This Genius Hack Will Keep Your Holiday Ham from Drying Out

Slice up the juiciest ham this holiday with this extremely easy trick that'll teach you how to keep ham from drying out.

After making all that effort to cook the perfect holiday feast—mashed potatoes, green beans and a mountain of Christmas cookies—the last thing you probably do is bite into a dried-out, chewy ham after all of that effort. And yet, it doesn’t take much to dry out that holiday ham if you’re not careful. Don’t sweat it—this simple trick is your answer for how to keep ham from drying out this holiday season!

How Can I Stop My Ham from Drying Out?

Any meat that is roasted in the oven needs moisture so it won’t burn at the bottom of the pan or dry out. The trick is to make sure you add some kind of liquid to your pan.

So here’s the hack: Add half a cup of wine or stock to the bottom of your pan before popping that ham in the oven.

While the hack seems rather simple, there is a bit of science behind it when it comes to ensuring that you have a juicy ham for your Christmas dinner. The meat is placed in an oven with a higher dry heat, causing the drippings to evaporate when cooking. While some drippings may make it to the bottom, most will not—causing the meat to dry out. Having that extra liquid ensures that the meat has some to work with to keep it moist, while also not burning the meat on the bottom of the pan.

More Tips for a Juicy Ham

While adding moisture is key for keeping your ham juicy, there are a few other tricks you can implement when baking your ham.

First, before placing the ham in the oven, wrap the top of the pan with aluminum foil. This helps to retain the moisture that you added as well because the juices won’t escape while baking, keeping the area where your ham is cooking moist.

Second, if you want a foolproof method to ensure the ham doesn’t dry out, you could also brine it for 24 to 48 hours before baking it in the oven. Brining meat (like ham or poultry) helps give you the flavor and texture you desire, ensuring the ham is flavorful when you slice into it and serve it.

Lastly, for an extra tasty ham, you can also add a festive holiday glaze. A glaze helps with giving the ham even more flavor and moisture with each bite. You’ll want to occasionally brush the glaze onto the ham as well while baking it so it will retain that flavor.

For even more tips on juicy holiday ham, here’s how to cook a ham perfectly and our favorite ham recipes for dinner.