Preparing your Ham for Christmas Dinner

At Broadbent B & B Foods, we offer our country style hams cooked or uncooked. Depending on which you purchased will make a bit of difference in how you get them ready for the big day. Hopefully your ham is already waiting or on its way since Christmas is only 6 days away! Can you believe it!!

Cooked Hams

If you’ve purchased your ham pre-cooked, the only labor task will be the slicing. Once you receive your fully cooked ham, immediately freeze or refrigerate until ready to use. If you received your ham well in advanced and have kept it frozen, transfer it to the refrigerator allowing it to thaw. The estimation for ham thawing in the refrigerator is about 4-6 hours per pound. (i.e. A 15 lb. ham should go to the fridge about 3-4 days prior to the event)

For the best flavor, we recommend serving at room temperature. Remove your ham from the refrigerator approximately 4 hours before the scheduled meal time. Slice to desired thickness and present on a platter, garnished if you wish.

If you want to heat your ham and add a glaze click here for further instruction.

Uncooked Hams

Once you’ve received your uncooked ham, be sure to hang it in a cool dark place away from pests or animals. (The last thing you need to find out is that fluffy ate Christmas dinner early) Leave the ham in the cloth bag then place it in a grocery sack for extra protection and close it up tight. Hams can hang for quite a while at a stable room temperature, each ham is guaranteed for up to 30 days if stored and protected properly.

Additional hanging time does not increase the quality of the ham, we aim to deliver hams at their quality peaks and longer hang times can results in saltier drier ham. If you’ve ordered ham well in advance, feel free to freeze it up to 6 months after properly wrapping it for freezing.

Recommended Cooking Instructions: Oven Baked (Most popular method)

About 24 hours before the big day arrives, remove the ham from the bag and rinse it with warm water scrubbing off any mold that may have occurred. (Don’t worry this is a naturally occurring part of the curing process and will not harm anyone if it is removed)

Once removed and cleaned immerse the whole ham in fresh water (in any bowl or other vessel large enough to contain the ham and water) along with one cup vinegar and one cup of brown sugar.

Photos by Tim Vidra of

**If you want to reduce the saltiness, take an extra 24 hours to let the ham soak in plain water before soaking it in the water, vinegar, brown sugar mixture. (If this is your first country ham, I highly recommend this!)


After it’s long bath, rinse the ham again cut off the ham hock and keep for seasoning (can freeze if desired or use immediately). Line a deep roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil (easy cleanup!). Place ham skin side down into the pan, add 1 quart of water. Sprinkle the top of the ham with 1-1 ¼ cup brown sugar. Completely seal the ham, sugar and water with foil overtop and double folded along the seam. Place in a cold oven, which should be set for 325-350 degrees. Cook until the internal temperature (get out your meat thermometer) reads 160-165 degrees. Be sure to poke the thermometer through the foil and into the center of the ham (do not touch bone or fat).  Cook time depends on weight of the ham plan for 16-22 minutes per pound. (i.e. 15 lb ham will take about 4-5 ½ hours in the oven)

Photos by Tim Vidra of

Once the ham’s internal temperature reaches the desired 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit remove it from the oven and remove the foil top. Trim off the skin and trim down the fat to ¼-3/8 inch thick. Glaze with your choice of glazes. Our recommended glaze is equal parts brown sugar and honey. Return the ham to the oven, turned up to 450 degrees and cook an additional 7 minutes or until golden brown.

***If you would like to boil your ham rather than cook it in the oven click here for those instructions.

Storing Leftovers

When it’s all over if you still have ham as leftovers, be sure to wrap them up removing as much air as possible before storing. Your ham may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. It can be frozen for up to three months. If you need ideas for what to do with the left overs, check out one of our previous blogs which offers a few ideas.

We would like to take a moment and thank you all for a wonderful 2016. We are so lucky to have loyal customers and to be a part of new and long-standing family traditions. We wish you a very happy holiday season!

Broadbent B&B Foods

Broadbent B & B Foods, have been producing Old Fashioned Country Hams since 1909. A Truly American Food that has been on this continent since colonial days, it was a staple that sustained many of our first settlers as they moved west. The climate had to be just right to cure hams in the days before electricity, and Kentucky's climate fit the bill! Therefore, the Broadbent family brought those traditions with them and used them to dry cure and preserve their pork. Today, we are still dry curing Country Ham, Bacon, and Sausage like our forefathers did. In modern cuisine, country ham is far from a Staple. It is found on the menus of ritzy restaurants across The United States. While it is still, in fact, Country Ham, it is often cut paper thin, and labelled as Prosciutto; which is used as the center piece for many Charcuterie Boards.