How to Bake a Smoked Ham?

Since smoked, or cured, by definition, means a meat has already gone through a cooking process, baking an already smoked ham is really no more than deciding what additional flavors the cook wishes to add to complement the ham prior to baking.

There are many different ways to bake a smoked ham and it is probably a matter of personal preference or the time of year that will dictate the recipe the cook chooses. Many homes feature hams as their holiday dinner’s centerpiece and many families have their own favorite, traditional, and preferred baked ham recipes.

Glazed Baked Hams

Many baked ham recipes involve a glaze of some type. The glaze may be a simple honey, mustard, and brown sugar glaze or possibly a peach sauce or raisin glaze. Some glazes may also include beer, whiskey, or cola. Pineapple is a popular addition to baked smoked ham and there are many recipes which incorporate it into its ingredients. Besides peach, raisin, and pineapple, other fruits, such as cranberry and orange, are also popular ingredients in a ham glaze.

A simple fruit glaze may consist of a 6 ounce can of frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar, and 1/2 cup steak sauce mixed together. Half of this mixture is poured over a six pound ham that has been placed, fat side up, on tin foil inside a roasting pan. The foil is pulled up loosely around the ham, which is then baked in a 325 degree oven for approximately 2 1/2 hours. The ham is removed from the oven, and with a sharp knife, slices about 1/4-inch deep are cut into the fat, making a diamond-shaped pattern across the top. The remaining glaze mixture is then poured over the top of the ham, which is then returned to the oven, uncovered, for an additional thirty minutes.

Another glazing recipe, but without fruit, would be to combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar. Combine 1/2 cup prepared mustard with 2 ounces of honey. Pour the honey-mustard mixture over the ham; coat with the sugar mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours (for a 4 pound picnic).

Cloves are another popular addition to a baked smoked ham recipe. One easy recipe using cloves would be to sprinkle a few cloves on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the ham, fat side up, directly on the cloves. Sprinkle more cloves on top of the ham – or push the cloves into the fat – and add one inch of water to the pan.

Mix one cup vinegar with one cup brown sugar; add to the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about one hour; reduce heat to 275 degrees for an additional twenty minutes per pound. When done, combine one cup brown sugar, one cup cornmeal, one tablespoon ground cloves, and one teaspoon ground cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over ham. Return the ham to the oven and bake at 375 degrees until browned.

Additional Tips for Smoked Hams

Although smoked and cured hams are generally considered safe to eat without any additional cooking, baking them to an interior of temperature of 140 degrees, as measured by a meat thermometer, is recommended. This is done by baking the ham at a temperature of no less than 325 degrees. Additionally, because of the salt which is added to the ham during the smoking and curing process, some cooks may wish to soak their smoked hams in water to remove some of the salt. This should be done in the refrigerator and can be done, depending on the size of the ham, for anywhere from six hours to several days prior to baking.


Author: Neil

Neil Wardlow has been writing professionally since 1989. Neil discovered he enjoyed writing when he suffered an injury during his 15-year building construction career. Neil now writes full-time, whenever he’s not occupied with entertaining family and friends, growing things, or making repairs in and around his beautiful ranch house.

7 thoughts on “How to Bake a Smoked Ham?”

  1. Smoking and curing do NOT mean that a meat is fully cooked. Curing simply means applying salt to retard growth of harmful organisms. Smoking also retards similar growth of bacteria, and imparts a delicious flavor. Smoking can be done in two ways: hot smoke, and Cold smoke. Hot smoking cooks the meat throughout, and should be safe to eat without re-cooking*. Cold smoked foods are smoked only to give flavor, and are not cooked at all (bacon is an example of this). Cold smoked foods need to be cooked before eating*.

    *always follow safe food practices for cooking, and use a meat thermometer to ensure safe temperatures are reached.

    1. Thanks for this clarification, Lee. I will be baking our smoked ham; and as usual, using my meat thermometer. The biggest problem for me is keeping the ham moist and juicy. Any suggestions?

  2. Thanks for the information. I am not a lover of ham but will be having guests for the holiday and will be including this in the menu. Your information is clear and easy to follow.

  3. Thanks for the information. I am not a lover of ham but will be having guests for the holiday and will be including this in the menu. Your information is clear and easy to follow. :good: :good:

  4. In regards to having the smoked ham which I will bake, remain moist and have most of the salt removed, I boil my hams for 1 hr. in water to which 2 liters MINUS 2 CUPS of GINGER ALE has been added. This 2 cups WILL BE USED later DURING THE BAKING.
    The ginger ale gets added to a stock pot or any pot able to just about cover the ham, first. Then when it comes to a rapid boil, turn the heat down so the liquid continues to boil and carefully put the ham in the boiling pot of liquid. Boil 1 hour and dump out in the sink and don’t save the liquid. Now put the fixings on the ham and bake the way you usually do. It will be baked for a lesser time because it cooks partially when boiled.

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