Meat Grinders Guide: How to Carve a Ham


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Are you planning to have a nice juicy ham for dinner, but a little confused on how to properly handle a ham?

Well, you are in luck because this article is provided to answer all of your savory holiday ham questions so you don’t need to do any advanced search.  This step by step guide to carving ham will help guide you through the entire process from start to finish. When you place this ham in front of your peers, they will not be capable of keeping their eyes and noses away from this ham recipe. Furthermore, it would be ideal to look like a pro when handling your ham with a carving knife, so a guide to carving ham and serving it will be provided as well.

How to Prepare a Ham?


This might come as a surprise to you, but there is more to preparing a ham then you might think. There are different aspects to consider when selecting what kind of ham you would like to serve, to the storing and thawing process, and then the preparation before cooking the ham. Here is a step by step process to preparing your ham.

Step One – Selecting the Type of Ham: When purchasing a ham there are multiple options to consider when selecting the perfect ham for you. This ranges from having whole bone-in ham with or buying a boneless section, cooked or raw and the choice of having spiral-sliced ham or cut slices. The most common decision is to buy a ham that has been precooked or partially cooked because it saves you time.

Step Two – Store and Thaw Process: This process is very important because the goal to preserve and prevent bacteria growth, so pay close attention! Here different thawing and storing ham tips based on which ham you purchase

  • Option 1 – Storing boneless meat: can be stored in the refrigerator for around a week.
  • Option 2 – Storing bone-in ham: can be stored in the refrigerator for around two weeks.
  • Option 3 – Raw hams could be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days.
  • Option 4 – If you plan to purchase your ham far in advance than freezing is your best option. You can either defrost your ham in the refrigerator (4-7 hours) or defrost your ham in a bag of water (30 minutes per pound).

Step Three – Preparation Process: Here is a step by step guide for preparing the pork-beast to cook!

  1. Open the packaging and making sure you store the juices that are in the bag, so they could be used for basting.
  2. Score your largest section if you do not select a pre-sliced ham.
  3. Insert a clove into each diamond you score or dried figs.
  4. Place ham on a pan (with edging so it could retain juices) that is covered with aluminum foil.
  5. Glaze your ham.

Step Four – Cooking: This is how to properly cook a ham. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, but cook your ham at 300 degrees to prevent drying your ham. Partially baked ham, cook 10 minutes per pound.

Non pre-cooked pre-sliced ham cook 20 minutes per pound and a bone-in ham cook for 25 minutes per pound. Make sure to baste the ham every 20 minutes while it is cooking. For tracking the perfect temperature, the ideal internal temperature should be around 160 degrees F.

You can always smoke your ham yourself. We have just the right tutorial for you on the blog!

How do you Carve a Ham?

Now for the finale! This is what you have been waiting for… The final step: carving and serving.

To carve your ham, it should be sideways on a wire stand. You can also use a carving fork, large knife and a cutting board. Then cut into thin slices. If there is a bone with the ham, an easy way is to cut the ham into sections around the bone to loosen the meat and then cut each section into thin slices. Serve your ham and enjoy. Additionally, make sure you keep the bone because they are great for soups!

Stay tuned for more Meat Grinders guides when we take you through the preparation process of a turkey!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different kinds of ham?

You wouldn’t believe how many types of ham are out there! There are aged hams, brine-cured, canned ham, dry-cured ham, and more. For the purposes of this article, we’re talking about either whole, bone-in hams that have been fully cured or boneless cured hams such as spiral-cut or honey-glazed hams.

How long do you cook a ham?

Assuming you purchased a pre-cooked cured ham, it should take about 20 minutes per pound in a 325 degree F oven. Place it cut-side down in a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil to keep all the juices in while it cooks.

How do you cook a spiral cut ham without drying out?

Since these hams are pre-sliced, you want to take precautions to make sure the ham doesn’t turn out dry. We like to tightly wrap these hams in aluminum foil to prevent any of the juices from spilling out as it warms. Cook it in a low-temperature oven (such as a 325 degree F oven) until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140 degrees F. Then let it rest before slicing it.

Do you cut ham with the grain or against?

If you cut the ham with the grain, it will turn out chewy and unappetizing. Slicing it against the grain is the easiest way to make sure your ham is juicy and tender! Start by finding the grain, which is the term for the muscle fibers in the ham. When you determine which way they run, position your knife so it intersects the grain (instead of being parallel to it). Then start slicing!

Can you slice a ham before heating it?

Since most hams are already fully cooked, slicing it before heating it increases the chances of drying out your ham. You could slice off steaks and sear them on a hot griddle, but we wouldn’t recommend pre-slicing the ham before heating the whole thing in the oven.

Each Share Saves a Steak From Being Cooked Well Done