If you have purchased a spiral cut ham, you won’t want to use this method for baking it. Most folks don’t realize that a fully-cooked spiral cut ham is supposed to be served cold, straight from the fridge. To warm these hams, it is recommended you cut individual slices and heat in aluminum foil, or cover the ham in aluminum foil and heat using a water bath method.
Here it is–our favorite method for cooking a glazed ham to present to your guests.
The first step is to select the right cut of ham. We suggest getting one-half of a ham, an uncut shank or butt end, ready-to-eat bone-in cooked ham, weighing between 9-11 pounds. Although the butt end will have more lean meat, it is more difficult to cut, so we prefer using the shank.
Remove the ham from the fridge about 2 hours before cooking, so it is close to room temperature. Do not remove wrapping til ready to score the fat.
When ham is near room temperature, place the ham in a deep baking pan, fatty side UP.
Score a diamond pattern on the ham. You will want those cuts to go 1/4 to 1/2 inch through the skin (if you haven’t removed it) and fat. Don’t cut into the actual meat.
Prepare your glaze:
1 – 13 ounce jar of cherry preserves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 – teaspoon mustard powder
Mix the glaze ingredients together in a sauce pan and warm slowly on a low temperature, stirring to blend. If the glaze seems too watery, add more brown sugar. Do not overcook.
Before applying the glaze with a brush or glaze mop, pour one cup of your favorite bourbon slowly over the ham. I use Jack Daniels, which is technically not a bourbon–but who is going to quibble over that detail when cooking?
After saturating the ham with the bourbon/whiskey, cover the ham with the glaze.
Place ham in oven and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or 10 minutes per pound, to an internal temp of 120 or so degrees. Remember: this is a fully cooked ham, so we are simply warming for flavor, not actually cooking the ham.
While it is warming, check on the ham several times, and use a baster or brush/mop to redistribute juices and glaze on the top of the ham. If the top of the ham appears to be over-browning, make a “tent” with aluminum foil and place over the top of the ham.
When ham is thoroughly warmed, remove from oven, once again brush with juices/glaze, and cover with aluminum foil. Remove from heat; sit on a trivet or cooling pad for about 15 minutes before transferring to serving platter. Depending on what type of platter you are using, you may want to carve the ham prior to placing on a serving dish.
I use a long chef’s knife to cut around the bone, deep into the meat, before slicing with an electric knife.
And there you have it! The perfect juicy Holiday Ham!