Best Cooking Time

How to Cook a Ham

Cooking Time For a Ham - How Long Does It Take?

How to cook a ham seems like an easy question calling for a straightforward answer but in truth - it depends.

There are differing types of ham which go through different processes such as curing and smoking, and sometimes partial or full cooking.

Usually defined as the cured and smoked thigh and rump of pork, some products called ham are from the front leg and shoulder. And "fresh" ham has not been cured, so it is often referred to simply as " pork roast." It will be discussed separately on this site under "Pork."

Although fully cooked hams can be eaten without heating them at all, flavor and texture will improve if they are heated to 100 - 130 degrees F.

Uncooked or partially cooked hams need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.


Uncooked or Partially Cooked Ham


When you purchase a ham it will be labeled either, "cook before eating" or "ready to eat."

Here is information about the "cook before eating" smoked ham. This ham has not been fully cooked and should be brought to a final temperature of 145 F. and then allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes as part of the safe cooking process.

We recommend roasting a "cook before eating ham" at an oven temperature no lower than 325 F.

Cook Before Eating Ham Cooking Times

Smoked Ham
Cook before eating



Approximate total time in hrs


10 - 16 325 F 15 - 20 3 - 4 1/4 145 F
rest 3 min.
HALF BONE IN 5 - 8 325 F 22 - 25 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 145 F
rest 3 min.
SHANK OR BUTT BONE IN 3 - 4 325 F 35 - 40 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 145 F
rest 3 min.
Shoulder Roll (butt) boneless 2 - 4 325 F 35 - 40 1 1/4 - 2 1/2 145 F
rest 3 min.
Arm picnic shoulder boneless 5 - 8 325 F 30 -35 2 1/2 - 4 145 F
rest 3 min.

We recommend that you use a meat thermometer to monitor the cooking progress and the final temperature of your ham. With an accurate thermometer you will have a safe ham that is not overcooked. Your cooking time may well be quicker than the time listed, but you will not know that without a thermometer.

You can reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes per pound if you remove your ham from the refrigerator two hours before cooking it. Set an alarm. Don't let you ham sit more than two hours on the counter.

What to do if it is taking too long and dinner will be delayed? Relax - serve drinks and appetizers.

Do you really need it more quickly? Turn up the heat.

You can increase the oven temperature up to 500 degrees F for 20 minutes.This will not hurt the ham but you do need to keep an eye on it. Also you need to remove the fat as it accumulates to keep it from smoking. After 20 minutes at 500 degrees reduce to temperature to 450 F until the internal temperature reaches 145 F.

For other "cook before eating" products refer to package directions. Because some of these hams are pressed and processed products cooking times vary between manufacturers.

Fully Cooked Ready To Eat Ham

There is no need to cook this ham but heating it will improve the flavor and texture.

There are several ways to heat this type of ham. The more popular methods are to poach and bake, or simply to bake it for 20 minutes per lb in 325 degree F oven until the internal temperature reaches 130 -140 degrees F.

Serving at room temperature may be best for "Honey Baked" fully cooked hams..

Fully Cooked Ham Reheating Times

Fully Cooked
Ready to eat



Approximate total time in hrs
final temp


10 - 16 325 F 15 - 18 2 1/2 - 5 130 F
HALF BONE IN 5 - 7 325 F 18 - 24 1 1/2 - 3 130 F
arm picnic shoulder, boneless 5 - 8 325 F 25 - 30 2 - 4 130 F
vacuum packed, boneless 6 - 12 325 F 10 - 15 1 - 3 130 F
spiral cut, whole or half 7 - 9 325 F 10 - 18 1 - 1 3/4 100 - 130 F

These hams are already safe to eat so we just want to heat them without drying out the meat.

If you have a pre glazed ham try to just heat it enough to just begin to melt the glaze. Otherwise the glaze will run off of the ham.

Use moisture in the roasting pan. Keep the ham covered at least with foil or, even better, with a vented roasting bag.

The HoneyBaked Ham Company recommends that you do not reheat their hams. Simply take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving and serve them at room temperature. HoneyBaked Serving Suggestions

Ham Pieces

How to cook a Ham Steak

Ham pieces

lbs oven temp
Approximate total time in minutes
final temp

ham steak fully cooked
3/4 - 1 inch thick

1 1/2 - 2 325 F 20 100 - 130 F


How Much Ham Do You Need For Your Guests?

Bone in: 1/3 - 1/2 lb. per serving

Boneless: 1/4 - 1/3 lb. per serving

Flavors That Go

Freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Onion & Shallot
Soy Sauce
Gram Cracker Crumbs
Heavy Cream
Dijon Mustard
Dry white wine
Cheese (Cheddar Swiss Parmesan)
Bechamel Sauce
Mornay Sauce
Bay Leaves


Ham and Eggs (maybe not a recipe but what a classic)
Ham and Bean Soup
Ham and Pea Soup
Ham Salad
Croque Monsieur and other Ham Sandwiches
Ham Chowder
Fettuccine Boscaiola
Ham Loaf


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