The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Deli Ham for Sandwiches

As a sandwich lover, I take the fillings between those two slices of bread very seriously. And when it comes to crafting the perfect sandwich, the deli ham can make or break it That’s why I’ve set out on a mission to determine the best deli ham for sandwiches once and for all

After extensive taste tests of the top contenders, I’m ready to share my picks for deli ham greatness. Whether you prefer it smoky, honey-glazed, or just pure pork flavor, there’s a sandwich-worthy ham out there for you

In this guide, you’ll discover:

  • The key factors in choosing an amazing deli ham
  • Reviews of the top-rated deli ham for sandwiches
  • Creative recipes to take your ham sandwiches up a notch

So grab your bread and get ready to ham it up!

How to Choose the Best Deli Ham for Sandwiches

When evaluating deli ham, there are a few key factors I look for to determine sandwich suitability:

Flavor – Sweet, savory, smoked? The flavor profile should complement, not overwhelm the sandwich.

Texture – Should slice cleanly and not be overly mushy or dry. You want some nice texture for chewing but easy bite-ability.

Saltiness – Enhances flavor but too much can make the sandwich salty. Look for lower sodium options or give a quick rinse.

Preservatives – Some like uncured ham without nitrates/nitrites. But small amounts are typically fine.

Price – Affordability makes a difference when buying for multiple sandwiches per week.

Availability – Can you easily and consistently find it at your local grocery store?

With those criteria in mind, I tested over a dozen top contending deli hams to ID the absolute best for building sandwiches.

Reviews of the Best Deli Ham for Sandwiches

After extensive tasting and testing, these are my top picks for deli ham sandwich greatness:

Best Overall: Boar’s Head Cooked Ham

With its supple texture and balanced savory-sweet flavor, Boar’s Head deli ham is a perennial favorite. It has a nice moderate saltiness and just enough smokiness. Slices beautifully without shredding. The flavor is pure ham without chemical or fake notes. An all-around excellent choice that’s easy to find at most grocery deli counters.

Best Value: Kroger Deli Ham

For a budget-friendly option, Kroger’s deli ham impresses with its genuine hammy flavor and pleasant smokey aroma. Slices easily without falling apart. One of the better low-cost deli hams that doesn’t taste overly processed. Makes a mean ham sandwich on a budget.

Best Smoked: Whole Foods Applewood Smoked Ham

The applewood smoked flavor really shines through with this deli ham. It has a nice meaty chew and rich pork essence. Not at all dried out despite the smoking. A little pricier but worth it for smoked ham fans. Adds amazing flavor to a sandwich.

Best Honey Ham: True Story Wildflower Honey Ham

This is hands-down my favorite honey ham. You can see and taste real honey, and the meat has a lovely tender texture. Sweetness is restrained enough to still taste like ham. Elevates any sandwich with its gourmet flavor.

Best Uncured: Applegate Black Forest Ham

With no nitrates/nitrites and humanely raised pork, Applegate uncured ham is a great natural option. The texture and mouthfeel are really nice. Sweetness is subtle, letting the ham flavor shine. A smart choice for clean ingredients.

Creative Deli Ham Sandwich Recipes

Now for the fun part – let’s craft some crazy good ham sandwiches! Try these recipes to take your ham sandwiches up a level using my top deli ham picks.

Ham, Apple and Brie Panini

Salty ham, sweet apple, creamy brie – a match made in sandwich heaven! Use a crusty ciabatta roll, thinly sliced apples, ham, brie slices and a smear of fig jam if desired. Grill in a panini press for melty perfection.

Caprese Ham Sandwich

Add fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato, basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic reduction to ham and crusty bread. The classic caprese salad transformed into sandwich form.

Ham and Fried Egg Sandwich

Fry up a sunny side up egg and top a ham sandwich with it for an extra protein punch. Add cheese if desired. Great for breakfast or brinner!

Ham Salad Sandwich

For a lighter spin, make ham salad with diced ham, Greek yogurt, celery, pickle relish, onion and mustard. Scoop onto whole grain bread for a nutritious sandwich.

Ham and Havarti Melt

Layer ham with Havarti cheese, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions on good quality bread. Grill in a panini press or oven until the cheese melts into gooey goodness.

The Final Verdict on the Best Deli Ham

After all my tasting trials, Boar’s Head comes out on top for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and balanced genuine ham flavor. For a budget option, Kroger impresses with quality ham taste on a sandwich budget.

The Best Sandwich You’ll Ever Make (Deli-Quality) | Epicurious 101


What type of ham is best for sandwiches?

Buying Guide for Ham for Sandwiches If you’re looking for a smoky taste, opt for Black Forest smoked ham or country ham. For something more subtle in flavor and with a lower sodium content, try baked ham. Spiral-cut hams are also delicious and make for easy slicing for your sandwich creations.

What type of ham has the best flavor?

Buy bone-in ham. Yes, the bone is a little more work to cut around, but the meat is more flavorful and the hambone can be used to flavor soups and stews.

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