Precooked ham is a product widely used everywhere as it has a very affordable price and good nutrition values. Although, due to the production process, this type of meat is a little dry, and for some people eating it raw may not be the best option. So, if you are asking for ways to make a precooked ham taste better, keep reading.
To make precooked ham tastes better, you can cook the ham in three techniques: roasting, frying, or just by putting it in a slow cooker. First, you can cook the ham in the pineapple marinade, slice it, and then bake it in the oven. You can also include it in the recipes like pizza, sandwiches, or pasta.
Which is the technique you are more interested in? Check them one by one, and in the end, you will for sure reconsider consuming precooked ham right away.
How to Make Pre-cooked Ham Taste Better?
Whether you are making dinner for your family or making a big holiday gathering, here are the tips that will help you succeed in making a real masterpiece of precooked ham.
Roasting the Ham
The most traditional way of preparing pre-cooked ham is roasting it in the oven. However, this technique gives the ham a completely different taste. You choose a mixing of ingredients to prepare the glaze, and all the heat of the oven will make the pre-cooked ham absorbs all the mixing and its flavors.
You can create minor cuts in the surface to ensure that the glazing goes deep and cover all the ham with aluminum foil-lined. Then, you will let it bake for approximately 3 hours in the oven.
When the temperature of the pre-cooked ham goes 140°F, this is when it’s ready. A food thermometer is needed in this step. And yes, after 30 minutes of resting at room temperature, the ham is ready.
One of the best ways to consume it in breakfast, but maybe even in other quick meals, is to fry it. If you cut it in slices or bought it sliced, it is easier to put it immediately in the pan. The cooking temperature should be medium, and you have to turn pre-cooked ham on each side every 2-3 minutes.
It won’t take more than 8 minutes, depending on the size of the slice. It will be ready when the ham looks golden and well cooked. In the end, you will have a delicious crispy ham, ready to be consumed with eggs, in a morning toast, or just with tahini and some leftover veggies from the day before.
Nowadays, a new technology very useful in the kitchen is slow-cooker. It is cooking equipment that cooks the food at a low and consistent temperature. Due to how it circulates the heat inside, the waters in food do not evaporate but remain moisture.
I used it a lot in my kitchen to cook rice, soups, or stewed vegetables, and I can say that it’s a good and safe investment as you can control the time of cooking.
Considering that we want this type of meat not to be very dry after cooking, it looks like a slow cooker may be a good option. In this equipment at a slow temperature, you will leave it cooking for at least 4 hours.
After turning it off, the slow cooker will keep it warm for several hours.
Cut the Slices and Bake Them
Many people marinate the precooked ham in pineapple juice and then bake it or cook it. And that’s it. However, if you first slice the ham and then marinate it and bake it, it will be more flavorful, sweet, and juicy.
To make the pineapple marinade, use 2 cups of pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 5 pieces of cloves and cook the whole ham in the marinade for 30 minutes. Make sure you cut the surface of the ham into small squares, so the marinade can easily go inside the ham.
After 30 minutes, remove the ham from the marinade, and let it cool.
It is time to slice your ham. The slices should be about 1 finger thick. Place the slices on the pan, spread the marinade over the slices, sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of raisins, and put them in the oven at 325 ⁰F for 15 minutes.
Spice it up
If we are cooking meat, there is always space for spices. And when we talk about herbs, the options are endless as everyone perceives them differently. Here you can experiment and dare to create your mixings of spices.
Even so, there is some well-proven combination of ingredients that may make this meat taste lovely. The first one is mustard and brown sugar. In almost all recipes, the main ingredients create a great glaze fit for all meats.
Those two ingredients are already a good glaze, but you can still prepare a new one by adding more ingredients. Some butter in the pan, honey, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, combine them with sugar and mustard, and you officially are sending this recipe to a whole new level.
Another excellent combination is ginger and cinnamon. They are good in tea, but you can better roast with the pre-cooked ham. The woody flavor of cinnamon and the spiciness aroma of ginger combined with mustard and brown sugar can create a nice sauce.
A last piece of advice is that whichever is your mixing of spices, consider not including salt as the pre-cooked ham itself has a considerable amount of salt.
Choose Your Favorite Marinade
There are plenty of options when discussing the glazes that can suit pre-cooked ham. As mentioned above, the essential ingredients that need to be present in almost every glaze are brown sugar and mustard. Those are combo that allows you to add many flavors to change the taste of the pre-cooked ham and make it unique while serving it.
One of the fruits I love to use while roasting different meats is the citrus family. I always have lemons roasting chicken breasts or some pink or white grapefruit for turkeys. As per pre-cooked ham, I would suggest orange. You can squeeze it, have it as marmalade or blend both pomace and juice.
For a more exotic taste, another fruit that will work is pineapple. As pineapple is a solid fruit and may be a bit rough to blend, a good option would be to squeeze it and use only the juice. Then, you can mix that with brown sugar and cloves and wash all the ham surface. You can always put some pineapple rolls for decoration and added flavor.
You may occasionally prefer to insert some alcohol in your marinades. The best suit for this case will be the pirates’ drink, rum. Select a nice variety from your cellar and prepare mentally for a fancy recipe: roasted ham in rum, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard. The slow but long process will make rum aromatize all the ham.
And from rum to more fruits. Do you like a grape? Maybe you never had the opportunity to cook it with meats. Not very usual and classic, but worth trying if you are really into grape and cola as this glaze is a mix of those together.
Marple syrup is the last suggestion I want to share when discussing marinades and glazes. But, in case you want to control the calories, maple syrup is a good interchange for honey.
Incorporate It in Your Every Day Menu
There are several ways to include it in your menu and get an amazing taste.
Today, cooking a pizza in your home is easier than you thought. You can find pizza dough ready in supermarkets and almost everywhere cheese and all types of sauces. So now, every time you prepare a pizza, along with all other ingredients, you can add pre-cooked ham and bake it with the pizza. In the end, some arugula and Parmigiano and voila, it’s ready.
In Open Sandwiches or Bruschettas
A leftovers sandwich can end up being so delicious sometimes. Put together some cold bread you can warm it up, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, the pre-cooked ham, and some oregano, and altogether put them on the oven for 5 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.
An easy recipe with pasta, very simple but nice is penne with cream fresh and mushrooms. While frying the mushrooms in melted butter, you can add a pre-cooked ham cut in pieces. Let it be crispy, and then add the cream. In 3 or 4 minutes, you will have an excellent warm portion of sauce for your pasta.
Cheese and Salami Platter
Pre-cooked ham is a product with a low level of moisture. Thus, it feels scorched when you chew it. To make it more acceptable for you to consume it, you may put it in antipasti of cheeses and prosciutto to mix it up with other flavors like piquant, moldy, and mild.
Is Pre-cooked Ham Considered Fully Cooked?
The ham is considered pre-cooked if the cured, smoked, or baked techniques are applied. If the ham has gone in one of those processes is deemed to be valid for consumption.
In the market, you can find two types of pre-cooked ham. City ham is the most spread variety in the most supermarkets. To prepare this pre-cooked ham, a large quantity of salt is added to the meat. This type of ham usually goes through the smoking process also.
The second type is country ham. The meat is dry in a determined temperature and strict humidity and moisture conditions to produce this type of ham. Again, this variety can be smoked or not.
Another difference in their texture is that some hams contain the bone, and others do not. So when choosing, you need to decide if you like to have or not the bone.