Cook the Perfect Ham

How to 

Our Test Kitchen experts share their best tips and tricks for how to cook a ham for holidays and special occasions.

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How to  choose a ham:

You can get several types  of ham. For the best flavor, you’ll want to opt for a bone-in ham. You'll need 1/2 pound per person for a bone-in ham, and 1/3 pound for a boneless one.

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– 1 fully cooked bone-in ham – 1 cup packed brown sugar – 2 tsp. prepared mustard – 1 to 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

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Tools You'll Need:

– Quick-read thermometer – Roasting pan – Carving set

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Score the ham. Use a sharp knife to slice  1/4-inch deep cuts in a diamond pattern. This will allow your glaze to soak into the meat and give the ham more flavor.


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Bake. Place the ham  on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake at 325ºF for 90 minutes or until a thermometer reads 130º.


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Glaze and finish. Combine brown sugar, mustard and vinegar. When the ham reaches 130º, remove it from the oven. Generously spread the glaze over the ham. Finish baking, uncovered, until it reaches 140º.


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How long should it cook?

The general rule is the larger the ham, the less time it needs in the oven. A bone-in ham that weighs  7 to 10 pounds needs about 16 to 20 minutes per pound, while a 10- to 14-pound ham needs just 15 to 18 minutes per pound.

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How to Carve a Ham

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