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

c
caitmeg10 Dec 10, 2006 11:49 AM

Any recommendations? Thanks!

  1. JMF Dec 10, 2006 12:46 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF
      c
      caitmeg10 Dec 10, 2006 12:48 PM

      I agree. Do you have a favorite unsliced ham?

    2. k
      KRS Dec 10, 2006 02:33 PM

      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. http://sausagenyc.com/

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

      4 Replies
      1. re: KRS
        j
        Jpand Dec 17, 2006 06:45 AM

        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
          r
          rls10424 Apr 28, 2007 02:48 PM

          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
            h
            howboy Dec 20, 2007 07:59 AM

            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
              vvvindaloo Dec 21, 2007 07:14 AM

              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. e
              emilief Dec 10, 2006 07:19 PM

              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
                ChinoWayne Dec 10, 2006 07:35 PM

                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.

                http://www.smokehouse.com

                1. re: ChinoWayne
                  d
                  dhedges53 Dec 10, 2006 08:00 PM

                  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
                    ChinoWayne Dec 10, 2006 08:34 PM

                    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
                      d
                      dhedges53 Dec 10, 2006 09:38 PM

                      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.

                      http://www.southsidemarket.com/

                      1. re: dhedges53
                        ChinoWayne Dec 11, 2006 12:26 AM

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

                        1. re: dhedges53
                          l
                          laurie Dec 16, 2006 10:51 AM

                          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
                          m
                          mpalmer6c Dec 21, 2007 01:13 PM

                          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
                          s
                          Southern Carol Dec 19, 2007 10:49 AM

                          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. DanaB Dec 10, 2006 07:29 PM

                      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
                        n
                        nosh Dec 12, 2006 08:11 PM

                        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
                          k
                          KevinB Dec 22, 2007 05:47 AM

                          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. Karl S Dec 11, 2006 12:07 AM

                        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
                          k
                          krushdnasty Dec 11, 2006 02:31 AM

                          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: krushdnasty
                            h
                            Humbucker Dec 11, 2006 08:10 AM

                            You use an oven bag.

                            1. re: Humbucker
                              Karl S Dec 11, 2006 09:32 AM

                              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.

                        2. GretchenS Dec 11, 2006 04:09 PM

                          Based on a rec from this beard, I ordered a ham from Nueskes for a party and it was the best ham any of us had ever eaten. I got the whole bone-in but they do have spiral-sliced ones too.

                          http://www.nueskes.com/products/ham/S...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: GretchenS
                            JMF Dec 11, 2006 07:52 PM

                            They do have great hams and unbelievably good bacon.

                          2. jen kalb Dec 11, 2006 10:00 PM

                            It is definitely not the best ham I have ever had, but the Costco spiral sliced is very good and cost effective- I glaze it with mustard and brown sugar and stud with cloves rather than using their sweet glaze however. Never had a problem with dryness on this guy.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jen kalb
                              c
                              Cathy Dec 19, 2007 11:06 AM

                              Agree with you, Jen. Extremely cost effective and never dry.

                              We do use the dry glaze ingredients, but mix with orange juice and mustard. The ham is good warm and cold.

                              1. re: Cathy
                                t
                                Tay Dec 19, 2007 11:52 AM

                                In the cost effective dept, I'd say that Wegman's spiral sliced ham is both good tasting and economically appealing.

                                1. re: Tay
                                  c
                                  Cathy Dec 19, 2007 12:06 PM

                                  No Wegman's in San Diego;
                                  Costco 3 miles from my house.

                            2. g
                              GVDub Dec 12, 2006 03:44 AM

                              Another vote for Burger's Smokehouse hams here. We usually buy one every year (there's only two of us and a full country ham will last us a while). We've baked one for a party with Alton Brown's Dr. Pepper method, and it was extremely tasty.

                              Being a country boy, I'm a big fan of their country hams. If the Attic Aged ham is too salty for you, try the Southern Smokehouse ham. It's not aged as long, and isn't as salty. The Attic Aged sliced paper thin served on a beaten biscuit, though, is just a little slice of heaven for me.

                              1. l
                                laurie Dec 13, 2006 12:40 AM

                                I'm ordering my spiral-sliced ham from the Cajun Turkey Company. You can get it with your usual honey glaze or go for the gusto and get the bourbon-walnut glaze. While you're at it, order one of their Cajun fried turkeys (I'm partial to spicy). Good stuff!

                                1. k
                                  krushdnasty Dec 13, 2006 06:19 AM

                                  I heard an add on the local news where they were hyping a New, Improved Honey baked spiral that had EACH and EVERY slice completely glazed... even in the cracks. The selling spiel was something like: "tired of having the guests complain about not enough glaze?, now there is a new PATENTED method of production from honey baked hams that ensures that plenty of glaze will be on each slice."

                                  ANyone know what this "new" technique is like, or how the hams turn out? I looked online extensively and couldn't find anything out about a new, patented, individually glazed spiral sliced ham. Any info?!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: krushdnasty
                                    h
                                    Humbucker Dec 13, 2006 06:48 AM

                                    They probably just cook it the normal way, then spiral slice it, inject/immerse in glaze so it seeps into the nooks and crannies, then zap it again so the glaze congeals and sticks.

                                    1. re: Humbucker
                                      k
                                      krushdnasty Dec 13, 2006 10:02 AM

                                      your description makes it sound so lovely!

                                      "slice, inject, immerse, seep, zap, congeal and stick."

                                      lolz... you should write advert copy for Mr Honeybaked hisself! Truly priceless, thanks for the chuckle! Yeh, your prolly right. Its got to be some goddawful process that allows them to charge "Ham" price for "Glaze". If they can pack more weighty glaze in there as well as charge more per lb. for the novelty schtick, then whats the harm, after all who loses out?

                                      oh. wait. thats right... We do.

                                      1. re: krushdnasty
                                        h
                                        Hensley Dec 19, 2007 11:41 AM

                                        Another tip of the hat to Burgers Smokehouse (Nueskes is good too). As for Honeybaked, we just had one at work for our Christmas luncheon yesterday, and while it was good, I think I can take an on-sale store brand, prepare it properly, and end with the same result.

                                  2. danhole Dec 19, 2007 11:46 AM

                                    I always thought Honeybaked was the best until I tasted a Logan Farms spiral sliced ham. Very, very good.

                                    I don't know how you could dry out a high quality spiral sliced ham, unless your oven temperature is not correct.

                                    1. e
                                      emilief Dec 19, 2007 03:29 PM

                                      Harringtons of Vermont has an excellent spiral ham.

                                      1. notmartha Dec 20, 2007 01:28 PM

                                        I don't know about the best, but nobody I know who had tasted a Honeybaked hated it.

                                        You ARE NOT supposed to heat it up in the oven. It's meant to be served at room temperature and I never had a problem with the ham served this way.

                                        The meat is flavorful and tender, only nit is it can be a little sweet. I don't think it's that pricey either. A half ham (6 lbs) was $35 or so, and I think our family of 3 got about 5 meals out of it, not to mention the leftover ham bone that I proceed to cook pinto beans with (yet another 3 meals!)

                                        1. m
                                          mpalmer6c Dec 21, 2007 01:29 PM

                                          Cook's Illustrated tried several spiral-cut hams and decided Hickory Farms/Pfaelzer was best in the smokier category. Honeybaked ranked a little further down. In the "sweeter," less-smoky category, Niman Ranch was a favorite -- but it arrived later than the promised date.

                                          Surprised me. I always thought of Hickory Farms (same ham as Pfaelzer) as being in the Omaha Steaks category -- lots of promotion, low in quality.

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