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We always have ham with brown sugar and pineapple glaze on the table for Christmas.
Do you know the differences between the various types of hams?
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
At Christmastime, I always make sure we have ham with brown sugar and pineapple glaze
on the table. It is a tradition I started years ago.
There are several options for hams. You might choose a bone in, spiral cut, boneless,
etc. Oh, there are so many choices.
You will notice I did not mention a picnic ham in that choice list. This is because
picnic ham is not actually a ham; it comes from the shoulder of the animal instead
of the hind leg. A picnic ham may be sold as a fresh pork roast or one that is cured
and smoked. A picnic shoulder will usually cost less than ham and is not as popular,
because it has more bone and is less tender.
When deciding how much to buy, estimate the size needed according to the number of
servings the type of ham should yield. For a boneless ham, purchase one fourth to
one third pound per serving. If purchasing a bone-in ham, then you need one third
to one half pound of meat per serving if it has a small bone, and three fourth to
1 pound of meat per serving with a large bone. Hams with the bone left in tend to
be more flavorful than boneless hams. Bone-in hams are also more decorative.
Many brands of bone-in ham are spiral-cut. This means that the ham has been cut in
a continuous spiral all the way around the bone, producing thin slices that easily
peel away, making it very easy to serve and great for sandwiches later.
Ham must be thawed and there are two safe methods: refrigerator or cold-water. Never
thaw pork on the kitchen counter. The outside of the meat will reach a temperature
above 40 degrees F while the inside is still frozen. The area that reaches a temperature
above 40 degrees F would be susceptible to bacterial growth and could subject your
guests to a food borne illness.
The safest method is thawing in the refrigerator. It is the slowest but will result
in the least amount of moisture loss. Leave the meat wrapped and place on a platter
or a tray to catch the drippings as it thaws. Allow 4 to 5 hours per pound thawing
The cold water method allows you to thaw in cold water. It is faster than thawing
in the refrigerator, and is safe as long as proper precautions are taken. Fill the
sink with enough cold tap water to cover the cut of meat; place the pork in a leak
proof bag and put it into cold water. The meat must be sealed tightly to avoid exposure
to water. Meat exposed to the water will result in flavor and color loss, and will
have a greater chance of bacterial growth.
The water must be replaced with fresh cold water every 30 minutes. Do not use warm
or hot water because it will encourage the growth of bacteria. Following this method,
the ham should be thawed in two to three hours.
Do not use the sink for other purposes during the thawing period and be sure the water
does not splash onto other preparation surfaces or food. Once thawed, remove it from
the sink and sanitize all utensils and surfaces. The ham should be cooked immediately
The most traditional way to cook a ham is to bake it. Place the ham cut side down
in a baking pan. For a ham that is partially cooked, allow about 20 minutes per pound
in a 325 degree oven. A fully cooked ham that needs only reheating will require about
10 minutes per pound.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaDue, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the
web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
Glazes make your ham extra-special. This is my favorite glaze recipe; it is enough
for a six to eight pound ham. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you have a very merry
Brown Sugar Pineapple Glaze
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple slices, drained and juice reserved
1 (4-ounce) jar maraschino cherries
In heavy saucepan, mix brown sugar and cornstarch. Add reserved pineapple
juice and prepared mustard; stir well. Bring this mixture to a boil and continue to
cook until the mixture has boiled for 1 minute. Lay pineapple slices and cherries
on top of the ham. Drizzle half of the glaze over the ham and place in 325 degree
oven. Continue to brush ham with glaze every 20 minutes until internal temperature
reaches 160 degrees F.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
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appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
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