Cook Small Ham in Just a Few Simple Steps

Are you looking to cook a small ham for your next meal but don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place! Cooking a small ham is easier than you think, and with just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious and juicy ham ready to serve in no time. Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, follow these steps and impress your guests with your cooking skills.

Cook Small Ham in Just a Few Simple Steps | Eat Urban Garden
Cook Small Ham in Just a Few Simple Steps

What is Small Ham and How is It Different from Other Hams?

If you are a fan of cured meats, you are probably familiar with ham. It is one of the most popular types of cured meat and can be found in different variations. Small ham, also known as petite ham or mini ham, is a type of ham that is often overlooked but offers its unique flavor and texture. In this section, we will discuss what makes small ham unique and how to differentiate it from other hams.

What is Small Ham?

Small ham is a type of ham that is typically smaller in size than regular ham. It is made from the same cut of meat as that of regular ham, which is the hind leg of the pig. However, small ham is taken from younger pigs and is therefore tender and has a milder flavor compared to regular ham. It is also leaner, which means it has less fat content.

How is Small Ham Different from Other Hams?

Small ham is different from other hams in several ways. Firstly, as mentioned, it is smaller in size and is made from the hind leg of a younger pig. Secondly, it is typically boneless, making it easier to handle and cook. Finally, it has a milder flavor compared to other hams and is leaner, making it a healthy option for those who are watching their fat intake.

How to Identify Small Ham in the Grocery Store?

Small ham can be found in the deli section of most grocery stores. It is often sold pre-cooked and sliced, but you can also find whole small hams that you can cook yourself. When looking for small ham in the grocery store, make sure to check the labeling for the word “small” or “petite.” This will ensure that you are buying the right type of ham for your recipe.

What are the Different Types of Small Ham?

Small hams are delicious and versatile meats that can be cooked in many ways. There are different types of small ham that you can choose from, including;

Cured Ham

Cured hams are preserved by salt or sodium nitrate, and sometimes with other chemicals. Cured ham is often smoked and has a distinct flavor that is associated with the curing process. Cured ham can be served hot or cold and can be eaten alone or with other dishes.

Uncured Ham

Uncured ham, on the other hand, is not preserved with any chemicals like sodium nitrate. Uncured ham is healthier than cured ham, but it has a shorter shelf life. Uncooked uncured ham should be frozen or cooked within two to three days of purchase. Uncured ham can be served in many different ways, including boiled, roasted, baked, or fried.

Boneless Ham

Boneless ham is a type of ham that has had its bone removed and is easy to carve. It is considered convenient and easy to cook because you do not have to deal with the bone when carving, and it takes significantly less time to cook than a bone-in ham.

Bone-In Ham

Bone-in ham, as its name suggests, still has the bone intact. This type of ham takes longer to cook than boneless ham and usually requires more preparation. However, it provides a richer ham flavor and can be more flavorful because the bone adds to the meat’s richness.

Spiral-Cut Ham

Spiral-cut ham is the most popular type of ham around the world. It is the most convenient option because it is pre-sliced, and you can easily separate the slices as needed. Spiral-cut ham can be served hot or cold, and it is perfect for entertaining because people can take slices as desired.

Which Type of Small Ham is Best Suited for Various Occasions?

Each type of ham has its unique flavor and suitability for different occasions. Cured ham is perfect for big events and parties because it can be bought in bulk and served cold on a platter. Uncured ham is best for smaller family dinners or intimate gatherings because it can be cooked easily and has a healthier touch. Boneless hams are ideal for busy weeknight dinners when you want to spend less time cooking or carving. Bone-in hams are perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving because they take care of most of the family meal. Lastly, Spiral-cut ham is perfect for entertaining, with guests taking individual slices as they wish.

What are the Best Cooking Methods for Small Ham?

When it comes to cooking small ham, there are a few methods that are commonly used. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.


Baking is perhaps the most popular method for cooking small ham. It is easy to do and requires little preparation time. All you need to do is preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and then place the ham in a baking dish lined with foil. Cover the ham with foil and bake it for the recommended time. If you want to get creative, you can add a glaze to the ham before baking to give it some extra flavor.

  • Pros: This method is simple and easy to follow, and the ham cooks evenly.
  • Cons: Baked ham can sometimes turn out dry and tough if not cooked properly.


Roasting is another popular method for cooking small ham. This method involves placing the ham in a roasting pan and cooking it in the oven. To get the best results, you should baste the ham with its juices every 20-30 minutes while it cooks. This will help to keep the ham moist and tender.

  • Pros: This method can give the ham a crispy exterior and a juicy interior.
  • Cons: Roasting can be time-consuming and requires frequent basting.


If you have a slow-cooker, you can use this method to cook your small ham. Simply place the ham in the slow-cooker with your choice of seasonings and let it cook on low heat for several hours. The slow-cooking process will result in a tender and flavorful ham.

  • Pros: This method is very easy and requires little attention.
  • Cons: The slow-cooking process can take several hours, which may not be convenient if you’re in a hurry.


Grilling is a great way to cook small ham, especially if you’re looking for a way to cook it outdoors. To grill ham, you’ll need to heat your grill to medium-high heat and then place the ham on the grill. Cook the ham on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until it is heated through.

  • Pros: Grilling can give the ham a smoky flavor that is hard to replicate with other methods.
  • Cons: Grilling requires a grill and can be difficult to get the cooking temperature just right.

What are the Ideal Temperature and Time for Cooking Small Ham?

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make meal that you can enjoy with your family, small ham is an excellent choice. However, cooking a small ham can be a little tricky if you don’t know the ideal temperature and cooking time. Follow this guide to ensure that your small ham is perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender!

The Ideal Temperature for Cooking Small Ham

The ideal temperature for cooking small ham is 325°F. It is essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140°F. This temperature is safe for consumption, and it ensures that the ham is fully cooked. It’s also important to periodically check the temperature while cooking, so the ham doesn’t get overcooked and dry out.

The Ideal Cooking Time for Small Ham

The cooking time for small ham depends on its weight. As a general rule, plan to cook the small ham for about 18 to 20 minutes per pound. For example, if your small ham weighs 3 pounds, it will take about 54 to 60 minutes to cook. However, keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the oven and other factors. Use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the ham and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

The Importance of Resting Time

After cooking a small ham, it’s essential to let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before carving. This resting time allows the juices to redistribute, making the ham even juicer and more flavorful. If you cut into the small ham too soon, the juices will escape, making it dry and tough.

How Do You Add Flavor to Small Ham?

When considering how to cook small ham, one of the most important aspects to consider is how to add flavor. While small hams are already flavorful on their own, there are a variety of ways to enhance their taste and make them even more delicious.

1. Seasonings

Adding seasonings to a small ham can be a simple way to boost its flavor. One popular seasoning option is to use a blend of spices, such as a mix of paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Simply rub the seasonings onto the surface of the ham before cooking to infuse it with flavor.

2. Glazes

Glazes are another popular option for adding flavor to small ham. There are many different types of glazes, ranging from sweet to savory. For a classic sweet glaze, mix honey and brown sugar together and brush it onto the ham during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Mustard-based glazes are also a good option for those who prefer a savory flavor.

3. Rubs

Rubs can also be an effective way to enhance the flavor of a small ham. A simple rub can be made with a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Rub the mixture onto the ham before cooking to add a sweet and slightly spicy flavor.

4. Fruit

Adding fruit to a small ham can also be a delicious option. Pineapple is a classic choice, often used in combination with a sweet glaze. Apples can also be used to add a unique flavor profile to a ham. Simply bake slices of apple onto the ham during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

5. Infusing

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider infusing your small ham with flavor. Using a syringe, inject the ham with a mixture of melted butter and your chosen flavorings, such as garlic or rosemary. This can be a more complex method, but it can result in a unique and delectable ham.

What are Some Delicious Side Dishes to Serve with Small Ham?

Small ham is a fantastic main dish that can be served on various occasions, from family dinners to special celebrations. The best part is that it can be paired with a wide array of side dishes that complement its flavors and textures, and elevate your meal to the next level.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Vegetables are a healthy and flavorful addition to any meal, and they go particularly well with small ham. Try roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and honey glaze, green beans with garlic and almonds, or sautéed mushrooms with herbs and butter. You can also prepare a colorful vegetable salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Fruit Side Dishes

Fruits are a refreshing and sweet alternative to traditional side dishes, and they create a lovely contrast with the salty and savory taste of small ham. You can serve baked apples with cinnamon and brown sugar, pineapple rings with honey and ginger, or cranberry sauce with orange zest and cloves. Another delicious option is to prepare a fruit salad with strawberries, kiwis, blackberries, and mint leaves.

Starch Side Dishes

Starches are a filling and satisfying complement to small ham, and they come in many shapes and forms. You can cook creamy mashed potatoes with gravy and chives, cheesy scalloped potatoes with onions and garlic, or buttery corn on the cob with paprika and lime juice. If you prefer something less traditional, you can try sweet potato fries with sea salt and rosemary, or quinoa with roasted vegetables and feta cheese.

Bread Side Dishes

Bread is a classic and versatile side dish that can be served in many ways with small ham. You can make homemade dinner rolls with honey and thyme, garlic bread with parmesan and parsley, or cornbread with jalapenos and honey butter. Another option is to prepare a French baguette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce, or a whole-grain bread with apple slices and cheddar cheese.

Pasta Side Dishes

Pasta is a comforting and flavorful side dish that pairs well with small ham. You can cook spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil, creamy fettuccine with mushroom and spinach, or penne with vodka sauce and pancetta. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try a pasta salad with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and Italian dressing.

Egg Side Dishes

Eggs are a nutritious and tasty ingredient that can be used to make flavorful side dishes with small ham. You can prepare deviled eggs with mustard and pickles, quiche with ham and cheese, or omelet with bell peppers and onions. Another option is to make a breakfast sandwich with ham, egg, and cheese, or a salad nicoise with boiled eggs, green beans, and anchovies.

Thanks for Reading!

And there you have it, a delicious small ham cooked in just a few simple steps. We hope you enjoyed this recipe and can use it to impress your friends and family. Don’t forget to check back with us soon for more great recipes and cooking tips!

Cook Small Ham in Just a Few Simple Steps

Learn how to cook a small ham to perfection with this easy step-by-step guide. Perfect for any occasion, this ham is sure to impress!

  • 1 small ham
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.
  3. Place the ham in a large baking dish and pour the mixture over the top, making sure to coat the ham evenly.
  4. Cover the ham with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the ham is heated through and the glaze is caramelized.
  5. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Then, slice and serve with your favorite sides!
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