Instructions for Cooking Spiral Ham

Updated February 21, 2017

Holidays dinners often feature ham as a main dish. The image of a big, juicy ham sitting on the table with the accompanying side dishes is a family memory with most people, as mothers and grandmothers alike have served ham at several special occasions. Spiral hams are fully cooked and presliced for convenience. Cooking one the correct way prevents the ham from drying out.


Spiral hams are available preglazed or plain.

Purchase a ham that's done in the style you prefer. For example, purchase glazed or unglazed hams that are large enough to feed your family or gathering.


Preheat the oven to 135 degrees C. You are only going to heat the spiral ham since it is fully cooked.

Remove the packaging from the ham, including the plastic cover over the bone in the middle of the ham.

Place the ham face down or flat side down in a shallow roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with aluminium foil, folding the foil tightly around the edges of the pan. The water will add moisture to the ham as it cooks to prevent drying.

Bake the ham according to size. For hams that are less than 2.27kg., cook 1 hour. A 2.27kg. to 4.08kg. ham needs to cook 2 hours, whereas hams larger than 4.08kg. need to bake 3 hours. Do not overcook the ham, as it will be dry and tough if you overcook it.

Remove your heated ham from the oven and allow it to rest 20 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to permeate back into the ham. If you intend to glaze your own ham, remove it from the oven 10 minutes prior to the completed cooking time and brush the glaze completely over the ham. Leave the ham uncovered and increase the heat to 350. Cook the remaining 10 minutes and then remove the ham. Once again, allow the ham to rest 20 minutes before serving.

Glaze Recipes

Prepare a ham glaze by mixing 1/4 cup orange marmalade, 1 cup apricot preserves, 2 tbsp orange juice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix the glaze until it is smooth and pour it over the ham. Reserve any remaining glaze and heat it to serve during dinner for those who desire more sauce. You could also heat 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3 tbsp mustard for a sweet and tart glaze.

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Cathy Conrad has more than five years of newsprint experience as an assistant editor and is a professional writer. She has worked as a virtual assistant and email support specialist, and has more than 20 years of experience working in the medical field. Conrad is currently licensed as a Texas insurance representative and has many years in home improvement and gardening.