How to Cook a Carando Boneless Spiral Ham to Perfection

Cooking a delicious Carando boneless spiral ham takes a little time and effort, but the payoff of incredibly moist, flavorful meat is so worth it. As a long-time ham lover and amateur chef, I’ve perfected my technique over the years and want to share my tips and tricks for making this holiday centerpiece truly shine.

Selecting and Preparing the Ham

Obviously, you’ll need to start by purchasing a Carando boneless spiral cut ham. I prefer ones around 4-5 pounds to feed a medium sized gathering Inspect the ham when buying and make sure it looks high-quality with good marbling and minimal blemishes

Once home, take the ham out of any packaging but leave on the netting wrap. Place it in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. You’ll want one large enough that the ham fits flat without much touching the sides.

Before cooking let the ham sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. While some people soak hams beforehand I find it unnecessary and prefer doing a dry brine instead. Simply pat the ham dry, then coat all over with a light layer of brown sugar, salt, and pepper. This helps retain moisture while cooking and gives great flavor.

Choosing Your Cooking Method

You have a couple options when it comes to actually cooking your Carando boneless spiral ham. These two methods both work excellently:

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the ham in the center of the oven, directly on the rack with a baking pan lined with foil on the rack below to catch any drippings. Cook approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 140°F when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part.

Slow Cooker:
Place the ham in a 6-quart slow cooker and add 2 cups of ginger ale or fruit juice like pineapple or apple juice. Cook on low for 4-6 hours depending on size. Use a meat thermometer again to confirm it reaches 140°F internally when done.

The nice thing with the slow cooker method is you can largely “set it and forget it” for several hours. But the oven may yield a more crispy exterior if that’s your preference. Choose whichever fits your schedule!

Time to Glaze (Optional)

During the last 30 minutes of cook time, I recommend glazing your ham to give it a sticky sweet exterior. You can use a store-bought glaze if desired, but I prefer making my own for better flavor.

A basic brown sugar glaze is easy and delicious. Simply combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon each of cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until bubbling and thickened.

Brush the glaze all over the ham in the last half hour of cooking. If the ham isn’t browned enough for your liking at that point, you can also set the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to caramelize the glaze.

Let It Rest, Then Carve and Serve

This last step is essential – let the ham rest at least 15 minutes before carving so juices can redistribute. I like to tent it loosely with foil as it rests to keep it warm.

Then grab your sharpest knife and carve into thin slices, cutting across the grain of the meat. Arrange slices on a serving platter alongside any delicious side dishes and condiments.

Some of my favorites are mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, rustic bread rolls, and cranberry sauce. Dijon mustard, horseradish sauce, and sliced cheese selections like Gruyere or Gouda also pair nicely.

With minimal hands-on time and a technique focused on retaining moisture, you’ll be rewarded with unbelievable tender, succulent meat. A Carando boneless spiral ham prepared properly is sure to be the highlight of your holiday table!

Now that you know my steps for ham greatness, let’s go over some common questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

What size Carando boneless spiral ham should I buy?

For 6-8 people, a 4-5 pound ham is usually perfect. Size up accordingly for larger gatherings. Estimate about 3/4 pound of ham per person.

How long does it take to cook a 10 pound ham?
At 325°F in the oven, allow about 3 hours 15 minutes total for a 10 pound ham. Use 20 minutes per pound as a general guideline.

Can you cook a ham straight from frozen?
It’s best not to cook a frozen ham directly. Thaw first by refrigerating for 24-36 hours before cooking. This helps the ham cook evenly.

Is it okay to cook the ham the day before?
Absolutely! Cooking the ham ahead takes the pressure off. Let it cool completely after cooking, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat gently before serving.

What’s the best way to reheat cooked ham?
Slice the ham and place in a baking dish with a bit of water, broth, or juice. Cover and bake at 325°F until warmed through, 15-30 minutes. Or reheat slices individually in the microwave.

What internal temp should a spiral ham reach?
Cook until the thickest part of the ham registers 140°F on a meat thermometer for optimal safety and juiciness.

Can I freeze leftovers?
You sure can! Slice the leftover ham, wrap servings tightly in plastic wrap or freezer bags. It will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.

How do I know if my ham has gone bad?
Signs of spoiled ham include a foul odor, slimy texture, or spots of black, green, or white mold. When in doubt, throw it out!

So get out your apron, preheat that oven, and enjoy some delicious holiday ham done right. Just be prepared for everyone to ask you for this top secret cooking method after they taste how unbelievably juicy and full of flavor your ham turns out. You can proudly say you’re a pro now at cooking Carando hams to perfection!

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