One of the best ideas about baking ham is to place the meat cut side down on the roasting pan and cover the ham with a foil tent. This preserves the moisture in the ham. The foil is removed for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.
To burnish the glaze, turn your oven to broil for 5 minutes. Make sure to watch the ham carefully, because these glazes which are high in sugar can burn very easily.
Make sure to read the label on the ham you purchase. Partially cooked hams need to be baked about 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Fully cooked hams need about 10 minutes per pound baking time, just to reheat them.
You can buy bone-in or boneless hams. Bone-in hams tend to be more flavorful, but they are more difficult to carve. I prefer boneless hams, just because the presentation is nicer. If you serve a bone-in ham, figure on 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per person. For boneless hams, 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person is an accurate serving measure. Buy the higher amount to ensure lots of leftovers!
Spiral sliced hams are a somewhat newer invention. These are fully cooked hams that are sliced using a special machine so the meat literally falls apart into thin slices. These hams usually have a glaze baked onto them so all you need to do is heat the ham according to directions that come with the ham. Simply smoke this ham for about 30 minutes and its ready to serve.
Smoked Honey Glazed Ham
5-6 pound fully cooked ham
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1-1/2 cups honey
2/3 cup sweet butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern. Place the whole cloves in the scored intersections.
Combine corn syrup, cardamom, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham. Place ham in smoker and allow to smoke for 30 minutes using applewood, alder wood or hickory chips.
Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees F, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze. During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve the pan juices on the side to drizzle over each slice of ham.
Yield: 10-12 servings
Chef, Wineau and professional bon vivant Les Kincaid is one of today’s most imaginative food personalities. Whether he is lecturing a visiting convention in Las Vegas, or concocting new recipes in his own kitchen, Kincaid transforms common ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes. His artful approach to cooking, confidence-inspiring instructions, and contagious enthusiasm have endeared him to a loyal following that tune in to his weekly shows, frequent his wine or cooking classes and appearances, and collect his books.