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Dec 10, 2006 11:49 AM

Spiral Sliced Hams. What is the best? Honeybaked? Harry & David?

Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. I have found that all pre-sliced hams are sliced too thin and also they dry out when warming.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      I agree. Do you have a favorite unsliced ham?

    2. Forget the spiral-sliced hams. In addition to getting dried out easily, they're all injected with water, to make them juicy at the expense of diluting the flavor.

      If you're within driving distance of Manhattan, Kurowycky has the best hams ever. The intensity of flavor is unbelievable.

      Vaut le voyage. Alas, they don't ship.

      4 Replies
      1. re: KRS

        What do you have to do to this ham to bring it to the table? Soak? Score and glaze? Bake?

        Is it very salty and dry?

        1. re: KRS

          HoneyBaked hams are NOT injected with water! That's what makes them of the quality and consistent taste and texture they possess. A no-water added ham will dry out if heated whole in the oven....that's why HoneyBaked recommends they're best when served at room temperature or smaller portions heated for only seconds in the microwave. Part of the beauty of a HoneyBaked ham is the convenience that they're fully cooked, spiral sliced (the founder was the patent holder of the original spiral slicing machine) honey glazed and ready to serve!

          1. re: KRS

            alas, indeed...this link takes you to a page that says they closed in June. But I've walked by the shop since then, I think it was open...what's the story?

            1. re: KRS

              I am pretty sure that Kurowycky fell prey to the rising rents and the current overall trend of "gentrification". They closed earlier this year, for sure.

            2. I think Harrington's spiral sliced ham is delicious. YOu can serve it at room temperature- no need top warm it.

              8 Replies
              1. re: emilief

                I was underwhelmed by the one Harrington's ham I ordered. I like Burger's Smokehouse, a large selection of whole or sliced, city or country hams. I ordered their semi-boneless, spiral sliced, city ham for this Christmas.


                1. re: ChinoWayne

                  I also love the Burger's Smokehouse hams. Their smoked hamhocks are also great for beans, greens, etc... One lesson I learned a few years ago involved a Smithfield Dry (salt) Cured country ham. I knew it would be saltier than sugar cured (City) hams, but for me, it was so salty, it was practically inedible.

                  1. re: dhedges53

                    Our taste buds must be related, last year I ordered a city and and for the Hell of it, one of their Attick Aged country hams, I also could not eat it, waaaaayyyyy too salty for this city slicker.

                    I also like their fat breakfast sausages. One of these days I am going to try some of their slab bacon.

                    1. re: ChinoWayne

                      If you are a sausage fan, I ran across a place outside of Austin Texas, back in the '70s that has the best sausage (fresh, or smoked) I've ever eaten. Southside Meat Market makes this sausage, and you can get it online. Elgin is considered the sausage capital of Texas, and back then, you'd have to walk through the meat market to some tables in the back. They had a big smoker going and would serve your sausage on freezer paper with sliced onion and pickles. I ordered 10 lbs. for my brother a couple of years ago, and it tasted the same as I remembered it. They've moved from the old market, so it's lost its ambience, but still great sausage.


                      1. re: dhedges53

                        Thanks for the recco and the link to the links, it looks VERY interesting.

                        1. re: dhedges53

                          Amen for Elgin sausage! When I lived in Austin I would make pilgrimages to Elgin just to enjoy a lunch of some of the best smoked pork I'd ever eaten.

                        2. re: ChinoWayne

                          Note that country hams always need special treatment -- soaking in water overnight, followed by rather lengthy simmering. I am surprised the seller did not include instructions.

                        3. re: dhedges53

                          Try country ham again. Soak each slice in tepid water for one hour. Drain, rinse and soak another 15 minute in fresh cold water. Drain and pat dry. Pound with a smooth tenderizing hammer. Do not over pound. Rub lightly with vegetable oil on both sides. Fry on medium high heat until the outer fat is light golden. Deglaze the pan with strong leftover coffee for red eye gravy. For a real treat serve with buttermilk biscuits made with soft winter wheat flour and whole buttermilk. The longer you soak this ham the less salty it becomes.

                    2. In defense of spiral sliced hams -- I've served a Honeybaked ham at my Tree Trimming party for years, and people LOVE them. I've NEVER heated it -- they taste best and have the best texture (I've never had one "dry out" as another poster commented) served room temperature. It may not be the best "ham" but I think they are the best "spiral-sliced ham." They are especially convenient for an impromptu gathering when you don't have the time nor inclination to mail-order a ham from Kentucky. You can order by size (even in the throws of the Holiday rush, I've never NOT been able to get the size I needed, even without pre-ordering) and the flavor is remarkably consistent year to year.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DanaB

                        I'm a proud Chowhound, but I sure love to be lucky enough to be at a Super Bowl party or holiday gathering where a Honeybaked ham ends up on the table. Meaty, flavorful, great glaze. Consistently good, they do what they do very well and it is a reasonable value.

                        1. re: nosh

                          Have to agree with you, nosh. Every time we actually pick up a ham, I get a sandwich to go; great flavour and texture, and it doesn't need lettuce, pickles, and a special sauce to tart it up.

                      2. Burger's Smokehouse.

                        The problem with warming spiral-sliced hams is that the directions are often VERY wrong.

                        Cooks Illustrated came up with by far the best method (and one that Burger's largely tracks, too, another good sign) that works like a charm. I guess telling you how belongs on the Home Cooking board....

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Karl S

                          oh, c'mon! Thats a tease! At least give us a hint! ;-) Is gently warmed in a steam bath and then crisped up at the last moment in a fierce oven for example? Not a whole recipe, but at least sooooome info. thanks!

                            1. re: Humbucker

                              You put the flat end down on a pan, dnd you only cook it at 250F until the temp in the deepest part reaches 100F, remove and keep in the closed bag until the temp rises over the next half hour on the count to 120F (carryover cooking). I don't bother with glazing, but instead use the accumulated juices in the bag.