Oven-roasting brings out the best in a picnic shoulder ham -- a precooked cut of pork taken from the shoulder and foreleg of the ham. Although picnic ham is slightly tougher and contains more fat than a true ham taken from the back leg, the meat is juicy and full of flavor. Plan ahead and take the picnic ham out of the oven 15 minutes before serving. This resting time allows the savory juices to settle evenly throughout the meat and makes the ham easier to carve.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the picnic ham from the packaging. Place a roasting rack in a heavy roaster or Dutch oven, then coat the rack lightly with cooking oil. Put the ham on the rack with the fat side facing up.
Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water or chicken broth into the pan.
Dress up the ham with whole cloves, if desired. Score the top of the meat in a diamond pattern, using the tip of a knife. Insert a clove into the point where the lines intersect.
Cover the pan securely with aluminum foil to seal in moisture. Roast the picnic ham for approximately 25 to 30 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the picnic ham to a carving board or serving plate.
Cover the picnic ham loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Allow the ham to rest for approximately 15 minutes, then carve and serve. (Ref. 1) If you added whole cloves, remove them before you carve the meat.
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- Always allow a cooked picnic ham to rest for a minimum of 3 minutes. The temperature continues to rise during this time, ensuring the meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
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.