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How to Warm a Smoked Ham: 4 Options

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Ah, the art of warming up a smoked ham – it’s not just throwing a chunk of meat in the oven and hoping for the best. It’s a simple process and you don’t need to worry, especially when you’re gearing up for a holiday feast or a special Sunday dinner.

Closeup of a sliced piece ​​smoked ham with some greenery on the side.

So, let’s dive into the world of hams – be it a city ham, a hearty country ham, those mouth-watering bone-in hams, or even those practical boneless or spiral-sliced ham varieties. We’re going on a journey to make that smoked ham the talk of the table.

Picking Your Ham

First things first, head to your local grocery store. What’s your choice? A massive whole ham for a big crowd or a modest half ham for a smaller gathering? Maybe a spiral ham if you’re looking for easy serving. Remember, a pound of ham can feed about two people, so plan accordingly.

Room Temp is Your Friend

Here’s a pro tip for your ham recipe: let your ham chill out at room temperature for a bit before you start cooking. About 10-15 minutes should do the trick. This helps it cook evenly, so you’re not left with a ham that’s party-ready on the outside but still lounging in pajamas in the middle.

Warming Up Your Ham

No matter how you decide to reheat your ham, each process only requires a few simple steps. The hardest part is making a decision on your favorite method. 

pieces of fresh homemade smoked ham with spices on rural background

Oven Method: The Classic

  1. Preheated Oven: Get that oven preheating to a cozy 325 degrees – perfect for a fully cooked ham. 
  2. Prep Your Pan: Grab a roasting pan. It’s a good idea to line it with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  3. Liquid Love: Pour a cup of something tasty – water, apple cider, or even pineapple juice – into the bottom of the pan. This keeps the ham hydrated while reheating.
  4. Savory Glaze: Mix up some brown sugar, maple syrup, or your favorite glaze and slather it on. 
  5. Bake it: Cover the ham with foil and let it bake so it stays a juicy ham. Check its temperature with a digital meat thermometer – you’re aiming for 145 degrees as the minimum temperature. 
  6. Timing: You will need to reheat the precooked ham for 15-20 minutes per pound.

Slow Cooker Method: Set It and Forget It

  1. Layer Up: Got a spiral ham? Toss it in the slow cooker. Add a splash of broth or ginger ale for an extra zing.
  2. Low and Slow: Cook it on low. This method is like a spa day for your ham, keeping it juicy and flavorful. 
  3. Glaze Hour: In the last hour, brush on some glaze for that glossy magazine-cover look.
  4. Timing: If you’re reheating a smaller ham it will most likely take 2-3 hours on the low heat setting. For a larger ham plan on cooking it for 4-6 hours on low.
Freshly smoked ham in homemade smokehouse

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

  1. Prep the Pot: Place a trivet and some water in the bottom.
  2. Ham Time: Pop the ham in and set it for about 10 minutes per pound if it’s pre-cooked or spiral-sliced.
  3. Chill Out: Let the pressure release naturally when it’s done cooking. Patience is a virtue.
  4. Timing: You will need to cook the ham for about two minutes per pound, plus the time for releasing pressure.

Air Fryer: For the Crunch Lovers

  1. Wrap It Up: Wrap the ham in a foil jacket and place it in the air fryer basket.
  2. Air Fryer Magic: Cook at a lower temp such as 325 (after preheating). Great for ham slices or a more petite ham.
  3. Last-Minute Glaze: Brush on some glaze near the end for a crispy finish.
  4. Timing: You will need to cook the ham for about 10 minutes per pound. You might need to turn the ham halfway through.
Sliced Smoked Ham with some fresh herbs on rustic wooden background

The Big Reveal: Serving and Savoring

  1. Rest a Bit: Let your ham rest for a bit after its warm-up session.
  2. Slice and Dice: If you’re working with a bigger piece, slice against the grain for the most tender bites.
  3. Serve it Up: Add some extra glaze or sidekicks like pineapple juice or maraschino cherries.
  4. Ham Leftovers: They’re like a gift for your fridge. Great for sandwiches the next day!

Tips

  • Be sure to plan for the size of the ham when deciding on the reheating method. The larger hams will require a longer cooking time. Always give yourself extra time as some hams will need a little more cooking time, so plan accordingly. 
  • When checking the temperature, make sure you check the thickest part of the ham for the correct internal temperature.
  • Check your manual for times and temperatures on each heating method.
Smoked pork meat over the wooden background

Wrapping It Up

Whether it’s a fancy holiday table or a casual family get-together, warming up a smoked ham can be a blast. It’s all about taking it slow, adding some sweet or savory notes, and making sure it’s cooked just right. So, whether you’re using an oven, slow cooker, instant pot, or even an air fryer, remember it’s about enjoying the process and the delicious meal at the end. And hey, don’t forget to save some of that leftover ham – it’s almost better the next day!