How Long To Bake a Ham Per Pound?


If you’re planning on making a delicious ham for your next family gathering or holiday meal, one of the most important considerations is how long to bake it per pound.

Baking times can vary depending on various factors such as the type of ham, the size of the ham, and even the type of oven being used.

In this guide, we will discuss some general guidelines on how long to bake a ham per pound, along with some tips and tricks to ensure that your ham comes out perfectly cooked every time.

Origin Of Ham

Ham has been an essential part of many cultures for thousands of years.

It is believed that the origins of ham can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was considered a special delicacy and often served at feasts and celebrations.

Ham was also a staple food in many European countries and was brought to the Americas by European settlers.

Over time, different regions developed their unique methods of curing and preparing ham, resulting in a wide variety of ham types available today.

Today, ham is enjoyed all over the world, with different variations and preparations depending on the region and it is often served during special occasions such as Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.

Some common types of ham include smoked ham, country ham, and honey-glazed ham.

Best Temperature To Bake Ham

The ideal temperature to bake a ham is between 325°F to 350°F.

This temperature range allows the ham to cook evenly and ensures that it doesn’t dry out while baking.

It is important to note that different types of hams may require slightly different temperatures, so be sure to check the packaging or consult a recipe for specific instructions.

How Long To Bake a Ham Per Pound?

A general rule of thumb for baking ham is to cook it for about 10-40 minutes per pound.

However, this can vary depending on the type and size of the ham.

For example, raw, boneless ham may only need to be baked for 30-40 minutes per pound, while precooked ham and bone-in ham may require closer to 15-24 minutes per pound.

1. Baking A Spiral Ham Per Pound

For a spiral ham, that is already pre-sliced, you can follow the general rule of 10 minutes per pound at at 325°F.

However, since the slices are already separated, it may cook slightly faster. It’s best to check for doneness with a meat thermometer.

2. Baking A Precooked Smoked Ham  Per Pound 

A precooked smoked ham is typically fully cooked and only needs to be heated.

The general recommendation is to bake it for about 10-24 minutes per pound at 325°F but if you prefer a crispier exterior, you can increase the temperature and bake for about more minutes per pound.

3. Baking A Smoked Ham Per Pound

A smoked ham, which is typically partially cooked, may require a longer baking time.

The general recommendation is about 18-40 minutes per pound at 325°F.

If using a bone-in ham, be sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat near the bone for an accurate reading.

4. Baking A Fresh (Raw) Ham Per Pound

A fresh ham, which is not cured or smoked, will require the longest baking time.

It’s recommended to bake it for about 18-40 minutes per pound at 325°F.

Again, using a meat thermometer to check for doneness is crucial.

5. Baking A Frozen Ham Per Pound

If you’re short on time and need to bake a frozen ham, it’s recommended to bake around 18-20 minutes per pound to the cooking time at 325°F.

It’s essential to check for doneness with a meat thermometer, as the cooking time may vary depending on the size of the ham and the oven being used.

How Long To Bake a Ham Per Pound In Air-Fryer?

Air fryers have become increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods.

Many people wonder if they can use an air-fryer to bake a ham and how long it would take.

Generally, it takes approximately 15 minutes to bake boneless ham per pound.

It’s best to check for doneness with a meat thermometer, just like in a traditional oven.

For a bone-in ham, it’s recommended to cook for about 20 minutes per pound at 325°F in the air-fryer.

The good news is that baking a ham in an air-fryer can significantly reduce the cooking time.

However, it is essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines on cooking times and temperature settings.

Factors Affect Baking Time

Several factors impact the timing when talking about how long to bake a ham per pound.

In addition to the type of ham mentioned above, we will point out other reasons that can change the baking time.

Firstly, it is the size of the ham, an important factor to consider when determining baking time.

A larger ham will take longer to bake compared to a smaller ham.

It may also be helpful to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, especially with larger hams.

Secondly, the type of oven can directly affect the baking time so it’s important to adjust the baking time accordingly based on the type of oven being used.

Different types of ovens can have varying cooking times, for example, a convection oven may cook faster than a conventional oven, while an air-fryer can significantly reduce cooking time.

Lastly, the starting temperature of the ham can also impact the overall baking time.

A room-temperature ham will take less time to bake compared to a frozen or refrigerated ham.

How To Choose Ham For Baking?

When choosing a ham to bake, it’s essential to consider the type and size of the ham, as well as any personal preferences.

Some hams may already come pre-seasoned or glazed, while others may require additional seasoning and preparation.

If you prefer a smokier flavor, opt for smoked ham.

If you like a sweeter taste, choose a honey-glazed or maple-flavored ham.

It’s also crucial to purchase the correct size of ham for the number of people you will be serving.

If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult a recipe or ask for recommendations from your local butcher or grocery store.

They can guide the best type and size of ham for your specific needs.

It’s also important to check the label for any specific cooking instructions or recommendations from the manufacturer.

When in doubt, it’s always best to consult a recipe or ask a butcher for advice on selecting and preparing the perfect ham for baking.

Should We Seasoning Ham Before Baking?

Almost the ham was marinated with salt so it has the savoury inside.

Smoked ham also has a smoky flavor.

However, while it ultimately comes down to personal preference, seasoning a ham before baking can add extra flavor.

Simple seasonings such as salt, pepper, and herbs can enhance the taste of the ham.

Additionally, adding a glaze or coating of honey or mustard can create a delicious crust on the exterior of the ham.

Experiment with different seasonings to find the perfect flavor for your taste.

What To Serve With Ham?

There are many delicious side dishes and sauces that pair well with ham. Some popular options include:

1. Scalloped potatoes

2. Green bean casserole

3. Roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or parsnips

4. Sweet potato casserole

5. Cranberry sauce

6. Honey mustard glaze or apricot glaze

Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect dishes and sauces that complement your ham.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with seasonings and try different side dishes and sauces to find the perfect pairing for your ham.

How to Store Cooked Ham?

Once your ham is cooked and ready to be served, it’s important to handle and store it properly.

Leftover ham can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and should be consumed within that time frame. 

To extend its shelf life, you can also freeze cooked ham for up to 2-3 months.

Be sure to label the packaging with the date and contents, and thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

Is Ham Good For Your Health?

Ham can be a good source of protein, but it is also high in sodium and saturated fat.

Moderation is key when consuming ham as part of a balanced diet.

Leaner cuts and smaller portions can help reduce the amount of unhealthy fats and sodium consumed.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary recommendations.

Additionally, those with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease, may need to limit their intake of ham and other processed meats.


Baking a ham per pound may require some time and attention, but with these general guidelines and tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfectly cooked ham every time by remembering our tips on how long to bake a ham per pound.

Remember to always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and experiment with different flavors and cooking methods to find your favorite way of preparing ham.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking and serving ham, making it a versatile and delicious option for any occasion.

From its rich history to its many variations, ham continues to be a beloved dish around the world.

Happy baking!


Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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