How Long Do You Deep Fry a Cooked Ham? A Complete Guide

Deep frying a cooked ham is a unique way to add flavor and achieve a crispy exterior. But how long do you fry a cooked ham to perfection? In this complete guide, I’ll walk through everything you need to know about deep frying a ham, from preparation to cooking time to serving ideas.

Why Deep Fry a Cooked Ham?

Deep frying is an interesting alternative to roasting or baking a holiday ham. It locks in moisture and juiciness while creating a crispy crunchy exterior. The hot oil sears and caramelizes the outside of the ham for a tasty crust.

Deep fried ham has a distinctly savory, salty flavor that goes well with sweet glazes or fruity sauces. It makes for a more exciting main course than an oven-baked ham. Just take proper safety precautions when working with hot oil.

Selecting a Ham for Deep Frying

For the best results, choose a fully cooked, bone-in ham for deep frying. The bone adds flavor and retains moisture. Avoid using a boneless, spiral-cut, or canned ham, as these tend to dry out quickly in the hot oil.

An 8-10 pound smoked, uncured ham is ideal for deep frying. Make sure the ham is completely thawed before frying. For food safety, deep fry a cooked ham within 3-5 days of purchasing it fresh.

Preparing the Ham for the Fryer

Proper preparation is key to delicious deep fried ham:

  • Pat the ham dry thoroughly with paper towels to remove excess moisture and prevent oil splatter.
  • Make a lengthwise slit through the center of the ham using a sharp chef’s knife.
  • Insert a poultry rack into the slit to keep the ham upright in the oil.
  • Inject ham all over with a flavorful marinade using an injection needle. Try apple cider, brown sugar, garlic and onion powders.
  • Allow ham to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes after injecting to allow marinade to absorb.

How Much Oil is Needed to Deep Fry a Ham?

The amount of oil needed depends on the size of your deep fryer pot. Make sure there is at least 4-5 inches of clearance between the oil and the top of the pot to prevent boiling over.

For an 8-10 pound ham, you’ll need:

  • Home deep fryer: 4-6 quarts of oil
  • Turkey fryer pot: 8-12 quarts of oil

I recommend peanut, vegetable, canola, or safflower oil for deep frying ham. Use a thermometer to maintain the oil between 350-375°F.

How Long to Deep Fry a Cooked Ham

The general rule of thumb for deep frying a fully cooked ham is:

  • 7 minutes per pound
  • Minimum oil temperature of 350°F

So for a 10 pound ham, the estimated frying time would be around 70 minutes at 350°F.

However, to ensure the ham is cooked through, you must check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The ham should reach an internal temp of 160°F before removing from oil.

Adjust the frying time up or down depending on thickness. Thicker hams may need up to 8 minutes per pound. Monitor temperature and doneness closely and adjust as needed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Deep Frying Ham

Follow these steps for fried ham success:

  1. Preheat oil to 375°F in a deep fryer or large pot. Use enough oil to submerge ham 4-5 inches.

  2. Pat ham completely dry. Make lengthwise slit and insert poultry rack.

  3. Lower ham slowly into hot oil using the fryer basket. Carefully monitor oil temperature and avoid splattering.

  4. Fry for estimated time based on size, about 7 minutes per pound. Turn ham occasionally for even cooking.

  5. Monitor internal temp, until it reaches 160°F. Adjust cooking time as needed.

  6. Remove ham from oil carefully when fully cooked. Drain excess oil on paper towels or rack.

  7. Let fried ham rest 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

  8. Carve ham and serve immediately while hot and crispy. Enjoy!

Oil Temperature Tips and Safety

  • Maintain oil temp between 350-375°F for best results.
  • If oil smokes or smells, it’s overheated. Carefully remove ham and adjust temperature.
  • Use thermometer to monitor oil temp. Adjust heat to maintain steady temp.
  • Hot oil can be dangerous. Wear protective gear and exercise caution when frying.

Controlling your oil temperature is crucial when deep frying to prevent burning or undercooking.

How to Keep Fried Ham Juicy

No one wants a dry, overcooked ham. Here are some tips to keep your deep fried ham nice and juicy:

  • Choose a bone-in, fully cooked ham, which retains moisture best.

  • Inject ham all over with a flavorful marinade before frying. This adds juice and flavor.

  • Pat ham dry before frying to prevent oil splatter, but don’t over dry.

  • Maintain steady 350-375°F oil temperature to avoid overcooking outer meat.

  • Remove ham when internal temp hits 160°F to prevent overcooking.

  • Let ham rest 10+ minutes before slicing to redistribute juices.

  • Glaze with sauce, juice, or jelly after frying to add moisture and flavor.

Serving Suggestions for Deep Fried Ham

A crispy, juicy deep fried ham pairs well with an assortment of sides and sauces. Some tasty serving ideas include:

  • Honey mustard or bourbon glaze
  • Spiced peach or pineapple chutney
  • Candied yams or fried apple slices
  • Buttery biscuits or corn bread
  • Collard greens, roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Mac and cheese or cheesy grits
  • Fresh fruit coleslaw

Get creative with your sides and garnishes! A deep fried ham makes a lovely entree for gatherings big or small.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Fried Ham

Properly stored, leftover deep fried ham keeps for 3-4 days refrigerated. To reheat, slice fried ham and place in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes.

You can also reheat fried ham slices in the microwave, but they may lose some crispiness. Always reheat fried ham to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking. Store cooked fried ham in an airtight container and use within 3-5 days for best quality and food safety.

Key Takeaways on Deep Frying Ham

  • Deep fry bone-in, fully cooked ham for 7 minutes per pound at 350°F.
  • Inject ham with marinade before frying for added flavor and moisture.
  • Monitor internal temperature until ham reaches 160°F.
  • Allow fried ham to rest before slicing to retain juices.
  • Serve with sweet glazes, fruit sauces, or classic southern sides.
  • Store leftovers for 3-4 days max. Reheat fried ham to 165°F.

With proper preparation and cooking, deep fried ham can be a delicious showstopper for your next gathering. Crisp on the outside, juicy inside, and full of flavor, it’s sure to be a hit!

How to fry a ham!


How long to deep fry a fully cooked ham?

Cook ham for 7 minutes per pound, or until core temperature of ham is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long do you cook a already fully cooked ham?

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the ham on a rack in a large baking pan and add about 1/4- to 1/2 inch of water to the pan. If the ham is labeled “fully cooked” (does not require heating), heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes per pound, or to an internal temperature of 140 F.

Can you fry cooked ham?

Definitely! Leftover cooked ham slices can be a great option for frying. The already cooked ham will just require minimal cooking time to crisp up the edges and warm through. Frying leftover ham slices can be a quick and delicious way to repurpose them into a new meal.

How do you fry a ham like bacon?

Add the oil to the pan followed by the ham slices. Lay them in a single layer enough to fill pan but not overcrowd them. Do in batches if necessary. Cook for about 10-20 minutes depending on thickness, turning occasionally until browned.

How long do you deep fry a ham?

Lower rack into fryer. Cook ham for 7 minutes per pound, or until core temperature of ham is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 8. Remove ham from fryer and allow excess oil to drain off. Carve ham and enjoy! Can You Deep Fry a Ham? Yes, you can deep fry a ham.

How long should a ham be fried?

Generally speaking, the amount of time the ham is fried for entirely depends upon the weight of the ham, but stick to the rule of around seven minutes per pound. Once the ham is fully fried, let it stand for fifteen minutes. The third and final step is all about serving. Recipes for ham glaze can be found online.

How do you cook a fried ham?

Fried ham is good in sandwiches, or just as a snack! Put a bit of butter, oil, or lard in your frying pan. Turn it on medium heat. Heat the butter, oil, or lard for about 30 seconds, or until it starts to slightly bubble. Put in your slice of ham. Start with one if you are a beginner cook, or if your pan is small.

How do you cook a Ham in a turkey fryer?

In a large plastic tub, place water, cider, 1 cup brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ham and stir until dissolved. Place the ham in the brine and refrigerate overnight. The following day, take the ham out of the brine and dry well. Fill your turkey fryer with the peanut oil. Heat the oil to 375 °F.

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