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13 Spiral Ham Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Whether it's the centerpiece of a Christmas dinner or Easter lunch or an alternative to turkey at Thanksgiving, ham is an indispensable part of the holidays. And of all the types of ham you can buy, the spiral-sliced variety might just be the best for the festive table. Since they're usually fully cooked, spiral hams are a cinch to prepare, requiring only thawing out and maybe some gentle heating. They should also be super-easy to carve since they're pre-cut (though, as we'll see, the quality of the cut varies widely from brand to brand). But despite all of that convenience, a spiral-cut ham still makes for an undeniably impressive and photogenic centerpiece at a holiday feast.

Choosing the right ham is a high-stakes decision — they can be rather expensive, and nobody wants to ruin Christmas with a subpar hunk of pork. To save you some supermarket stress, we've ranked some of the most popular brands of spiral ham based on feedback from real customers. All prices mentioned are current at the time of publication.

13. Market Pantry

Market Pantry is one of Target's house brands, and it's the cheapest on our list by far at about $1 per pound. This ham isn't made with heritage pork, and Target doesn't make any claims about how long it's smoked (or whether or not it's made with liquid smoke), but you can't expect that for such an inexpensive product. It might seem like an obvious buy at this low price, but Market Pantry ham is a classic example of the cheapest option not always being the best value.

A cheap ham is only worthwhile if you can eat it, and many of the Market Pantry spiral ham's user reviews characterize it as inedibly salty. Some people just gave up on their hams entirely and threw them in the trash, while others reported some success by soaking the ham to leach out excess sodium before cooking. If you truly can't afford anything else, you might be able to find a way to make Market Pantry ham taste good, but a couple extra dollars per pound will get you a much better product. For this reason, it's the loser of our ham ranking.

12. Honey Baked Ham Co.

The brand name of this ham is a little bit confusing, as anyone can make a honey-baked ham, but in this case, we're talking specifically about hams from the Honey Baked Ham Co. The company touts its bone-in, spiral-cut half-hams as being made with more care than its competitors' products; its hams are smoked for as long as a full day before being coated in the company's signature sugary glaze. You certainly can't dismiss how easy these hams are to prepare; all you have to do is remember to take them out of the fridge a couple of days before your celebration to thaw — the company recommends serving the ham cool.

Customer reviews for Honey Baked hams vary widely. On the one hand, plenty of people praise the juiciness and flavor of the company's product. Many families make Honey Baked a crucial part of their annual holiday celebrations. On the other hand, some consumers question whether the quality of the product is worth the price (at the time of writing, an 8-pound Honey Baked Ham Co.'s half-ham costs around $105). The brand's reviews on Amazon (where it is no longer available) are quite bad, with complaints about bad customer service, too much fat, and a perceived recent drop in quality.

11. Cook's

Cook's makes a few different hickory-smoked hams, including a plain one, another that comes packaged with a brown sugar glaze packet, and another with a honey glaze packet. The brand is actually under the Smithfield umbrella, so you can expect that its hams will be somewhat similar to Smithfield ones. Like Smithfield-branded hams, Cook's products can be obtained for a fair price — an 11-pound one will set you back just over $40 at Albertsons.

Commenters on Houzz forums praised the quality of Cook's hams. One satisfied customer said, "I have always been happy with Cook's brand hams. They haven't been too salty, they are nicely sliced, etc." Another chimed in, "Try a Cook's Spiral Bone In Ham. I don't think you'll be disappointed." There was one worrying comment from a home cook who used to love the brand's product but purchased one in 2021 and found that it had degraded in quality and was much too salty. Even so, Cook's seems like a decent option for a budget-conscious ham.

10. Smithfield

Smithfield makes a couple of varieties of spiral-sliced ham: Hickory smoked and brown sugar. Both are smoked and come with packets of sweet ham glaze. This brand of ham offers great value, with the hickory flavor selling for $2.30 a pound from Food Lion at the time of writing.

Both hams have received decent-to-good reviews from customers, with the brown sugar flavor earning more acclaim than the hickory. Positive reviews focus on the ease of preparation — Smithfield hams simply have to be heated in the oven and spread with a pre-made glaze that comes in a packet. Satisfied customers also pointed to the high level of quality Smithfield delivers for a low price.

Negative reviews of the Smithfield Hickory Smoked ham claimed a variety of defects. Some said the ham was dry after cooking, while others complained it was too fatty. Still, others said the ham either lacked flavor or outright tasted bad. If you're unlucky, you may buy an example that's improperly cut, which defeats the convenience of a pre-sliced spiral-cut ham. Overall, it seems like Smithfield has some problems with consistency, but when the company is on its A-game, it makes a tasty product.

9. Nueske's

Most of the spiral-cut hams on this list are bone-in. The bone makes the ham look impressive, and it's great for making soup after you've eaten all the meat, but it can make the ham harder to carve and serve. Nueske's offers bone-in hams, but the company also has a boneless option, which is nice. You can also buy smaller quantities of ham from the company, which is good for when you're only feeding a few people — bone-in hams tend to be at least 8 pounds, while the smallest boneless Nueske's ham is a more manageable 3 pounds. Nueske's hams are applewood smoked and come pre-glazed, so they're ready to serve once they reach room temperature.

While Nueske's hams have positive reviews on average, there are a significant number of dissatisfied customers as well. Several reviews cite issues with the spiral slicing leading to difficulties in carving. Some people complain that the meat is dry, overly fatty, too sweet, or lacking in glaze. In contrast, the people who had good experiences really loved Nueske's product, declaring it to be moist and delicious. It's possible the brand has some manufacturing inconsistencies, which is an issue for premium-priced ham — Nueske's boneless ham costs well over $10 a pound.

8. Boar's Head

Boar's Head may be better known for deli meats than for festive meal centerpieces, but the company's spiral sliced, applewood smoked, uncured ham is a surprisingly decent option for a small holiday dinner. At just 3 pounds, this boneless ham won't feed a huge crowd, but it's perfect for feeding a more intimate gathering. The price is right, too — it costs about $30 from Albertson's, significantly less than the 3-pound boneless ham from Nueske's.

Reviews are a bit thin on the ground for this ham, but the ones that are out there are good. The responses on Influenster are uniformly positive, with one delighted customer saying, "I have tasted many delicious pieces of ham, and this is the best ham." The product is made with a lot of added water (it's the second listed ingredient), so it might not have as concentrated of a pork flavor as some of the hams with no water added.

7. Member's Mark

In the battle of warehouse store hams, Member's Mark (which is Sam's Club's house brand) comes in a close second to Kirkland. One area where it wins over Costco's generic ham is price — at under $3 a pound, there aren't many cheaper ham brands out there. However, as you'll see, the worst comments we found about Costco ham painted it as mediocre. While most people seemed to enjoy Sam's Club ham as well, the people who didn't like it had very bad things to say.

Multiple customer reviews said that this ham was so bad that it was thrown away rather than eaten. A couple of customers mentioned that the ham they bought seemed spoiled too. These types of reviews are by far in the minority; however — at the time of writing, 255 of the product's 361 reviews are five stars. Lots of people remark on how well this ham is sliced, and consumers love how good it is for the price. If value is your main concern when shopping for ham, it's hard to beat Member's Mark.

6. Kirkland

Costco shoppers will be happy to know that the warehouse store's private-label brand makes a decent, value-friendly ham. The consensus on Reddit is that Kirkland spiral ham is tasty, though perhaps not as delicious as the more expensive name-brand options like Honey Baked. Of course, Costco ham is a pretty good deal (it sells for a little over $4 a pound in our area). It should be noted, however, that cost is the same as (or even a little more than) what name brands like Smithfield and Cook's cost in regular grocery stores, so price-wise, it's not the slam-dunk you might expect from the discount retailer.

You may find a couple of different spiral hams from Kirkland, including an applewood-smoked variety with honey glaze and a hickory-smoked one. The hickory ham comes with a packet of glaze granules that you have to mix with water and cook on the stove, making it slightly more labor-intensive than some of the other hams on this list. It's well-trimmed, so there's not a lot of excess fat, but it is quite salty. Overall, it's worth picking up if you're a Costco devotee, but people without membership cards needn't go out of their way to acquire it.

5. Harry & David

While you're buying a box of pears from Harry & David for someone on your gift list, you can also pick up a spiral-cut ham. Harry & David sells either a 7.5 to 8.5-pound piece of ham for $120 or an entire 13 to 18-pound ham for $220. Regardless of what size you buy, it comes with a glaze you can pour on top if you'd like — honey for the smaller ham and spiced brown sugar for the big one.

As you would expect from the brand, it seems like many people buy these hams as gifts rather than for themselves, but the reviews from people who did actually purchase their own Harry & David hams are overwhelmingly positive. People enjoyed the glaze as well as the taste of the meat itself, which shines through without being overwhelmed by salt or smoke. However, this brand loses some points for selling at a high price point without sharing much about how the product is made. Harry & David ham is smoked twice and manufactured without extra water or liquid smoke, but we don't know what kind of pork it's made out of or how long it's smoked. That's information we'd like to know about an ostensibly premium product.

4. Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks sells much more than just steaks these days. Its spiral-sliced ham is a high-caliber item, with customer reviews that should allay any concerns you may have about buying ham from a place that specializes in beef.

Some brands of ham are pumped with extra water to add juice, but Omaha Steaks doesn't resort to this kind of cheating. Its ham is also smoked over actual wood. Overall, the product is similar in style to Honey Baked — it comes pre-coated in a crunchy sugar glaze and can be served simply thawed, with no heating necessary.

At the time of writing, all but one of the customer reviews of this ham on Omaha Steaks' website were either four or five stars. One particularly effusive customer wrote, "This was one of the most delicious hams I've ever had. And it was HUGE!" A couple of reviews pointed out how useful the leftovers of this ham were for making soup, sandwiches, and more after the festive meal was done. One area of concern is the price. At the moment, if you buy another item from Omaha Steaks along with the ham, the ham is half-off, but at full retail price, an 8-pound ham is $160, more than most other brands.

3. Carando

Carando is another Smithfield-owned ham brand. Like its Smithfield sibling, Cook's, it produces hickory smoked hams with packets of glaze. Unlike Cook's, it appears that the glaze stays the same while the ham itself changes depending on what variety you buy; there's a regular hickory smoked and a hickory smoked honey cured variety; both come with the brand's signature crunchy glaze, which is primarily composed of sugar, brown sugar, and water.

Carando has the most consistently good reviews of any of the Smithfield family of ham brands. Both varieties have almost universally positive user reviews. People love Carando ham's tender, juicy texture, and the flavor is just as good. The plain hickory smoked leans toward smoky, salty, and savory flavors, while the honey cured is a little sweeter. Like the other Smithfield brands, Carando ham is on the cheaper side; it costs about $4 a pound from ShopRite. Since Carando has the least hate online, it's our top pick of the Smithfield options.

2. Tender Belly

Tender Belly advertises its ham as coming from heritage pig breeds, but curiously, it doesn't specify which ones. You'd think that people who are interested in heritage pork would want to know the specific breed, so this commission is strange. The pigs are raised without the use of crates, which will appeal to consumers who are concerned about animal welfare.

Tender Belly actually smokes its ham rather than using liquid smoke, but the meat is processed with added water, which some of the other premium ham brands eschew. It's packaged with a delicious-sounding glaze made with sugar, honey powder, pineapple, and spices.

This ham doesn't have as many user reviews as other hams on this list, but they make up in quality what they lack in quantity — every single one is a perfect five out of five. The extra water in the recipe may actually be a good thing, as juiciness is mentioned over and over again in the reviews. People also enjoy the moderate amount of salt in this ham. At $90, this ham's price is comparable to many of the other premium mail-order hams.

1. D'Artagnan

D'Artagnan is known for selling high-class pantry items like foie gras and preserved truffles, so it's no surprise that its spiral-cut ham is on the fancier side. It's made with Berkshire pork, a British heritage breed that D'Artagnan characterizes as analogous to Wagyu beef in terms of quality. Berkshire pigs produce meat that is more tender, juicy, and marbled with fat than standard pork. In addition to starting with premium meat, the manufacturing process of D'Artagnan's ham is also top-notch — the meat isn't treated with nitrates and is applewood-smoked (not just pumped with liquid smoke).

This attention to detail seems to serve D'Artagnan well, as most of the customer reviews for this ham are raves. Customers praise the meat's juiciness and flavor, and several describe it as the best ham ever. However, sometimes the spiral cuts aren't deep enough, which makes the ham more challenging to carve than it should be. Other than that, D'Artagnan is a great buy, and it's not even that expensive — at around $100 for an 8-pound ham, its price is comparable to many other brands that aren't made with heritage pork. For that reason, we're picking it as our top choice — if you have a good knife, carving shouldn't be a big issue.


We looked at user reviews to generate this list. In addition to weighing customer satisfaction, we also factored in price and value for money to create the final ranking. All prices were accurate as of the publishing date of this article.