What Is Corned Ham

Have you been wanting to make corned ham at home but are too afraid to try? 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the corning process and how to make your corned ham at home for your next holiday feast!

What Is Corned Ham 

Corned hams are just fresh hams that go through a process known as corning. This process entails them getting salt-cured over days.

Salt and other preservatives that give it color and flavor, such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, are rubbed onto the surface and the ham is put under refrigeration.

The collected juices are poured off and more salt is added to the ham every few days. At the end of the curing process, the salt is removed as much as possible and the ham is baked in the oven.

Which Ham To Use? 

Always ask your butcher for fresh ham when attempting to make corned ham. 

Most supermarkets mainly sell frozen, ready-to-eat hams nowadays, which are tough no matter how much they are thawed before preparing. 

Corning Process 

Start by rinsing and drying the ham. 

Next, use a sharp boning knife to make a three to four-inch deep incision at each place where the bone protrudes from the meat. This is usually at each end of the ham and one place near the side, on the hip end. 

Pack as much salt as possible into each of these incisions and lightly cover the outside of the ham with a thin layer of salt.

Lastly, cover the ham in a non-reactive pan with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Refrigerate the ham and cure it for about 11 days. 

Remember to turn the ham every 1-2 days, rub it with salt, and pour off any juice it has produced as it cures. 

Prefer a smoked ham? I have a delicious smoked ham recipe here.


Cooking Corned Ham 

Step 1 

After the corning process, start by washing the corned ham under cold, running water to flush the salt out of the pockets that you cut and remove all the salt from the surface of the ham. 

Be sure to thoroughly rinse out all of the crevices where any salt might be lingering.

Step 2 

Submerge the ham in fresh, cold water in a food-safe container and refrigerate it overnight. 

Step 3 

The next day, dry the ham and put it on a rack in a roasting pan. Make sure to add a little water to the bottom of the pan. 

Preheat your oven to 325° when you are ready to cook. 

Step 4 

Cover the ham with a lid or foil for the first two-thirds of the cooking time.

Proceed to cook the ham at 325°F, at 20 minutes per pound of ham. 

Uncover the ham for the last part of the cooking process and turn the oven up to 350°F. This will allow the ham to brown nicely. 

Step 5 

Test if the ham is done by checking the internal temperature of the meat using an instant-read thermometer.

The ham is safe to eat once its internal temperature reaches 160°F. 

After Cooking Corned Ham

Once done, a boning knife will easily pass through the thickest part of the meat. 

Let the ham rest a little before carving and serving. 

Any drippings during the cooking process can make a delicious and salty gravy for mashed potatoes. 

Tips For Cooking Corned Ham 

Tip 1: 

You may want to baste your ham occasionally with pan juices or create your own to keep the ham juicy and moist. 

An easy baste to use is a mixture of pineapple juice and brown sugar. 

Tip 2: 

You may score your ham if you like and add cloves or spices of your choice at regular intervals to enhance the flavor of the meat. 

What To Look Out For? 

The ham may not sufficiently brown outside by the time it reaches its desired internal temperature from inside. 

Hence, you may want to turn up the temperature of your oven to 375°F in the last half hour.

This will help give the ham an appealing golden-brown color if its surface seems to not be browning enough. 

What Do I Serve Corned Ham With? 

This corned ham pairs best with mashed potatoes.

Try pouring pan juices over the entire dish to bring it together and give you a finger-licking, good dinner. 

Bottom Line 

Corned ham may seem like a hard dish to prepare at first.

However, by following the guidelines mentioned above, you are sure to cook up a tender, juicy tavern ham and serve up an amazing festive feast for your family! 

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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