How long will you have to cook your holiday ham before it’s ready? Most ham is precooked, which simplifies things. However, you’ll still have to reheat it, and that can take a long time as well.
Here’s what you can expect when cooking or reheating a ham at 350 degrees.
How Long To Cook Ham at 350
When the oven or grill is set to 350 degrees, a precooked ham should reheat for 10 to 13 minutes per pound. Assuming the ham weighs 10 pounds, that means it should be ready in roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Fresh, or raw, ham should cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.
Understanding the Basics
Ham comes from the lower leg of the pig and can be divided into two subsections: the butt and the shank.
The butt is the top portion of the leg. Its meat is rich-tasting, but it doesn’t have quite as much fat and flavor as shank ham. In addition to being more flavorful, the shank is easier to carve, with greater visual appeal.
Sometimes, hams are sold whole, including both the butt and the shank. When they’re sold separately, you can tell them apart by the shape. The shank looks a bit like a funnel, while the butt has a rounded end. The butt also tends to be smaller than the shank.
Types of Ham
I used to think that a ham wasn’t a ham unless it had been cured and smoked. It turns out that I was wrong about that. Ham is the general term for the lower leg of the animal, whether the meat is cooked or raw.
That said, raw ham isn’t all that common. You can purchase the cut raw from online retailers, but it’s tough to find in the supermarket. If you want to try preparing a ham from scratch, ask your butcher if they can do a special order for you.
Even when the ham is cooked beforehand, it goes by various aliases. Here are a few of the ones you’re most likely to come across.
City ham is brined and fully cooked when it’s packaged for sale. This is the type that’s found most often in grocery stores. It’s usually smoked, but not always—be sure to check the label if it matters to you either way.
When a city ham is sliced prior to packaging, it may be called a spiral cut ham. These are easy to carve once reheated, because the hard work has already been done.
In order to make country ham, the pork is cured with a dry rub, then aged for several months (sometimes years). The process gives it an intense flavor, similar to that of prosciutto.
This is the term used for ham that hasn’t been cured or smoked. The raw product is usually sold with the skin on. You can prepare it as you would any fresh pork roast.
As the name suggests, boneless ham has had the bone removed, leaving only meat behind. The processors will compress the ham into an oval shape, making it easier to slice.
While boneless ham is convenient and tasty, I prefer to buy the bone-in variety whenever I can find it. The bone contributes flavor and moisture to the meat, and you can use the bone to make soup out of your leftovers later on.
How Long to Cook Ham at 350 Degrees
Instructions For Precooked Ham
First of all, check the label to make sure that the ham you’re reheating is indeed precooked. The words “fully cooked” should appear somewhere. If it reads “cook before eating,” the ham is raw and you’ll need to follow the alternate set of instructions below.
After preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, arrange a rack in a large roasting pan. Set the ham on top of the rack, then add 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water or orange juice to the pan.
Cover the ham with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. Allow it to heat for about 10 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature has hit the 145-degree mark. Plan on 100 minutes—that is, 1 hour and 40 minutes—when reheating a 10-pound ham.
Let the ham rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then carve and serve as desired.
Instructions For Fresh Ham
Your first step is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. This is a good temperature to use because it will cook the ham in a timely fashion without drying it out. While the oven is preheating, remove the ham from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels.
Next, score the skin. Cut a diamond pattern into the flesh using a small, sharp knife. Take care not to cut into the meat itself—your goal is to help the fat render and “baste” the meat, and to allow any glaze to seep through the skin.
Set the ham in a roasting pan and season as desired. A simple blend of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder will work nicely.
Cover the meat with foil and place it in the oven. The ham should roast for 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees. A 10-pound ham will need about 200 minutes—that’s 3 hours and 20 minutes—in the oven.
If desired, baste the ham while it cooks. The foil should prevent the meat from drying out, but this step allows you to check on your progress while imbuing the ham with even more moisture.
During the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, remove the foil from the ham. Apply a glaze, if you’d like. It’s important not to add the glaze too early, or the sugar will burn and leave behind a bitter taste.
Allow the ham to rest for 30 minutes after removing it from the oven. Carve and serve as desired.
How Long to Grill Ham at 350 Degrees
Instructions For Precooked Ham
Preparing ham on the grill isn’t all that different from heating it in the oven. Just make sure that the grill’s temperature remains steady at 350. Otherwise, the timing will be off.
When reheating a precooked ham on a grill that’s set to 350, plan on about 13 minutes per pound. A 10-pound ham should be ready to come off the heat after just over 2 hours.
When the ham’s internal temperature is approaching 140 degrees, feel free to apply a glaze. This can be as simple as orange juice mixed with brown sugar and a bit of honey, or you can get more creative.
The key is to avoid burning the sugar. If this happens, the ham won’t taste as good.
When taking the temperature on a bone-in ham, keep the thermometer away from the bone, as this will provide an inaccurate readout. The internal temp should be around 145 degrees when you take the ham off the grill.
Instructions For Fresh Ham
Check the label to ensure that the product is fresh. The raw ham should be pale pink in color. Most of the time, fresh ham is sold whole, meaning the cut should weigh between 15 and 20 pounds.
Allow the meat to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. While you’re waiting, preheat the grill to 350 degrees. Set the ham in an aluminum roasting pan along with a bit of liquid.
Grill-roast the ham for 20 minutes per pound, turning it over after the first 2 hours. Try to limit the basting to once per hour to avoid lowering the grill temperature too much.
When the ham has cooked to 160 degrees, remove it from the grill. Let it rest for 30 minutes or so before carving. The bigger the ham is, the longer it will need to rest.
Remember that you’ll need to follow a different set of rules depending on whether the ham you’re preparing is precooked or fresh. A precooked ham could be ready in half as much time as a fresh product, so keep that in mind when you’re making your plans.
Hi there! I’m Darren Wayland, your BBQHost. My love of great barbecue inspired me to curate this site as a resource for all my like-minded fellow pitmasters out there. When I’m not researching and learning all I can about the latest tips and techniques, you can find me at the grill—that is, if you can spot me at all through the clouds of sweet-smelling smoke. And since you asked, yes, that probably is barbecue sauce on my face. Welcome to the party!