Storing, Slicing, and Cooking Whole Country Ham

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Learn how to properly store, slice, and cook a whole country ham.


Hang your ham in a cool, dry place, and you can store it there for up to a year.


When you slice ham, it’s best to always slice it parallel to the aitchbone. When you do this, your ham will be more tender than if you had sliced it going straight across. We recommend using the rear portion for baking and breakfast slices. The shank slices are ideal for cubing and topping biscuits. Once you slice your whole ham, you can freeze and store slices.


We have a step-by-step how-to video for baking a whole country ham.


  • Remove ham from bag & paper
  • Wash ham with sponge & water to remove any mold (this is normal)
  • Place ham in cooler for soaking – add 5lbs of ice, 2 liters of apple juice, fill and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 12 hours.
  • Place ham upward in large pot (ham hock upward). Add 2 liters of apple juice and add water until ham is covered. Add 4-5 bay leaves (optional).
  • Boil, then simmer – approx. 18 minutes per lb. or about 4-5 hours total
  • Drain liquid & let the ham cool on a rack.
  • Trim & skin outside of the ham
  • Score the ham with long diamond cuts
  • Line pan with foil, place ham and cover with foil. Bake at 375°F for 30-45 minutes.
  • Apply glaze (optional) – Bake again for 15 minutes. Click here for a glaze recipe.
  • Rest for 30 minutes – Slice & serve
  • You may also garnish to add an extra flavor (optional) – Visit our recipe section for delicious garnish ideas.

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