Need urgent ham help!
December 25, 2016 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I have a "smoked, uncured" ham from my local hipster butcher. I didn't ask them what I needed to know about cooking it when I picked it up, and now I feel like an idiot. How do I cook it?

Last year a friend did our Christmas ham in the oven for hours basting with maple syrup. It was awesome, but I didn't pay attention to what kind of ham he started with (that one was from a country butcher who owned his own pig farm so could have been fresh, could have been smoked/cured/some combo thereof). Can I do that with this? Or will that dry it out? I see some recipes online saying as little as 8 minutes per pound, others 20 minutes per pound, some saying put some water in the bottom of the pan under the rack and tent foil, some saying wrap tightly in foil, one saying no foil but it also makes all kinds of noise about foodsafe temperatures so I'm a little skeptical that taste is the priority in that one, and other inconsistencies about application of the recipes to cured vs uncured/smoked. Please tell me how to do this without making it dry and awful. Need to know in next 30 minutes. Merry Christmas and may your hams be less stressful than mine.
posted by olinerd to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
And if it matters, there is no bone. (We got like a half-ham)
posted by olinerd at 12:07 PM on December 25, 2016

You could do what your friend did. Prick it with cloves if you have them and then lay down a nice covering layer of molasses, honey, maple syrup, whatever you have lying around. Like to mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, five spice, and a tiny bit of ground red pepper flakes. One hour basting every 20 minutes on 280 then bring down to 140, baste again, and cover with foil loosely (to cover) and baste as needed. You can finish it hot if you want a crispy top but you need to watch it.
posted by parmanparman at 12:13 PM on December 25, 2016

Here you go. Pay attention to this part: Smoking uses a combination of low heat and wet wood chips to add flavor and lightly preserve meat. Although smoking stops some bacteria from forming on ham and slows the process of fat oxidation, it is not by itself enough to preserve the meat for very long. For this reason, purchasing an uncured, but smoked ham is the same as purchasing raw, fresh pork.
posted by beagle at 12:14 PM on December 25, 2016

I just cooked one last week. I used a mix of spices patted all over (mine included aleppo pepper flakes and an italian spice mix because that's what I had.) I placed it without a rack in a roasting pan and covered with foil. I cooked it for eight hours, adding potatoes to the pan after six hours. It was pretty close to perfect.

I live in the south and my people are hunters. Feral hogs are a huge problem here, so we are harvesting and experimenting with cooking processes. Last week's ham is about the third one I've cooked and it was by far the best. My thought is that the basting process will dry out the meat, but I haven't used that process yet. I use a meat thermometer and make sure mine are over 185, that's really all you need to do.

But you can basically use any pork roast recipe and process that sounds good to you.
posted by raisingsand at 12:49 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay - thanks everyone. It's in the oven now at a relatively low temp with basting happening. Hopefully it will be delicious!
posted by olinerd at 1:14 PM on December 25, 2016

Pineapple rings toothpicked to the pig + Mexican Coca-Cola has never let me down.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:31 AM on December 26, 2016

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