When it comes to ham, it is either the best or nothing. I may take the importance of ham too seriously, but it is definitely a significant decision since ham is tough, if not impossible, to mask. I know that I always appreciate having my choices listed with pros and cons, and I decided to do the same for you.
So, in this article, I will focus on two legendary ham brands, Boar’s Head and Honey Baked Ham. I will tell you everything you need to know about these two types of ham and help you choose the best one for your table this festive holiday season.
Differences Between Boar’s Head Ham and Honey Baked Ham
Appearance And Size
The appearance is significantly different between Boar’s Head Ham and Honey Baked Ham. While Honey Baked Ham is recognizable by its signature honey glaze, Boar’s Head Ham is less unified, which doesn’t mean it lacks style.
Honey Baked Ham has a glossy appearance, which gives off a crispy vibe, like it is fresh from the oven. It has the perfect shade of golden brown on the outside, while it has a dark purple shade on the inside. The combination of the external and internal colors makes this ham extremely inviting, and I find it irresistible.
Boar’s Head offers a broader variety, which we discuss in the next section in more detail. Their hams vary from golden brown to light pink to purple, depending on your chosen type.
All of their hams are extremely tasty and rich in appearance, so whichever you choose will definitely charm your eyes before it reaches your palate.
Variety is one of the features I greatly appreciate in both brands. Still, as much as I want to be impartial, Boar’s Head is in the lead here since it offers a broader range of options.
Honey Glazed Ham sticks to the winning formula and only plays with the sizes and smoking duration. So, you can choose from bone-in-half smoked for up to 24 hours, whole boneless ham- smoked for up to 12 hours, bone-in-quarter- smoked for up to 24 hours, boneless ham- smoked for up to 12 hours, and a pack of bone in-whole two halves. If you are an admirer of how they do things, you will definitely find what you are looking for in the selection they offer.
On the other hand, Boar’s Head offers more options in terms of flavor, smoking time, and curing. You can choose from new Boar’s Head hickory smoked roast uncured ham, new Boar’s Head maple glazed roast pork loin, new brown sugar & spice delight off the bone ham, all-natural applewood smoked uncured ham, bold bourbon ridge uncured smoked ham, bold peppenero garlic ham, Italian roasted uncured ham with seasoning, maple glazed honey coat ham, smoke master beechwood smoked black forest ham, sweet slice boneless smoked uncured ham, Virginia ham, prosciutto di Parma, serrano ham.
The taste is undoubtedly another crucial aspect in which these ham brands differ. It is very hard to compare them, mainly because Boar’s Head Ham has more flavor options than Honey Baked Ham, so we can’t discuss these brands that simply.
While Honey Baked Ham is more or less uniformed by the signature honey glaze as its most recognizable feature, Boar’s Head offers a variety of flavors. Still, all are connected by the signature quality of their meat.
Honey Baked Ham combines sweet and savory notes, balanced to perfection, giving the final product a deep and rich sensation. The honey glaze gives it a layer of complexity, with caramel notes augmenting the already present flavors of the meat.
To simplify the flavors of Boar’s Head, I classify them as smoked and not smoked. The smoked varieties are more robust and expressive with flavorings such as garlic and spices, tailored for the palates that prefer the stronger side of ham.
The non-smoked varieties are gentler, with the natural meat flavor taking center stage. They are also characterized by a more palpable level of fattiness, making the meat softer, which isn’t to say that the smoked varieties are less fatty. The smoking process dries the meat, so the fattiness is not so expressive, but believe me, it is there.
Both brands produce premium ham and offer enough options for the most discriminating palates.
The prices are variable due to the different retail policies, time of year, and location. The ham demand and price vary throughout the US. Both brands offer premium ham, so I would expect something other than a bargain.
A few days ago, I bought 6 lbs of Honey Baked Ham for $94. I was browsing through Kroger yesterday and saw Boar’s Head Sweet Slice Ham priced at $8 per pound, which was a discount from the regular $13 price per pound.
I did the math and discovered that Honey Baked Ham is marginally pricier than Boar’s Head, with $15 per pound, which is $2 higher than the regular price of Boar’s Head.
Still, if you are persistent and search for a good deal, I am sure you can find it.
When it comes to availability, I have great news to share; both of these brands are available in retail stores and chain markets as well as online. If you are contemplating getting a juicy ham for your holiday table without leaving the comfort of your home, you are only a click away from having it delivered to your doorstep.
Suppose you like holiday grocery shopping and enjoy browsing through the supermarket isles. In that case, they can offer you the pleasure of looking at and analyzing the juicy hams, imagining what each of them would look like on your table.
They are also available year-round, so you don’t have to wait for actual Christmas to make your home smell like a holiday.
Final Verdict: Which Is Better?
Honey Baked Ham and Boar’s Head are both premium brands offering products of unquestionable quality. Whichever you choose will be correct, provided you know your palate well.
If you like experimenting with flavors and appreciate tasty surprises, choose Boar’s Head Ham. If you are like me and prefer the gentler side of ham, I recommend Honey Baked Ham as your best option.