How To Prepare Ham For Thanksgiving
Need to know how to prepare ham for Thanksgiving? If you've volunteered to cook this holiday season, it's important to have an appealing menu for your guests, which means you'll need to know how to prepare ham. Alongside turkey, ham for Thanksgiving is a popular choice for many and is relatively simple to prepare. Unlike the bird, it rarely gets the attention it deserves; not everyone knows how to prepare ham properly for the best results. But don't worry, if this is your first time preparing ham for Thanksgiving, you'll have it prepped and in the oven in little to no time.
To prepare ham for Thanksgiving, you will need:
- A ham
- Purchase your ham. The first step to prepare a ham for Thanksgiving is to buy the right ham. Most stores will have a variety of hams to choose from, and you'll want the one that will best fit into your schedule for cooking and the number of guests you'll be feeding. You'll likely find bone-in and boneless, partially cooked and fully cooked, marinated and glazed ham options.
- Preheat the oven. Get everything that you'll need ready to prepare the ham. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and set out a pan for your ham to cook on.
- Rinse the ham. Remove the packaging from the ham and discard. If the ham has been resting in juices, rinse it out and pat dry.
- Add cloves. The next step to prepare ham for Thanksgiving is to insert cloves. Once your ham is resting on the pan, rotate it so that the side of the ham that has the most fat or skin is facing up. Score the top portion of the ham with a knife going diagonally. In the opposite direction diagonally, score the ham again. Push the pointed side of the clove into the ham where the score markings meet; only the ball of the clove should be visible. As an alternative to cloves, try using brown sugar, crushed pineapples or pineapple rings.
- Cover and bake. Cover the ham with aluminum foil and place it into the oven. Bake the ham approximately 25 minutes per pound for a partially cooked ham and twelve minutes per pound for a fully cooked ham. When ready, the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees. Keep track of the time to prevent overcooking and drying your ham. Note that hams may also be cooked with the cut side down, facing the pan. Never eat a ham that has not been fully cooked.