Almost Heavenly Ham?
December 16, 2013 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Family is clamoring for "Heavenly Ham" for Christmas this year but the price per pound in our area is cost prohibitive. The few times I've tried to make the supermarket substitutes have been disappointing to say the least. Is there a secret to making a good spiral ham at home? If so, what do you look for on the label including the average price this time of year? There is wide range for these and I want to do what you're doing.
posted by R2WeTwo to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a cost-co around you? Their boneless hams are great, and a good price. They aren't pre-cut, which I think makes it less vulnerable to getting dried out. Do also consider that in that price per lbs you're only getting meat, no bones. Aside from that, follow the directions on the package, and keep in mind that you're not cooking the ham, just warming it.
posted by fontophilic at 6:01 AM on December 16, 2013

Pineapple brown sugar glaze.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:01 AM on December 16, 2013

Alton Brown has a good recipe for this. Don't have time to look it up right now.
posted by michellenoel at 6:10 AM on December 16, 2013

My aunt always cooked her ham in a ton of sugary gingerale. People always inhaled it. She tried other sugary pops (cola, root beer) but gingerale was always the favourite.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:29 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I look forward to trying new glazes but really I was hoping to learn what TYPE of ham you look for TO glaze. Surely some are better than others? We prefer a bone to make bean soup with but even with this criteria there are usually a few to choose from. Is the highest price we can afford a good general rule?
posted by R2WeTwo at 7:59 AM on December 16, 2013

I find spiral cuts dry out terribly, but I could be biased as I never even heard of them until I moved to the US. I cover under a tent of foil with some liquid in the bottom for most of the cooking time to try and keep some moisture in and glaze heavily for the same reason and baste baste baste.

I actually gave up on spiral cuts, but doing the above was the only way I got ham that was vageuly succulent. If you aren't set on spiral cut, an uncut ham is a lot harder to mess up and isn't as hard to carve as people think. I like bone in on the theory the bone adds flavour, like with any roast but boneless can also be good (I also like to use the bone for soup afterwards) and I have had a couple of lovely Hams from Sams club. I have even served cheap 60c a lb supermarket ham next to my MIL's posh spiral cut one at a function and I got a lot of complements. I will pay anywhere from $1.79 at Sams (I think it was) to 60c a lb supermarket prices for ham.

A quick search and this is pretty much how I like to cook hams. Turns out michellenoel was right Alton Brown does it again.
posted by wwax at 8:01 AM on December 16, 2013

The actual ham doesn't really matter. Once you're in a supermarket (and not the butcher shop or Farmer's Market,) they're all about the same.

I like bone-in hams, that aren't spiral cut. They're pretty easy to cut once baked.

Here's Alton Brown's Recipe. Follow the instructions up until after you've peeled the fat off. Instead of just mustard, I mix grainy mustard or dijon mustard and apricot preserves. Just smear it all on, pack some brown sugar on and as Alton Brown recommends, squirt some bourbon on it using a regular squirt bottle (like you use with the cats.)

I'd skip the cookies. But to each his own.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:19 AM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just watched the Alton Brown and feel the veils have been lifted. We'll toast you all at our meal. Thanks, everyone.
posted by R2WeTwo at 8:44 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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