Sunday, April 24, 2011

There's a Method to My Ham-ness

Today my friends and family gathered for an Easter potluck.  My contribution was the main course:  a spiral-sliced ham.  It was a thrifty choice; ham was on sale this week for only $1.49 a pound.  Honey-baked hams go for probably about $7-8 a pound, and making this ham probably takes less time than standing in the very long holiday ham line.

This is the second time that I have tried Cooks' Illustrated's method for cooking a spiral-sliced ham.  This is simply the best recipe I have ever tried for ham because the meat stays moist and tender.  And it's easy, too!

Spiral-Sliced Ham with Maple-Orange Glaze
Source:  Cooks Illustrated magazine

7-10 lb. bone-in spiral-sliced half ham
1 large oven cooking bag

The ham should come factory-wrapped in plastic and may have a netting around it as well.  Do not remove the plastic from the ham but do remove the netting, if applicable.

Get a large food-safe pail (mine was 5 gallons) or even a large cooler and fill it halfway with HOT tap water.  Submerge the plastic-wrapped ham completely.  If your ham is foil-wrapped instead of plastic wrapped, transfer it to a large ziptop bag (2 or 2.5 gallon size) first.

Submerged ham

Let ham sit in the hot water for 45 minutes, then drain and repeat: add HOT water to submerge the ham and allow it sit in the water for an additional 45 minutes.  This allows the ham to slowly warm so that it doesn't have to bake as long in the oven.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and set the rack to the bottom-most level.  Remove ham from the water and the original plastic covering.  Remove the plastic disk at the wide end of ham.  Place the entire ham cut-side down into a large oven cooking bag and use a  twist-tie to secure, trimming off excess plastic.  Place the bag cut-side down into a shallow roasting pan, pierce the top of the bag with a knife in 3 or 4 places, and place in the preheated oven.

Ham in oven cooking bag
Bake for 10 minutes per pound.  My ham was 8 lbs., so I cooked it for 80 minutes.  Remove ham and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, cut open the oven cooking bag and push it down to expose the top and sides of the ham.

unglazed ham after 80 minutes

Brush the ham with one-third of the glaze and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the glaze is sticky.

Remove the ham from the oven and brush with another third of the glaze mixture.

Marvelous Maple-Orange Glazed Ham

Let the ham rest for 15 minutes, loosely tented with foil.  While ham rests, mix the remaining glaze with a couple tablespooons of the ham juices and reserve.  Carve ham and serve with the reserved sauce.

Maple Orange Glaze

3/4 cup pure maple syrup (the real deal!)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until thick and syrupy, about 5-7 minutes.  Use to glaze ham.

Shared at:

Hunk of Meat Mondays


Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

What great tips. And a great recipe! Gone flag this one for the next great ham bake holiday!

Kristin said...

*drools* this looks delicious! the next time i make ham, i will definitely be using this method!

thanks so much for linking up to magia mondays!


Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

Thanks for linking up to Hunk of Meat Monday too!

Kristen said...

That ham sounds amazing. I love the glaze.

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

You're right. That does sound easy. I've always gotten the spiral-sliced ham at Costco and it's awesome but sometimes I don't even want to make that trip. I assume this could be done to any ham.