How to Prepare a Ham for Christmas


Christmas is a time when families get together to celebrate the birth of Jesus, exchange presents, and enjoy a nice dinner. While some families like to have turkey for Christmas dinner, others love to enjoy a nice ham. If you have never cooked Christmas dinner before, and this is your first time in preparing, and cooking a ham, I will walk you through on how to bake a Christmas ham fairly easily.

Shopping for a ham is not difficult, even though there are several cuts to choose from. The first would be a whole ham, which weighs about 10 to 20 pounds, and includes the butt and shank portions. The butt end is the upper cut of the hog’s rear leg, although this cut has more fat, it is meatier. The shank is the lower cut of the hogs rear leg, and is easier to carve, has less fat, and less meat then the butt. I prefer to buy the butt end, even though it is harder to carve, it does provide more meat for dinner.

Shopping List of Ingredients:

  • Ham
  • 1 Can of sliced Pineapple (open with a can opener)
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • whole cloves

Preparing to Cook the Ham:

  1. Remove the plastic circle insert on the ham, and place ham into the roasting pan flat side down.
  2. Secure your pineapple rings to the sides of the ham using whole cloves. This works best if you take the longer cloves and insert them directly into the pineapple ring. Support the pineapple ring by inserting cloves on the inside of the ring, so the pineapple rests on it. You will be placing 2 cloves in the inside of the pineapple ring.
  3. Pack brown sugar into the middle ring of each pineapple.
  4. Pour the pineapple juice into the roasting pan with one can of water.
  5. Cut two pieces of foil longer then the roasting pan. Lay the sheets of foil on top of each other and fold over one edge to form one large piece of foil.
  6. Place the foil over the roasting pan and secure around the edges.

Cooking times vary depending on the type of ham and the weight. If your ham is already precooked, you will warm it in the oven preheated to 250 degrees, setting timer for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. For ham that is not precooked, the cooking time is 325 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Each ham has instructions on the inner label with cook time, and oven temperatures. It is important to check the water level about every 2 hours while preparing your delicious ham to prevent your ham from becoming dry. If you notice the water level is low, add more water to the bottom of the pan and cover.

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