How Should You Boil a Ham Before Baking?
Ham is a delicate cut of meat that can be difficult to cook properly. While it’s possible to overcook a ham and dry it out, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure your holiday feast is the perfect treat for you and your guests. With the help of our Test Kitchen pros, you’ll learn how to prepare a whole ham that’s moist and flavorful from start to finish.
Soaking the ham before baking is key. Not only does this allow the ham to soften before cooking, it will also ensure that it doesn’t dry out during the baking process. To soak your ham, place it in cold water and leave it to soak for several hours or even overnight, before boiling it.
You’ll want to make sure that your ham is completely submerged in the water, so you’ll need to make a large stockpot with plenty of room for the ham and enough water to cover it. Bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat so it’s simmering. This will allow the ham to soften and cook at an even rate.
It’s recommended to cook a whole ham for about 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. If your ham isn’t done by that time, it’s fine to leave it in the oven and continue baking for a few minutes until it’s cooked through.
A glazed ham is one of our favorite ways to serve a ham, and it’s easy to do. Whether you prefer a sweet glaze or a spicy, savory one, this technique will add extra layers of flavor and texture to your holiday dinner.
Glazes are made from a variety of ingredients, and they can add a lot of sweetness and depth to your ham, as well as a gorgeous sheen that will accentuate the color of the meat. But it’s important to note that they can burn if applied too soon, so it’s best to wait until the last 20 minutes of cooking to apply them.
When you’re ready to begin glazing, preheat your oven to 400 deg. Spread the glaze over the ham, making sure to apply it evenly across the entire surface of the ham. You’ll want to watch the ham closely so that it doesn’t burn.
You can also baste the ham with the glaze during the cooking process, but be careful to not let it get too browned. If you notice the ham is getting too browned, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil to keep it warm until it’s ready to be glazed again.
Another way to add a little extra moisture to your ham is to pour a half cup of stock, wine, or water into the bottom of the pan before you place it in the oven. This will hydrate the meat and ensure that it doesn’t turn out dry when you’re ready to apply your glaze.