Directions for Scoring a Ham

A scored ham.
A scored ham. (Image: Holiday Ham image by ALLAN GROSSKRUEGER from

In order to bake a ham that looks as mouth watering as it tastes, you first need to prepare it. One way is to score it; also known as cutting a diamond pattern on top of the ham. Scoring a ham before cooking it not only adds appeal, it also allows the glaze or seasons applied to the top to sink into the meat. By following easy to understand directions, you too can produce a memorable and tasty ham.

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Place the ham on a cutting board, fat side up.

Remove the leathery rind on the ham by sliding your knife up under the skin. Next, trim the fat, leaving ¼-inch layer. Scoring the rind instead of removing it works as well.

Position your knife at the top of one side of the ham. Make a diagonal cut to the end of the other side, about ½-inch deep.

Continue cutting diagonal lines, covering the entire surface of the ham with 1-inch-wide lines. Next, make 1-inch-wide diagonal cuts on the opposite side of the ham, covering the surface in a diamond pattern.

Finish preparing your ham for cooking.


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