How to Boil a Ham Pork Shoulder

Written by adam woods
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How to Boil a Ham Pork Shoulder
Ham boiled on the bone holds together well. (ham image by Zbigniew Nowak from

A cut of pork that technically comes from the thigh, ham is often pickled in brine then dried and smoked. The same method of preparation can be used with a pork shoulder. Boiling ham retains the flavour from the curing process and reduces shrinkage of the meat.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large pot with lid
  • 4 pints apple juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Ladle
  • Temperature probe
  • Chef's knife

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  1. 1

    Place the ham in a large pot so it fits snug against the sides of the pot.

  2. 2

    Cover the ham with the apple juice, topping off with water until completely submersed.

  3. 3

    Add the bay leaves and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.

  4. 4

    Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Skim off any foam that develops with the ladle.

  5. 5

    Cover the pot tightly with a lid and allow it to simmer for 25 minutes per pound of meat.

  6. 6

    Check the ham with a temperature probe; it's done when it reaches a core temperature of 71.1 degrees Celsius or the meat falls off the bone.

  7. 7

    Put the lid back on the pot and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid for several hours or until it reaches room temperature.

  8. 8

    Remove the ham from the liquid and cut away the rind and some of the fat. Keep about 2 inches of fat to enhance the flavour of the meat.

Tips and warnings

  • Look for a plump joint with a reasonably thick layer of fat beneath the rind. It is best cooked on the bone for maximum flavour.
  • Wedge the ham in the pot so it cannot float during cooking.

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