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spiral ham on a platter with parsley and garnishes

How to Cook a Spiral Ham

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Yield: 26 servings 1x


How to cook a spiral ham is an easy recipe to bake in the oven for your family's next holiday dinner.  It's a perfect low carb meat for Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.  This savory ham is moist and juicy, and is not sweet.  It's easy to make this crowd favorite with all the pro tips in this recipe!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 15 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth (472 ml)
  • 10 pound spiral ham
  • Curly parsley, for garnish


  1. Move the oven rack to the lowest position in the oven, this will allow it to be in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 275 F, and remove the packaging from the meat.
  2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat and saute the onion until soft while stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic cloves and saute for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Transfer the onion and garlic to the roasting pan and add the fresh thyme sprigs and the bay leaf.
  3. Deglaze the skillet with 1/4 cup of unsalted chicken broth.  Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden turner or spoon.  Pour the liquid from the skillet into the roasting pan, then pour the rest of the chicken broth into the roasting pan.
  4. Place the meat cut side down on top of the onion slices and cover tightly with foil.
  5. Cook at 275 F for 12 minutes a pound or until a meat thermometer reads 125 - 140 F.  A 10 pound spiral ham would take roughly 2 hours.  Uncover the ham during the last 30 minutes.
  6. Remove it from the oven and tent with foil.  Let the ham rest for 20 minutes so the juices can redistribute.
  7. Remove the sliced onion and garlic cloves from the roasting pan and place in a serving bowl.  Pour the pan juices in a bowl and skim the fat off.  Use the pan juices to baste the sliced ham after it has rested.
  8. If desired, make a gravy with the pan juices.  Pour 2 cups of the pan juices into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Gradually whisk in a flour slurry.  Stir in some savory spices like black pepper to taste.  Cook until thicken, roughly 2 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in a pat of unsalted butter.  Remember, if you made your ham with a glaze, your gravy will taste more sweet and tangy.
  9. Serve the meat with the cooked onions and garlic cloves, spiced applesauce, a homemade mustard sauce, or gravy.


  • Use bone-in ham instead of boneless for more flavor.
  • Let the ham stand at room temperature for 1 hour to increase the internal temperature.  This will cut down on baking time.
  • Three ideas for more moisture in your ham.  Add 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth to the roasting pan, place a shallow pan with water on the oven rack, or use an oven bag.
  • Insert the meat thermometer the thickest part of the meat.  Go for a reading of 125-140 F.
  • The internal temperature will continue to rise 5 to 15 degrees, and the juices will redistribute if you tent it with foil.  Continue to let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to cook, best baked ham

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