How To Prepare Your Nolechek's Holiday Ham
Need some tips on how to prepare a perfect Nolechek’s Hickory Smoked Ham for the upcoming holiday? We'll give you a few of our best ham cooking pro tips in this installation of Nolechek's Bacon Beat, including how to gently warm, custom glaze, and serve everyone’s favorite Christmas table centerpiece!
The history of ham is fascinating. While today we associate ham with the Christian Christmas and Easter holidays, the sweetly smoky meat is believed to date back 2,000 years to a Germanic pagan ritual. While ham sometimes gets knocked down a few health notches for its sodium content, it's surprisingly low in calories and carbs, which means you can likely enjoy an extra guilt-free slice or two!
The perfect ham starts with a high-quality product, like Nolechek's award-winning Hickory Smoked Ham. All our hickory smoked hams are fully cooked, so you’ll just need to gently reheat, rather than fully cook, your Nolechek’s ham.
You’ll want to pay close attention to both time and temperature to avoid over-cooking and drying out your ham. We recommend preheating the oven to 300°F and using a roasting pan to warm your ham. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan in to about 1/4"-1/2" of liquid. If your ham has a side with more fat on it than the other, that side should face up during baking. Cover the ham in foil and cook it low and slow, allowing about 10-15 minutes per pound of meat or until the thickest part of the ham is heated to 100°F - 110°F.
Pro Tip: Go extra easy when reheating spiral-sliced hams – they lose moisture faster than unsliced hams.
Now that you know how to warm your ham, let's talk about the glaze. If you’re preparing one of our glazed hams, you can skip this step and heat your ham as indicated above. You’ll also want to remove the foil covering your ham for the last 20 minutes of oven-warming your meaty masterpiece. If you’re coating your ham with a homemade glaze rather than heating up a ham we’ve glazed for you, read on!
To avoid burning your homemade glaze, wait to baste your ham until the last 20 minutes of baking. Plan on using around 1 cup of glaze or more for every 5 to 10 pounds of ham.
The glaze is what gives your ham personality, so don't be afraid to get creative! Most glazes start with a simple but sumptuous combination of brown sugar, butter and orange or apple juice, depending on your preference. For a more flavorful glaze, add some Dijon mustard, honey, cloves, and cinnamon. If your family loves sweet and savory, adorn your ham with pineapple and maraschino cherries, like the hams you see in vintage ads and nostalgic movies. One of our very favorite glazes is simply Pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup from Craig’s – it really doesn’t get any better than that! If preparing and applying your own homemade glaze isn't your jam, simplify your dinner prep with a Spiral-Sliced, Glazed Nolechek's Ham.
Serve your warm, tender smoked ham with the classic sides, like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and buttery dinner rolls. For a satisfying southern twist, pair your ham with homemade mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, corn bread, and collard greens.
However you choose to serve up your Nolechek’s Holiday Ham, be sure to make plenty extra because you'll definitely want leftovers!
- Nolechek’s Meats