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How to bake a Ham

Making a perfectly baked ham is a lot simpler than I thought. I wrote down everything you need to know to make it like you've been doing it all throughout your life!

First thing to know about making a ham is that you can find the already fully-cooked (smoked) Ham. Check the package to see if they are fully cooked as well as checking the temperature to cook your ham.

A fully cooked ham needs to be cooked to 140°F (basically just to heat it) where as a “cook before eating” ham needs to be cooked to 160°F.

Recipes for ham is pretty much just ways to add flavor to your ham as you heat it. This makes ham a great entrée for Easter, Christmas, or any large gathering.


Ham refers to meat from a hind leg that’s been cured and often smoked. A ham can be wet- or dry-cured.

Wet-cured is by far the most common. Dry-cured ham is also known as old-fashioned, country-style, or Southern-style ham and is extremely salty. Because of that very strong and salty flavor, you serve dry-cured ham in small portions—so not what you want for a ham dinner.


Besides coming wet- or dry-cured, ham also comes bone-in or boneless. A boneless ham is sort of football-shaped—for your convenience, it’s sometimes cut into a portion of a football—and is super easy to cut into nice, even slices.

I prefer bone-in because it has more flavor and a little more fat, which means it tends to be juicier. Bone-in can be harder to carve though, so that’s why I prefer a spiral-sliced one. It means I can get great ham flavor and also a little help in the slicing department. (Plus, you end up with a tasty ham bone to add to soup later.)

So if we’re talking about making ham for dinner, we’re typically talking about a fully cooked, wet-cured ham that’s either boneless or bone-in, and if it’s bone-in, ideally it’s a spiral cut ham.


1 (7- to 8-lb.) ham (see note)

¾ cup orange marmalade

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (½ stick)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.

  2. Line a large shallow roasting pan with foil. Put the ham flat side down in the pan and trim any fat to a thin layer. Cover the ham in foil and crimp the foil around your roasting pan to seal it and bake for 1 hour.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the marmalade, butter, thyme, coriander, and cinnamon, stirring occasionally until the marmalade and butter melt together and the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marmalade mixture and leave the rest in the saucepan.

  4. Baste the ham with the glaze mixture in the saucepan. Continue to bake, loosely covered with foil and basting with the saucepan mixture or pan juices every 15 or 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 130°F, 15 to 18 minutes per pound total cooking time.

  5. Remove the ham from the oven, cover tightly with foil, and set aside for 30 minutes (the temperature will increase to about 140°F).

  6. Meanwhile, increase the oven to 475°F.

  7. Pour off any liquid in the baking pan and brush the ham with the reserved 1/2 cup of glaze. Roast until the glaze gets nicely caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes.

  8. Carve and serve immediately

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