How to cook a half shank smoked ham

Written by maryelser kinmore
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How to cook a half shank smoked ham
A ham shank is leaner and sweeter than most hams. (ham end image by Kathy Burns from

The shank half of a smoked ham is cut close to the hock. This part of the hog is leaner, which may make it a little less juicy than other pieces of ham but more sweet. Since it's not as big as a whole ham, it works well for a small dinner. It's not hard to cook a smoked shank, even if it's your first time. For a simple and delicious meal, cook a half shank in the oven and watch it disappear from your family's plates.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shallow roasting pan
  • Heavy-duty aluminium foil
  • Half shank smoked ham
  • Sharp knife
  • Meat thermometer
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

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  1. 1

    Line a shallow roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminium foil. Next, unwrap your smoked half shank ham and allow it to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Place the rack on the lowest level of your oven and preheat the oven to 162 degrees C.

  2. 2

    Cut off the rind, the thick leathery skin you find on hams, leaving just a couple inches toward the small part of the ham. Trim the fat under the rind down to 1/2 inch from the ham. Next, insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the ham, not on a bone.

  3. 3

    Score the ham by making shallow cuts with a sharp knife across the surface. Cut lines going one way, then the other way so that you have a diamond or cross-hatch pattern. This allows glazes to seep into the meat and add flavour.

  4. 4

    Add 2 1/2 cups water to the baking pan and loosely cover the ham with aluminium foil. Place the pan in the oven. Let the smoked half shank cook for 25 to 30 minutes per pound.

  5. 5

    Combine the brown sugar, honey and orange juice in a pan. Heat at medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is lukewarm.

  6. 6

    Take the pan from the oven 1 hour before the estimated finished cooking time and remove the aluminium foil. Spread the honey glaze over the ham and put back in the oven, uncovered.

  7. 7

    Remove the pan from the oven when the thermometer reaches 65.5 to 68.3 degrees C. Meat continues to cook after being taken out of the oven, so the internal temperature will finish rising to the recommended temperature. Your half shank smoked ham is now ready to be served.

Tips and warnings

  • Store bought jam or honey can also be heated and used as the glaze.

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