A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to prepare and serves a crowd

Find out how to bake a beautiful ham with cloves and glaze.

Christmas dinner is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy a meal sitting around the table. What you serve is special and takes thought to prepare and serve. A ham is a no-fuss dinner entrée that is easy to make and serves a crowd. Find out how to bake a beautiful ham with cloves and glaze.

This first step is choosing a ham. Most of the hams available are already cooked and just require being heated through. There are also several choices such as bone-in (rump), shank, and boneless ham. For a rump or shank, it’s about three entrée servings per pound. For a bone-in ham, figure about four to five servings per pound. For extra-easy slicing, buy a fully cooked spiral-cut ham that comes already pre-sliced.

The next step is to cook the ham. Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Score a diamond pattern on the meat’s surface and brush with glaze. Do this by using a chef’s knife and making diagonal slits about 1 inch apart from each other on the ham. The glaze will penetrate though the cuts. Place whole cloves into the intersections of each of the diamonds.

Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered until the ham reaches 140 degrees for precooked ham and 160 degrees for cook-before-eating ham. Glaze the ham during the last 20 minutes of baking. Use a basting brush to brush the glaze all over the ham.



Cooking Time

Boneless and precooked

1 to 3 pounds
3 to 5 pounds
6 to 8 pounds
8 to 10 pound

3/4 to 1-1/4 hours
1 to 1-3/4 hours
1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours
2-1/2 to 2-3/4 hours

Bone-in and precooked

5 to 8 pounds
14 to 16 pound

1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hours
2-3/4 to 3-3/4 hours

Bone-in, cook before eating

3 to 5 pounds
7 to 8 pounds
14 to 16 pound

1-3/4 to 3 hours
2-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours
4 to 5-1/4 hours

To slice the bone-in ham, cut around the bone first. Then, using a large knife, slice off pieces around the bone. Place the whole ham on a cutting board and cut horizontally along center bone.

For more holiday cheer, visit The Daily Meal’s Ultimate Guide to Christmas!

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

How Long to Cook a Holiday Ham: Cook Times and Temperatures

Two things must be determined before calculating the cook time for your ham: whether the ham is bone-in or boneless and whether the ham has already been fully cooked or if the packaging instructs to "cook before eating." Regardless of the bone, uncooked hams need to be cooked to 145ଏ for food safety. The already cooked hams only need to be heated to 140ଏ for adequate food safety. The guidelines below are to provide a timetable of when to expect your ham to be done, but a food thermometer should be used to check the internal temperature for the respective hams. 

Pre-Cooked and Bone-In Ham

Cooking Temperature and Time: If the ham is a half ham weighing between 5 to 7 pounds, it should be heated at 325ଏ for 18-24 minutes per pound. If it is a whole ham weighing between 10 to 14 pounds, heat the ham at 325ଏ for 15-18 minutes per pound.

Internal Temperature: 140ଏ

Pre-Cooked and Boneless Ham

Cooking Temperature and Time: This ham should weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. Heat at 325ଏ for 10-18 minutes per pound.

Internal Temperature: 140ଏ

Uncooked and Bone-In Ham

Cooking Temperature and Time: A half ham weighting between 5 and 7 pounds requires 22 to 25 minutes of roasting at 325ଏ per pound. For whole bone in hams weighing between 10 and 14 pounds, cook the ham at 325ଏ for 18 to 20 minutes per pound.

Internal Temperature: 145ଏ

Uncooked and Boneless Ham

Cooking Temperature and Time: Depending on the cut, this type of ham can weigh anywhere between 2 and 8 pounds. For the Shoulder Roll cut, the ham will weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and should be cooked at 325ଏ for 35 to 40 minutes per pound. The boneless ham shoulder will be larger, weighing between 5 and 8 pounds. Cook at 325ଏ for 30 to 35 minutes per pound.

Internal Temperature: 145ଏ

Tips for Glazing and Roasting Ham

If you intend on using a glaze for your ham (you should), then brush the glaze liberally across the surface of the ham every 10 minutes for the last 40 minutes of roasting. Before putting the ham in the oven, we recommend scoring the skin of the ham in vertical and diagonal rows every 2 inches, creating a crosshatch pattern, to allow the glaze to soak into the meat while it finishes roasting.

35 Best Christmas Ham Recipes to Enjoy With Your Family This Holiday

A really, really good ham will take you far in life. That's Ree Drummond's opinion, anyway, and it makes sense. After all, if you wow your friends and family with a delicious, out-of-this-world roast, they'll probably shower you with praises and compliments for the rest of your days.

Luckily, you don't have to look very far for inspiration when it comes to the best Christmas ham recipes that are inventive, easy to throw together, and tasty&mdashall at once. Here, you'll find over nearly three dozen of them, including an incredibly delicious Dr Pepper baked ham, the glossy glazed ham Ree typically makes for Easter (it works beautifully for both holidays!), and several bourbon-based recipes too. Each one is fit to make a show-stopping appearance as part of your Christmas dinner menu or Christmas Eve dinner menu.

And since you probably don't want to spend your entire day in the kitchen, there are also several slow cooker recipes on this list. They'll keep your family happy and well-fed, and give you an excuse to get back to that holiday movie marathon. (Plus, wouldn't you rather spend your free time whipping up Christmas cookies and other fabulous Christmas desserts?)

35 Christmas Hams That Taste Amazing and Look Gorgeous on Your Dinner Table

They're perfect holiday ham recipes no matter how you slice 'em.

When it comes to cooking a turkey, once a year is enough. While Easter might have the biggest reputation for serving some delicious ham meals, anyone who has had Christmas ham knows how great the baked dish tastes on a cold winter night. A Christmas ham is one of those old school Christmas traditions that has stayed around for a reason.

As tempting as it may be on December 25th to head to the Cracker Barrel (which is open on Christmas!) there really is nothing that tastes better than a home cooked meal, and the hungry mouths at your table will agree. Thankfully, these Christmas hams are super easy to make and seriously delicious, and it doesn't hurt that they will look beautiful in the center of Christmas table. Just don't forget about the delicious appetizers and side dishes. And fear not vegetarians, or those cooking for vegetarians, we have some hearty Christmas dinners for you too (find 'em here!).

Ria’s Simple “Trini Christmas is de Best” Holiday Ham

When I thought I finally had a strong grasp on 40, life went ahead and dealt me another wild card which, if I didn&rsquot play right, would result in permanent despair. I did some introspection. I realized that somewhere hidden in the challenges of the present year, I have actually accomplished every goal and dream I&rsquove ever set and dreamed of. I had to stop for a moment (like a week) and appreciate and be grateful. Just be grateful for all the good and right in my life. I have learned that when we are grateful the universe gives us more to be grateful for.

I reminded myself that happiness is not only success or money or having a family it is being grateful for NOW. It&rsquos a decision I make to be happy despite the heartbreaks, disappointments, my possessions and achievements, or lack of. I will not and should not continue to depend on any person (OR THING) to be happy.

When life deals us blow after blow, we should accept the ephemeral defeats, scream, complain, cry, but rise, dust ourselves off and keep climbing. Keep moving forward. What we see as obstacles are meant to lead us on the path to the ideal life&ndashour highest, best selves&ndashand in my current situation, teach me the ultimate lesson in forgiveness. We must trust that the Universe is always working in our favor, aim for the ideal life, forgive it all and resolve to be happy. We truly are as happy as we make up our minds to be.

That&rsquos my advice to you and myself as we close 2014 and get ready to start chapter 2015 in our lives. Not only have I begun to be more grateful, accepting, forgiving, loving, but cooking is and has always been part of my therapy. This recipe is one of my favorites and I am happy to share it with you today!

Growing up in my mother&rsquos house I never ate pork, or so I proclaimed, but come Christmas time, I ate ham and bread like there was no tomorrow. Many of the most popular Trini Christmas Songs include a line or two about pork or ham, which confirms our love and passion for the delicacy. Undoubtedly, homemade bread and ham is one of the reasons why Trini Christmas is de best. Black cake(rum/fruit cake) and sorrel are two other reasons, but I have already posted about that here and here.

For many years it&rsquos been our family tradition to make homemade bread and ham on Thanksgiving Eve or Christmas Eve. This guarantees that the morning after there is a quick breakfast on the table as I&rsquom usually too busy preparing our Thanksgiving Feast or Cinnamon Buns for the kids and neighbors on Christmas morning. When the Canadians used to visit, we&rsquod have lots of laughs during the ham and bread making process, then we&rsquod indulge in bread straight out of the oven, slathered with butter, with slices of ham and laced with pepper sauce, until midnight.

I&rsquove used this recipe for almost two decades. Once I was inspired to alter the recipe but the results weren&rsquot as good. I learned that simple was and still is de best.

Many have mentioned boiling their ham, I did that once and realized that if your ham is not the traditional salted Trinidadian ham, boiling is not required. This is a no fuss, simple recipe that does not require basting or peering into the oven every 15 minutes to check on it(more like once per hour), plus the ingredients are simple. Some things need to be simple so you can concentrate on the other non-simple things in your life&helliplike making the bread to go with the ham, wrapping presents, detangling Christmas lights and putting up the tree&hellipActually this bread recipe is rather fun to make and equally delicious. You should attempt it, you won&rsquot regret it.

Don&rsquot let the number of cloves deter you from trying this recipe. I guarantee you that it&rsquos not overpowering. It just sounds like a lot.

Heat the oven to 240C/Gas 9.

Spread the onions and herbs in a large roasting tin to make a trivet and place the ham on top. Pour over the cider and wrap the whole tin in a double layer of foil.

Put the roasting tin into the oven for 20 mins, then turn the heat down to 120C/ Gas 1⁄2 and cook the ham for 8 hrs.

Remove the ham from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Transfer the ham to a chopping board. Discard the onions and any leftover cider.

Peel away the top layer of skin from the ham and use a sharp knife to score the fat in a criss-cross pattern. Line the roasting tin with foil and return the ham to the tin.

For the glaze, mix the golden syrup, mustard and Champagne together and brush over the ham. Stick the cloves into the fat where the score lines cross.

When hot, bake the ham for 30-40 mins, until it has taken on a deep golden colour. Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins before serving.

Increase the heat of the oven to 200C/Gas6. When hot, bake the ham for 30-40 mins, until it has taken on a deep golden colour. Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins before serving.


  • I prefer to cook my ham by placing in a pot and bringing it to the boil then simmering for 2 &ndash 2 ½ hrs before putting into the oven to bake for the final hour, but if you prefer to bake your ham from the start here are my recommendations:
  • After allowing the Ham to soak in water for at least 2 &ndash 4 hours, pat dry and place ham fat side up on a rack in a shallow baking pan and add a little water under rack - cover with foil and bake for the following times, but remember to remove the foil for the last half hour.

Hams are sold with or without the bone. You will need approximately 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person, or 1/4 pound of boneless ham. When you freeze ham you take away from the quality of the meat. If you do freeze wrap tightly and do not freeze over 2 months.

Alternatively you can turn any leftovers into a savoury pea soup and then freeze the soup! You can store tightly wrapped left over ham in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Baking with glaze will add more flavour and help keep the meat moist, (it's not necessary to do but it does add a nice touch). Do not baste ham in its own juices when baking as this will make the joint salty. Let ham rest before slicing for up to 30 minutes before slicing.

Leftover Christmas Ham 35 Recipes

I’ve listed 35 amazing ways to use your left ham from Christmas. The hardest part just might be picking which one to use. I typically can get 2 or 3 leftover meals out of my leftover ham which is great because I don’t want to shop or cook much after the holidays.

FAQ About Leftover Christmas Ham

How long is leftover ham good in the refrigerator?

According to FoodSafety.gov most consumer-cooked hams (like pre-cooked spirals or sliced) can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days after being removed from packaging and cooked at home.

Can I freeze leftover Christmas Ham?

Again, according to FoodSafety.gov a packaged, pre-cooked ham, that has been consumer cooked at home can be frozen for up to 2 months. Some uncured hams can go as long as 4 months.

Be sure to check the entire list for Ham Storage to make sure the exact time you can store or freeze your ham.

My Favorite Recipe for Leftover Christmas Ham

My favorite way to use our leftover ham is my grandmother’s ham and beans! It is a great, and yummy, way to use a lot of ham at once. And if you have your family staying with you after Christmas, this will still feed a large crowd. Serve it with leftover Christmas rolls, make some drop biscuits or whip up some cornbread.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (12 pound) bone-in ham, rump portion
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups water, or as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place ham in a roasting pan, and press whole cloves into the top at 1 to 2 inch intervals. Pack the top with a layer of brown sugar. Pour enough water into the bottom of the roasting pan to come to a 1 inch depth. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil or a lid.

Bake for 4 1/2 to 5 hours in the preheated oven (about 22 minutes per pound), or until the internal temperature of the ham has reached 160 degrees F (72 degrees C). Make sure the meat thermometer is not touching the bone. Let stand for about 20 minutes before carving.

14. What to do with leftover ham

The best part!! Here are recipes I think are worthy of making with your precious leftover Glazed Ham. For a full list, see this What To Do With Leftover Ham – 30+ recipes post.

Leftover Ham recipes

And for your ham bone, try these:

Ham Bone Soup with Beans – the most amazing broth ever, thanks to the ham bone!

Pea and Ham Soup – made easy using the slow cooker. The ham bone makes the most incredible soup stock!

3 Ingredient Chinese Ham Bone Congee (rice soup) – it’s epic – and it’s a “thing”. The Chinese community goes nuts over leftover ham bones every Christmas!

Leftover Ham Bone recipes

And there you have it. My Holiday Ham Guide! I’ve written an abbreviated form of the preparation directions in the recipe card below which you can use for any ham glaze you choose.

And here are the recipes for my two favourite Ham Glazes (including full recipe):

Maple Glazed Ham – the maple gives this a touch of special!

Brown Sugar Mustard Ham Glaze – the classic, with a gorgeous sticky caramelised surface

If you have any questions, just drop them below and I’ll respond as soon as I can! – Nagi x

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