As turkey is traditional for Thanksgiving, so ham is traditional for Christmas dinner menus. The ham you find in your supermarket is almost always fully cooked and ready to serve immediately. Most people prefer to heat the ham, and a glaze adds flavor and makes for a gorgeous presentation.
One of the best tips I found about baking ham is to place the meat cut side down on the roasting pan and cover the ham with a foil tent. This preserves the moisture in the ham. The foil is removed for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. To burnish the glaze, turn your oven to broil for 5 minutes. Make sure to watch the ham carefully, because these glazes which are high in sugar can burn very easily.
Make sure to read the label on the ham you purchase. Partially cooked hams need to be baked about 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Fully cooked hams need about 10 minutes per pound baking time, just to reheat them.
You can buy bone-in or boneless hams. Bone-in hams tend to be more flavorful, but they are more difficult to carve. I prefer boneless hams, just because the presentation is nicer. If you serve a bone-in ham, figure on 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per person. For boneless hams, 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person is an accurate serving measure. Buy the higher amount to ensure lots of leftovers!
Spiral sliced hams are a newer invention. These are fully cooked hams that are sliced using a special machine so the meat literally falls apart into thin slices. These hams usually have a glaze baked onto them so all you need to do is heat the ham according to directions that come with the ham.
Leftover ham should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the ham and store it up to 2 months.
Have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. And make sure to check back here the day after Christmas for ideas about Christmas leftovers.
Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu
Honey Glazed Ham
The glaze on this ham is made of honey and butter. It adds delicious flavor and color to your holiday ham. If you simply want to reheat a pre-glazed spiral sliced ham, please see How to Heat Fully Cooked Ham.
Potatoes Grand Mere
This perfect recipe for scalloped potatoes is rich and delicious. I only serve it on holidays.
Carrot Pineapple Gelatin Salad
This salad is traditional in my family. I love the color and the sweet flavor it brings to the meal. Try it!
Creamy Molded Cranberry Salad
I just found this salad recipe after it was lost for years. I was so happy to see it again. The color and flavor are perfect for Christmas. There are a lot of recipes out there similar to this one, but none I could find that are molded. I think that makes this salad special and adds a touch of elegance. Ground cranberries are sweetened with sugar and marshmallows, and suspended with celery and nuts in a creamy gelatin mixture. Yum!
Sour Cream Cherry Fruit Salad Mold
This gorgeous salad has the most incredible pink color. It's full of nuts and fruits, tender and not too sweet, and perfect for a celebration.
Parker House Rolls
These tender and delicious rolls must be on the holiday table at my house. You can make them the day before Christmas and reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
Special Green Beans
The fresh crisp tender texture and flavor of these beans make them the perfect side dish for this rich holiday dinner.
This selection of cookies include my family favorites. My personal favorite? Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies!