How to Cook a Ham in the Oven

This post may contain affiliate links which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Easy tips and steps with everything you've ever wanted to know about how to cook a ham in the oven. Baked spiral ham recipe with a simple glaze.

Every Christmas and Easter, we bake a ham, whether we're having company or not. And sometimes through the year, if prices are cheap enough, we'll bake a whole ham and cut it up for lunchmeat that week.

roasted spiral cut bone-in ham in roasting pan

I absolutely love a good ham. It's always a treat, especially when we serve it with ham gravy (or ham gravy with cornstarch), mashed potatoes, green beans, and Grandma's homemade dinner rolls.

Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

While it's fairly easy to make a baked ham, there are lots of things to think about when you're baking a ham in the oven. Things like how to keep it moist, how long do you cook a ham, and on and on.

Hopefully, I'll be able to answer all of your burning questions about how to cook a pre-cooked ham. But if you don't find the answer to your questions, leave me a comment (I check them every week day), and I'll reply back to you.

If you love ham as much as I do, you'll love my pineapple ham too.

slices of baked ham on gray plate with serving fork stuck in ham

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my recipe tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the actual ham recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

  • A pre-cooked ham – My ham is a 10-pound spiral cut ham.
  • Glaze packet – It usually comes with the ham, and you'll find it in the packaging.
  • Water

Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Roasting Pan with Rack

Aluminum Foil

Small Saucepan – for making the glaze.

Basting Brush – You'll need this to brush the glaze on the ham.

pre-cooked ham baked in the oven, sitting in roasting pan

HOW TO COOK A HAM IN THE OVEN

Baking a fully cooked ham is a pretty straightforward, simple, and easy process. And usually, your package will have all the instructions you need.

Before you get started, be sure to preheat the oven to 250° F.

  1. Remove the ham from its packaging, and place it face down in the roasting pan. Important Tip: If your package has any juices in it, pour them into the bottom of the pan; this will help your ham to stay more moist.
  2. Cover the ham tightly with foil (all of it but the bottom, so the juices can run out into the pan, and so juices can steam into the ham, keeping it more moist). Then bake the ham according to the instructions in the recipe card below (or according to your package instructions). Usually, you'll bake it for 12 to 15 minutes per pound. So a 10-pound ham will bake for about 120+ minutes.
  3. About 45 minutes before the end of your bake time, empty the glaze packet into a small saucepan, along with the water.
  4. Bring your glaze to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly.
  5. At this point, you'll need to remove the glaze from the heat. And about 1/2 hour before end of cook time, remove your ham from the oven, take off the foil, and apply the glaze all over the outside of the ham with a basting brush. Then bake it, glazed and uncovered, for another 30 minutes or so.
  6. When the ham is done, you can bring it out of the oven, let it cool just a bit, and slice it for serving.
steps for how to cook a ham in the oven, using roasting pan, and how to glaze the ham with a basting brush

HOW LONG IT TAKES TO COOK A PRECOOKED HAM

Let's talk about cooking time and internal temperature for a minute.

Always be sure to look at the packaging instructions for your specific ham, and follow what it says for cook time.

This spiral ham came from Aldi, and it said 12 to 15 minutes per pound. So being a 10-pound ham, it needed to cook for about 2 hours (120 minutes) or more, but not too long or it'll dry out.

An 8-pound ham would take about 96+ minutes to bake. A 12-pound ham, 144+ minutes. And so on and so forth.

According to the USDA, spiral-cut cooked hams that were packaged in processing plants under USDA inspection must be heated to 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer (165 °F for leftover spiral-cut hams or ham that has been repackaged in any other location outside the plant). Cook-before-eating hams or fresh hams must reach 145 °F (with a 3-minute rest time) to be safely cooked before serving. Read more of their Ham and Food Safety instructions.

slices of glazed ham on gray plate with Italian parsley

WAYS TO KEEP A SPIRAL HAM FROM DRYING OUT

There are a few specific steps you can take to keep a fully cooked ham from drying out while it's baking…

  • Like I mentioned above, save ham juices from packaging, and pour them into the bottom of the pan; this will help your ham to stay moist.
  • You can put a little less than a cup of water or some kind of stock/broth in the bottom of the pan before baking if you want. This will also add moisture.
  • Covering your ham with foil helps it to retain moisture, as well. Of course, you can also bake it in a roasting bag.

CAN YOU FREEZE PRE-COOKED HAM?

Yes, you can freeze a pre-cooked ham.

I suggest cutting your ham up into smaller portions and freezing it in airtight containers or freezer bags with aluminum foil; that way it's easier to get those smaller portions out and re-heat them.

When it's time to re-heat, just make sure you have plenty of time for thawing, especially if you're thawing a big, huge ham.

Keep in mind, according to the USDA, you can store a spiral-cut ham or ham leftovers in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days; and you can freeze them for about 1 to 2 months.

WHAT TO DO WITH A HAM HOCK

Don't just throw away that ham hock or bone. Repurpose and make something delicious.

15-bean soup with rice is a great way to use a ham bone and make something comforting. My mom and grandma always used ham hock to make a big pot of pinto beans, and we'd eat it with cornbread.

sliced ham on gray plate with Italian parsley

WHAT TO DO WITH HAM LEFTOVERS

Here are a few ideas for what to do with all that leftover ham.

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!

ham recipe

CRAVING MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES? Subscribe to my newsletter, and follow along on PinterestFacebookYouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates!

Yield: 10

How to Cook a Ham in the Oven

How to Cook a Ham in the Oven

Easy tips and steps with everything you've ever wanted to know about how to cook a ham in the oven. Baked spiral ham recipe with a simple glaze.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Remove the ham from its packaging, and place it face down in the roasting pan. If your package has any juices in it, pour them into the bottom of the pan; this will help your ham to stay more moist.
  3. Cover the ham tightly with foil (all of it but the bottom, so the juices can run out into the pan).
  4. Bake the ham according to the instructions in your packaging; usually, it will require you to bake it for 12 to 15 minutes per pound. So a 10-pound ham will bake for about 120+ minutes.
  5. About 45 minutes before the end of your bake time, empty the glaze packet into a small saucepan, along with the water.
  6. Bring your glaze to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly.
  7. Remove the glaze from the heat. And about 1/2 hour before end of cook time, remove your ham from the oven, take off the foil, and apply the glaze all over the outside of the ham with a basting brush.
  8. Finish baking the ham, glazed and uncovered, for another 30 minutes or so.
  9. When the ham is done, you can bring it out of the oven, let it cool just a bit, and slice it for serving.
  10. We love to serve it with ham gravymashed potatoesgreen beans, and Grandma's homemade dinner rolls.

Notes

*I used a 10 pound spiral cut ham for this recipe. You can also add less than a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to help your ham stay more moist while cooking.

*The glaze packet usually comes with the ham, and you'll find it in the packaging.

HOW LONG IT TAKES TO COOK A PRECOOKED HAM

Always be sure to look at the packaging instructions for your specific ham, and follow what it says for cook time.

This spiral ham said 12 to 15 minutes per pound. So being a 10-pound ham, it needed to cook for about 2 hours (120 minutes) or more, but not too long or it'll dry out. An 8-pound ham would take about 96+ minutes to bake. A 12-pound ham, 144+ minutes. And so on and so forth.

According to the USDA, spiral-cut cooked hams that were packaged in processing plants under USDA inspection must be heated to 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer (165 °F for leftover spiral-cut hams or ham that has been repackaged in any other location outside the plant). Cook-before-eating hams or fresh hams must reach 145 °F (with a 3-minute rest time) to be safely cooked before serving. Read more of their Ham and Food Safety instructions.

WAYS TO KEEP A SPIRAL HAM FROM DRYING OUT

  • Like I mentioned above, save ham juices from packaging, and pour them into the bottom of the pan; this will help your ham to stay moist.
  • You can put a little less than a cup of water or some kind of stock/broth in the bottom of the pan before baking if you want. This will also add moisture.
  • Covering your ham with foil helps it to retain moisture, as well. Of course, you can also bake it in a roasting bag.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 589mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.