Skip to Content

HOW TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT

You want a ham that is juicy and pink and glistening all the way through dinner. Don’t you love to see your guests enjoying their dinner hearing comments of ‘Yummm! This is SO GOOD!”. I’ll show you HOW TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT!

Today I’ll show you how to cook a delicious juicy ham that won’t dry out either in the oven or on the table. It will be perfect for dinner and even for leftovers! Your guests will wonder HOW TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT!

The edge of three pieces of ham on a gray plate with a napkin and the handle of a fork

How to make spiral ham without drying it out

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • I show you how long to cook a spiral sliced ham without drying it out!
  • We review all the possible ways to go wrong so you can avoid them.
  • I show you how to make the glaze.
  • There’s lots of other tips too!

How to Cook Spiral Ham Without Drying It Out

  1. Preheat 325. 
  2. Remove spiral ham from package, reserve the liquid. Put the spiral ham in pan with rack in the bottom and with the fat side UP. 
  3. Pour package juices in the bottom of the pan to avoid drying it out.
  4. Cover spiral ham tightly with foil, no steam escapes.
  5. Place CENTER of oven.

HOW LONG TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT?

This is actually the BIG question! You DO NOT want to over cook the ham. Over cooking is the Number ONE reason for dry chewing yucky ham! So, don’t do it.

Check your ham label, but chances are that if you have a spiral ham, it has already been cooked. The label will say “precooked”. That means that YOU are not actually cooking the ham, you are simply reheating it!

That said, there are certain tips and tricks you can follow to make this process go smoothly and to ensure that your ham is tender, juicy and perfect all the way through dinner and even for leftovers.

Precooked, spiral sliced ham needs to reheat in the oven 10 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. That means we need to do a little math. I’ve included a handy chart for you below, in case math isn’t your thing.

 

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF WENDI COOKING A SPIRAL HAM! IT’S LOCATED IN THE RECIPE CARD AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST! 

 

COOKING CHART

If you ham weighs……  Then cook for …………

5 lbs………50 minutes

6 lbs……… 60 minutes

7 lbs …….. 1 hour and 10 minutes

8 lbs …….. 1 hour and 20 minutes

9 lbs …….. 1 hour and 30 minutes

10 lbs……. 1 hour and 40 minutes

11 lbs ……. 1 hour and 50 minutes

12 lbs ……..2 hours

13 lbs…….. 2 hours and 10 minutes

14 lbs…….. 2 hours and 20 minutes

15 lbs……. 2 hours and 30 minutes

16 lbs …… 2 hours and 40 minutes

17 lbs …….2 hours and 50 minutes

18 lbs……..3 hours.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE TO KNOW THAN JUST HOW LONG TO COOK…

There are several secrets to cooking the perfect ham without drying it out! I’ll review those here and then give you a bullet point list below.

WHAT KIND OF PAN DO I COOK A SPIRAL SLICED HAM IN?

Any pan that is large enough to hold the ham AND the drippings will work BUT, you can’t go wrong with a seriously proper roasting pan. I’ll include a photo below so that you can see what I’m talking about.

The link I’ve included is an Amazon Affiliate link and I do receive a commission if you choose to purchase one this way. (Thank you SO MUCH!). Just click the photo to go straight through to Amazon to compare prices.

That said, I found the one I use at Big Lots and I recommend that you look around because decent pans can be found in a RANGE of prices.

You want one that has a nice finish (you’ll be doing some serious scrubbing in that pan after holidays).

Nice deep sides are wonderful!

A shiny thicker bottom is preferred to help prevent warping and for even heating.

I like that mine has a V shaped rack to hold the contents together and above the drippings.

Have no fear though, my own mother has baked hams in her ancient enamel coated 9×13 pan with a generic rack that came out of another pan for years and it works just fine too.

CATCH THE JUICES THAT COME OUT OF THE SHRINK WRAPPED HAM PACKAGE

When you cut the ham free of its plastic mummy wrap, you’ll see that quite a bit of juice runs out. SAVE THAT JUICE!

When you place your ham into the roasting pan, put the juice in the bottom of the roasting pan and this juice will then steam your ham adding MORE FLAVOR.

WHAT IF THE JUICE GOT AWAY OR IF THERE WASN’T THAT MUCH?

It’s ok, just add ½ cup more chicken stock than I call for in the recipe.

COVER THE HAM TIGHTLY WITH ALUMINUM FOIL

Once you have placed the ham in the pan, make SURE that you cover it very tightly with aluminum foil. You DO NOT want any steam escaping from the pan. The steam heats the meat and keeps everything moist.

Be sure to buy the LONG aluminum HEAVY DUTY foil because it is seriously hard to adequately cover your ham with cheap, thin, short aluminum foil. It’s worth an extra couple of bucks to ensure that you’ve got your ham covered.

PUT THE HAM IN THE OVEN WITH THE FOIL ON TIGHTLY AND LEAVE IT ALONE!

  • OK, so here we are.
  • The ham is in the roasting pan on the rack.
  • We put the reserved juices and the chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • The oven is preheated.
  • Aluminum foil is so tightly covering the ham in the roasting pan that I’m pretty sure I heard the ham hollar, “Help! I’m claustrophobic”. ***Put the aluminum foil over the ham and secure it to the pan***
  • We put the ham as close to the center of the oven as possible.
  • The oven door is securely shut.
A view of three slices of ham on a grey plate with a blue napkin

How to make spiral ham without drying it out

WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

Remember that time chart at the top of this post? Leave the ham alone until that exact time has elapsed.

TAKE THE HAM OUT OF THE OVEN AND…

Once the ham has cooked for the amount of time indicated, remove the ham from the oven. Set it out on the counter and DO NOT REMOVE THE ALUMINUM FOIL.

GLAZING THE HAM

If a glaze is included, follow the directions that you will find either on the glaze packet OR on the back of the label of your ham.

When NO glaze included, you could make your own OR just not have a glaze. Your ham will be good either way. If you want to make your own glaze, follow the instructions noted below.

HOW TO KEEP HAM MOIST DURING DINNER

The best way for the ham to remain moist during dinner is to cook it properly to begin with. Ham that is overcooked will dry out more quickly on the table.

The next best way to have moist ham on the dinner table is to only place the amount that the family will eat on the first pass around the table on the platter. Once the platter has been around and everyone has a slice, wait a bit and then refill the platter.

Ham sitting open faced on a platter on the table does tend to dry more quickly than the whole ham that is in the kitchen with the aluminum foil on top of it!

FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) AND TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MOIST SPIRAL SLICED HAM!

HOW DO I COOK MY HAM WITH PINEAPPLE SLICES?

You can add sliced canned pineapple to your ham before baking. That is entirely up to you. Simply lay the slices of pineapple on the ham and secure with toothpicks. Most people prefer the slices that are preserved in syrup.

Make sure that you remove the toothpicks before serving. You will likely want to offer the pineapple slices on the side of your ham platter.

HOW TO COOK MY HAM IN AN OVEN BAG

If you prefer to cook your ham in an oven bag rather than aluminum foil, that will work too. Simply follow these instructions and then bake as per the recipe below…

  1. Put 1 Tablespoon of flour into the bag and shake it well and then leave the flour in the bag. (This prevents the bag from exploding while cooking).
  2. Place bag into the pan and put the ham into the bag (cut side down)
  3. Cut 6 1” slices in the top of the bag (this lets steam escape so bag doesn’t explode)
  4. Make sure the bag is completely inside the baking pan and not hanging over at all. (The bag will melt if it is touching the wire rack)
  5. Bake according to the directions below and then apply the glaze per directions.

This is an oven bag. You can click the photo to go straight through to Amazon to compare prices. I am an Amazon affiliate so if you decide to purchase through this method, I will receive a commission. This doesn’t affect your purchase price, so THANK  YOU! 

Baking Bags DO come in several sizes. Make sure you get the one big enough for a turkey. 

HOW TO COOK MY HAM IN A CROCKPOT or SLOW COOKER

First, you will likely need a big crockpot (something like a 7 quart crock pot). I’ve included an Amazon link here for that size crockpot. I have one and use it all the time. It’s great for making Party Chili!

Follow these instructions to bake your ham in the crockpot.

  1. Place the ham in the crockpot (flat side down) with the juices from the ham and ½ cup of chicken stock.
  2. Put the lid on.
  3. Set on “low” and cook for 2-4 hours.
  4. Glaze with the included glaze packet when done.
  5. (If you want to glaze with your own glaze, you will want to add that at the beginning).

HOW CAN I MAKE MY OWN GLAZE FOR THE HAM?

If you would like to make your own glaze, then toss the glaze packet that comes with the ham. Make the following mix:

  • 1 Cup pineapple juice
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ Cup maple syrup.
  1. 30 minutes before the ham is done, pour this mixture over the ham (separate the slices slightly and make sure the mix goes down between slices).
  2. Place the aluminum foil back on the ham tightly and put back in the oven to finish cooking.
  3. Forewarning (this mix is very sticky!).

IS SPIRAL HAM PRECOOKED?

Yes. Most spiral ham is precooked. Check the label of your specific ham to be sure.

HOW DO I REHEAT LEFTOVER HAM?

You can reheat spiral ham by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil and then heating for 30 minutes in a 350 oven.

If you prefer to reheat in the microwave, remove the aluminum foil and cover with plastic wrap and heat on high for 1 minute and then turn the dish and heat in 1 minute intervals until reheated.

We enjoy single slices of ham cooked in a cast iron skillet in some butter too!

Three slices of ham on a gray plate with lettuce and a striped napkin

How to make spiral ham without drying it out

WHAT IS THE GLAZE PACKET THAT COMES WITH THE HAM?

The glaze packet that comes with the ham is a mixture of sugar and flavorings. Usually, it is already prepared and all you have to do is cut it open and pour it over the ham at the end of baking.

HOW CAN I MAKE A SPIRAL HAM AHEAD?

You can bake the ham the day before and simply reheat the slices that you will need. See reheating instructions above.

DO I NEED TO COVER MY HAM WHEN BAKING?

YES! That is the secret to having a super juicy ham. See the recipe card below, the baking instructions for bake in the bag or the instructions for crockpot / slowcooker ham.

WHY DO I NEED TO COOK A FULLY COOKED HAM?

Actually, you do not need to cook the fully cooked ham. What we are actually doing is just warming it up. Most people like to have warm ham with their dinner.

DO I NEED TO BASTE THE HAM WHILE IT IS COOKING

No, you do not need to baste the ham while it is cooking. Baste it when it is done cooking several times and then again just before serving.

WHAT DO I BASTE THE HAM WITH? 

You can use a spoon to spoon the drippings over the ham, but be careful you can burn your hand this way (ask me how I know). 

The safest way to do this is to use a good baster. I’ve included a picture you can click to go through to Amazon to compare prices. This is what I use. I am an amazon affiliate and if you purchase through this link, I do receive a commission (THANK YOU!)

HOW LONG IS A HAM GOOD FOR?

The spiral sliced ham that you buy at the store is good for quite a while. There will be an expiration date on the package. Be sure to heed this date.

HOW LONG WILL COOKED HAM LAST?

Your cooked ham should be good if kept in the refrigerator for 5 days.

CAN I FREEZE MY SPIRAL SLICED HAM?

Yes, you can freeze the entire ham when you purchase it from the store. Just put it in the freezer. It will be good in the freezer for 3-6 months.

CAN I FREEZE MY SPIRAL SLICED HAM LEFTOVERS?

Certainly you may! Put the slices in a freezer safe zip lock bag, remove as much air as possible. Label well with what’s inside and the date you froze it and it should keep for 3-6 months in the freezer.

WHEN SHOULD I GLAZE MY HAM?

If you are using the glaze packet that comes with the ham, follow the enclosed directions. Usually this calls for opening the packet and squeezing it over the ham after baking.

If you are using my glaze instructions that are noted in this post, then follow those instructions.

RECAP FOR HOW TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT:

  1. Reserve the ham juices and use those along with the chicken broth to “steam” the ham.
  2. Cover the ham well with aluminum foil and make sure it is tightly secured to your roasting dish.
  3. Use a proper roasting pan.
  4. Choose your glaze (either the included packet or the recipe I gave you) and apply the glaze at the proper time.
  5. Keep the ham covered until time to eat and keep the remains covered to keep them juicy
  6. BASTE the ham with it’s juices several times after you take it out of the oven. This helps increase moisture in your ham. Baste it just before removing slices to put on the serving platter.
  7. Only put enough ham on your serving platter to serve those at the table their first serving. Go fill the platter again for the second serving to keep the ham at the table fresh and juicy.
  8. DO NOT over bake your ham. Really, it’s better to go under time than to go over time. Remember the ham is already cooked, we are just warming it up.

WHAT GOES WITH MY JUICY SPIRAL HAM? 

Oh so many great choices for a wonderful dinner! You could go all out and have…

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Slow cooker green beans with bacon

Mawmaw’s Banana pudding

How to Cook Pinto Beans on the stove top

or you could do something a little easier like 

How to Cook canned corn on the stove

How to cook canned green beans on the stove

10x canned biscuits

WHAT TO DO WITH HAM LEFTOVERS? 

There is seriously nothing better to do with that ham bone than to put it in a big pot of pinto beans! 

The Secret to Perfect Old Fashioned Pinto Beans

OR you can freeze the leftovers to use for sandwiches, in mac and cheese or soups!

LET’S SEE WHAT GOES INTO THIS THING…

Get the ham out of the bag and figure out how long it should cook….

A photo of Wendi unwrapping a ham from the shrink wrap

How to Make Spiral Ham without Drying it Out

Put the ham in the roasting pan with 1/2 cup of chicken stock or the reserved juices from the ham.

A close up of the slices of spiral ham

How to make spiral ham without drying it out

Cover well with foil and Bake for the required time, apply the glaze, allow to rest and SERVE! 

A photo of wendi holding aluminum foil and saying "wrap it good" for how to make a spiral ham without drying it out

How to make spiral ham without drying it out

 

YA’LL BE SWEET AND HELP ME OUT, OK?

Leave me a 5 STAR  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Comment below. If you made this recipe, I would love for you to share it with me on social media or just email me at wendi(at sign)loavesanddishes.net. Reader comments are the best. I answer right back!

Ya’ll MAKE MY DAY when you leave me a comment  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 or send me an email!

Join me on social media by clicking the links at the top of the page!

THE RECIPE FOR  HOW TO COOK SPIRAL HAM WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT

The edge of three pieces of ham on a gray plate with a napkin and the handle of a fork

How to Cook a Spiral Sliced Ham without Drying It Out

Learning to cook a Spiral Sliced Ham seems like a daunting task, but trust me it is EASY!  You just need to know all the secrets!  The most important thing is to keep it Juicy!  I'll show you how to make your spiral sliced ham without drying it out!
5 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook a spiral sliced ham without drying it out, how to cook a ham.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 Spiral Sliced PreCooked Ham
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Glaze Packet

Instructions

  • Remove your ham from the packaging being careful to reserve the juices that will be inside the shrink wrapped covering over the ham.
  • Also be sure to save the label (with instructions for the ham), the glaze packet and the tag showing the weight of your ham.  Keep handy where you can use them frequently if needed.
  • Refer to the chart on this post for the length of time you will need to bake your ham based on the weight.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 and move the oven rack so that you can position the ham in the center of the oven.
  • Place the ham in your baking dish.  Place fat side up for the most flavor.
  • Pour the retained juices from the ham into the bottom of the baking dish and add ½ cup of chicken stock if there is not at least ½ cup of juices.
  • Cover the ham TIGHTLY with heavy duty aluminum foil.  If you can’t cover with a single piece of aluminum foil then use several. Put the aluminum foil over the top of the ham and secure it to the top edges of your roasting pan. Make it tight so that there are no leaks.
  • Read the instructions for your included glaze packet so that you understand when and how to place the glaze.
  • Bake for the time stated in the chart above OR if your ham comes with different time/temp instructions, follow that.
  • Apply your glaze according to the glaze instructions (you will need to apply the glaze to the sliced side of your ham.  If that side is down in the pan, flip the ham over). If you are using my glaze recipe included in the post, apply it 10 minutes before the ham is done after flipping the ham over so that the sliced part is up, recover with foil and place back in the oven to finish baking.
  • When the appropriate time has elapsed, remove the ham from the oven, leave the foil on until it has cooled enough to handle.
  • When cool enough to handle, make sure the sliced side is up.  Use a basting bulb OR a ladle and spoon the pan drippings over the ham.  Make sure that some of the juices get down into the slices.
  • Just before serving, baste again. Serve warm.

Notes

Use the weight chart located in the post for this recipe to find the right time for cooking your ham. 
Don't want to use the enclosed glaze packet?  That's ok, use my recipe:
  • 1 Cup pineapple juice
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ Cup maple syrup.
  1. 30 minutes before the ham is done, pour this mixture over the ham (separate the slices slightly and make sure the mix goes down between slices).  
  2. Place the aluminum foil back on the ham tightly and put back in the oven to finish cooking.
  3. Forewarning (this mix is very sticky!).
The main idea is that you don't want to overcook the ham.  Keep it tightly covered, baste it well after it comes out of the oven and again before serving. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Cook a Spiral Sliced Ham without Drying It Out
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A VERSE TO SHARE

This time of year always gets to me. It seems that it is dark all the time. I don’t know about where you live, but here, in North Carolina it seems like it has rained for months.

With the rain comes dark dreary clouds and seem to hang over everything.

I’ll tell you what, it can really dampen your mood over time.

If you struggle with the dark time of year, then you know what I’m talking about.

If you are getting up in the dark of early morning, heading out the door to work, working inside a building all day only to come out and find darkness again when you exit the building. My heart and prayers are with you.

On these dark dreary days, perhaps it helps to remember that God is the Light of the world.

His light shines into the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

In fact, John 1 talks about Jesus being the light of the world. He came into the world, which was his but the world didn’t accept him.

And here is the best part, to those who DO receive him he gives the right to be children of God. That’s it. Just receive.

Surely that is enough to brighten any short and dreary day!

I’ll leave that scripture here and I hope you’ll go open up to John 1 and read the entire passage yourself!

John 1: 12-13

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

An overhead shot of a square bowl of refried beans with a small blue bowl of tortilla chips on a green napkin
Previous
BEST CANNED REFRIED BEANS
A spoonful of Amazing Baked Taco Spaghetti being scooped from the dish with cheese pulls
Next
Southern Baked Spaghetti
Recipe Rating




Pam Brown

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Loved it times and tips worked out perfectly. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Karen Henderson

Saturday 18th of April 2020

I am baking your ham today according to your insturctions. However, when you say, "Aluminum foil is so tightly covering the ham in the roasting pan that I’m pretty sure I heard the ham hollar, “Help! I’m claustrophobic”. ***Put the aluminum foil over the ham and secure it to the pan***" " am I supposed to cover only the ham OR cover the entire top of the pan with the ham in it? And what do you mean by "securing the ham?" I've looked at your helpful video, but you don't show the ham actually wrapped up. Please help:)

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi Karen, I need to clarify this in the article because you aren't the only person who has asked! Put the aluminum foil over the top of the ham and cover the entire top of the pan and then fold and pinch the foil to create a seal on the rim of the baking dish that you are using. Hope this helps. If you are still unclear, feel free to leave another comment or even email me at wendi@loavesanddishes.net

LML

Monday 13th of April 2020

I usually do not get a spiral cut ham because they come out dry BUT following your instructions I have been pleasantly surprised. Thank you for the great tips and step by step instructions.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 13th of April 2020

Thank you LML, I sure hope you will come back for other recipes. :)

Sarah H

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Just made my first Easter ham because of the quarantine. Used your method and it was delicious! I used the glaze that came with the ham, but next time I’ll try your recipe. Thanks!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Hi Sarah, I"m so glad it came out perfect. Actually, just baking it the right time and keeping it sealed is the main secret. The glaze is secondary. :)

Dnkmom

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Are there any time or temperature variations if you’re using a glass 9x13? Not metal.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 12th of April 2020

No time or temperature differences, just make sure to seal the foil down to the pan tightly, that's the main thing.

Dnkmom

Sunday 12th of April 2020

I’m also inverting a 6 count muffin tin for a rack since my cooling racks are too big to fit inside my baking pan.

shares