Buying a ham

by Robyn Wright on April 3, 2012

in Food

hamMany of us will be buying a ham this week for Easter this Sunday. At my grocer they are all in those long cooler areas and sometimes it is a bit confusing as to which one to select. I thought I would share some information I have found helpful when shopping for a ham.


  • Hams are generally fully cooked the way most of us buy them. What we are doing in the oven is heating them up and maybe adding some flavoring to them.
  • If your ham has netting or string on it – remove before glazing it. I learned this the hard way the first year I was married. I made a nice ham with a pineapple glaze but didn’t even think about the string. It was baked into – under the glaze – the ham and everyone had to pick it off as they ate – yikes!
  • Spiral-sliced hams are just a way they pre-slice a ham to make it pretty and easier. They are not sliced entirely though and you will still need to cut right up against the bone.
  • Country-style hams are really salty! Many in my family like them, but it is not my favorite. They are often smoked as well which adds another flavor element.
  • Bone-in hams are nice because after you eat the ham you have this wonderfully flavorful leftover part that you can use to make soups or stews. You can freeze the bone also if you do not want to make something right away with it.
  • You can keep your leftover ham in the fridge for about 4 days. After that, freeze it. Not everyone like to freeze ham slices, but many do not mind at all. If you are going to use it for casseroles and such cut it into cubes or strips before freezing.

You can find more tips on Pork Be Inspired. Make sure you enter my giveaway to win a free ham also! Do you eat ham for your Easter/Spring celebration? What kind do you get and how do you prepare it?

Disclosure: While I am working with the National Pork Board on another post, this was just extra information I wanted to share with my readers and is in no way compensated.

© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Wanda McHenry April 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm

We always slice up the ham and freeze in portions, I don’t see much of a difference. I freeze the ham gravy also and have a couple of ham dinners from that. And, yes, the ham bone is one of the best things to make soups or lima beans.

2 tannawings April 4, 2012 at 12:18 am

I buy ham throughout the year, we like it for sandwiches, in scalloped potatoes and the good old bean soup. One year for Easter though I bought a spiral ham thinking I would ‘get fancy’ – my suggestion with those are to watch it closely and baste or cover it while cooking- they can dry out super fast!

3 Jeannette Laframboise April 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Ham is my favorite for 2 reasons. It taste great and for Thanksgiving and Christmas I always have ham as well because I have a bad allergy to turkey…the kind of allergy that closes my throat and can kill me. Thanks goodness Easter is a traditional Ham dinner. I always make cheesy scalloped potatoes and asparagus for Easter dinner as well. Great tips on ham purchase and care! I will be sure to pass it on!

4 Betty Baez April 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Oh wow thanks for the warning about the string

5 nickie burke April 5, 2012 at 7:17 am

I usually make turkey for easter, but was going to try Ham this year. thanks for the info, because I didn’t know about the string.

6 Diana April 5, 2012 at 10:47 am

I don’t buy hams, but I like when someone buys the bone in ham and then I claim the bone for split pea or navy bean soup.

7 jkebeans April 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Ham and gravy with mashed potatoes…yum

8 Kathy April 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

The ham I got for Easter was really good

9 Eileen Richter April 13, 2012 at 1:27 am

So can anyone say how long a  cooked ham will last to use for leftovers? We have a 2nd fridge for our big family and with kids stuff all week I completely forGOT about the ham. So, ideas for leftovers?  Scalloped potatoes and ham, ham and cheese omelets, grilled ham and cheese sandwich, ham and bean soup, …anything else?

ejrichter60 at gmail dot com

10 Eileen Richter April 13, 2012 at 1:28 am

4 days doesnt seem like a very long shelf life for something that is cured. is it?

11 Robyn's Online World April 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm

That would be after you open up the sealed package for the ham that the shelf life goes down.

12 Robyn's Online World April 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Cut thick slices for ham steaks?

13 LAXDUDE May 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm


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