Ham is undeniably one of the most versatile meats out there. Depending on the recipe, you can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
It isn’t just a holiday meal centerpiece; you can prepare it in many ways, like roasting, frying, baking, or grilling. It pairs well with many sauces and side dishes, but it can be tricky to prepare a good meal with so many different types of ham available. In this ultimate guide to different ham varieties, you’ll learn where each type comes from and how it’s made.
Traditional ham from almost any grocery store is the most common type. It’s usually smoked and cured with salt and spices, making it perfect to pair with various side dishes.
You can find pre-sliced traditional hams for your convenience. When preparing traditional ham, follow the cooking instructions on the package. A good rule of thumb is to bake it at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15–20 minutes per pound.
The spiral ham is another popular type. This ham is pre-sliced in a spiral pattern around the bone, making it easy to serve and perfect for buffets or large gatherings.
Spiral hams are usually coated with a sweet glaze or honey mustard sauce, complementing the meat’s salty flavor. When cooking a spiral ham, score the top before glazing to allow the sauce to penetrate the meat thoroughly.
Prosciutto ham is ideal as a fancy appetizer or charcuterie board addition. This thin, dry-cured ham is typically served uncooked and sliced paper-thin. Prosciutto pairs well with melon, figs, or other sweet fruits, making it excellent for a summertime appetizer or quick snack.
Black Forest Ham
Black forest ham is a German meat made from selected pork cuts and smoked over pine, fir, or juniper wood for a unique flavor. The meat is seasoned with garlic, coriander, and pepper, giving it a rich, bold taste. You can serve black forest ham hot or cold; pair it with cheese or mustard for added flavor!
Honey ham is a sweet, mild variety, perfect for people who don’t enjoy salty meat. It is usually made with lean pork and sweetened with natural honey and spices before being smoked over hardwoods. It pairs well with roasted potatoes, mashed squash, or a fresh salad.
Honey ham has never gone away because it’s easy to customize and prepare. Glaze the ham with honey or a honey-mustard sauce and bake until heated—about 15 minutes per pound. This sweet treat makes an excellent main dish for any meal!
This ultimate guide to ham varieties shows that there is something out there for all meat lovers! From salty traditional hams to sweet honey hams, there’s no wrong choice when making a delicious meal. Don’t be afraid to try something new—the world of ham awaits!