Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 5, 2007 06:42 AM

Country Ham Tips

We have a country ham to cook for Easter dinner. Does anyone have tips for soaking/cooking. Every recipe I find has different times and methods.

Also, any good ideas for leftovers?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That depends on the type of "country ham". It should have cooking instructions with it...if not, be more specific and we'll try to help.

    3 Replies
    1. re: OldTimer

      We won it at a church picnic's auction in Grayson County, KY last summer. It's been hanging in its net in our basement ever since. There isn't any label on it.

      Since one recipe calls for straight-out baking (@ 325 for several hours), and one calls for short bursts at 500, then leave in oven overnight, I figured precicion is not necessary. Just wondered what methods other people have had success with.

      1. re: mamaciita

        Most KY hams are like Virginia hams...very salty. I would check out instructions for a Smithfield ham...soak for 2-3 days, simmer changing water a few times, and maybe put a glaze on it before slicing. The main thing is to soak out that salt, and if you've had it for over 6 months, it will be very salty.

        1. re: OldTimer

          Honestly, I don't know how people eat more than a sliver of country ham because of the salt. Since the ham we have is whole, I've been wiating for an event for which we're cooking for a large crowd, and since our numbers for Easter have dwindled, I'm moving to plan B.

          So now I'm looking for a sweet potato biscuit recipe to make when we finally cook the infamous ham. . .

          Thanks again!

    2. Hard to believe anyone would suggest just sticking a country ham right into the oven. That's only for saltaholics,

      Here's a recipe that's worked for me:

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        I pretty much follow that recipe but change the water several times so it does not keep re-salting itself. Don't be concerned about any mold on the surface, it is normal. Just scrub it off with a good stiff brush,

      2. I just bought a less expensive shoulder ham. The directions on the cloth bag are
        - water cooking: wash and scrub of pepper and mold; Simmer in 190deg water, 20-25 min per pound (165 internal temp); bake in oven till brown.
        - baking: soak for 8 hrs, wash; Bake at 325, with some water in the pan; same time and temperature; final browning.

        With this cut, though, I'm going to fry slices, and use odd pieces for seasoning.


        1. The times I've eaten country ham from Arkansas, it was extremely salty so I would make sure you do the soaking/changing water thing a lot. I really liked the ham though and would gladly eat it again.

          1. If you've had the ham hanging since last summer it is bound to be pretty salty and aged. Just like most of the posters have said, soak at least for a 24 hr period (scrub it off first to get mold and crud off of it). I cook mine in a roaster filled with water, a bottle of molasses and/or a can of coke classic. Some people use brown sugar too. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer. Internal temp should be 160. That should be around 20 min. per pound. As far as left overs go, how abt a ham sandwich or a little sliced fried ham with your eggs and grits. Good luck, deglaze

            3 Replies
            1. re: deglaze

              Personally? I'd try and auction it off on E-bay and purchase a pork tenderloin!

              1. re: jberryl

                and give up mucho flavor for no flavor

                1. re: beteez

                  salt is not flavor ... sorry lll get a spice already