Ham is often served with a glaze and can also be accompanied by a sauce for those special occasions when you want to dress up your ham.
Ham is one of the easiest meats to prepare. It is also a tremendously versatile meat.
You can purchase a small, boneless fully-cooked ham that can be used to slice for fast cooking on a weeknight, or in sandwiches for school lunches, or put a whole, bone-in ham in the oven to be the star of your Easter dinner.
What exactly is ham? Ham comes from two parts of a hog, the back leg, and the front shoulder.
There are a number of different cuts of ham which can make the whole thing somewhat confusing, but it’s really actually as simple as reading the directions on the label.
To make things easier, I have included a number of tables here which clearly state how long to bake a ham per pound.
Just look for the table that matches the kind of ham you have bought, and follow the time given for the number of pounds of the ham. All of the tables give the approximate cooking time based on a 325 F oven.
Before we get into the tables, let’s talk about different cuts of ham.
The front shoulder of the hog gives two basic cuts of meat: arm picnic which may be smoked or fresh, and the smoked shoulder roll which is the butt portion.
The leg which may be bought as a whole or a half, boneless or bone-in, and the smoked ham which must be cooked before eating – whole, half, shank or rump (butt), and the smoked ham which is fully cooked and must be heated either a whole or half portion.
I know it seems confusing, there are a lot of variables at play, but once you bake a ham you will see how incredibly easy it is.
How Long To Bake A Fully-Cooked Smoked Ham Per Pound At 325 F?
Smoking a ham serves two purposes. It is one of the ways to ensure a ham labeled “fully cooked” will be free of disease. Smoking also provides rich flavor and juicy meat.
Although this ham is called fully cooked, it still needs to be heated through to an internal temperature of 140 F.
The best way to test if the ham has reached the necessary temperature is to use a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the ham.
While in general a fully-cooked ham should reach a temperature of 140 F, it is necessary to read the label on the ham you purchase and follow the cooking instructions given.
|Cut Of Ham||Number Of Pounds||Cooking Time In Min. Per Pound|
|Whole, Bone-In||10 – 14 Lbs.||15 – 18 Minutes/Lb|
|Half, Bone-In||5 – 7 Lbs.||18 – 24 Minutes/Lb|
|Arm Picnic Shoulder, Boneless||5 – 8 Lbs.||25 – 30 Minutes/Lb|
|Canned, Boneless||3 – 10 Lbs.||15 – 20 Minutes/Lb|
|Vacuum-Packed, Boneless||6 – 12 Lbs.||10 – 15 Minutes/Lb|
|Spiral, Whole Or Half||7 – 9 Lbs.||10 – 18 Minutes/Lb|
The great advantage of a fully cooked ham is that it takes less time to bake.
Those cuts of ham that are bone-in tend to make for a juicier and more flavorful ham, however, those that are boneless are faster to cook, and every ham naturally has great flavor.
If you are using canned ham, make sure you refrigerate it until you cook it, unless it is a smaller canned ham. Read the label which will state if the canned ham should be put in the refrigerator.
How Long To Bake A Smoked Ham Per Pound At 325 F?
Hams can also be purchased partially cooked. For some of these cuts there is the choice of bone-in or boneless. For other cuts, they come only boneless.
The following table identifies all of the details you need to perfectly bake a smoked ham, no matter which cut you buy.
|Cut Of Ham||Number Of Pounds||Cooking Time In Minutes Per Pound|
|Whole, Bone-In||10 – 14 Lbs.||18 – 20 Minutes/Lb|
|Half, Bone-In||5 – 7 Lbs.||22 – 25 Minutes/Lb|
|Shank Or Butt, Bone-In||3 – 4 Lbs.||35 – 40 Minutes/Lb|
|Arm Picnic Shoulder, Boneless||5 – 8 Lbs.||30 – 35 Minutes/Lb|
|Shoulder Roll, Butt, Boneless||2 – 4 Lbs.||35 – 40 Minutes/Lb|
You can see by comparing the table for fully cooked ham, that the smoked ham does take longer per pound for each of the cuts. However, which you choose will depend on availability and also personal preference.
How Long To Bake A Fresh Ham Per Pound At 325 F?
|Cut Of Ham||Number Of Pounds||Cooking Time In Minutes Per Pound|
|Whole Leg, Bone-In||12 – 16 Lbs.||22 – 26 Minutes/Lb|
|Whole Leg, Boneless||10 – 14 Lbs.||24 – 28 Minutes/Lb|
|Half, Bone-In||5 – 8 Lbs.||35 – 40 Minutes/Lb|
Fresh ham is available from the leg of the hog. You can purchase either a whole leg or a half portion. The half will be bone-in, while the whole may be purchased either bone-in or without the bone.
The whole ham leg is what is typically thought of when you picture a beautifully glazed ham on a platter at a special dinner, often at Easter. Many also like to serve ham along with turkey at Christmas.
Knowing how to carve a whole bone-in ham can simplify the preparations for dinner, and will also ensure slices of approximately even thickness.
Pro Tip: How To Carve A Bone-In Whole Ham?
- Place the ham on a large cutting board with the fat side up and the shank facing right.
- Cut a few slices from the thin side of the ham. If the ham is a left leg, the thin side will face the person carving. If the ham is a right leg, the thin side will face away from the individual.
- Now you can turn the ham onto the cut side so it will sit in place.
- Slice the ham, cutting each slice down to the bone.
- Finally, cut horizontally along the bone which will release all of the slices.
How Long To Bake A Spiral Ham Per Pound At 325 F?
If you would rather not deal with all of that slicing, and want to minimize the time between oven and table, a spiral ham may be just what you’re looking for.
A spiral-cut ham is fully cooked, and sliced to the bone with perfectly even thickness. This gives a beautiful presentation in addition to saving time.
|Precooked Weight In Pounds||Cooking Time In Minutes Per Pound|
|1 Pound||10 Minutes Per Pound|
|2 Pounds||20 Minutes Per Pound|
|5 Pounds||50 Minutes Per Pound|
|10 Pounds||1 Hour, 40 Minutes Per Pound|
|12 Pounds||2 Hours Per Pound|
|15 Pounds||2 Hours, 30 Minutes Per Pound|
|18 Pounds||3 Hours Per Pound|
Be sure to cover a spiral ham in the oven. Due to the fact that the slices are already cut, the heat can get between each slice and cause the ham to dry out. Putting aluminum foil over the ham will help to keep the juices inside.
How Long To Bake A Country Ham Per Pound?
People who have lived in the southern states often know the country ham as the one they have grown up on. Country ham requires more effort to prepare, but it is a treat, and worth the extra effort.
Country ham is dry-cured meaning it has been preserved by rubbing the ham with salt and other spices such as black pepper and sugar. The ham is hung to dry for a lengthy period of time, often for months.
The dry nature of the country ham means that it must be soaked and then simmered for a considerable time.
A 16-20 pound country ham will need to be soaked for 24 hours, and then simmered slowly for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, until the bone is loose.
The ham is cooled in the liquid, then prepared for roasting in a 350 F oven.
After the ham is placed on a baking sheet, and the skin and some of the fat are removed, the ham goes into a roasting pan, and is sprinkled with brown sugar and black peppercorns. It is baked for 20 – 30 minutes, or until glazed.
How Long To Bake A Ham Per Pound In The Slow Cooker?
So far we have looked at how long to bake a ham per pound in a conventional oven. However, there are other great options for cooking ham. One of the best is a slow cooker.
The following recipe calls for a 7-8 pound ham. I typically use a bone-in fully cooked ham. You may choose a spiral ham if you wish.
Pro Tip: Glazes
The crowning glory of your ham is the glaze. There are many different recipes for glazes. Some are quite sweet while others are more on the savory side.
My family’s favorite glaze is one that my mother always used to adorn the ham she served at our large family dinners at Easter.
In a small saucepan put
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1 can (8 ½ ounces) crushed pineapple – with syrup
- 2 tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Prepared mustard
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Ham Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is an excellent way to cook a ham if you are tight on time. The only limitation is the size of the ham. Three pounds is about the size you will want to use.
Prep time is quick, only 5 minutes, and it will take 35 minutes to cook a 3 pound ham.
May I Use A Pressure Cooker To Cook Ham?
A pressure cooker is another good option, and is the fastest way to cook a ham, only 22 minutes.
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Ham leftovers may be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Wrap them in aluminum foil or place them in airtight containers.
It is also safe to store any leftover ham in the freezer. It may be divided into portions and placed in freezer bags.
How Do I Reheat Leftovers?
Leftovers may be reheated easily by putting them in a baking dish, covering them with foil, and heating them in a 275 F oven. The length of time needed will depend on the amount and thickness of the meat.
- A 7-8 pound fully cooked ham
- Orange juice
- Brown sugar
- Mango chutney
- Dijon mustard
- Chopped ginger root
- Wine vinegar
- Dash hot pepper sauce
- An 8 quart slow cooker
- Small saucepan
- Pour orange juice into a slow cooker.
- Place ham in the slow cooker.
- Mix the rest of ingredients listed and pour them on the top of the ham.
- Put on the lid.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until a meat thermometer put in the thickest part of the ham reads 140.
- Remove the ham and cover it loosely with foil.
- Drain the sauce into a small saucepan and thicken with a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water.
- Heat over medium until thickened.
- Put some over the ham, and reserve the rest to serve along with the ham.
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