HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Ham question

We just had a spiral-sliced ham for Sunday supper. Who buys these things anyway? How can there be over 400 Honey Baked Ham stores? We got it because a relative was moving and cleaned out their freezer. We had one once years ago and the ham slices were dried out and we haven't purchased one since that time. Knowing these hams dry out very easily, we heated it as directed, covered with foil. I took it out when the center was only 140 degrees. All but the center-most slices were dried out. So my question is, why are people still buying them? They must be people that don't really like ham but do like the convenience of having it already sliced. People eating this ham could get the idea that they don't like ham. The best thing about most bone-in ham anyway is the bone. It's just too darn hot and humid to make soup right now. I guess it can go into the freezer for a while.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My parents were fond of Honey Baked Ham back in the day. the folks never heated them, just served at room temp. As I recall, the hams were decent, but I've always preferred country ham.

    1. My SIL in Atlanta buys them. My SIL spends too much money on almost everything she buys, esp. food. And if they cost a lot and tasted great, fine. But I also find them ho-hum.
      PS: I don't have to worry about her reading this. Cooking isn't something she does much of ;)

      1. If memory serves me correctly, aren't those pre cooked? I do recall those always being a dry (and not very tasty) part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. In that case, they only have to be brought up to eating temperature (120 ish)...which explains why they are always dry.

        1. We buy the spiral hams from Costco, I think they are Kirkland. We glaze them and then heat. They are not dry, and really taste good. We eat some and them freeze in small packets. I am not real fond of city ham being a Southern girl, I want country ham. But these are very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Janet

            I bought one of these for a party to add to what I was making and people just raved about it.
            I don't think it helps any ham to be in the freezer-changes the texture.

          2. Used to get them for Christmas every year from the boss and clients. Somewhat of a treat because I wouldn't spend $50 for one. I don't think they're as bad as you say.
            They're franchises...that's why there are over 400 stores.

            Maybe the one you got from your relative was a little old....from the holidays? (8+ months old?).

            1. I buy spiral hams all the time, cheap ones on sale, and they are as juicy as can be. Ham lasts a long time in the fridge, I really try not to put in the freezer if possible. If you freeze it there are changes involving the salt being pulled out of the meat and then the texture suffers. Maybe it was frozen for several years since they only took it out of the freezer because they were moving?

              2 Replies
              1. re: coll

                There are spiral sliced hams from Walmart, and there are spiral sliced hams from quality houses. Spiral slicing is just an automated technique of, obviously,...slicing.
                If you want a great ham that can be purchased spiral sliced or not, try Harrington Hams from Vermont. You will pay for this quality ham an 8 lb ham is about $90.00 plus shipping!
                The Maple Syrup curing and their smoking technique really results in an "object of beauty".

                1. re: ospreycove

                  I'm working my way up. I don't normally do spiral, I prefer to cut it thinner, but will buy them around the holidays when they are on extreme sale, especially Smithfield which was our favorite. Then husband got from his company a Hatfield ham for Christmas and I know it's not top of the line, but we could not stop exclaiming how amazing it was. Our guests who said they hated ham and that it wasn't appropriate for Christmas (very opinionated family members who tend to obnoxious statements like that) all asked for leftovers to take home. So I can imagine getting top of the line, I just have to find people to share it with that will appreciate it fully. Think I still have a hunk or two in the freezer that I have to use up first though!

              2. When I have served Honey Baked Ham I never heated it. This ham is best served at room temperature. I was disappointed, however, in the last Honey Baked Ham I got, so this year I tried Trader Joe's Flame Glazed spiral cut ham. It was awful! There was too much glaze between the slices which made it overly sweet and slimy. Next year I'm going to try Costco's ham. I'm trying to find a decent ham that isn't as expensive as Honey Baked, but Trader Joe's is definitely not the answer.

                1. We had a HB Ham this year, and it was maybe the 2nd one i'd ever tried. We liked it very much, actually - ours didn't dry out and had a really nice smokiness to it -which was the best part. It was a bit pricey - $40+ dollars for a 7 pounder - but we've had it for 3 people for 3 meals so far, a lot of snacking, and still a lot left. And I'm going to make soup with the bone. And I made a fritatta with some of it that turned out great.

                  1. Um. The problem is not the ham, but those instructions, which are common, and commonly result in what you experienced.

                    If you cook them in a turkey roasting bag in a slow oven, and remove them much earlier than you think, they will continue to warm up (a phenomenon in large meat cuts called carryover effect or after-cooking). Like this method (which I won't go into here since this is the General Topics board, not Home Cooking, where recipes and techniques are discussed):


                    1. I don't think freezing it did anything for the quality. I buy the Costco spiral cut ham every year for Thanksgiving and everyone always raves about it. I prefer it over the HB ham. They come pre-cooked -- no need to heat it to piping hot. We prefer it slightly warm.

                      1. We just had one for Christmas and it was dry. I did not cook it, and it was cooked in a roaster, and it was dry, dry, dry.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mara44

                          That was the problem I had. I'm trying to figure out why the mods removed the last two posts including mine. We were just wondering what the attraction was to the spiral sliced ham and how it's not all that difficult to slice a ham.