How long should ham on the bone be cooked?

bone-in ham – Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

Whether you’re cooking up a holiday treat for your family and friends or just trying to mix things up on Tuesday, knowing exactly how to cook your ham is very important. Hams come in all shapes and sizes, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach like when making cheeseburgers or chicken thighs. Aside from the visual perspective and difference in taste, bone-in ham also differs from its boneless ham brother in cooking time.

Bone-in ham is usually cooked a little longer than boneless ham. If you are cooking ham on the bone, plan to cook it for about 22 to 25 minutes per pound over medium heat. This rating is for a ham that weighs between five and seven kilograms. For slightly larger hams that weigh more than 10 pounds, your cooking time is a little shorter, about 20 minutes per pound. By comparison, for boneless ham, cooking time can vary from 15 to more than 20 minutes per pound depending on the weight of the ham.

So what does this mean for your holiday dinner? Well, usually six pounds of bone-in ham can take more than two hours to cook completely. It’s probably best to get out a calculator before you pop the ham in the oven. However, you shouldn’t worry too much.

Read more: 11 things you didn’t know you should do with bacon

Is the bone-in ham cooked yet?

sliced ​​ham on cutting board

sliced ​​ham on cutting board – Candice Bell/Shutterstock

When it comes to cooking ham, you probably don’t need to worry about your ham being undercooked. Many bone-in hams are dried and pre-cooked before being sold. So basically you are reheating the meat for consumption. However, according to the USDA, you should bring your cooked ham to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to kill any potentially harmful germs the meat may have been exposed to during packaging.

Not all hams are cooked before being sold. If your ham is uncooked, it will probably say something like “cook thoroughly” on the package or something similar. If your ham is uncooked, you need to cook it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, if your ham is packaged outside of a meat processor, then it should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Uncooked ham will require a longer cooking time than pre-cooked ham, so plan accordingly if you go this route. For bone-in ham, you should look to cook smaller hams at 35 to 40 minutes per pound and larger hams at 22 to 26 minutes per pound. While this doesn’t seem like a big difference, it does add up over time.

Tips for cooking ham on the bone

boiled ham on the bone

boiled ham on the bone – Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

The USDA recommends cooking ham at a temperature of at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit, but you may not want to consider higher for fear of overcooking the meat. When it comes to choosing a boneless or bone-in ham, you may want to choose a bone-in ham for the same reason. While boneless hams may be easier to cook, the bone in the ham helps prevent the meat from drying out. This will result in a juicier end product with more flavor.

However, there are a few other things you want to keep in mind as well. First, consider covering your ham with a layer of aluminum foil. This will provide a protective layer that will prevent the direct heat of the oven from destroying the outer layer of your ham. The last thing you want is a ham that looks like a football. Likewise, consider braising the ham in stock or juice while it’s cooking for extra moisture. This will result in a moist, flavorful piece of meat. Finally, make sure you don’t overcook your ham by making sure you cook it for the appropriate length of time for its weight. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Read the original Daily Meal article.

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