How Long Should You Cook a Dearborn Spiral Ham for Maximum Tenderness and Flavor?

Dearborn spiral hams are a holiday favorite, known for their impressive presentation and delicious smoky flavor. The spiral cut allows the glaze and seasonings to really penetrate the meat for enhanced taste. But cooking the ham just right is key to bringing out its best texture and flavor. Undercooking leaves it unsafe to eat while overcooking results in dry, tough meat. So how long should you cook a Dearborn spiral ham?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about achieving the perfect cook time for tender, juicy Dearborn spiral ham.

Dearborn Brand, founded in 1924, produces premium hams that are smoked for up to 24 hours over hardwood chips This slow smoking process gives the meat a rich, smoky flavor

Their famous spiral cut hams are pre-cooked and ready to heat and eat. The distinctive spiral slicing wraps around the bone, resulting in more exposed surface area to get maximum glaze coverage. The bone-in hams lock in moisture and flavor too.

Dearborn spiral hams come fully cooked and pre-glazed. The sweet sticky glaze gives great flavor and helps seal in juices. Flavors like cherry applewood, honey bourbon, and brown sugar maple make choosing your ham a mouthwatering experience!

How Long to Cook a Dearborn Spiral Ham

Cooking your Dearborn spiral ham is as simple as heating it through. Here are the standard recommendations for cook time:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.

  • Place ham in a baking dish and cover with foil.

  • Cook approximately 14-15 minutes per pound.

For example, an 8 pound Dearborn spiral ham will take about 112-120 minutes in the oven.

Always use a meat thermometer to confirm the ham reaches the safe minimum internal temperature of 140°F before serving. If it’s under, return to oven for 5-10 minutes until 140°F.

More Cooking Time Tips Based on Size

Follow these time ranges when baking your Dearborn spiral ham:

  • 4-5 lb. ham – 60-75 minutes
  • 6-7 lb. ham – 90-105 minutes
  • 8-9 lb. ham – 112-135 minutes
  • 10-12 lb. ham – 140-180 minutes

If reheating a fully cooked Dearborn spiral ham, simply warm it through at 250°F for 10-15 minutes per pound.

Check different spots with a meat thermometer to ensure even heating. Reheated hams should also reach 140°F.

Key Considerations for Proper Cook Time

To achieve the best results when cooking your Dearborn spiral ham, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always cook fully thawed ham. Don’t cook frozen.

  • Use a meat thermometer for accurate doneness. Oven temps can vary.

  • Let ham rest at least 10-15 minutes before carving to allow juices to redistribute.

  • Add glaze during last 30 minutes if baking plain unglazed ham for extra flavor.

  • Cook times may be 5-10 minutes longer for hams over 10 lbs.

  • Cook times will be shorter if using a convection oven.

Following the recommended cook times and using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your Dearborn spiral ham comes out perfectly juicy, safe to eat, and full of flavor every time.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Dearborn Spiral Ham

Follow this simple step-by-step process for cooking your Dearborn spiral ham to perfection:

1. Prep the Ham

  • Remove ham from packaging and plastic disk on bone.

  • Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined baking dish.

  • Score the fat in a diamond pattern for better glaze adhesion.

  • Brush with glaze, if desired (especially if cooking an unglazed ham).

2. Bake the Ham

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.

  • Cover ham tightly with foil to prevent drying out.

  • Bake for 14-15 minutes per pound, remembering the size ranges above.

3. Test for Doneness

  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part without touching the bone.

  • It should reach the minimum safe temp of 140°F when done.

  • If under 140°F, return to oven for 5-10 more minutes.

4. Let Ham Rest

  • Remove ham from oven and let rest 15 minutes before carving.

  • This allows juices to re-distribute for easier, neater slicing.

5. Carve and Serve!

  • Carve by slicing around the bone and serve warm.

  • Add extra glaze just before serving if desired.

  • Pair with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

This simple process allows you to achieve a juicy, fully cooked Dearborn spiral ham with delicious smoky flavor every time.

Testing Doneness of Dearborn Spiral Ham

Using a meat thermometer is crucial to ensure your Dearborn spiral ham cooks to a safe internal temperature. Follow these tips:

  • Always insert thermometer into the thickest section of meat, avoiding the bone.

  • Double check temperature in a couple places to confirm even heating.

  • Ham should reach 140°F minimum for food safety. If under, cook longer.

  • Look for the thermometer to slide in easily with no resistance if fully cooked.

  • The ham may still have a slight pink hue, but be fully cooked when 140°F.

  • If overcooked, the meat will look very firm and dry with hard edges.

Taking the temperature ensures your ham cooks thoroughly without overdrying. For optimal juiciness and tenderness, cook just until 140°F.

What If Your Dearborn Spiral Ham is Undercooked?

If your Dearborn spiral ham is slightly undercooked, don’t panic. You have options to continue cooking it to proper doneness:

  • Return ham to the oven and cook 5-10 minutes more until 140°F. Use foil to prevent overcooking.

  • Finish it in the oven at 400°F for quicker heat without drying it out.

  • Slice the ham and pan fry the slices in butter for extra browning and heat.

  • Simmer the ham in sauce, broth, or glaze to gently finish cooking without drying it out.

  • If very undercooked, return to oven or simmer uncovered in liquid until 140°F.

  • Cook any visibly undercooked portions thoroughly to kill bacteria just to be safe.

With just a little extra time and care, you can still achieve a properly cooked and tasty Dearborn spiral ham even if slightly undercooked initially.

How to Tell if Your Dearborn Spiral Ham is Overcooked

It’s also possible to overcook your Dearborn spiral ham if you leave it in too long. Here’s how to tell:

  • The meat pulls away from the bone rather easily.

  • The slices appear very dense and dry looking.

  • The ham feels firmer and tougher in texture rather than tender.

  • The edges are starting to get hard with crispy, dried out areas.

  • The ham slices don’t hold together well and start crumbling.

  • The thermometer slides in and out without resistance if overcooked.

While an overcooked ham won’t make you sick, it will be tougher and drier than ideal. You can chop up the dried out pieces to use in casseroles or soups. Focus on nailing the cook time to keep your Dearborn spiral ham tender and juicy.

Troubleshooting Poorly Cooked Dearborn Spiral Ham

If your Dearborn spiral ham turns out under or overcooked, here are some common issues and solutions:

Ham is undercooked:

  • Oven temperature too low – Use an oven thermometer to check temperature is accurate. Preheat well.

  • Cook time too short – Follow recommended minimum time of 14-15 minutes per pound.

  • Ham still partially frozen – Thaw completely in fridge 1-2 days before cooking.

  • Ham too large for pan – Use larger roasting pan and foil to tent loosely.

Ham is overcooked:

  • Oven temperature too high – Lower temp to 300-325°F.

  • Cooked beyond recommended time – Follow 15 mins/lb time to prevent overcooking.

  • Ham touching oven sides – Center ham in pan away from sides to prevent hot spots.

  • Foil too tight – Tent foil more loosely so steam can escape.

With some simple adjustments, you can get perfect results from your Dearborn spiral ham every holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Dearborn Spiral Ham

Get the answers to all your cooking questions about delicious Dearborn spiral hams:

What temperature do you cook a pre-cooked Dearborn spiral ham?

Cook pre-cooked Dearborn hams to an internal temperature of 140°F or higher for food safety.

How long does it take to bake a 10 pound Dearborn spiral ham?

A 10 pound Dearborn spiral ham will take about 140-150 minutes in a 325°F oven.

Should you cover Dearborn spiral ham when cooking?

Yes, cover the ham loosely with foil when cooking to prevent it from drying out. Remove foil last 30 minutes if adding glaze.

Can you cook a Dearborn spiral ham from frozen?

It’s best not to cook a frozen Dearborn ham. Always thaw completely 1-2 days in the fridge before cooking.

How long does Dearborn spiral ham last in the fridge?

Cooked Dearborn spiral ham will last 3-4 days properly stored in the fridge. Freeze for longer storage.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover Dearborn spiral ham?

To reheat leftovers, slice the ham and heat in a skillet with broth or sauce until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Let’s Sum It Up

Achieving the ideal cook time is the key to bringing out the best in your Dearborn spiral ham. Follow the recommendations of baking approximately 15 minutes per pound at 325°F until the ham reaches 140°F internally. Using a meat thermometer and allowing the ham to rest before carving guarantees you a juicy, tender, and flavorful ham the whole family will love this holiday season.

Dearborn Brand’s School of Ham

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