Achieving Perfectly Cooked Ham at a Low 200°F Oven Temperature

Cooking ham at a low oven temperature of 200°F produces incredibly tender and juicy results, but requires more time compared to the standard 325°F. When armed with the right timing guidelines, you can make melt-in-your-mouth ham without overdrying it.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how long to cook ham at 200°F for flavorful, foolproof results.

Why Cook Ham at a Low 200°F Temperature?

There are several advantages to using a lower 200°F oven temperature for cooking ham:

  • Prevents overdrying – The low heat gently warms the ham without drying it out The juices and moisture are locked in.

  • Maximizes tenderness – The slower cook time helps break down collagen for a more tender texture.

  • Intensifies flavor – The long cooking concentrates the flavors nicely

  • Adds caramelization – The exterior gets beautifully browned and caramelized.

  • Frees up oven space – You can cook side dishes at higher temps while the ham cooks slowly.

The tradeoff is a longer cook time, but the results are worth it.

How Long Does Ham Take at 200°F?

Cooking times will vary depending on the size and type of ham, but here are general guidelines:

  • Bone-in ham: approximately 30 minutes per pound
  • Boneless ham: approximately 18-20 minutes per pound

For example an 8 lb. bone-in ham will take about 4 hours at 200°F.

Always use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature reaches 140°F for food safety. If under, continue cooking until the proper temperature.

More Time Recommendations Based on Ham Size

Use these time ranges for cooking bone-in ham at 200°F:

  • 4-5 lbs: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
  • 6-8 lbs: 3 to 4 hours
  • 10-12 lbs: 5 to 6 hours

For boneless or spiral sliced hams:

  • 3-4 lbs: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
  • 5-7 lbs: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  • 8-10 lbs: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Monitor with a meat thermometer and adjust times as needed. Cook until 140°F.

Helpful Tips for Cooking Ham at 200°F

Follow these tips for the best results when cooking ham low and slow at 200°F:

  • Cook fully thawed ham only, not frozen. Thaw completely in the fridge 1-2 days first.

  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness instead of relying on cook times.

  • Tent ham loosely with foil to prevent excessive drying.

  • Let ham rest 15-20 minutes before slicing for easier carving.

  • Add glaze during last 30-60 minutes if desired for flavor and color.

  • Cook times may vary based on oven accuracy – use thermometer as guide.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Ham at 200°F

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to cooking ham to juicy perfection at 200°F:

1. Prepare the Ham

  • Select a fully thawed bone-in or boneless ham. Leave packaging and any skin on.

  • Place ham fat side up in a foil-lined baking dish. Tent loosely with more foil.

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

2. Cook the Ham

  • Preheat oven to 200°F.

  • Cook ham for 30 minutes per pound (bone-in) or 18-20 minutes per pound (boneless).

  • After 2 hours, start checking temperature periodically.

3. Check Internal Temperature

  • When nearing estimated time, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of ham without touching the bone.

  • It should reach 140°F when done. If under, continue cooking and checking until 140°F.

4. Apply Glaze and Broil

  • Once ham is 140°F, remove foil and brush with glaze if using.

  • Set oven to broil for 3-5 minutes to caramelize glaze (watch closely to avoid burning).

5. Rest, Carve, and Serve

  • Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

  • Carve by slicing around the bone and serve immediately. Enjoy!

The low and slow method results in incredibly flavorful and tender ham every time.

Testing Doneness of Ham Cooked at 200°F

Monitoring temperature is critical when cooking ham low and slow. Here are tips for testing doneness:

  • Insert thermometer into the thickest part of ham and make sure it’s not touching bone.

  • Ham should reach a minimum safe temperature of 140°F before serving.

  • If under 140°F, continue cooking and testing every 20-30 minutes until done.

  • The thermometer will slide in and out easily when fully cooked.

  • Use multiple thermometers if needed to confirm even temperature.

Letting the thermometer be your guide prevents under or overcooking. The ham may still have a slight pink color at 140°F but be sufficiently cooked.

What If Your Ham is Undercooked at 200°F?

If your ham is slightly undercooked when you check temperature, there are a few easy fixes:

  • Continue cooking at 200°F, checking every 15 minutes until 140°F.

  • Raise oven heat to 350°F and cook for 10-15 more minutes to speed up heating.

  • Slice the ham and pan fry the slices in butter to finish cooking and add browning.

  • Simmer the ham in broth, sauce, or glaze for 10-15 minutes to gently finish cooking through.

Take care not to overcook the exterior while bringing the center up to a safe 140°F. With minor adjustments, you can still achieve properly cooked ham.

How to Tell if Your Ham is Overcooked at 200°F

It is also possible to overdry your ham if you cook it for too long at the low 200°F temperature. Here’s how to tell:

  • The meat has pulled away from the bone significantly.

  • The ham feels very firm and dense.

  • The fat areas are shriveled looking.

  • The meat has a dry, stringy texture.

  • The ham doesn’t hold together well and starts breaking.

  • The edges are dried out and hard.

While you can still eat an overcooked ham, it will lack the juicy tenderness you get when cooked properly at 200°F. Focus on removing it from the oven at 140°F for best quality.

Troubleshooting Ham Cooked Improperly at 200°F

If your low and slow ham has issues, here are some common problems and solutions:

Ham is undercooked:

  • Oven temperature too low – Confirm accuracy with oven thermometer.

  • Cook time too short – Follow recommended minimum times for size.

  • Ham was under thawed – Ensure fully thawed before cooking.

  • Ham too large – Use bigger pan and tent foil more loosely.

Ham is overcooked:

  • Oven temperature too high – Double check it’s set at 200°F.

  • Cooked too long – Stick to estimated times and use thermometer.

  • Foil too tight – Loosely tent foil to allow moisture to escape.

  • Ham touching pan sides – Center ham in pan away from walls.

With some easy oven adjustments, you can achieve perfect ham cooked low and slow at 200°F.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Ham at 200°F

Get all your questions answered about cooking ham low and slow:

What is the benefit of cooking ham at 200°F?

The low 200°F temperature cooks the ham gently to preserve moisture and prevent drying out. The ham ends up very tender and juicy.

How long does a 10 lb ham need to cook at 200°F?

A bone-in 10 lb ham will need around 5-6 hours in a 200°F oven. Boneless may take 3-4 hours. Always verify with a thermometer.

Is it safe to eat ham cooked at 200°F?

Yes, as long as the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140°F or higher for food safety. Use a meat thermometer to verify.

How can you tell if ham is done at 200°F?

Test the innermost part with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 140°F or above. Also check that the meat is fork tender.

Can you overcook the ham at a low 200°F temperature?

Yes it’s possible if cooking longer than required. Follow recommended cook times and use a thermometer to prevent overcooking.

Should I tent the ham when cooking at 200°F?

Yes, loosely tenting the ham with foil helps retain moisture at the low cooking temperature.

The Takeaway

Cooking bone-in or boneless ham low and slow at 200°F delivers incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful results every time. With the proper cook times of approximately 30 minutes per pound for bone-in and 18-20 minutes per pound for boneless, along with using a thermometer to monitor doneness, you can achieve the perfect juicy ham texture and taste. Next time you make ham, give the 200°F oven method a try for some amazing flavors.

How long and at what temperature do you cook a fully cooked ham?

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