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Ham for the Holidays

Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney

Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney

Ham was always the meat of choice for my family’s Christmas dinner. I remember fondly all of the delicious leftovers – favorite sandwiches such as ham and cheese, ham salad, pineapple and ham on Challah, as well as ham and eggs in the morning (I drove my poor mother crazy begging her for green eggs and ham!).

If ham is on your holiday menu, try one of these stunning recipes:

For a perfectly cooked centerpiece ham, follow these tips:

  • Plan 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving for a bone-in ham.
  • Plan 1/4 to 1/2 pound per serving for a boneless ham.
  • Let the ham sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
  • To score the skin of the ham, cut 1/4 inch deep crosswise into 1 to 2-inch squares to create classic diamond shapes. 
  • Remember, to avoid burning, don’t coat the ham with glaze until the last hour of cooking.
  • Don’t baste the ham with pan drippings as these can be very salty. Try basting with pineapple juice instead.
  • If you use cloves to spice your ham, be sure to remove the cloves before slicing and serving.
  • Once cooked, ham can be served warm or at room temperature, but it’s not as flavorful when cold straight from the fridge.
  • One advantage to buying a bone-in ham is to be able to use the hambone for flavoring soups and bean dishes.

Ham and Roasted Pear Crostini

Ham and Roasted Pear Crostini

Ahhhhh…the leftovers. Here are just a few delectable ways to serve up leftover ham:

Grilled Ham and Le Gruyere

Grilled Ham and Le Gruyere

Old-Fashioned Ham Loaf

Old Fashioned Ham Loaf

Remember when you choose a ham from Whole Foods Market, you can rest assured that it comes from pigs raised to meet our high standards. The pigs are raised without narrow gestation or farrowing crates. They are never administered antibiotics or growth hormones (federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork), and their feed never contains animal byproducts. Once processed, our hams contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. No water is added, so they are very flavorful, and of course, they are always free of nitrates and nitrites.   

Are you serving a ham this holiday? What recipe will you use? I’d love to know.

From carving with confidence to pouring with pride, our online Holiday Cheat Sheet means more of your best for less stress. Order holiday meals online too; we'll do the work, you'll take the credit.

Blog Updated on 2/20/2015.


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Linda OFTEDAL says …

We are looking for an uncooked bone-in country ham (approx. 6 lb.) to prepare in a slow cooker for Easter but have no idea where to purchase one around here. Does Whole Foods carry these for Holidays?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LINDA - Our products differ between locations so I would suggest calling your local store closer to Easter to see what they have in stock!

Sally Layton says …

Is there such a thing as a salt-free ham? or is this simply a pork roast?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SALLY - It really depends on the preparation of the ham. Check with your local store to see if they have any in stock. Typically, they will have a salt cure so it will contain salt.

Frank Elliott says …

Will you have fresh ham that I can get for Easter Thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FRANK - Most of our stores should offer some ham but the exact options can differ. You can see if your local store offers online ordering at https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering or you can call them directly to place an order.

Laura says …

Can you tell me if you have ham that has no garlic? My daughter is highly allergic. If the contents list includes anything like natural seasonings, or general comment on seasonings she cannot eat it as it may include garlic.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LAURA - Our exact products differ between stores. Reach out to your local store directly to see what they have in stock that does not contain garlic.

kathy says …

Do you have gluten-free hams, perhaps without nitrates and nitrites?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KATHY - Since our options differ between stores, check with your local store to see if they have any GF options. The only portion I would be concerned about would be if the marinade or brine has any gluten ingredients. We prohibit synthetically-manufactured nitrates and nitrites according in all products in our stores. We do allow the naturally-occurring nitrates and nitrites found in celery juice or powder.

Theresa riley says …

How many quality hams do you have for sale

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@THERESA - The availability and varieties will differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what they currently have in stock!

Bonnie says …

How long can you keep a Ham in the freezer date says June 2014. can I still Use it

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BONNIE - According to Foodshare.org, unopened ham can be frozen for up to a year from the code date. Find more info at http://site.foodshare.org/site/DocServer/Food_Storage_and_Shelf_Life_Guidelines.pdf?docID=5822.

Phyllis Cahoon says …

Honey glazed cooked ham at the Hingham MA store for pick up. Is this available, without extras, and can I pick it up?