How to Bake a Juicy Ham in a Dutch Oven: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Baking a ham in a Dutch oven is a fantastic way to infuse it with flavor and keep it incredibly moist The Dutch oven’s tight seal locks in moisture and heat to gently cook the ham to perfection

Follow this simple guide to bake your best ham yet in a Dutch oven. We’ll cover choosing the right ham, prep steps, cooking times, glazing, rest, storage, and more. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Baking Ham in a Dutch Oven

Compared to roasting in the oven cooking ham in a Dutch oven offers several advantages

  • Moist environment prevents drying out

  • Distributes heat evenly for uniform cooking

  • Seals in flavor from seasonings and glazes

  • Requires minimal monitoring once covered

  • Yields incredibly tender and juicy meat

  • Provides hands-off cooking for easy holiday meals

Choosing the Right Ham for Dutch Oven Baking

While you can bake any fully-cooked ham in a Dutch oven, here are some tips for choosing one that will turn out optimally:

  • Bone-in – Bone adds moisture and flavor.

  • Uncut – Whole hams retain moisture better than presliced spiral hams.

  • Size – Choose one that fits your Dutch oven with a little room around.

  • Glazed or unglazed – Either works fine. Add your own glaze for the best flavor.

Prep Steps Before Baking

Once you’ve chosen your ham, follow these prep steps:

  • Remove packaging – Discard any paper, netting, plastic disc, etc.

  • Pat dry – Blot ham with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

  • Score the fat – Cut a diamond pattern in the fat cap using a sharp knife so glaze can penetrate.

  • Season (optional) – For flavor, rub with brown sugar, cloves, mustard, etc.

  • Add liquid – Pour 1 cup broth, juice, or water in bottom of Dutch oven.

How to Bake Ham in a Dutch Oven Step-by-Step

Now you’re ready to bake! Follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  2. Sear ham on all sides in hot Dutch oven until nicely browned.

  3. Add seasoning and/or glaze if desired.

  4. Place ham in Dutch oven over liquid. Cover tightly with lid or foil.

  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes per pound. For example, bake a 10 lb ham for 3-3.5 hours.

  6. Uncover and glaze during last 30 minutes if using a glaze.

  7. Test temperature to ensure it reaches 140°F internally when done.

  8. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing to let juices redistribute.

Handy Dutch Oven Baking Tips

  • Add vegetables like onions or potatoes around ham to cook in juices.

  • Use a meat thermometer for perfect doneness.

  • Make glazes with brown sugar, honey, fruit preserves or mustard.

  • Baste ham with pan juices every 30 minutes while uncovered.

  • Add apple juice, broth, or wine to the oven bottom for moisture and flavor.

  • Letting ham rest before carving allows juices to be reabsorbed for a moist ham.

  • Use leftovers for sandwiches, omelets, soups, casseroles, and more!

Storing and Reheating Leftover Baked Ham

  • Refrigerate leftover ham up to 5 days.

  • Slice ham and freeze in airtight containers or bags up to 2 months.

  • Reheat ham slices gently in the oven or microwave until warm. Add broth or water to prevent drying.

  • Use ham bone to make bean soup, split pea soup, or broth.

Dutch Oven Ham With Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glaze


Should ham be baked covered or uncovered?

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 to cook a 3 lb fully cooked ham?

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. If the ham is labeled “cook before eating,” heat in an oven set no lower than 325 F to an internal temperature of at least 145 F.

How do you heat up a precooked ham without drying it out?

Reheating ham via skillet is an easy way to get a few slices nice and hot in a flash. To reheat ham slices on the stove, add a few slices at a time to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add up to ½ cup of chicken broth to keep the meat moist or opt for a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil to give the ham a nice sear.

How do you cook a Ham in a Dutch oven?

Using the long end of a meat thermometer, carefully poke about 15 holes into the ham. Place ham, cut side down, in dutch oven. Stir together the glaze mixture and slowly poor over the ham. Baste the ham with the glaze several times to fully coat. Cover with lid and bake for approximately 1 hour. Uncover the dutch oven for the last 30 minutes.

Is honey baked ham as good as regular ham?

The addition of honey will affect the calorie content of the food. One tablespoon of honey contributes to approximately 64 calories. In addition, the use of heat when making baked ham will reduce the quality of the honey.

Will a ham fit in a Dutch oven?

This size of ham will fit comfortably in your Dutch oven. I calculate the ham cooking time using the lowest end of the time range to start. If the ham has not yet reached an internal temperature of 140°F after that time has passed, then I’ll start adding additional minutes to my cooking time.

Is this Dutch oven Ham a good holiday recipe?

This savory Dutch Oven Ham recipe is perfect for the holidays. This is an easy, hands-off recipe that is great for beginner cooks.

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