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The best way to bake a cheap ass ham?

OK. It is ham for Christmas. Going for the expensive heritage ham would not be appreciated by the group. So I'm thinking about a Safeway or Farmer's John bone-in ham.

IMO, it doesn't have to cost $$$ to taste good. What is the best way to make an average ham into a star?

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  1. I've done this for my last two ham events. People rave. It's ridiculously simple. More details to follow but here for now...

    The original instructions include a nod to sustainable eating and all but then admonish you to buy the cheapest ham you can get your hands on....



    3 Replies
    1. re: carminabee

      Bourbon, OJ, molasses, mustard and brown sugar. Sounds good and simple. Thanks.

      1. re: rworange

        i got a better class of ham and used this recipe. However, while it was ok, I wasn't in love with it.

        The high temperature freaked me out. As first I thought it was a mistake. Maybe it was the molasses. I'm not a fan of it.

      2. re: carminabee

        That's the recipe I've been using for awhile now with raves,except I leave the skin intact ,score it and substitute crushed pineapple with all it's juices for the molasses.serve with Piccalilli on the side.

      3. Fran Mccullough's, '150 Best Recipes' has a good one. Says"Buy the cheapest ham you can find." for monte's ham. recipe at saveur.com

        1 Reply
        1. I like a wet cooking/ steaming or braising method as it helps get rid of some of the salt.
          I just mentioned this on the thread for a smoked picnic, but it works here:

          I have also used and liked Nigella Lawson's coke braised(not my usual type of recipe). I found it posted

          1. DON'T laugh -- this sounds so, so low-rent, but it's so, so tasty:


            Coca-Cola Ham. Good stuff. (sub Dr. Pepper for a nice alternative)

            1 Reply
            1. re: sunshine842

              Or root beer. I usually do the Coke, just make sure not to use diet, you need the sugar/corn syrup.

            2. I Know Christmas is long over but for future reference I give you Monte's Ham:

              Last month's COTM has a really tasty recipe called Monte's Ham that uses the cheapest cut of smoked ham you can find. A 15 pound ham is the main ingredient but I halved the recipe to very good results. This is probably the easiest and tastiest you'll ever find...

              Put the ham into a 300F pre-heated oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove the ham, turn up heat to 350F, score the ham into diamond shapes, stud with whole cloves at each diamond intersection. Brush on a glaze made of orange marmalade, Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Don't be stingy here and brush the glaze all over the ham. Put back into oven to cook 45 minutes, brushing on the glaze 3 or 4 more times. Remove from oven and rest for 30 minutes.

              Here's the online recipe which is exactly the recipe in the book, "150 Best American Recipes", page 180...

              And, here's a link to my recipe report...

              5 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                If it hasn't been said already good robust black coffee,molasses and hot sauce or chili powders as a bast and to serve on the side

                1. re: Gio

                  Sounds good and there are a lot of hams on sale after Christmas in my area.

                  However, i'd need to omit the cloves.

                  When I was 11 years old, I helped my mother with an Easter ham and used too many cloves. Decades later i still can not tolerate the taste of cloves.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Oh well. that's an easy matter. Just slather on that sweet/spicy glaze.

                  2. re: Gio

                    I buy the shank portion uncooked, smoked hams. Here is Miami they run about $1.30 a pound. I make sure I buy one with a generous layer of fat. I cut off any attached skin. Score the fat into diamond shapes and insert whole cloves in each diamond. I mix approx 1 1/2 cup of apple juice and one cup of water with about 1/3 cup of brown sugar.

                    I prepare a roasting pan with a rack on the bottom so that the ham does not sit in the liquid. I pour the juice/water/sugar mixture over the ham and then cover tightly with aluminum foil. I set the oven to 275 degrees and place the ham in the oven while it is preheating. I leave the ham in the oven for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the ham. My rule of thumb it is done when the shank bone begins to loosen but you can use a thermometer to make sure it has reached 160 degrees internally. You can baste twice but no more, you do not want to lose the steam.

                    Then I increase the temp to about 425, remove the foil and let the ham brown. Let it rest about 20-30 minutes and then carve.

                    My four year old asks for this ham about once a month, and both my husband's relatives and my relatives ask for it when I visit for the holidays. So it must be good. I like it.

                    1. re: Gio

                      We've been making Monte's ham ever since the recipe first appeared in Saveur. It's the easiest and best for any large gathering.

                    2. Holidays are passed, but next year, if you have a cheap-ass ham to serve, you might consider a Maryland stuffed spiced ham - stuffed with spicy greens, beautiful when sliced and delicious when eaten. Makes it go a bit further, too. And terrific with a crabcake/crab ball starter.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mamachef

                        You know Mammachef, I have a cheap ass ham that I threw in the back of the fridge to use this month since it was $.99/lb. for the holidays. Even though true Southern Maryland stuffed ham isn't made with these (they are fresh hams that are salt corned but not smoked or aged), I don't see why I can't modify the idea and use the stuffing on the cheap one... Thanks for the great idea!

                      2. I score the outiside and prick witha fork. Then I mix crushed pineapple and brown sugar and some extra pineapple juice and rub/pour it all over. Then I bake for 15 min a pound. Every so often I baste with the juice from the bottom of the pan. Then I slice and strain the craushwd pineapple out of the juice and pour pan juice over the sliced ham to keep moist. Just made it last night and it was delicious!

                        1. We did Alton Brown's City Ham recipe for Xmas... brown mustard, brown sugar, apple juice (didn't have bourbon in the house), and crushed gingersnaps. The coating was addictive. The ham was tasty too.

                          1. Equal parts good Dijon mustard to local honey, slice and dice the top to make a nice presentation.Two cooking schools and this is what I do because there are no easy VA hams had way out in the Rockies, there are only two of us, and I can always dice the rest and make omelets, or slice some for sandwiches.

                            1. By far, the Baked Ham with Apricots from the original Silver Palate cookbook is the best ham I've ever made or eaten. Plus you have those fabulous apricots to serve as a side dish. I always put them in the baking liquid in the bottom of the pan instead of on the ham itself. That way I can de-fat them and serve them on the side.