Easter is approaching and many families with be sitting down to dinner with a classic glazed ham for dinner. Use these tips and tricks for how to cook an Easter ham to make sure your holiday meal is one to remember this year!

Fully Cooked Hams

Many hams come fully cooked. If your ham is frozen when you buy it be sure to allow a full 48 hours for your ham to defrost in the refrigerator. Thawing in cold water is not ideal and thawing at room temperature is a big no-no for food safety!

The biggest mistake people make when heating already cooked hams is heating them at too high of a temperature and/or for too long, causing the ham to dry out. To heat your ham without drying it out place in a roasting pan (no rack necessary) and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Place in an oven heated to 275 degrees until the inside temperature reaches 135 degrees on an instant read thermometer. This can take anywhere from 4-8 hours for most hams.

If desired, glaze the ham with the glaze of your choice every 20 minutes for the last 1-2 hours.

Allow the ham to rest for 15-30 minutes after removing from the oven before serving for maximum juiciness.

Uncooked Hams

Cooking an uncooked or partially cooked ham follows the same guidelines for already cooked hams—low temperature and long cooking time!

Place the ham in a roasting pan fat side up and brush with a mixture of 1 lb brown sugar to 1/2 cup of spicy mustard. Cover with foil tent and place in an oven heated to 350 degrees. Continue to cook the ham until it reaches an inside temperature of 160 degrees being sure not to lift the foil tent for the first 4 hours. (It is important to note that uncooked hams must be heated to a higher temperature than heating already cooked hams!)

Cooking your ham slowly is the key to achieving a moist, delicious final product so planning ahead to thaw the ham if necessary and allowing adequate time before your meal to cook is important! With these tips and careful planning ahead your Easter ham is sure to be a hit!