How Long to Bake Ham Loaf for Maximum Juiciness and Flavor

Ham loaf is a savory baked meatloaf made with ground ham and pork. It has a deliciously smoky salty flavor that makes it a favorite for potlucks and holiday meals. But like any meatloaf proper baking time is crucial for ham loaf. Underbake it and the texture stays mushy and raw tasting. Overbake and it dries out. Follow this guide to learn how long to bake ham loaf to achieve the perfect texture.

What is Ham Loaf?

Ham loaf contains ground or finely diced ham blended with ground pork, eggs, breadcrumbs and seasonings. The ham provides distinctive flavor while the pork keeps it moist. Unlike some meatloaves ham loaf isn’t shaped into a log or pan loaf. Instead, it’s formed into a large oval or approximate rectangle. This thin, flat shape allows the interior to cook through while the top and sides develop irresistible caramelized edges.

Factors That Affect Baking Time

Several factors impact how long to bake ham loaf:

  • Thickness – Thinner loaves cook faster than thick ones. Aim for 1-2 inches thick.

  • Weight – Larger loaves need more time than smaller ones. Stick to 1-3 pounds.

  • Pan size – Wide, shallow pans speed cooking by exposing more surface area

  • Glaze – Sugary glazes caramelize and brown faster than plain loaves.

  • Oven type – Convection ovens cook 25% faster than conventional.

How Long to Bake Fresh Ham Loaf

For fresh ham loaf made from raw pork and ham, follow these guidelines:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • 1-2 pound loaf: Bake 50-70 minutes
  • 3 pound loaf: Bake 70-90 minutes
  • Convection oven: Reduce time by 25%

Ham loaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

How Long to Bake Pre-Cooked Ham Loaf

Pre-cooked, cured ham loaf just needs to be heated through. Bake at 350°F:

  • 1-2 pound loaf: 30-45 minutes
  • 3 pound loaf: 45-60 minutes
  • Convection oven: Reduce time by 25%

Heat until warm throughout and glaze is bubbly. Check temperature with a meat thermometer to confirm it reaches 140°F.

Step-by-Step Baking Instructions

Follow these steps for perfect ham loaf:


  • Dice ham into small pieces or pulse in a food processor.
  • Mix ground pork, ham, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and any vegetables or cheese.


  • On a baking sheet, shape mixture into a 1-2 inch thick oval or rectangle.
  • Smooth top and sides. Brush with glaze or seasonings if desired.


  • Bake at 350°F on middle rack for recommended time based on weight.
  • If glazing, brush on thick layer during last 20 minutes.
  • Bake until deep golden brown and interior hits 160°F.


  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing into thick portions.
  • Serve hot alongside favorite fixings like scalloped potatoes or glazed carrots.

Baking Tips for Best Results

  • Choose a rimmed baking sheet for easy maneuvering and catching drips.

  • Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray even if using a disposable foil one.

  • Tent foil over loaf during first half of baking to prevent drying out. Remove for browning.

  • Insert thermometer into thickest section without touching pan. Oven and stovetop thermometers also help monitor accuracy.

  • If edges brown too quickly, tent them with foil strips to slow browning.

Avoid Common Baking Mistakes

It’s easy to over or under bake ham loaf. Here’s how to troubleshoot:

  • Raw, mushy center – Bake longer until 160°F.

  • Tough, dry texture – Don’t overbake. Stick to recommended times.

  • Uneven cooking – Rotate pan and check temp in multiple spots.

  • Burnt edges, pale center – Use lower temp like 325°F to prevent burning.

  • Falls apart when slicing – Let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting.

With the right baking time and temperature, you can enjoy foolproof ham loaf with irresistible caramelized edges yet a moist, tender interior. For the perfect potluck or holiday side, look no further than this savory baked ham loaf.

Mic’s Kitchen – Old Fashioned Ham Loaf


How to cook John F. Martin ham loaf?

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Remove ham loaf from packaging, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1-1.5 hours depending on whether the ham loaf was thawed before baking or frozen. Make a glaze using 6 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp mustard.

How long does it take bake a ham?

Ham is traditionally baked in the oven. Cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes per pound at 300 F. No matter the size of the ham and the temperature of the oven, it should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 140 F. Covering with foil throughout the cooking process keeps it moist.

How long does it take to cook a ham Martha Stewart?

Uncooked Ham
Cook Time
Whole, bone in
10-14 lbs
18-20 min/lb
Half, bone in
5-7 lbs
22-25 min/lb
Arm picnic shoulder, boneless
5-8 lb
30-35 min/lb
Shoulder roll (butt), boneless
2-4 lb
35-40 min/lb

How long does it take to bake a ham Loaf?

Form into a loaf and bake. Top with glaze in the final 20 minutes. A ham loaf should take approximately an hour, this can vary a bit. Ensure the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 160°F using a meat thermometer. For a shorter cook time, separating the loaf into two smaller loaves or even into cupcakes and bake like meatloaf cupcakes.

How long do you cook a frozen ham Loaf?

Once the ham loaf is properly thawed, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). The average cooking time for a frozen ham loaf is approximately one hour. However, it is essential to check the internal temperature of the loaf before considering it fully cooked. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

How long do you bake a ham sandwich?

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add milk, bread crumbs and pepper. Add ham and pork; mix well. Transfer to a 9×5-in. loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients; spoon over loaf. Bake until a thermometer inserted in loaf reads 145°, 40 minutes longer, basting occasionally with glaze.

What temperature should a ham Loaf be baked at?

As mentioned earlier, the ideal temperature for baking ham loaf is 350°F (175°C). However, the baking time can vary depending on the size of the loaf and your oven’s individual temperature settings. To ensure that your ham loaf is fully cooked and safe to eat, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to check its internal temperature.

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