How to Cook the Perfect Christmas Ham in An Oven, a Slow Cooker and More

One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the food we get to indulge in. From gingerbread cookies to Christmas pudding, there are plenty of things folks are excited to eat. Perhaps the most delicious part of the Christmas dinner is the Christmas ham. There are several ways this juicy dish can be prepared, and we've gathered some tips and tricks to make cooking your ham easier than ever.

Cooking Ham in the Oven

Delish has offered some tips for picking the perfect ham and preparing it. A good way to figure out how much ham you need is to assume each person will eat at least 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound of ham. The larger the ham is, the longer it takes to cook. You should also watch to make sure you don't overcook the ham and dry it out.

If you are cooking your ham at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take about 15 minutes per pound (depending on the type of oven you use). The internal temperature of the ham should read 140 degrees when done.

Betty Crocker also sheds some light on cooking ham. If you don't have a proper roasting pan, you can use a large casserole dish, a broiler pan or a sheet pan. Ideally, you want something that is three to four inches deep and big enough so that the ham isn't touching the side of the pan while cooking.

Christmas Ham
Still Life with Ham, 1870s. Artist Philippe Rousseau. Heritage Art/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Broiling Ham

According to Betty Crocker, broiling a ham steak is a great way to cook it if you don't want leftovers and if you're making less ham for a smaller Christmas dinner. This method makes the ham brown on the outside and still very flavorful. Simply set your oven to broil, lining your broiler pan with aluminum foil to make less of a mess. When placing the ham on the wire wrack over the pan, make sure the ham is is placed four to five inches above the source of the heat.

As for the cooking time? About five minutes per side of a quarter- to half-inch thick piece should cook to the internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Cooking Ham in the Slow Cooker

Betty Crocker recommends using a slow cooker if you want a juicy ham with little fuss involved. A five-to-seven-quart slow cooker is ideal for cooking ham. For less of a mess, cover the inside of the cooker with cooking spray before starting. Trim any extra fat and skin off the ham before cooking, and add a cross-hatch pattern to the meat.

Usually, hams will cook on the low setting on a slow cooker for four to six hours, depending on the slow cooker and the size of the ham.

Cooking Ham on the Grill

Too much food to add ham to the roster? Have a barbecue available? We got you covered for a grilled Christmas ham. Grill manufacturer Weber suggests cooking the ham for 12 to 15 minutes per pound, and stay between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit for precooked ham. You should also put your glaze not the ham 10 to 15 minutes before planting it on the grill, and let it sit for half an hour to 45 minutes before slicing in. The juices will return to the ham, making it all the more delicious.

Glazing the Ham

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when making ham is that the glaze makes all the difference! Delish advises folks to use a glaze that includes sugar, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup in order to give it that gorgeous, waxy finish. You should brush the ham with glaze every 10 to 15 minutes during its last 45 minutes of cooking, ultimately elevating your ham experience.

What are you waiting for? Grab your ham glaze and get cooking!