Mastering the Art of Cooking Pre Smoked Ham

Pre smoked hams are a delicious and convenient choice for effortless holiday meals and dinner parties. With their rich, smoky flavor and moist, tender meat, pre smoked hams just need gentle reheating to be ready to serve. Follow these simple tips and techniques for cooking your pre smoked ham to juicy, mouthwatering perfection.

Choosing the Right Pre Smoked Ham

Pre smoked hams come fully cooked, meaning they just require reheating before eating. They are sold bone-in and boneless, in a variety of sizes from 4 to 15 pounds. Choose a ham that is heavy for its size, with thick layers of fat marbling throughout. The fat keeps the meat moist and adds tons of flavor. Figure about 1/3 to 1/2 pound of ham per person when selecting your size.

For added convenience choose a ham with the bone already removed. The boneless ham slices beautifully and evenly when carving. Or opt for a bone-in ham for classic presentation and enhanced flavor from the bone.

Preparing Your Ham

Remove your pre smoked ham from any packaging and rinse it under cool water. Pat it completely dry with paper towels. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, about 1/4 inch deep, to allow the glaze to really penetrate the meat.

Choose a glaze or rub to coat the ham with delicious flavors. A brown sugar glaze, made with brown sugar, honey, vinegar and spices, is a foolproof choice. Or get creative with your own blend of sweet and savory ingredients.

Generously brush the glaze or rub all over the ham, covering both the fat and lean portions. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat.

Baking a Pre Smoked Ham

Preheat your oven to 325°F Place the ham fat side up in a heavy roasting pan and tent loosely with foil, The foil prevents drying out

Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes per pound until the internal temperature reaches 130°F on a meat thermometer. For example, an 8 pound ham bakes for 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours.

Glaze the ham with another coating halfway through baking Add another layer of glaze during the last 20-30 minutes of cook time to caramelize the outside.

Remove ham from the oven, loosely tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. The resting period allows juices to redistribute for a moist texture.

Slow Cooking Your Ham

For incredibly tender ham that falls off the bone, the slow cooker produces amazing results. Place ham in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add 1-2 cups liquid like ginger ale, apple juice or water.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours for a medium size ham, adding 1 hour cook time per pound. For instance, cook a 10 pound ham for 12 hours. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 140°F when finished.

Grilling Your Pre Smoked Ham

The grill adds wonderful smoky flavor and creates a crisp, caramelized exterior. Prepare your grill for medium heat around 325-350°F. Place the ham directly on the grill grates and close the lid to cook.

Cook approximately 15 minutes per pound, rotating the ham every 20-30 minutes for even cooking. Glaze the ham during the last 30 minutes on the grill. Check for doneness at 140°F internal temperature.

Serving Your Pre Smoked Ham

Allow the ham to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it. Use a sharp knife to cut thin or thick slices, cutting across the grain of the meat. Arrange the slices on a serving platter.

Spoon any pan drippings or glaze over the ham slices. Pair with classic side dishes like scalloped potatoes, cooked vegetables, rolls and fresh fruit. Your pre smoked ham is sure to be the star of the table!

Getting Creative with Leftovers

Put leftover pre smoked ham to delicious use in recipes like:

  • Breakfast casseroles – Dice ham and add to egg bakes and strata.

  • Quiche – Line a pie crust with ham before pouring the egg custard.

  • Sandwiches – Pile thin slices of ham on bread or rolls with cheese, lettuce and mustard.

  • Soups – Add diced ham to bean, potato, lentil and veggie soups.

  • Fried rice – Sauté ham with rice, veggies and soy sauce.

  • Pasta salad – Toss ham with pasta, vegetables and a creamy dressing.

With proper reheating, your pre smoked ham will deliver incredibly moist, tender and full-flavored results that are sure to satisfy a crowd. Follow these simple tips and enjoy the convenience of this classic holiday centerpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Pre Smoked Ham

Still have questions about preparing the perfect pre smoked ham? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to cook a pre smoked ham in the oven?

Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes per pound in a 325°F oven until the internal temperature reaches 130-140°F. For example, an 8 pound ham bakes for 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours.

Should I tent the ham with foil while baking?

Yes, loosely tenting with foil prevents drying out. Remove foil last 20-30 minutes if glazing.

What is the best way to glaze a pre smoked ham?

Choose your favorite glaze flavor and brush it on halfway through and again in the last 20-30 minutes of cook time.

Can I cook a pre smoked ham on the grill?

Yes, grill over medium heat around 325°F for 15 minutes per pound, glazing the last 30 minutes. Check temperature.

How can I infuse more flavor into the ham?

Scoring the fat, choosing a rub or glaze, and refrigerating the seasoned ham before cooking all boost flavor.

What leftovers can I make with pre smoked ham?

Sandwiches, omelets, pizza, pasta salad, soup and breakfast casserole are all delicious ways to use leftovers.

With proper techniques, your pre smoked ham will turn out perfectly juicy, tender and full of flavor every time. Enjoy this classic for your next holiday meal or dinner party.

How-to cook a pre-cooked ham with a smoker

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