A Miniguide To Buying Holiday Ham


A tender ham is one of the ruling highlights of a holiday feast, and rightly so. It’s a quick and easy dish that doesn’t need any cooking, and most importantly, it serves the crowd. But as there is not much cooking involved, all the focus is diverted towards choosing. How do you pick the right type of ham? Where do you buy it from? And what are the things you look for when buying ham?

We get ham from the back leg of the animal, and it has three main types depending on the treatment. Fresh ham refers to the uncured leg of the pork. It needs to be cooked before consuming and has a taste and texture similar to that of an uncooked port roast. Moycullen Meats is a renowned family-run business that can get you cooked hams delivered to your doorstep.

The second type is the cured ham. A pork leg can be cured in two different ways – cued with a dry rub or brined. These hams are pink or deep rose in color and may require some cooking but are also available as ready-to-eat varieties. Remember to check the label for cooking instructions if the ham needs cooking. Thirdly we have the cured and smoked ham. These are pretty much the same as the cured ham except for the additional step of smoking.

Fresh hams are not readily available and are not served during the holiday season. Cured and smoked hams are further divided into two categories – country hams and city hams. Country hams are treated with a dry rub, suspended to dry, and sold uncooked. City hams, on the other hand, are cured, occasionally smoked, and are sold completely cooked. They often come pre-sliced and can be consumed cold. They are mildly flavored and have a moist texture.  

As most of the hams that are consumed and sold around the holiday season are city hams, there are some things to consider when buying the best city hams. You can now easily get cooked hams delivered to your doorstep. If you plan on serving the city ham for the main course, you require around half a pound per individual for bone-in hams. If you are using boneless ham, you will need about a quarter on one-third of a pound per individual.

When buying the ham, make sure you read the label carefully. City hams can be synthetically injected with solutions or water, which can dilute the rick and authentic flavor of the ham. Thus, look for varieties that are not artificially plumped. Make sure that you pick a reliable online vendor so that you get top-quality ham.

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