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How Much Time It Actually Takes To Cook Bone-In Ham

cooked bone-in ham
cooked bone-in ham - tastyfood/Shutterstock

To bone or not to bone? Ahh, the great ham debate. While each has pros and cons, we won't get into them now because it's probably pretty safe to assume that you've already settled on the former. Once you've obtained your bony bounty, all that remains is to heat it and eat it. The timetable for the latter action is up to you, but we're here to help with the former.

If your bone-in ham is pre-cooked, as should be disclosed on the package (hint: most store-bought hams do tend to be), a general guideline is to cook bone-in ham at 325 F anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes per pound for a whole ham and between 18 and 24 minutes per pound for a half ham. If you'll be using a meat thermometer, a reading of 140 F should indicate that the meat is warm all the way through. Should you happen to have obtained the elusive raw bone-in ham, you will need to make sure that the meat reaches 145 F. To do this, it'll need between 18 and 20 minutes per pound if whole or 22 to 25 minutes if cut in half. FoodSafety.gov, however, adds a curious caveat: If you have a pre-cooked ham that's been repackaged outside the location where it was first processed, it'll need to be heated to 165 F. The site didn't explain why, but food safety is (literally) the name of its game, so disregard that recommendation at your peril.

Read more: This Is How Spam Is Really Made

How To Reheat Leftover Bone-In Ham

chopped ham with beans
chopped ham with beans - Ezume Images/Shutterstock

Assuming you have leftover ham, and you probably will since even the half-sized ones tend to start around 5 pounds while the whole ones may go up to 14 pounds – how long can you keep it around? We'll once again consult FoodSafety.gov and it'll answer, a week in the fridge or seemingly forever in the freezer. (It does note, however, that the overall quality of the frozen ham may drop off a bit after a few months.) As the ham is already cooked, it's perfectly safe to eat it cold if you like, but you can also reheat it if this is your preference.

If your bone-in ham is mostly still on the bone, another helpful government agency has a suggestion to offer: The USDA suggests that you cover the whole thing with foil and re-bake it for 10 minutes a pound. If you have already sliced the meat off the bone, you can, of course, simply microwave the meat or warm it up in a pan on the stove. Another option is to warm it up by using it in any one of numerous leftover ham recipes such as ham and cheese sandwiches, ham quiche, or ham and beans. You might want to save the ham bone, too, as this can be put to use to flavor split pea soup or red beans and rice.

Read the original article on Mashed.