How Long Does It Take To Cook Spiral Ham

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How Long Does It Take to Cook Spiral Ham?

The aroma of glazed ham permeating the air is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Whether it’s a holiday feast or a casual family gathering, spiral ham is a centerpiece that adds a touch of elegance to any occasion. But before you can savor this succulent delicacy, you need to know how long to cook it to achieve the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.

Decoding the Cooking Time Formula

The cooking time of a spiral ham depends on a few key factors:

  • Weight: Generally, heavier hams require longer cooking times.
  • Glazing: Applying a glaze can enhance flavor but may prolong the cooking process slightly.
  • Oven temperature: Cooking at a lower temperature may take longer but ensures even cooking.

Cooking Time Calculation

As a general rule of thumb, follow this formula to calculate the approximate cooking time:

Cooking Time = (Weight of Ham in Pounds) x 15 Minutes + Minutes Required for Glazing

For example, a 10-pound spiral ham without glazing would have an estimated cooking time of 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove excess packaging: Remove the ham from its packaging and discard any bone guards or netting.
  3. Place ham on a roasting rack: Position the ham on a wire roasting rack placed inside a roasting pan. This allows for even cooking and prevents the ham from sticking to the pan.
  4. Add liquid (optional): If desired, you can add about 1/2 cup of water or apple juice to the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the ham from drying out.
  5. Glaze ham (optional): For a glazed ham, brush the surface with your preferred glaze during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  6. Monitor internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the ham. The ham is done when the thickest part of the meat reaches 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Let it rest: Once the ham is cooked, let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful ham.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t overcook: Overcooking can result in dry and tough meat.
  • Use a meat thermometer: Relying on cooking time alone is not always accurate; a meat thermometer ensures precise doneness.
  • Glaze strategically: Glazing adds flavor but can prolong cooking time. Apply it towards the end to minimize the effect on cooking time.
  • Cover the ham (optional): To prevent excessive browning, you can cover the ham loosely with foil during the first hour of cooking.
  • Carve thinly: Thin slices allow for a more tender and flavorful experience.


Q: Can I cook a spiral ham frozen?

A: Yes, but it will require additional cooking time. Thaw the ham in the refrigerator overnight and add about 50% to the total cooking time.

Q: What size ham do I need for my group?

A: Estimate about 1/2 to 3/4 pound of ham per person.

Q: How long can I store leftover ham?

A: Store leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Cooking a spiral ham is a culinary endeavor that requires precision and attention to detail. By understanding the cooking time formula and following the expert tips shared in this article, you can confidently prepare a tender, flavorful ham that will impress your guests and fulfill your cravings for a delicious and memorable meal. And as you savor the succulent slices of ham, we would love to hear your experience in the comments below. Did this article provide you with the guidance you needed to master the art of cooking spiral ham?

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