Honey roast ham on a round marble board
Food - Drink
Why You Should Always Soak Country Ham Before Cooking
While most hams consumed in the U.S. are wet-cured, dry-cured hams are more popular and prevalent in the south, where they're known as country hams. Unlike wet-cured or "city" hams that can simply be cooked and served, a whole country ham has to be soaked in cold water for 12 to 36 hours so it won't come out too salty.
A country ham is much saltier and drier than a city ham, and soaking draws out some of the salt and prepares the ham for roasting or baking. The Virginia-based Smithfield, a major producer of country hams, suggests soaking a whole ham in water for at least 24 hours, changing the water every four hours, then scrubbing it before baking.
An interesting alternative method involves soaking the ham overnight and bringing it to a boil in a pot of fresh water. Once the ham has boiled for 30 minutes, the pot is removed from the stove, wrapped in an insulation of newspapers, towels, and blankets, and allowed to rest overnight in its broth, resulting in a tender, slow-cooked ham.