Baked Ham with Pineapple-Mint Chutney
A fully cooked baked ham is perhaps one of the easiest entrées you can prepare for a crowd, and with a little information about the different varieties and a few cooking tips, you can be certain that yours will turn out deliciously moist and tender.
- 8 to 10 lb fully cooked ham (see "Shopping for Ham" below)
- 3 cups fresh pineapple, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 scallions, very thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the chutney:
Combine the pineapple, honey, vinegar, scallions and mint in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat the ham:
When heating a fully cooked ham, the most important thing to keep in mind is moisture. Be sure to add water, cover the ham with foil and seal it tightly to create a steaming environment.
Remove the ham from the refrigerator 1 hour before placing it in the oven to allow it to come to room temperature.
For a bone-in butt, shank, or whole ham:
Place it on a rack in a roasting pan with 3/4-inch of water in the bottom. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and cook at 350°F until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 145°F. This would be about 15 minutes per pound for half hams and about 18 to 20 minutes per pound for whole hams.
For a bone-in spiral sliced ham:
Remove all packaging (rinse off glaze if desired) and place the ham, cut side down on a sheet (or 2) of heavy duty foil. Draw the foil up around the sides of the ham, add 1/2 cup water, seal tightly and place in a roasting pan. Cook in a 325°F oven for 10 minutes per pound.
Regardless of the type of ham you have, let it stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Makes 10 servings with leftovers
How To Glaze A Ham (all cuts):
Although we chose not to glaze our ham, you can easily add a glaze. To complement the pineapple chutney, just stir 1/3 cup honey together with 2 tablespoons of warm pineapple or orange juice in a small bowl.
Remove the ham from the oven, increase the temperature to 400°F and unwrap it. Brush with glaze and return to the oven just long enough for the glaze to caramelize - 10 to 12 minutes.
Shopping for Ham
There are quite a few different cuts of ham for sale in the supermarket today and choosing the right one can present a bit of a challenge. For the best flavor and texture, we recommend purchasing a bone-in ham and we've included a brief rundown on the different types available.
Most supermarket hams are mildly flavored and have been brined in a solution of water, salt, sugar and spices, then lightly smoked. If you're willing to pay a little more, the pricier brands are generally smoked for longer periods using special woods like maple or cherry and extra spices in the brine, resulting in a more flavorful end product.
Ham Sizes & Varieties
Bone-in hams are available in several sizes: whole, half from the shank end, or half from the butt end. Whole hams generally range from 10 to 18 pounds, half hams from 5 to 10 pounds, and spiral sliced hams from 7 to 10 pounds. Plan on about 1/2 pound of bone-in ham per guest. This should allow for generous portions and some tasty leftovers.
Fully Cooked, Bone-In Smoked Ham - Butt Portion:
The butt half comes from the upper portion of the leg. It's frequently available semi-boneless, where the aitch (or pelvic) bone has been removed, but the femur remains intact. This cut is flavorful and tender, has less connective tissue than the shank, and is relatively easy to carve.
Fully Cooked, Bone-In Smoked Ham - Shank Portion:
The shank half is from the lower portion of the leg. It's shaped a little like a funnel and retains its portion of the femur, plus a shank bone. It's very flavorful and not hard to carve, but it does tend to be a little tougher than the butt half.
Fully Cooked, Bone-In Spiral Sliced Ham:
Spiral-sliced hams have been pre-sliced in a spiral pattern around the center bone. They are frequently sold covered with a pre-prepared glaze (which we recommend rinsing off) and are quite easy to carve, but extra care should be taken when heating to ensure that the meat doesn't dry out.