How to Cook a Ham – Tips for Making the Best Ham This Holiday Season!

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Thanksgiving Tips

Spiral hams are a super popular choice for large holiday gatherings. They’re such a crowd pleaser, and the leftovers are perfect for sandwiches, breakfast hashes and my personal favorite—my grandma’s ham, leek and potato soup. If you’re wondering how to cook the best ham possible, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Spiral ham on platter with oranges and herbs

Spiral Hams Are the Way to Go

A spiral cut ham is the easiest to prepare, cook and serve. Remove the ham from its packaging and reheat. The ham is pre-cut, so guests can take the amount they desire. By taking stress and time out of the equation, you can enjoy your meal without any extra steps. Sprouts’ Butcher Shop spiral sliced hams come with a flavor packet, either a dry rub or a glaze which you can choose to use or not. A great ham won’t need a thing and will be flavorful enough without the added seasonings. Serve with different mustards or fruity preserves if you’d like—the possibilities are endless—but you don’t need to add much to the ham if you cook it right!

For Extra Flavor …

Wondering how to add extra flavor when cooking a ham? For a little extra flavor, you can pour apple cider in the roasting pan, as well as cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice. They create an amazing aroma and holiday flavor that infuses the ham, without a lot of extra work.

To glaze or not to glaze?

If you do want to glaze your ham, I’d recommend making your own, with simple ingredients. I like using a mixture of pure maple syrup, orange marmalade, mustard, brown sugar and herbs. Get creative with it, depending on how sweet or savory you’d like your ham to be! If you’re not using a glaze, make sure you cover the ham with foil to keep the moisture in, helping to prevent the ham from drying out.

Making the Moist of Your Ham

Sprouts’ Butcher Shop spiral hams are cooked in their natural juices with no added water for the most flavorful and moist experience. Pay attention to the weight of the ham and the recommended cooking time. Ham can dry out if you don’t take note of those two things.

No food waste!

There shouldn’t be any waste when it comes to cooking a ham! There are so many things you can do with the ham leftovers, like making soups, soup stock, ham salad or scrambled with eggs, as well as regular ham sandwiches. Remember, there may be pan drippings from heating the ham which can be saved or frozen for use in making a super-flavorful soup.

Overall, spiral hams are a long-standing family favorite. They’re super easy to prepare, always a crowd-pleaser, create minimal food waste, are cost effective and require minimal hands-on prep time. If you’re looking for a stress-free option to serve at any large gathering—ham is a great choice. Following the cooking guidelines will help you end up with the perfect ham!


Photo of Molly - Spices in my DNA

About Molly

Molly Krebs is the photographer, food blogger and recipe developer behind Spices in My DNA, a food blog dedicated to healthy recipes with a sprinkle of indulgence mixed in! Molly is wildly passionate about food, and grew up in a family of foodies. She was surrounded by it from an early age and immediately fell in love. Molly loves to share super flavorful, unique and healthy recipes, as well as indulgent, comforting meals. Through her time blogging, she has grown to have a passion for photography as well. You can find Molly’s recipes at spicesinmydna.com, and her first cookbook will be published in August of 2019!

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