How To Cook Ham Recipe

(44 ratings)

How to cook a ham
Preparation Time20 mins plus overnight soaking
Cooking Time3 hours 30 mins
Total Time3 hours 50 mins plus overnight soaking
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories800 Kcal40%
Fat58 g83%
Saturated Fat24 g120%

Cooking a ham is easy once you know how, in this method we show you how to cook ham using a clever foil trick to start it off in the oven and then we've added a simple honey and mustard glaze - a real classic. Once you've mastered how to cook a ham you'll be able to whip one up any time - perfect for family parties or festive celebrations.

How To Cook Ham


  1. Soak the ham overnight to remove excess salt. Heat the oven to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3.

  2. Place a long sheet of foil lengthways and one widthways in a large roasting tin. Place the ham in the centre, and fold the strips over it loosely so you have a tent, to allow the ham to steam as it cooks. Cook for 2 hours 10 minutes (20 minutes per 450g/1lb). Increase the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6.

  3. Carefully remove the skin from the ham with a sharp knife, while it is still hot. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and stud each corner with cloves. Mix together the Dijon, oil and orange juice, and brush over the ham. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then sprinkle over the sugar and cook for a further 10, until the top of the ham is caramelised. Cover the exposed meat with foil if it looks like it's burning. Allow the ham to rest for 20 minutes before carving. It will keep in the fridge for 5 days, and leftovers freeze well.


  • 3kg (6½lb) uncooked piece of ham
  • cloves, to stud
  • 3tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2tbsp orange juice
  • 4tbsp light muscovado sugar
Top Tip for making How To Cook Ham

Try different flavourings in your glaze, herbs and spices work well as do other liquids like apple juice or cider.