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Oct 25, 2007 11:19 AM

Questions about ordering from Benton's Ham

Hi Chowhounders,

I am planning to order some ham from Benton in TN. I read through the website as well as most previous CH postings on Benton, but still have a few questions and hope somone can shed some light:

- I saw that they have pre-sliced and whole ham. Whole ham seems to be too much for me, but I am worried that pre-sliced means worse cut. How are the quality of the pre-sliced ham? Are they sliced really thick?

- Does the whole ham require refridgeration? I am afraid it will take up my whole fridge!

- How about prosciutto? Are they also sliced really thick or thin?

- I saw some threads regarding late shipment / no reply to emails from Benton. Is it still the case?

Any other recommendations / watch outs?

Your help and inputs will be greatly appreciated!

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  1. I can't speak to the ham.....but if you like bacon, get some of that too. Absolutely fabulous.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Geoff

      Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for your reply. I indeed want to buy the bacon as well. Did you order them online? How long did it take from placing the order till it arrived your house?

      Thanks again!

      1. re: kobetobiko

        We learned about them several years ago, before they even had a website....i'm pretty sure we never ordered online, it was always over the phone. i think delivery varies depending on what they actually have in stock, took two or three weeks if memory serves me

        1. re: kobetobiko

          I ordered bacon once. It didn't take more than a few weeks to get it.

 one in my family liked it. The smokiness overpowered the bacon taste and the entire house SMELLED of it after cooking it. A smokiness is good, but this was way too much.

      2. You may wish to check out Clifty (Tenn.) country hams, which offers a half-ham.. I have no connection with any ham company, but have found Clifty hams very good. (BTW. some ham buyers on CH don't know this, but you're probably aware country hams need a bit of preparation before putting in the oven.)

          1. While I have never ordered from Benton, I have bought country hams before. I understand that Benton is one of the best.

            They do not require refrigeration assuming that you plan to use the ham within 3 months or so. Just leave it in a reletively cool place. Once prepared you can freeze leftovers or the keep them in the fridge for at least a week. The bone and the hamhock are great for soups.

            Preparation requires soaking the ham to rehydrate it. I have found that boiling also removes some of the salt so if you purchase a whole ham and want to boil it you will need a large pot (at least a 5 gallon stockpot).

            I would bet the slices for the ham are pretty thin and would hope the same for the prosciutto.

            The flavor is quite different from a city ham so ordering a small quantity of the pre-sliced might not be a bad idea in case you don't care for it. They are also very salty so I usually serve them thinly sliced on bread or biscuits to cut the saltiness a bit. That said I love country hams. Nothing compares to the flavor of well aged pork.