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How to cook a raw ham shank

Updated July 20, 2017

A ham shank is the bottom part of a hog's leg. The shank meat cut comes as a portion, a half, or a whole shank. The portion shank will often have the centre steaks removed. The half or whole shank will have the centre steaks intact, as well as bone and skin. Before you begin to prepare a raw ham shank for cooking, record how much it weighs.

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  1. Calculate the thawing time needed by multiplying the weight of the ham by five hours. Place your ham shank into a refrigerator to thaw.

  2. Heat your oven to 162 degrees C after the ham is defrosted.

  3. Allow the defrosted ham to come to room temperature by setting it on the counter for one hour prior to cooking.

  4. Line the baking pan or roasting pan with foil. This is optional, but it makes cleaning up easier.

  5. Place the raw ham shank into the baking pan and add 1 to 2 cups of water.

  6. Cover the pan with foil and press it tightly around the edges to form a seal.

  7. Calculate the cooking time needed by multiplying each pound of the shank by 35 minutes.

  8. Place the pan in your preheated oven. Cook your ham for the amount of time you calculated using the 35 minutes per pound method.

  9. Verify that your ham shank is fully cooked by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature needs to reach 71.1 degrees C.

  10. Tip

    Don't baste your ham with its drippings as this will make the meat too salty. Thaw your ham in the refrigerator to reduce the risk of bacteria growth. If you choose to glaze your ham, do so during the last hour of cooking, and remove the foil before applying the glaze. Save the ham bone to use to make soup.


    Be careful when you remove the foil because hot steam will escape. Take care removing the pan from the oven so that you don't spill the hot drippings.

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Things You'll Need

  • 9-inch by 13-inch rectangle baking pan or large roasting pan
  • Aluminium foil
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • Meat thermometer

About the Author

Jina Oravetz has been writing since 2005 and has non-fiction work published in the "Arts Alliance of Yamhill County Quarterly." She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in communications arts. Oravetz has a variety of work experience including working in quality management and health insurance. She continues to study the craft of writing.

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