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How Do I Roast a Picnic Ham?

by M.H. Dyer

Roasting a picnic ham, also known as a picnic shoulder, is nearly effortless. Picnic ham, cut from the upper front leg of the hog, is a somewhat tougher but tasty alternative to expensive, traditional hams cut from the back leg. You can also dress up a roasted picnic ham with a simple, sweet and tangy glaze made of ingredients such as pineapple, orange marmalade or brown sugar. Once cooked, you can serve the ham immediately, chill it for later use or incorporate it into dishes such as pork and beans or soup.

Place the ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan with the fat side facing up. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the ham. If the picnic ham is bone-in, be sure the thermometer doesn't touch the bone.

Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the roasting pan then cover the pan securely with aluminum foil.

Brush the picnic ham with a glaze, if desired. Make a thick, syrupy glaze consisting of ingredients such as honey or maple syrup, or mix brown sugar with liquids like apple cider, orange juice or beer. Flavor the glaze with mustard or herbs such as parsley or chives. Baste the ham with the glaze every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the cooking time.

Place the ham in an oven roasted to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roast the ham until the meat thermometer registers 165 F -- approximately 30 to 35 minutes for a boneless ham and 35 to 40 minutes for a bone-in ham.

Remove the picnic ham from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving. Alternatively, chill the ham in the refrigerator and serve it cold.

Items you will need
  • Shallow roasting pan with rack
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glaze (optional)
  • Pastry brush (optional)

Tip

  • You can also cook a picnic ham by simmering the ham in a large pot filled with water. Bring cold water to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer the ham, covered, until a meat thermometer registers 165 F -- approximately 2 1/2 hours for a 2- to 3-pound ham.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

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