Whenever you think of going into the kitchen and cooking up a nice ham recipe, one of the (quite understandable) drawbacks may be uncertainty about ideal cooking times for the best results. This is even more so for an 8-pound ham, which may leave some amateur chefs confused and flustered in the kitchen.
Not to worry, however, because this article answers all of your basic questions related to cooking ham, especially how long to cook it. Some of our tips may also come in handy while procuring your ham and the actual cooking process.
Ham Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Ham
When simmering, take it gently – If you’re going to start by poaching your ham in water, make sure you’re not boiling it. If you boil it, the ham will become tough and tight, so keep it on a low heat setting, around 85 degrees – no higher than that. You’ll want to cook it slowly to keep it moist.
Cook on low heat, slowly – If you’re roasting the ham from raw rather than poaching it, cook it low and slow, as you would if you were cooking a shoulder of lamb or a pork leg.
Instead of roasting and drying it out, cover it with foil, a steamer. You can also use a splash of water in the tray’s bottom, which works just as well.
Purchase ham of high quality – Most people prefer smoked ham to unsmoked ham, but when it comes to the type of ham, get the ideal quality you can afford and try to get a British ham if you can.
Make use of bone-in ham – When it comes to cuts, a bone-in leg of ham is ideal for slow cooking because it helps keep form and moisture. However, if you can’t get that, rolled and boneless joints will suffice; keep an eye on the cooking process and make sure it doesn’t become too harsh or dry out like pork.
Make use of the cooking liquid – Save the stock once the ham has been cooked. Ham stock can be used for a variety of purposes. It’s lovely for preparing soups, wonderful for putting through casseroles or braising, and it’s even good for just cooking veggies. For instance, sprouts are incredible when cooked in ham stock instead of boiling water. Just make sure the stock is not too salty or very smoky.
To add even more flavor, use a dry rub – Glazes are vital, but applying a dry rub on the ham is a way to add a different flavor profile. For example, you may use cinnamon, cloves, or star anise as powdered spices; you could also roast and blitz fresh ginger to a fine, dry powder to rub into the ham. Alternatively, you could include smoked paprika, cumin, or coriander, or a variety of peppers, such as Sichuan, cracked black and white, to provide another layer of flavor.
When it comes to glazing, keeping things simple is crucial – There are various options; some people use cola, for instance, while others use a blend of golden syrup and stock. One simple method is to use runny honey. All the liquids come out, and the honey cooks reduce and caramelize if you squirt it all over the top of the ham before roasting it.
Cooking Time For An 8-Pound Ham
Before estimating the cooking time for your ham, you must first decide whether the ham is bone-in or boneless, as well as whether the ham has already been fully cooked or if the packaging directs you to cook before eating.
Uncooked hams must be cooked to 145°F for food safety, regardless of the bone content. For food safety, the already cooked hams also need to be heated to 140°F. The guidelines below are meant to give you an idea of when your ham will be done, but you should check the internal temperature of each ham with a food thermometer.
Bone-In and Pre-Cooked Ham
If the ham is a half ham weighing 5 to 7 pounds, cook it for 18 to 24 minutes per pound at 325°F. If the ham is a whole ham weighing 10 to 14 pounds, cook it for 15-18 minutes per pound at 325°F. These should be done at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boneless, Pre-cooked Ham
The weight of this ham should be between 6 and 12 pounds. Heat for 10-18 minutes per pound at 325°F. The internal temperature of these hams should be 140°F.
Bone-in, Uncooked Ham
A half ham weighing between 5 and 7 pounds should be roasted for 22 to 25 minutes at 325°F per pound. Cook full bone-in hams are weighing between 10 and 14 pounds for 18 to 20 minutes per pound at 325°F. These hams should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
Boneless, Uncooked Ham
This type of ham can weigh anywhere from 2 to 8 pounds depending on the cut. The ham should weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and be cooked at 325°F for 35 to 40 minutes per pound for the Shoulder Roll cut. The boneless ham shoulder, which will weigh between 5 and 8 pounds, will be larger—Cook for 30 to 35 minutes per pound at 325°F. The internal temperature of these should be 145°F.Print
Glazed Spiral Ham (12 Servings)
This recipe uses an 8 to 10-pound ham, whole cured and smoked with the bone in.
- 1 (8 to 10-lb.) smoked, bone-in ham
- ½ cup of apricot jam
- ¼ cup of light brown sugar
- Two tablespoons of bourbon (optional)
- One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- Remove the ham from the refrigerator and set it aside for 1 hour to reach room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack in a big roasting pan and cover it with foil. Place the ham on the foil on the rack and pour 2 cups of water in the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Combine the jam, brown sugar, bourbon, Dijon, and red pepper flakes in a small mixing basin. Brush the ham with some glazes and roast it for 12 to 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with more glaze until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest section reads 140°.
- Allow 15 minutes for resting before cutting.
This recipe serves 12 people and can be cooked up within a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. For more ideas on how to cook an 8-pound ham, you can check out this video recipe.