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cocoa'smom
11-21-2008, 02:58 PM
Being raised Jewish, we never had ham cooked at home. We didn't keep kosher, but it was just something my mother never cooked. I'm having a baby shower for about 35 people the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was going to get a Honeybaked Ham, but they are SO expensive. I saw the grocery stores had spiral-sliced hams on sale and was thinking of getting one of those. But, I don't know I'm supposed to do with it once I get it! If I buy it before Thanksgiving while they're on sale, can I freeze it? Or does it keep for a few days in the refrigerator? And, are they raw or already cooked? I'm a complete novice! Also...Kroger has them on sale for $1.99 a pound and their Kroger Private Selection for $2.49 a pound. Publix is advertising theirs on sale for $4.99 a pound. What do you think the difference is other than price? Has anyone had the spiral sliced hams from Kroger? Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions!

sneezles
11-21-2008, 03:19 PM
A spiral sliced ham is already cooked and ready to serve. Most come with a packet of glaze that you can put on and heat the ham. I prefer my ham cold/room temperature so I never heat it but the package will have directions for doing it in the oven. If you buy it now it will keep for at least a week (it will have either a use by or freeze by date).

The price difference may be due to cut of the ham...

sneezles
11-21-2008, 03:23 PM
Here's a page to read:

Ham Shopping Guide (http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--742/ham-shopping-guide.asp)


BTA: I've been reading that info and I guess hams do come uncooked (Not referring to fresh ham either). So you do need to read the label.

cocoa'smom
11-22-2008, 08:57 AM
Does anyone subscribe to cooksillustrated.com that could check this article for me? I'd like to find out the results of their taste test and also their recipe for Glazed Spiral Slice Ham. Thanks!

sneezles
11-22-2008, 09:47 AM
Does anyone subscribe to cooksillustrated.com that could check this article for me? I'd like to find out the results of their taste test and also their recipe for Glazed Spiral Slice Ham. Thanks!



You might want to drop the link from your post or print the article before CI's snoops get it removed from this BB...


Spiral-Sliced Hams

Published November 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

Clean, meaty flavor and tender texture win out.
list of products tested

* Carando Honey-Cured Spiral Sliced Ham
* Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Bone-In Honey Ham
* Hillshire Farm Bone-In Brown Sugar Cured Ham (Spiral-Sliced Ham)

A well-stocked supermarket can offer as many as a dozen different kinds of ham to choose from, not to mention the many different brands out there. It made perfect sense to sort matters out. Because there are so many kinds of supermarket ham to choose from, the editors at Cook's agreed that an initial blind tasting that compared different types of hams would be more useful than just rating various brands. To understand how supermarket hams can differ, you need to know just what constitutes a ham, how it is made, and how differences in processing translate into differences in labels.

Starting with the elementary, a ham is, by definition, a pig's hind leg that typically has been cured and/or smoked for preservation and flavor. Curing, one of the oldest forms of meat preservation, was originally done by rubbing salt into the meat or packing the meat in barrels of salt. Eventually, it was discovered that curing with a brine—a solution of water, sugar, and salt-was faster and made for a more flavorful product. Nowadays supermarket hams are simply injected with a brine solution that is often used more for flavor than preservation (nitrites are added for preserving) and can even include smoke flavor, thus replacing another traditional step in the ham-making process. Almost all supermarket hams are sold fully cooked and are so labeled.

A whole ham tends to be massive—weighing about 15 pounds. So, for manageability, hams are increasingly cut in half and sold in two pieces, the butt and the shank. Whether half or whole, though, the differences in supermarket hams come down to what bones, if any, have been removed and how much water, if any, has been added.

Of course hams can be sold with the bone left in. There are also semiboned hams, in which the aitchbone (pronounced H-bone), a bone from the pelvis, and the knuckle are removed for easier carving, leaving only the round leg bone. For easier carving yet, ham manufacturers came up with boneless hams, which are sold in cylindrical loaf shapes of various sizes.

All of these forms of ham vary in terms of the amount of water added during the curing process. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if the finished product -- after curing, smoking, and/or cooking -- exceeds the original weight of the ham, known as the green weight, it must be labeled in accordance with the amount of water that has been added:
• A ham that has no added water is labeled just plain "ham." While some manufacturers still make these hams, they can be very hard to find in supermarkets, particularly at times other than the holidays.
• "Ham with natural juices" (as the label would state) has 7 to 8 percent water added.
• Ham—"water added"— has 12 to 15 percent water added
• Ham and Water Product" contains more than 15 percent added water. The more water a ham contains, the less expensive it is per pound. The flip side is that you can end up paying for more than a pound of water when buying a seven-pound "ham and water product."

The tasting results for our first test were almost predictable: more bone and less water seemed to make for the tastiest hams. The reason why the hams with natural juices were preferred to those with water added—or with so much water added that the ham is called a "water product"— seemed readily apparent. The more water, the more diluted the ham flavor and the more chemical and "off" the hams tended to taste.

Hams do not naturally hold water. The two proteins that make up the muscles of a ham, actin and myosin, bind together to form a complex protein known as actomyosin. Actomyosin is not water-soluble, but it is salt-soluble. Thus ham manufacturers must inject sodium phosphate into supermarket hams to enable the muscles to retain water. The advantage of this treatment can be that a ham does not end up completely dehydrated after processing. The disadvantage, however, is that the ham can be so pumped up with water that it takes on an unpalatably damp, spongy texture and a watered-down flavor. This was the case with all of the "water product" hams and, to a lesser degree, the "ham" water added" products.

The other key finding was that hams seem to be better off when the bone is left in. While there is all sorts of speculation as to why keeping the bone contributes to flavor, the reasons for this have not been scientifically ascertained. But maybe the problem is with boneless hams. As convenient as it might be to carve a boneless ham, the downside is that boneless hams must be subjected to a lot of processing so that the loose pieces of meat pulled from the bone will hold together. Some boneless hams consist of large pieces of muscle that are sectioned and formed.

Boneless hams can also consist of ground meat that is injected with salt so that the proteins dissolve and then coagulate and bind together while being tumbled and kneaded into a ham form. This inevitably changes the original texture of the meat. In accordance, our tasters' biggest quibble with the boneless hams, as well as the semiboned, was that they lacked the texture of "real" ham. At best, it was reminiscent of Canadian bacon. "Compressed" and "processed" were also common terms of complaint.

When all was said and done, it was the spiral-sliced ham with natural juices that stood out as the best ham to buy. It is neither overly pumped up with water nor packed into a cylindrical loaf shape. And for the test kitchen staff, who had to carve all of the hams before the tasting, it was hands-down the most convenient of the bone-in hams.

Taste Test, Part 2

At their best, spiral-sliced hams balance sweet, smoky, and salty flavors with a firm, moist texture. Assuming you buy the same cut, does brand matter? To find out, we prepared three nationally available brands of honey- or brown sugar-cured hams.

Tasters' preferences approached unanimity. Falling hard to the bottom, the losing ham lost points on two accounts: Tasters described the meat as "utterly devoid of smoke flavor" and "spongy and cottony," and no one liked the "sweet, gummy" glaze applied at the factory. The second thickly sliced contestant earned high marks for its "deep, smoky flavor," but tasters criticized the meat as "too wet" and "too sweet." Nearly every taster, however praised the "nice balance of smoke and salt" and "genuine ham flavor" in our winner.

Gilgamesh37
11-22-2008, 10:17 AM
This calls for an unsliced, bone in smoked ham, but you could use the glaze on a spiral sliced. I usually just buy the cheapest smoked ham I can find for this because it's the glaze that makes it--it can be a pain in the butt to carve, though; fortunately, the last time I made it for a party, one of the guys loved it so much he offered to carve (just so he could nibble slices as he went!) I usually halve the jezebel sauce because it makes a lot.
And I agree, a ham should keep in your fridge for at least a week (unopened)


MONTE'S HAM

One 15 lb. smoked ham, on the bone
For Glaze: 1-1/2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup dijon mustard
1 ˝ cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 rounded Tbl. whole cloves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim tough skin and excess fat from ham. Put ham in a large roasting pan and score, making crosshatch incisions over it with a sharp knife. Roast
for 2 hours. Remove ham from oven and increase heat to 350 degrees F. Combine orange marmalade, mustard and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stud ham with cloves, inserting
one at the intersection of each hatch, then brush entire surface of ham generously with glaze and
return to oven. Cook ham another 1 ˝ hours, brushing with at least 3 times. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.

JEZEBEL SAUCE

1 jar (18 oz) pineapple preserves
1 jar (18 oz) apple jelly
˝ cup horseradish
3 Tbl dry mustard
1 Tbl cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill.

Tizzylish
11-22-2008, 10:22 AM
I like CL's Fire and Spice Ham and Dave Libermans Dijon Maple Glazed Ham. For a baby shower I would go with the Dijon Glazed.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Dijon Maple Glazed Spiral Ham

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 store bought bone-in spiral ham -- (9-pound)
3/4 cup water
For the glaze:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg



Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place ham in a roasting pan and pour about 3/4 cup water into the bottom of pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until heated through, soft and tender.

Make the glaze:
Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan until smooth and heat over medium-low to medium heat until simmering. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat.

When ham is heated through, remove the aluminum foil, and pour or brush the glaze over the top to cover completely. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Return the ham to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until glaze is caramelized and bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with desired fixings:

Optional fixings for ham:
Pumpernickel bread
Assorted mustards
Pickled shallots
Cornichons
Assorted cheeses

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman
Show: Good Deal with Dave Lieberman
Episode: Holiday Cocktail Party

cocoa'smom
11-22-2008, 02:30 PM
You might want to drop the link from your post or print the article before CI's snoops get it removed from this BB...


Spiral-Sliced Hams

Published November 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

Clean, meaty flavor and tender texture win out.
list of products tested

* Carando Honey-Cured Spiral Sliced Ham
* Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Bone-In Honey Ham
* Hillshire Farm Bone-In Brown Sugar Cured Ham (Spiral-Sliced Ham)

.

Thanks for posting that, Sneezles. I'll remove the link as soon as I figure out how to go back and edit my post. I ended up getting a butt end spiral sliced ham in natural juices from Kroger. Just curious - which of the 3 was the winner? I didn't see it in the article. And Tizzylish - that glaze sounds great. I think I use that rather than the glaze that comes with the ham.

sneezles
11-22-2008, 02:40 PM
Just curious - which of the 3 was the winner? I didn't see it in the article.

Sorry, I hadn't actually read the article. These are the 3 they tested:


* Carando Honey-Cured Spiral Sliced Ham
* Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Bone-In Honey Ham
* Hillshire Farm Bone-In Brown Sugar Cured Ham (Spiral-Sliced Ham)

The Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Bone-In Honey Ham was the tester's choice. I've never heard of it or the other brand, Carando (it failed miserably) and I've never seen a Hillshire spiral sliced. We are fortunate that we receive a Honey Baked every year as a gift.