Best Spiral Ham Tips – How To Cook A Spiral Ham
Advantages of Bone-in Ham
- Natural muscle, fat, and bones are undisturbed for a natural flavor, appearance, and texture.
- A variety of Cook’s bone-in hams require only simple heating and take only minutes to serve.
- Cook’s spiral-sliced bone-in hams are pre-cut in a spiral ham fashion for easy preparation and serving. They literally serve themselves.
- Leftover bones can be used later to add flavor to soups or bean dishes.
Benefits of Boneless Ham
- Enjoy the great taste of Cook’s with the convenience of boneless ham.
- Makes a quick-and-easy weeknight taste like a special occasion.
- Slow-smoked over real hickory wood.
- Cured with a variety of authentic ingredients like pure cane sugar, real honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
- Some are Pre-sliced or Spiral Ham Sliced for easy serving.
- Fully cooked and ready to eat.
Cook’s Corned Beef Briskets
- Made with a specially formulated mild cure for a flavor profile enjoyed by corned beef lovers across the country.
- Separate spice packet included with each brisket for those who prefer the option of a stronger flavor profile.
- Available in leaner, easy-to-carve flat-cut briskets and marbled point-cut briskets.
- To prepare for sandwiches, cook the brisket, chill it overnight and then carve the meat across the grain into thin slices. Reheat before serving if desired.
Cook’s Smoked Pork Shoulder Picnics
- Traditional, bone-in Picnics are hand-trimmed to rigid specifications.
- Slowly cured with authentic ingredients.
- Smoked using real hickory wood.
- Great way to add flavor to dishes, especially soups or casseroles.
- Half picnics are sugar-cured using Cook’s original Ham cure.
- Whole picnics cured with Cook’s original picnic cure.
- Butt and Shank Halves are available pre-sliced, with four individual 1/2-inch thick slices per half.
Picking the Perfect Ham
Spiral Sliced Hams
- Perfect for entertaining
- Pre-sliced in a spiral fashion, so it’s easy to serve
- Available as quarters, halves, and wholes
- Available in four flavor profiles: hickory-smoked, honey, brown sugar, and maple
- A separate packet of Cook’s ready-to-use liquid glaze included with each spiral-sliced ham
- Quarter serves 7-10 people, half serves 15-20 people, whole serves 30-40 people
- No center steaks removed for more premium lean meat
- Larger than a portion ham
- Serves 15-20 people
- Fewer bones and less fat for more carvable lean meat
- Two of three bones removed so it’s easier to carve
- Available as halves or wholes
- Half serves 15-20 people, whole serves 30-40 people
Skinless Shankless Ham
- Less fat, less bone, and more lean meat
- One of three bones removed so carving is easier
- Available as halves, portions, or wholes
- Half serves 15-20 people, whole serves 30-40 people
- Best value for great bone-in ham flavor
- Since steaks have been removed, it is small than a half ham
- Serves 10-15 people
- Premium center cut slices
- Heat up in minutes for a quick and tasty meal
- Approximately 1 pound
- Serves 3-4 people
Thick Cut Ham Steaks
- Twice as thick as our regular steaks
- Great for throwing on the grill
- Approximately 2 pounds
- Serves 6-8 people
Handling & Carving
- Handling and Thawing
- Carving a Whole Spiral Ham Sliced
- Carving a Half Spiral Ham Sliced
- Carving a Whole Ham
- Carving a Shank Half or Portion Spiral Ham
- Carving a Butt Half or Portion Spiral Ham
Handling & Thawing
- If serving within 7 to 10 days of purchase, keep ham refrigerated.
- For longer storage, keep the ham in your freezer.
- For best results, use the ham within 3 months after freezing.
- Place ham in your refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours depending on the size of the ham.
- For quick meals, however, frozen Cook’s Ham Steaks can be easily prepared straight from the freezer in just minutes.
Carving a Whole Spiral Ham Sliced
- Place the whole ham (flat side down) on a cutting board with the shank (narrow end) to your right. Cut horizontally along center bone from right to left as shown. This will free slices from the bone.
- To free remaining slices, cut along both sides of the center bone.
Carving a Half Spiral Ham Sliced
- Cut around the center bone with a knife to free as many slices from the bone as desired
- Cut along the natural seams of the ham slices to remove sections of those slices you’ve already freed from the center bone.
Carving a Semi-Boneless Ham
- Place ham on cutting board with the thicker “cushion” meat on top. Using a fork to steady the ham, cut along the top of the bone to loosen boneless cushion meat.
- Place cushion meat carved-side down on the cutting board and cut across the grain of the meat in perpendicular slices. Transfer slices to a serving platter.
- With the aitch and shank bones already removed, you’ll find more easy-to-carve boneless meat at the ends of the ham. To carve this meat from the bone, first, turn the ham carved-side down on the cutting board and remove the boneless end. Then turn the remaining meat with the pre-cut side to the cutting board and make horizontal slices. Transfer slices to a serving platter.
Carving a Whole Bone-In Ham
- With the shank or lower leg to the carver’s right, steady the ham with a fork and cut a few slices from the thin side of the leg.
- Place the ham on the side where you removed slices. Make perpendicular slices to the leg bone-cutting meat across the grain for maximum tenderness.
- To loosen the slices, cut along the leg bone, removing each slice with a fork.
Carving a Shank Half or Portion Ham
- With the thicker piece of the cushion meat on top, use a fork to steady the ham and cut along the top of the bone to loosen the boneless cushion meat.
- Place the cushion meat carved-side down on the cutting board and cut across the grain of the meat in perpendicular slices. Transfer slices to a serving platter.
- Turn the remaining meat carved-side down and remove large boneless sections in the same fashion as above. Place boneless sections, as they are removed, on the cutting board and cut in perpendicular slices in the same manner as for the cushion meat. By cutting perpendicular slices across the grain of the meat, you will maximize the tenderness of the ham.
Carving a Butt Half or Portion Ham
- Place pre-cut side of spiral ham down on the cutting board. Carve along the bone to remove the boneless section of meat.
- Slice boneless section across the grain and transfer to a serving platter.
- To carve the remaining meat from the bone, insert a fork into the meat next to the bone and make horizontal slices as shown. Transfer slices to a serving platter.
Serve a Cook’s Spiral Ham Sliced on a spiral ham rack and your guests can simply use a fork to remove the slices.
Turn ordinary ham sandwiches into finger sandwich hors d’oeuvres with Horseradish, Dijon-style mustard, chutneys, and salsas.
- Sugar-coated fruit for holidays
- Twists/knots of rind from citrus fruits
- Sliced or whole fruits & veggies
- Tie the glaze and garnish together by using some of the same ingredients used in the glaze
- Kale, Leafy Lettuce
Herbs, Spices & Nuts:
- Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Parsley, Cinnamon Sticks, Whole Cloves, Mint Leaves, Pecans, Litchi Nuts, Pinecones, Walnuts, Almonds
- Squash, Carrots, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Red, Yellow or Green Peppers
Fruits & Berries:
- Grapes, Strawberries, Oranges, Kumquats, Kiwi, Cherries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Currants, Lemon, Lines, Apricot, Star Fruit, Pineapple, Peaches, nectarine, Pears, Plums, Cranberries, Blueberries