Cooking a ham

How to

Cook a ham

Lévesque reveals all the tips and tricks to cook a ham to perfection and to get tender and juicy meat.
Cooking ham buttock (bone-in or boneless)
¯¯¯¯¯

These few basic principles to cook a ham (bone-in or boneless) will help you master any ham recipe.

 

In the Oven

 

  • Desalting : None
  • Oven temperature : 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time : Allow about 45 min/kg or 20 min/lbs
  • Internal temperature : Once cooked, the meat should reach 160ºF or 75ºC

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package and net. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Leave bone and rind during cooking (they will be easier to remove afterwards);

3. Place the ham in a roasting pan or a large ovenproof pan, rind side up;

4. Add the desired broth and ingredients.

→ For a juicy ham, cover completely with your favorite broth and ingredients. Put the lid on your pan for cooking.

For a braised or lacquered ham, pour 2 to 3 cups of your favorite broth into the pan, add your favorite ingredients and put the lid on for cooking. Remove the lid for the last hour of cooking, baste regularly with pan juices.

 

On the Stove

 

  • Desalting : None
  • Oven temperature : 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time : Allow about 45 min/kg or 20 min/lbs
  • Internal temperature : Once cooked, the meat should reach 160ºF or 75ºC

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package and twine. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Leave bone and rind during cooking (they will be easier to remove afterwards);

3. Place the ham in a roasting pan or a large ovenproof pan, rind side up;

4. Cover completely with your favorite broth and ingredients;

5. Close the lid of the pan for during cooking.

 

Slow cooking

*Favor a smallwe ham like half or quarter buttocks, depending on the size of your crockpot.

  • Desalting : None
  • Oven temperature : 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time : Allow about 45 min/kg or 20 min/lbs
  • Internal temperature : Once cooked, the meat should reach 160ºF or 75ºC

Preparation : 

1. Remove ham from package and remove twine. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Leave bone and rind during cooking (they will be easier to remove afterwards);

3. Place the ham in the crockpot, rind side up;

4. Cover with broth up to 1 inch from the edge and add your favorite ingredients.

 

 

 

Cooking Shoulder Ham Picnic
¯¯¯¯¯

These few basic principles of cooking butt ham (boneless or boneless) will help you master any ham recipe.

 

In the Oven

 

  • Desalting: Optional
  • Oven temperature: 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time: Allow about 45 min/kg or 20 min/lbs, or until the meat falkes easily with a fork
  • Internal temperature: Once cooked, the meat should reach 160ºF or 75ºC

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package and twine. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Leave the rind, bone and fat for cooking (they will be easier to remove afterwards);

3. Score the rind using a sharp knife;

4. Place ham in a roasting pan or a large ovenproof pan, rind side up;

5. Add the desired broth and ingredients.

→ For a juicy ham, cover completely with your favorite broth and ingredients. Put the lid on your pan for cooking. If your ham is not fully covered with broth, turn it over halfway through cooking.

→ For a braised or lacquered ham, pour 2 to 3 cups of the desired broth, add your favorite ingredients. Cover with lid and remove it for the last hour of cooking, baste regularly with cooking juices. You can also cook your ham uncovered. However, take care to baste it every 15 to 20 minutes with the cooking juices.

 

Slow Cooking

 

*Choose the size of the picnic ham according to the capacity of your slow cooker, or choose the half picnic format.

 

  • Desalting : If desired, but optional.
  • Temperature: Low
  • Cooking time: 8 to 10 hours, or until the meat flakes easily with a fork
  • Internal temperature: When cooked, the meat should reach 160ºF or 75ºC

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package and twine. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Leave the rind, bone and fat for cooking (they will be easier to remove afterwards);

3. Score the rind using a sharp knife;

4. Place ham in the slow cooker, rind side up;

5. Pour the broth and your favourite ingredients.

→ For a juicy ham, cover completely the desired broth. If your ham is not completely covered with liquid, you can turn it over halfway through cooking.

→ For a braised ham, pour 1 to 2 cups of the desired broth, add your favorite ingredients and baste regularly with water.

Cooking Toupie Ham

¯¯¯¯¯

You should know that toupie ham is already cooked and ready to eat. However, some people prefer to cook it again, either by simmering it or by cooking a delicious glazed ham.

Simmered Toupie Ham

  • Desalting: None
  • Temperature : Simmer over medium-low heat, either 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time : About 1 hour, allow 1.5 hour if it is a large toupie ham

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Place ham in a large saucepan or stock pot;

3. Cover with desired broth and your favorite ingredients;

4. Simmer for about 1 hour;

5. Remove from pan and let stand for few minutes before carving. Serve warm.

*Tips : Keep the cooking juices to cook potatoes, baked beans, or even to prepare a delicious soup!

Glazed Toupie Ham

  • Desalting: None
  • Temperature : Simmer over medium-low heat, either 325ºF or 160ºC
  • Cooking time : About 1 hour, allow 1.5 hour if it is a large toupie ham

Preparation :

1. Remove ham from package. Remove any other packing materials that might be included;

2. Place ham in a roasting pan or large ovenproof pan;

3. Add 2 to 4 cups of broth and the desired ingredients;

4. Prepare the glaze in a separate bowl : Mix 1½ cup of maple syrup or honey, 2 tsp. of brown sugar and 3 tbsp. of melted butter;

5. Place ham in oven and brizzle regurlarly with glaze during cooking;

6. Once cooked, bring the cooking juices to a boil over low heat for a few minutes and cook until reduced. Serve sauce with the ham

* Before putting in the oven, you can simmer the ham for 1 hour in a flavored broth of your choice to impregnate it with flavors. However, this step is optional.

Simmered, braised or lacquered?
¯¯¯¯¯

Find out which cooking method is best for each type of ham.

Simmered Ham

  • Level : easy
  • Buttock ham (also for Picnic ham and Toupie ham)

For a juicy ham, this is THE BEST cooking method to favor. It can be used to cook bone-in or boneless buttock ham, picnic shoulder ham and even toupie ham. This method is simple and require simple cooking skills. First, completely cover the ham with broth and simmer in oven, stove or slow cooker (if yours is large enough). Be careful not to confuse this cooking mode with the desalting step.

Braised ham (or roasted ham)

  • Level : Easy to medium
  • Picnic ham

Braised ham is a cooking method that allows the ham to soak up all the delicious flavors of your favorite ingredients. A few culinary skills are required during cooking, but it remains a simple cooking method ideal for picnic shoulder ham. First, place ham in a large saucepan, add flavored broth about one third the height of the ham and place in oven. Generously baste with  cooking juices every 15 minutes. Don’t forget to baste ham, otherwise beware of dry ham!

Glazed Ham

  • Level : easy to medium
  • Toupie Ham (suitable for Butt Ham and Picnic Ham)

Glazing consists in browning it in the oven by drizzeling it regularly with glaze during cooking. This method is ideal for toupie ham since it is already cooked and ready to eat. Just place ham side up in a large ovenproof pan, pour 2 to 4 cups of flavored broth. Then bake for about 1 hour and drizzle ham regularly with a glaze (mixture of maple syrup or honey, sugar and butter).

It is also possible to glaze a buttock ham or a picnic ham. Follow the braised ham cooking instructions and wait until the last hour of cooking to drizzle with the glaze. For simmered ham, you could complete its cooking in the oven to glaze it. However, this step may dry out your ham a little.

Should I desalt a ham?

¯¯¯¯¯

Desalting ham is OPTIONAL.

Desalting is used to reduce the salty taste of a ham before cooking it. However, it is not mendatory. Some people cook it as is or quickly rinse the ham under the tap, and others prefer to desalt it. It’s simply a matter of taste!

Lévesque ham does not need to be desalted and is ready to cook. Its unique traditional taste lies in our well-balanced brine which allows uniform salting in order to soften the meat and enhance its flavors.

 

There are two techniques for desalting your ham.

Cold water desalting  (∼ 8h)

• Place the ham in a large container and cover with cold water. Make sure the ham is fully covered by water, otherwise desalting will be uneven;

• Let stand in the fridge for 8 hours;

• Discard the water and cook ham following your favorite recipe. For ideas, see our recipe section.

 

Hot water desalting  (20 to 45 minutes)

• Remove ham from twine. You forgot to remove it? Don’t panic, some people prefer to leave it. However, as it may stick to the ham while cooking, you may have a little trouble removing it later.

• Place ham in a large saucepan and fully cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, then discard the water. (Repeat this step a second time if necessary)

• Once desalted, cook ham following your favorite recipe. For ideas, see our recipe section.

 

Oven, stove or slow cooker?
¯¯¯¯¯

 

Cooking a ham is simple and easy! If you are cooking your first ham, choose the method that best suits your needs. To enlighten you, here are some answers to your questions to help you find the best cooking method for you.

Which ham are you cooking?

 

The buttock ham will be tastier and juicier if fully covered in broth during cooking. Favor a dish or pan have with a lid and make sure it is large enough to fully cover your ham with water. Picnic ham and toupie ham can be cooked in a large ovenproof pan, but the lid is not necessary.

How many people do you plan to feed?

 

Are you cooking for Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving and are you expecting several guests? First of all make sure you have enough meat! You should plan about 150g to 200g per adult for a regular portion and up to 250g for large appetites. If you cook a bone-in ham, do not forget to take it into account and plan portions rather between 150g to 250g per guest for regular portions.

* And since we are note expecting guests every day, Lévesque hams are also available in various sizes (whole, half or quarter) that will better meet your needs.

Which kitchen tools do you need?

 

Define the kitchen equipment you have on hand. If you have a large cooking pot, you can cook your ham on the stove or in the oven. If you have a large pan or roasting pan, roasting will be ideal. If your biggest container is your slow cooker, your ham will be just as tasteful. The cooking appliance used will not change the taste. It is rather the way of preparing your ham that is essential, by choosing the right flavors and by regularly basting during cooking.

How much time do you have?

 

A ham takes a few hours to cook, depending on its weight. The larger the ham, the longer it will take to cook. Allow a cooking time of about 45 min/kg or 20 min/lbs for the buttock ham as well as the picnic ham. For the toupie ham, plan about 60 to 90 minutes. If you plan on desalting your ham before cooking, allow about 1 hour for desalting in hot water or 8 hours for desalting in cold water.

Remember, cooking a ham is something very easy to do. Why so many ways ways to cook it then? Because it is a very simple and versatile dish, the method of cooking has adapted over time. We tell you! It doesn’t take much to cook a tasteful ham.

Can I freeze ham?
¯¯¯¯¯

ABSOLUTELY!

Ham can be frozen once cooked and may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. To maintain its freshness, avoid waiting until the expiration date before freezing your ham.

The fridge freezer is ideal for short-term freezing, If you’re planing on using your ham leftovers quickly after cooking. However, if you plan to stock sufficient supplies of ham, we recommend to freeze your leftovers in a freezer whose temperature reaches -18ºC. Before freezing your ham, make sure to place it in an airtight container, a freezer bag or preferably, a vacuum-pack.

When defrosting, it is completely normal for your ham to lose some of its water. This is why we recommend defrosting it in the fridge before using it to prevent your ham from releasing this water in your recipes.

 

TIP

Before freezing your ham leftovers, dice or slice them and separate into small portions. This way, you can easily defrost the amount needed for your recipe, in addition to saving space in your freezer.

Remove the rind before or after?
¯¯¯¯¯

REMOVE THE RIND AFTER COOKING.

Some recipes may suggest to remove the rind before cooking. However, at Salaison Lévesque, we can assure you that the rind is the secret and ESSENTIAL ingredient for a tasteful, tender and juicy ham!

Before cooking, score the rind of the ham using a sharp knife knife and crosscut again. This will allow the rind to reduce and release its aromas to permeate the meat. The rind will also come off more easily after cooking. Be sure to keep it and serve as a side dish with the ham. A pure delicacy!

Note that we also offer a range of rindless hams.

Which aromas to favor?
¯¯¯¯¯

The secret of the best ham cooking juice lies in the ingredients chosen!

For a tasty cooking juice, make sure that your cooking juice has these 3 elements : a sweet liquid, an acidic liquid, fruit or vegetable aromas, herbs and spices. With these three elements, you will cook delicious hams and the only limit will be your imagination. Test, taste and invent your own recipe!

Here are some examples of the aromas that match wonderfully with ham. Be careful, the aromas bellow do not all go well together.

Flavours to prioritize
Liquids
Sweet water (Syrup, Honey)
Beer
Cider and must
Orange Juice
Fruit Juice
White Wine
Chicken or Vegetables Broth
Syrups & sugars
Maple Syrup
Honey
Brown sugar
Molasse
Jams & Jellies
Dry Fruits
Apricots
Grapes
Cranberries
Fresh Fruits
Apricots
Citrus
Pineapple
Cranberries
Cherries
Pears
Apples
Vegetables
Garlic
Onions
Celery
Fenel
Spices & Herbs
Anise
Cinnamon
Cardamom
Cumin
Clove
Bay leaves
Ginger
Mustard
Oregano
Paprika
Chili peppers
Allspice
Peppercorn
Rosemary
Savoury
Sage
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
Thyme

Five-spice

 

What to do with the cooking juices?
¯¯¯¯¯

The cooking juices* can be stored and incorporated into many recipes. Indeed, it is an excellent basic broth, just like chicken, beef or vegetable broths. However, always be sure to taste your ham broth before adding it to other recipes. Fruits, syrups and sugar are perfect for enhancing the taste of ham, but will give a sweeter taste to your broth.

 

Soupe bas

Ham cooking juices will give a perfect aroma to a pea soup or even a vegetable soup. Add small pieces of ham and voila!

Boiled potatoes

Accompany your ham with delicious boiled or mashed potatoes. When your ham is ready, use the cooking juices to boil your potatoesfor a  delicious smoky taste!

Baked Beans

After soaking, cook your beans in the cooking juices so that they soak up the flavors of the ham. For this recipe, maple flavored cooking juice would be perfect!

 

* It is better to use the cooking juice, not the water used to desalt the ham. Desalting water may be very salty and will be less tasty.

What is ham shelf life?

¯¯¯¯¯

Refer to the date written on the packaging. *** ATTENTION : Note that the expiration date is no longer valid once the packaging is opened.

Fridge

Conservation : 2 to 7 days 

Once packaging is opened, the ham can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Place ham leftovers in an airtight dish. Avoid mixing with other food or dish as this may affect its shelf life.

Freezer

Conservation : Up to 2 months

Put in a freezer whose temperature can reach -18 ° C. The fridge freezer may be suitable if you plan on using your leftovers right away.

We recommend vacuum packaging before freezing your ham leftovers. A freezer bag can also do the trick, if you remove as much air as possible before sealing.

When defrosting, you ham is likely to lose some of its water. It is totaly normal. Therefore, we recommend defrosting ham in the fridge before using it. This way you will avoid excess water to strain into your recipes making them too liquid.

Division of
Adress

500 rue Beaumont

Montréal, Qc

Canada H3N 1T7

 

Customer Service

514 273-1702

1 877 539-1702

ventes@salaisonlevesque.com

Follow Us
Adress

500 rue Beaumont

Montréal, Qc

Canada H3N 1T7

 

Follow Us
Division of
Division of
Adress

500 rue Beaumont

Montréal, Qc

Canada H3N 1T7

 

Follow Us
Adress

500 rue Beaumont

Montréal, Qc

Canada H3N 1T7