Holiday Cook

*Baked Ham*

Ingredient: 1 Ham

This is the best part of an easy Christmas down-home meal. Easy on the eyes, easy preparation, easy on the stomach, even if it is not necessarily easy on the pocketbook. But, hey, Christmas comes only once a year, so may as well splurge on dinner.

There are two kinds of ham the fully precooked ham and the ham that is partially cooked. Most hams now-a-days are fully cooked and safe to eat cold, but this is not necessarilly the case. Be sure to check the label to find out which kind of ham you have before you pop a slice into your mouth before placing the ham in the oven.

Baking a ham is a pretty simple process. Place it, fat side up, on a rack in a baking pan. Cut thin shallow scores (about 1/4 inch deep) over the fat surface in a diamond pattern. If you have a thermometer you will want to insert it at this point.

Bake the ham in a 325 degree oven. For a fully cooked ham, you will want the thermometer to pop at 140 degrees, for a ham that is not fully pre-cooked, the internal temp should get to 160 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer, not to worry. Use the following chart as a guide:

Ham Type Weight Approx Cook
Fully Cooked 1 1/2 - 3 lbs 1 - 1/2 hours
Fully Cooked 3 - 7 lbs 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Fully Cooked 7 - 10 lbs 2 - 2 1/2 hours
Fully Cooked 10+ lbs 2 1/2+ hours
Not Fully Cooked 1 1/2 - 3 lbs 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Not Fully Cooked 3 - 4 lbs 2 - 2 1/2 hours
Not Fully Cooked 4 - 7 lbs 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours
Not Fully Cooked 7 - 10 lbs 3 1/2 - 4 hours
Not Fully Cooked 10+ lbs 4+ hours

Of course, all times are approximate.

You can glaze the ham, if you wish to go through the trouble. Just spoon off fat from the baking pan about 30 minutes before the end of the baking time. Spoon or brush the fat over the meat every ten minutes or so.

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