With the holidays just around the corner, learn how to cut a spiral ham like a pro! This guide will show you everything you need to know, from what size ham to buy, to how to slice it perfectly.
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A spiral ham is a holiday staple, but carving it can be a bit intimidating. This guide will show you how to cut a spiral ham so that you can enjoy perfectly sliced pieces every time.
Spiral hams are already cooked, so all you need to do is slice and serve. Keep in mind that the density of the meat can make slicing difficult, so take your time and use a sharp knife. If you’re serving a large crowd, you may want to consider precutting the ham before guests arrive.
Here’s what you’ll need:
-A sharp knife
-A cutting board
-A serving platter or dish
To start, find one end of the ham bone and make a cut perpendicular to it. Then, start slicing the meat in a spiral pattern around the bone. As you get closer to the center of the ham, the slices will become thinner. Once you reach the other end of the bone, carefully remove it and set it aside.
Continue slicing the ham until all of the meat has been removed from the bone. If there are any particularly thick or tough pieces, you can thin them out by cutting them lengthwise. Once all of the meat has been sliced, arrange it on a serving platter or dish and enjoy!
What You’ll Need
1. Look for the slices per pound information on the ham package. This will help you determine how many slices you need to cut.
2. Unwrap the ham and place it cut side down on a cutting board.
3. Using a sharp knife, make a long, shallow cut along the top of the ham, following the spiral shape of the ham.
4. Continue to make shallow cuts, following the spiral shape of the ham, until you have made as many slices as you need.
5. Place the slices on a platter and serve immediately.
Spiral-cut hams are precooked, so the main goal when cutting a spiral-cut ham is to avoid slicing into individual spirals. With a sharp knife, carefully make lengthwise cuts parallel to the spiral, angling your knife so that each cut is slightly thicker at the outer edge of the ham than it is at the center. When you get close to the center of the ham, where the spirals are tightly wound, simply make shorter cuts. Be sure to leave the bone in place; it adds flavor and prevents the meat from drying out.
Tips and Tricks
Spiral-cut hams are already precooked, so the main goal when you’re heating one up is to simply warm it through and brown the outside for a little extra flavor. To do that, we recommend taking it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking it. This will help it cook more evenly all the way through.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
If your ham is wrapped in plastic or foil, be sure to remove that before cooking. We also recommend removing the skin for a more evenly cooked final product.
Place your spiral-cut ham on a rack inside a roasting pan and pour in 1/2 cup of water (or apple juice, if you prefer) before covering the whole pan tightly with foil.
For an 8-pound ham, cooked covered, it should only need about 15 minutes per pound in the oven. So for an 8-pounder, that’s about 2 hours total. If your ham is on the larger side (10 pounds or more), bump up cooking time to 18 minutes per pound (for a 10-pounder, that’d be 3 hours total).
You’ll know your ham is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 140°F.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cook covered for 2 hours total for an 8-pounder or 3 hours total for a 10-pounder, then remove foil and cook until browned and slightly firm to the touch, 20 to 30 minutes more.
Once your ham is fully cooked through (or almost there), feel free to glaze it if you like. This step is totally optional, but we think it adds nice flavor and color to the final dish.
We hope this guide has helped you learn how to cut a spiral ham. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time!