How to Cook a 12-Pound Cured Ham

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Cured ham makes a tasty entree when properly cooked.
Cured ham makes a tasty entree when properly cooked. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A cured ham is one that has been treated with salt, nitrates and nitrites, either by injection with the solution or by immersion into the solution, called a wet cure, or by rubbing dry ingredients on the exterior of the ham, known as a dry cure. A ham is preserved, flavored and tinted pink by curing. Cooking a 12-pound cured ham properly requires using a low temperature and roasting for the correct amount of time.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-pound ham
  • Baking pan
  • Whole cloves
  • Meat thermometer

Remove ham from the refrigerator an hour or two before you plan to begin cooking it so that it will come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Score the ham skin and fat with a knife, creating a crisscross pattern of diamonds.

Scoring creates an attractive presentation for a ham.
Scoring creates an attractive presentation for a ham. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Stick a whole clove into each intersection of the scoring.

Cloves added to the scoring impart flavor to the ham.
Cloves added to the scoring impart flavor to the ham. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Put the ham into the baking pan and then put the pan in the oven.

Estimate the amount of time the ham will need to cook. A 12-pound ham will take about 18 to 20 minutes per pound to bake, or roughly three and one-half to four hours. At the lowest time estimate, begin checking the internal temperature. When it reaches 160 degrees F, the ham is done.

Remove the ham from the oven when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
Remove the ham from the oven when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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