Cooking Directions for Bone-in Smoked Ham

ham with lemon


A bone-in smoked ham is fully cooked at the time of purchase, so it's safe and ready to eat without cooking or doing anything else to it. While you can eat it cold, you may want to warm it in the oven as part of a hot meal. The bone helps keep the meat moist, and it adds some flair to the meal's presentation; the main downside is slightly more involved carving. Add your own personal touch by glazing the ham with a homemade sweet or tangy sauce.

Position your oven racks so you can heat the ham in approximately the center of the oven. Preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing about 20 minutes for the oven to rise to this temperature.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and apply a light coating of nonstick spray or cooking oil to prevent sticking. Place the ham on the baking pan and put it into the middle of the oven.

Create a glaze for the ham, if you want. You can make a glaze by putting about 2 cups of pineapple juice, orange juice, apple cider, cola or balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bringing it to a boil, then reducing the heat to medium-low; alternatively, heat honey or maple syrup over medium-low heat. Stir in complementary seasonings, such as brown sugar, molasses, a citrus fruit zest, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Dijon mustard or cayenne pepper. Reduce until the glaze reaches the desired consistency.

Bake the ham for the length of time called for based on the weight; in general, expect a whole bone-in smoked ham to take about 18 minutes per pound. Hams on the bone cook a bit faster than boneless cuts, since the bone becomes quite hot and radiates heat from the middle. When there's about 20 minutes left, take the ham out of the oven and brush the glaze over the entire surface, then return it to the oven. Don't apply it earlier, or you risk it burning.

Measure the internal temperature of the ham with a meat thermometer. Press it into the center of the ham, but don't let the stem make contact with the bone, or it throws off the reading. Remove the ham when it reaches 140 F. Carve and serve it right away; there's no need to rest smoked ham.