How long does it take to cook a bone in ham?


Jul, 20 2023

Understanding Bone-In Ham

Before we delve into the details of how long it takes to cook a bone-in ham, it's crucial to understand what exactly a bone-in ham is. A bone-in ham, as the name suggests, is a ham that is sold with the bone intact. This type of ham is popular for many reasons. For one, the bone provides a lot of flavor to the meat. When you cook a bone-in ham, the meat around the bone tends to be juicier and more flavorful compared to the meat on a boneless ham. Secondly, a bone-in ham can also be a more economical choice depending on where you live. In some regions, bone-in hams are cheaper than their boneless counterparts.

Preparing Your Bone-In Ham for Cooking

Before you start cooking your ham, you need to prepare it properly. The preparation process for a bone-in ham is quite simple. First, you need to preheat your oven to the appropriate temperature. This is typically 325 degrees Fahrenheit for a bone-in ham. Next, you will want to place the ham on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. It's important to position the ham so that the cut side is facing down. This helps to prevent the ham from drying out during the cooking process. If your ham comes with a glaze packet, you can set this aside for later use.

Calculating Cooking Time

Now that your ham is prepared and your oven is preheated, it's time to calculate how long your ham needs to cook. The general rule of thumb is to cook a bone-in ham for about 18-20 minutes per pound. So, for example, if you have a 10-pound ham, you'll want to cook it for approximately 180-200 minutes. However, keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. The exact cooking time can vary based on a variety of factors, such as the exact temperature of your oven and the size and shape of your ham.

Checking Doneness and Resting Time

So, how do you know when your ham is done cooking? The safest and most reliable way to check if a ham is done is to use a meat thermometer. According to the USDA, a bone-in ham should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe to eat. Once your ham has reached this temperature, you should remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 3 minutes before carving and serving. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute throughout the ham, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful dish.

Tips for a Perfectly Cooked Bone-In Ham

Finally, let's go over some tips and tricks to ensure that you cook your bone-in ham to perfection. Firstly, remember to keep the ham moist during the cooking process. You can do this by basting the ham with its own juices every 30 minutes or so. Secondly, if you're using a glaze, apply it during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking to prevent it from burning. Lastly, remember that practice makes perfect. Don't be discouraged if your first bone-in ham doesn't turn out exactly as you hoped. With a little bit of practice and patience, you'll be able to cook a bone-in ham to perfection every time.