As the holiday season approaches, thoughts of Christmas gatherings with family and friends start to fill our minds. And what better centerpiece for a holiday feast than a beautifully glazed ham?
The tradition of serving ham during Christmas dates back to medieval times when farmers would slaughter their pigs in the winter months and cure the meat to last throughout the year. As Christianity spread across Europe, this tradition coincided with the celebration of the birth of Jesus, making the ham a popular holiday dish.
Today, we can find various methods and recipes for preparing a Christmas ham, but none quite compares to our Step-by-Step Christmas Ham Guide. Our recipe combines the perfect blend of sweet and savory with a touch of spice to create a mouthwatering glaze that compliments the salty smokiness of the ham. And the best part is, it’s easy to prepare!
But don’t let the simplicity of the recipe fool you. This ham will steal the show at your holiday gathering, leaving your guests asking for the recipe. And if you’re hosting a larger crowd, you can easily double or even triple the recipe to feed the masses.
Whether it’s a time-honored tradition or a new addition to your holiday menu, our Step-by-Step Christmas Ham Guide is sure to impress. So fire up the oven and get ready to create a holiday masterpiece!
Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Step-by-Step Christmas Ham Guide
Choosing the right ham
For this recipe, it’s best to choose a fully cooked Whole Smoked Ham, which can often be found pre-packaged at your local grocery store or meat market. Be sure to read the label carefully and choose one that fits the weight requirement for the recipe.
Cutting the ham
Be sure to use a sharp knife to cut your ham. Use short, slicing motions instead of pushing down hard to avoid compressing the meat and making it tough.
Levels of sweetness and Spiciness
If you prefer a sweeter ham, you can add extra brown sugar, and if you prefer a spicier ham, you can add more mustard or the spiced ingredient you prefer.
Be mindful while basting
It’s important to baste your ham frequently to ensure that it stays moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. However, be mindful when you are basting and try to work quickly without opening the oven too many times to avoid losing heat or lowering the temperature too much.
Thoroughly heating the ham
To ensure that the ham is fully cooked and safe to eat, be sure to check its internal temperature with a meat thermometer before serving. The internal temperature should reach 140°F, which takes approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Customizing the recipe
To make this recipe your own, you can select from a variety of sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup if you prefer over brown sugar. Similarly, you can use various types of vinegar to make the glaze according to your liking.
Store leftover ham in an airtight container for about a week in the fridge. Make sure to reheat the ham properly to 165°F to enjoy the rest of it for some tasty sandwiches or breakfast dishes.