Are you planning to make a ham for Easter? I will be! It’s more than just tradition for our family, it’s easy! Learn how to cook the perfect ham for Easter.

Cooking an Easter Ham is a lifesaver when you’re entertaining, but it makes you look like you totally know what you’re doing in the kitchen!

How to Cook the Perfect Ham

How to Choose the Right Ham

Your first question to answer is: Smoked City Ham or Country Ham?

Smoked City Hams are typically cured in a water-based solution that is sweet and/or savory, then smoked. Country Hams are typically dry cured over a long period of time, which gives then a deep, rich, intense and very salty flavor.

I grew up on Country Ham, and I love it. But it is a rather intense experience if you’ve never tried it. For a large group, I typically choose a smoked city ham, as it’s closer to what folks are used to.

Your second question to answer is: cooked or uncooked? I must be honest with you and say that I’ve never purchased or made an uncooked ham. I’m all about easy, so cooked hams work great for me! But, if you’re interested in trying out an uncooked ham, check out this option. You can bake it, fry it or smoke it which sounds pretty darn good! 

Finally, you need to choose if your ham is pre-sliced or not. This is completely personal preference, but I love pre-sliced ham, because it’s so easy to carve into slices.

For this Easter’s festivities, I chose Burgers’ Smokehouse Spiral Sliced City Ham. Burgers’ has the best quality cured and smoked meats I’ve ever had, and this is their most popular ham. It’s a sweet ham that’s been cured and has just the right amount of hickory smoke flavor. And, it’s already sliced!

Since this ham is already cooked, it’s incredibly easy to prepare. Simply warm it and coat it in the glaze that is included, and it’s ready in about an hour! If you’d like to browse all of the ham options at Burgers’, you can see them here.

How to Cook the Perfect Ham

How Much Ham Do I Need?

You should plan on 3/4 of a pound per person if you’re purchasing a bone-in ham. Or, 1/2 of a pound per person for a boneless ham. And, if you choose a bone-in ham, make sure to save the leftover bone to make stock! The bone can be saved in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

Easy Ham Glaze Options

In my opinion, the best glazes are the least complicated! Here are a few that I use:

Mustard- Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • 1 part Dijon stone ground mustard
  • 1 part brown sugar

Maple Glaze:

  • 1 part Dijon stone ground mustard
  • 2 parts brown sugar
  • 2 parts maple syrup

Honey Glaze:

  • 1 part Dijon stone ground mustard
  • 2 parts brown sugar
  • 2 parts honey

For a ham around 10 pounds, aim to make 1 to 1.5 cups of glaze.

If you feel like getting fancy, try out this Cherry Smoked Ham with Bourbon Mustard Glaze

Cooking the Ham

One of the beautiful things about choosing ham for your Easter meal, is that you can purchase a ham that is already cooked! Then, all you need to do is heat it up and apply a glaze of your choice.

If your ham is frozen when you purchase it, you’ll need to allow for 2-3 days of thawing in the refrigerator. You can either serve the ham at room temperature by removing it from the refrigerator about an hour prior to serving, or you can heat it. When you heat the ham, place it cut side down in a roasting pan, and be sure to cover it with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in Heat for 30-45 minutes, then allow to rest for 10-15 minute before serving.

If you purchase a ham that comes with a glaze packet, apply it to the ham when there is about 10 minutes left of baking time, and return to the oven, uncovered. If you did not purchase a pre-glazed ham, apply your glaze about halfway through the heating process, and recover.

How to Cook the Perfect Ham

Easy Side Dish Options For Ham:

Because you’re choosing an easy entree for your Easter dinner, you can spend extra time on the sides! I recommend the following as fantastic side dishes for Easter ham: