The Complete Guide to Reheating Cooked Ham: Keep It Juicy and Delicious

As someone who loves to cook, I always look forward to the holidays when I can make a beautiful baked ham to serve as the centerpiece of a festive meal. However, the fun doesn’t have to stop after the main event. Leftover cooked ham makes amazing sandwiches, omelets, casseroles and more for days after. But reheating cooked ham can be tricky. If you don’t do it right, you could end up with dry, tough meat. Luckily, I’ve discovered some foolproof techniques to reheat ham and keep it tender and moist. In this complete guide, I’ll share everything I’ve learned over the years about the best way to reheat a cooked ham.

Why Properly Reheating Ham Matters

Ham tends to dry out when reheated improperly. Once it loses moisture, it becomes tough and loses that juicy ham flavor we all love. Additionally, dried out ham won’t absorb any glazes or sauces you add, yielding bland results. Follow my reheating methods below for better texture and taste every time.

Tips for Reheating Leftover Sliced Ham

For reheating leftover sliced ham, such as what you’d use for sandwiches or omelets the oven and microwave methods work best.

Oven Method

  • Place ham slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Overlapping causes uneven heating.
  • Loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep moist.
  • Bake at 325°F until warmed through, 15-20 minutes.
  • Check temperature with a meat thermometer. You want it to reach 135-140°F.
  • Avoid overcooking or the ham will dry out.

Microwave Method

  • Layer ham slices between paper towels. This keeps them from drying out.
  • Microwave on HIGH in 30 second intervals until heated through.
  • Let stand 2 minutes before checking temperature.
  • Reheat to 135°F. Take it out before it gets too hot.

The oven takes a bit longer but keeps the texture best, The microwave is good for quickly reheating a few slices

How to Reheat a Whole Cooked Ham

For reheating an entire leftover baked ham, the oven is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips:

  • Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan. This allows air circulation.
  • Add 1/2 inch of water, juice, cola or ginger ale to the pan. This keeps moisture in.
  • Loosely tent foil over it, but don’t wrap tightly.
  • Bake at 325°F until warmed through, about 10 minutes per pound.
  • Internal temp should reach 135-140°F.

I like using cola, ginger ale, cider or fruit juice in the pan. Their sweetness complements the ham’s salty flavor. Just avoid sugary glazes which can burn.

If you purchased a spiral sliced half ham it’s even easier

  • Place it cut side down in a baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325°F for 10 minutes per pound until 140°F. The pan drippings keep it moist.

An un-sliced ham requires a couple extra steps:

  • First, remove the skin and score the fat in a diamond pattern.
  • Brush with a bit of glaze or mustard if desired.
  • Bake uncovered at 325-350°F until 140°F internal temperature.
  • Baste occasionally with pan juices for extra moisture and flavor.

I like to stud an un-sliced ham with whole cloves. Their aroma takes the flavor to another level.

Using a Slow Cooker to Reheat Ham

While the oven is best for larger hams, you can also use a slow cooker for smaller cooked hams or leftovers.

  • Place ham slices or chunks in the slow cooker.
  • Add 1 cup of liquid like ginger ale, cider, broth or water.
  • Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours until heated through and 135°F.
  • Drain liquid before serving if desired.

I don’t recommend slow cooker reheating for a whole ham because the extended heat can dry it out. But it’s great for leftovers.

Quick Tips

  • Always check internal temperature. You don’t want bacteria growing on undercooked ham.
  • Let ham rest at least 5 minutes before slicing for juicier results.
  • Add a splash of stock or water if reheating leftover chopped or diced ham.
  • Glaze after reheating so the sugars don’t burn.
  • Leftover glazed ham keeps for 3-4 days refrigerated.
  • Freeze ham slices up to 2 months for longer storage.

How to Reheat a Fully Cooked Spiral Ham | Step by Step


How to reheat ham without drying it out?

Place in an oven-safe baking dish. Cover top of ham with loosely wrapped aluminum foil to keep moisture in. Bake at 275 degrees F at 10 minutes per pound–or until meat thermometer reads 135 – 140 degrees.

How to heat a fully cooked ham?

Reheat in a 325-degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 to 140 degrees. You can also place the ham in an oven bag. Figure no more than 10 minutes per pound for reheating. For hams that are fully cooked (again, check the label) and not spiral sliced, first cut off any skin.

How long to reheat a spiral cooked ham?

To reheat a spiral-sliced ham in a conventional oven, cover the entire ham or portion with heavy aluminum foil and heat at 325 °F for about 10 minutes per pound.

How long do you cook a precooked ham?

For a precooked ham, reheat for about 18 minutes per pound to hit 140°F. In general, we prefer bone-in ham, which is more flavorful and less expensive per pound than boneless ham. Plus, you can freeze the ham bone to make stock or toss it into a pot of beans or braised greens.

How to reheat a ham?

Follow these preparation steps before beginning the reheating process: 1. Preheat your oven: Set your oven to 325°F (163°C) and allow it to reach the desired temperature. 2. Choose an appropriate cooking vessel: Select an oven-safe baking dish or roasting pan with a lid that can accommodate your fully cooked ham comfortably. 1.

How long can ham be without refrigeration and still be safe?

Most food experts recommend that ham, should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After that time, you should discard it.

Can reheated Ham be refrigerated?

For added flavor, you can glaze your reheated ham during the final stages of heating using a variety of options like honey mustard glaze, brown sugar glaze, or fruit preserves. If you have leftover reheated ham that won’t be consumed immediately, allow it to cool before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

How do you heat a fully cooked ham?

By knowing how to heat a fully cooked ham for the best results, you can ensure that it’s cooked to perfection and ready to be the centerpiece of your dinner. The ham stays moist by cooking the ham in an oven bag and additionally letting the ham soak in hot water for 90 minutes before cooking in the oven.

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