Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Calling All Ham Experts!!!

So, this Christmas will be bringing me a new a ham.  When it comes to ham, I've always gone the safe route--either make a trip to Honey Baked Ham or rely on my mom to cook one.  I really have no clue what I'm getting myself into. 

If you read my HodgePodge post, you read what happened between the grocery cart and my kitchen counter--the netting *WITH THE DIRECTIONS* disappeared!!!  How does this happen?!?!?  I've never had that happen before, and I've bought my share of turkeys and chickens over the years.  Thankfully, I was able to call the grocery store and speak to this really sweet girl in the meat dept. who gave me the directions.  :o)

Here's my question(s):

The directions say to add water to the pan before putting it into the oven.  Um, how much????  Also, it says to baste as needed.  Baste it with what?  The water?  The directions mention nothing about any type of seasoning, so I'm clueless here. 

I don't want to do any kind of sweet glaze because hubby likes a very traditional tasting ham.  I just want a ham that has a good, simple flavor, and one that doesn't turn out too dry.  It's a 9 lb. spiral sliced ham that's supposed to be cooked 15 min. per lb.

Help, please!


  1. Ok I'm not an expert, but have been cooking a long time. The reason I put water in the bottom is to keep the fat from splattering all over the oven. We don't make ham gravy. The amount of water will depend on the size of the aren't boiling the ham. I just put a small amount in about a 1/4". Hope this helps?

  2. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I started thinking that if I put too much water in there, I would have boiled ham...not exactly what I'm going for. :o) LOL!

  3. This is the closes recipe I could find to what we do (Oh and I agree with the water):

    2 cups brown sugar
    1 can (20 oz. size) crushed pineapple with juice
    4 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons dry or prepared mustard
    2 tablespoons corn starch, MIXED WITH
    4 tablespoons cold water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]


    Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan. Mix well, heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

    Pour some glaze over ham near end of cooking, reserve remainder to serve from bowl at table.
    For the holidays I actually take the time and use sliced pineapple all over the ham (stuck in with toothpicks) and then stud it with whole cloves. I do that to help keep the ham moist and add flavor. The pineapples also "catch" the glaze as you add it and hold it on the ham to add more flavor to the meat.

    I never used cornstarch either - because I wasn't wanting a gravy. I used some of the pineapple juice, mustard, brown sugar, some water, a little Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper ... and adjusted it to taste and eyeballed amount needed for the ham. Ours is larger than yours - so I would use more than you - but this basic recipe would probably work fine.

    If you do go with the pineapple slices and whole cloves, remember to pull out the cloves and not eat them. You also don't need to eat the pineapple slices.

    I looked and looked for recipes for you that didn't seem "sweet" but all glazes have a form of sugar and it is traditional, especially at Christmas to have a glazed ham. When you actually eat them, most are not overly sweet though. You can find quite a few just by searching ham glaze recipes. Good luck and have an awesome Christmas!

  4. Wow, Lee...thank you so much for the suggestions! I'm crossing my fingers that I don't ruin this thing! :o)

  5. I put my ham in my roaster. I pour a can of coke or sprite over it, put the lid on and I bake it at 325 until the thermometer says 160 degrees. For your size ham, if it's not fully cooked, you'd need about 90 minutes. If it's a fully cooked ham, you just need to reheat it until it's 160 degrees.

    Baste it with the juices, just to keep it moist. After it's done and I slice it, I drizzle some of the juices over the meat to keep it moist too.


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)