from the ham. The outer plastic wrapper will have writing on it and the manufacturer’s cooking instructions. The next layer is a thin layer of plastic that is snug against the ham.
Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees and place your ham in a shallow roasting pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the ham from drying out Score the top of your ham with shallow criss cross cuts using with a sharp knife.
Cover ham lightly with a foil tent and cook for 1-1/2 hours or until heated through. If you are glazing the ham, remove the ham from the oven after 1 hour of cooking, brush the glaze over the ham and put back in the oven for 30 additional minutes.
If you don’t want to make a glaze, rub some honey into the top of the ham and then sprinkle with brown sugar. Continue cooking.
If you love ham & pineapple, add pineapple slices to the top and sides of the ham using toothpicks. Don’t forget to rub in some brown sugar as well.
If you carve the ham as needed, you will retain moisture in the rest of the ham.
Reheating a Precooked Ham
The best way to reheat a precooked ham is to wrap the ham or ham slices in foil and place in the oven at about 250 degrees for 20 minutes. You could give the ham a little mist of water to retain some moisture. You could also reheat in the microwave with a half cup of hot water. Place the cup of hot water in the microwave with the ham so the ham doesn’t dry out.
Easy and Delicious Baked Ham Recipes
Perfect Christmas Holiday Ham
1 (5 pound) fully cooked, bone-in ham
(3/4 – 1 lb. of meat per person of ham with bone.)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of orange juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend together apricot preserves and Dijon mustard in a mixing bowl. Score the ham with shallow criss cross cuts. Spread preserves mixture over the whole ham. Gently pat brown sugar over the top of the preserve mixture. Mix water and orange juice together in a bowl. In a large roasting pan pour orange juice and water in bottom. Place the ham on a roasting rack in roasting pan. Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours or until ham is heated thoroughly.
Add additional orange juice to your pan as it cooks if the liquid evaporates.
Or try a plain baked ham with delicious:
Ham Raisin Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup currant jelly
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine water, raisins, currant jelly, orange zest, and orange juice. Bring raisin sauce mixture to a boil. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and allspice. Stir into raisin sauce mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and clear. Serve raisin sauce warm with ham. Makes about 1 1/4 cups of raisin sauce.
Ham Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sour cream
3 tablespoons of brown mustard
Beat mayonnaise and sour cream until light and fluffy. Stir in mustard. Serve with your holiday ham.
Want a little less stress for Thanksgiving? Find some Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes and Tips Here!