The Simple Trick To Keeping Ham Moist In The Oven

There are some holiday classics that we just can't let go of. Try to imagine Halloween without candy corn, Hanukkah without latkes, Easter without lamb, or Diwali without soan papdi. These special occasions demand unique treats, and for many holidays and celebrations around the world, ham is a go-to celebratory meal.

Roasted in the oven with its fat cap scored and sizzling as a glaze caramelizes under the heat, a ham dish — whether it be slathered with a bourbon brown sugar glaze or an apple cider & mustard glaze – is the perfect centerpiece to a big meal. The ham you're probably imagining (you know, the one with the large haunch cut into thin slices) is special for a few reasons. Betty Crocker says the large cut of ham is chopped from the hind leg, which is where it gets its massive, perfect-for-sharing size. The meat also goes through the curing process to both preserve it and keep it moist and flavorful. 

Ham is a smokey, sweet-tasting meat you should absolutely try making. But, be warned that, like turkey, ham has a habit of drying out in the oven.

Keep it covered

Ham is a succulent, juicy, and downright flavorful cut of meat if cooked right. According to Farm House Harvest, ham roasts are leaner cuts of pork with less marbling than a shoulder and can be tough to chew if not prepared correctly. However, there is a cap of fat located on the outside of the ham roast that can help to keep the meat moist while cooking. That said, it can't do so without some help.

It's all about striking the right balance: You don't want to drown your ham in liquid or it will ruin the integrity of the dish, but you also don't want all the moisture to go out of it under the dry heat of the oven. My Recipes recommends neither pre-bathing nor basting the ham roast, instead, simply cover the meat with tin foil while it cooks until the glazing process begins. The Statesman says you should also line your roasting pan with foil as well as cover the ham because covering the meat will lock in the moisture and help to create a tender cut of ham while lining the pan will keep the glazing process easier to clean up afterward.

Ham is by no means as complicated and hands-on as turkey and is much easier to keep from drying out. So, if you're looking for an equally delicious and less stressful meal, try cooking up ham instead of poultry this year.