Top Ways to Cook a Spiral Ham

Top Ways to Cook a Spiral Ham

What is a spiral ham and how do you cook a spiral ham? It is a smoked ham (pork leg), usually sold with the bone, and has been pre-sliced. It is full of flavor and softness you could desire. Often, they are glazed with pineapple or honey to increase the taste. Then you can cook it a little to have its final touch.

There are entirely cooked hams that do not require additional cooking. Only when desired, that they may get reheated. They come in various forms, i.e., bone-in, partially boned, boneless or canned. When you cook a spiral ham with a bone, that is when you experience the most flavor. Not only that, but it also offers the minimal carving problems of post-cooking. It is easy cooking it since it’s precooked already. However, you can also consume it as cold as it is.

Also, there are cook-before-eating hams that require a bit of cooking.

How to Cook a Spiral Ham with Pineapple?

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings



  • One 6-8 lb. fully cooked bone-in spiral ham

Pineapple glaze:

  • One cup packed brown sugar
  • One cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Two tablespoons squeezed lemon juice
  • One tablespoon brown mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit-325 degrees Fahrenheit. (140 degrees Celsius-160 degrees Celsius). Place the spiral ham, fat side up, on a rack in an open, shallow roasting pan.
  2. Insert a meat thermometer such that the tip gets centered in the thickest muscle of the ham. Ensure its top does not get into contact with the bone or rest in the fat – it will read an incorrect temperature.
  3. While uncovered, bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the temperature reading ranges from 120 degrees Fahrenheit-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not add water or cover the pan since the ham will cook with moisture and not dry heat.
  4. In the meantime, in a small pot, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, lemon juice, and mustard. Stir the mixture well. Boil over medium heat while repeatedly stirring for 2-4 minutes or until it thickens. Brush the ham with the delicious glaze nearly the final 45 minutes of baking.
  5. Remove the ham from the oven when done. It carves more easily when left to stand for 15 to 20 minutes after cooking.
  6. Carve then serve while still warm and enjoy.

Instructions on Carving Ham

  1. Place the ham, the fatty side facing upwards, the shank on your right on a large chopping board. If you’re left-handed, place it on your left. You’ll need a carving fork for a large ham and a knife for this task. For a small one, you may use a tuning fork with the blade. Then chop a couple of slices from one side.
  2. Turn the ham, cut with the side facing down, and rest it on its flat cut portion. Cut thick, vertical even slices along the meat, down to the leg bone.
  3. Pass the knife’s blade beneath the slices to release them from the bone.

Cooking Spiral Ham in Oven Bag

Prep time: 5 minutes

Drenching time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Total time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Yield: 12-14 servings



  • One 8-10 pounds bone-in spiral ham
  • One big oven-safe plastic bag

Orange glaze:

  • One cup of orange juice
  • Eight tablespoons orange marmalade
  • One cup packed brown sugar
  • One tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • One teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Place ham, while still in its plastic covering undamaged, in a large container of hot water such that it covers it completely. Let it rest for 40-45 minutes, then drain it off and once again cover it with warm water and put it aside for another 40-45 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) and place your rack in its lowest position.
  3. Once the ham has heated up from the hot water, remove it and get rid of its plastic covering well. Then put it in the oven bag, with the cut side facing down. Tie up the ends above the ham’s top and make four narrow cuts in it. Finally, place the meat in a suitable roasting pan and into the oven’s rack.
  4. Roast for 1 1/2 hours until the temperature reads 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The roasting time depends on the size of the ham, approximately 10 minutes for a pound. Meanwhile, mix the orange glaze ingredients in a small pot and simmer over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes or until it thickens.
  5. Remove the ham from the oven then change the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (180 degrees Celsius.). Make a small cut on the baking bag and turn the sides to reveal the ham. Use a third of the glaze to brush it over the meat. Put it back into the oven and bake until the glaze sticks on it for 10-13 minutes.
  6. Remove it from hoven, place it on a chopping board, and brush it with the remaining glaze portion. Cover it loosely with a foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Carve, serve, and enjoy while still warm.


The ovens best cook a spiral ham to some level of your satisfaction. Always set it to a temperature of not less than 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius.) You can also use a microwave oven or stovetop for cooking it. Only a few things may differ, i.e., timing.

At the end of your cooking process, give time for the meat to rest before carving or eating. The bone adds flavor to your ham. Furthermore, it can always find a home in a dish such as beans – with a little meat at least – for that extra taste.

The pineapple or honey glaze usually creates that sweet-crusty mouth-watering taste in every bite, whether served cold or hot. Preferably, brush it over your ham during the final 45 minutes of baking. Any remaining sauce can be useful as a topping. Who doesn’t love the topping anyway?  A hot plate of fries would be an excellent combination for this meal – though limit the amount because of too much fat.

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