Tips for making a tasty Easter ham

Around Easter time, many people make ham for their holiday gatherings. Not only is getting the timing right for cooking the meat important, but what you put on the outside of it can also really add some great flavor. Here are some tips for making a tasty holiday ham:

Lose the can
Prepackaged meat is doesn't offer the best flavor. Avoid purchasing ham that comes in a can or plastic packaging. Instead, go to your local butcher or the deli counter at the grocery store. You may need to reserve the ham a few days or even a week in advance in order to be sure you get one during the Easter rush. Smoked ham is super tasty and adds some extra taste to your recipe. Chose bone-in or out, depending on whether you want to use the bone and marrow for other culinary academy endeavors. 

Use foil
Place your ham cut-side-down in the pan. Use aluminum foil to make a tent in order to keep the moisture in. Dry ham is one of the unfortunate mishaps that can happen while preparing an Easter meal. Show your guests that you've been working hard on earning your culinary certificates and know what you're doing by cooking the ham to the perfect moisture level. If you are using a ham glaze, be sure to remove the foil before applying the glaze and do not put it back on afterward. In order for the glaze to really penetrate the meat and get a little caramelized texture, you'll need to have it directly exposed to the oven heat. It's not fun to pick off tinfoil bits from the glaze if you accidentally replace the tin foil. Leave it off for best results. 

Buy more than you need
You know what's great about Easter? Family and friends gathering together to eat. You can estimate how many people will attend your get-together but you never know when an extra person or two might show up. Plus, who doesn't like leftovers? Ham can keep for up to a week and is great as an addition to soup and in sandwiches, so be sure to order more meat than you think you'll need. If you have a bone-in ham, figure about 3/4 a pound per person. If you are making a boneless ham, you can add up 1/4 pound per person. These are typical servings, so be sure to account for individuals who may want more than an average amount. If you make a super good ham, everyone may want extra!

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