Bone to meat ratio of hams
May 6, 2012 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to tell which spiral sliced ham has a smaller bone in it while it's still in the package?

I bought 2 Carando spiral sliced hams recently. One was 9.5 pounds and the other was 10.5 pounds. I cut all the meat off each (to vacuum seal and freeze for later meals) and found the smaller ham yielded 1 pound more meat than the larger one because of the bone! The small ham had a ball and socket bone in it and the larger one had a big cylinder shape bone in it. Is it possible to tell which has the smaller bone while it's still in the package?
posted by boby to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Somebody will probably come along with a better answer, but you could probably keep a record of weights and shapes and bones and whatnot, for your current and future hams, and eventually be able to make some good informed predictions.
posted by box at 1:58 PM on May 6, 2012

Hams are usually a half-ham (10 lb. sounds about right for a half-ham) that is either a shank or a butt, which have different bones. You can see a picture on this page of the two different bone configurations. They may be labeled "shank portion" or "shank half" depending on whether some of the center section is cut out. Did you notice if they were labeled shank/butt and, if so, if one was a shank and one was a butt?

Also ... hee hee hee, butt.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:29 PM on May 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

The packaging states it's a spiral sliced fully cooked half ham. No butt or shank mentioned.
The hams were $1.99 per pound. Thanks for the link to the ham bone diagram!
posted by boby at 2:54 PM on May 6, 2012

[Removed the link - you can put it in your profile if it's necessary. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:19 PM on May 6, 2012

The shank half (long single bone) will be pointy-shaped at the end opposite the cut face. The butt half (ball and socket) will be rounded at the end opposite the cut face. Butt halves are typically smaller than 9 pounds, the one you bought was fairly large.

I never thought that working at Honeybaked in college would come in handy, but there you go.
posted by cali at 3:44 PM on May 6, 2012

It's an animal; despite industrialization, this is going to differ within a [probably USDA-specified] range.
posted by Miko at 8:12 PM on May 6, 2012

The butt side is the one I'll be looking for the next time I buy a spiral sliced ham!
Thanks for all your help.
posted by boby at 3:15 AM on May 7, 2012

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