This Ready-to-Bake ham is just another version of our traditional 16 lb—whole bone-in Country Ham.
A Country Ham baked with the skin on requires that the skin and extra fat be removed between the baking and glazing stages. It is the most time-consuming and messy part of preparing a holiday feast.
We bake the Ready-to-Bake ham in a nylon bag, which serves many of the same cooking functions of baking with the skin in place.
Leave the vacuum-sealed wrap on until ready to bake. It can be baked without soaking. However, we recommend pre-soaking for 24-36 hours before cooking, depending on the saltiness of taste desired. Change the water every 4-6 hours.
Soaking will also restore some of the moisture lost in the curing process in addition to reducing saltines.
PLACING IN THE OVEN
Dust the inside of the nylon Bake-in-Bag evenly with a tablespoon of flour. Place the ham and the bag in a roasting pan with the fat scored side up. Add whole cloves if desired.
Then add 4 cups of water, apple cider, or another favorite for liquid. Make six small cuts on top of the bag to avoid pressure building and breaking the bag. Use a twist-tie to seal the top of the bag.
BAKE AT 325°F OR 163°C
Preheat the oven to 325°F and add 1Tbsp. flour to the oven bag. Shake the bag to dust the sides of the bag with flour, causing the fat and juices to blend and preventing the bag from breaking. Place the ham in the bag in a roasting pan with the skin side up and add 4 cups of water, apple cider, or another favorite for liquid. Make six small cuts in top of the bag for venting.
Bake at 325° F for 20 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 140° F. Weigh ham for an accurate estimate of cooking time. Each ham is listed at 10 pounds but can weigh as much as 12-14 lbs.
To confirm actual doneness of 140° F, use an internal meat thermometer. Do not overcook.
After baking and while still warm, carefully cut the bag away with scissors and apply your favorite ham glaze recipe and then return to the oven at 400° F for 15 minutes until golden brown. A sweet glaze complements and balances the ham's inherent saltiness.
Keep in mind, however, that the sugars in a sweet sauce attract heat and burn easily with a high or prolonged temperature. This is why the glaze is brushed during the last part of the baking process.