Spiral Ham 101


Each year I host the family egg hunt/Easter get together so I usually bake a ham.  Over the years I have found a few tips from different cook books and articles that have helped to make the job easier and produced a tasty ham.

Sirloin end versus Shank end – Spiral hams are usually 1/2 of a ham so they come in two shapes:  the sirloin or butt end which is shaped like a large flat mound and the shank end which is taller and pointy like a volcano.  Because of the bone more of the shank end will be sliced for you.  The sirloin end won’t be sliced as much, but will have more meat on it.  So it is up to you how much you want to work.

Glazing the ham – Most spiral hams come with a glaze mix, but I have found a glaze that I really like and adds a lot of flavor to the ham.  I put it on the ham before baking and then baste with it during baking.

Ham Glaze
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Mix together ingredients to form thick paste. Smear glaze onto exterior of ham using rubber spatula.

Soak in Hot Water before baking – In the past it always seemed to take forever to bake the ham. The outside would be well done and the center would still be cold.  The hams I buy are in a waterproof plastic wrapping. If not, you would want to put your ham in a waterproof plastic bag.  I fill my sink up with warm water and let the ham sit in it for 90 minutes before baking.  This raised the internal temperature of the ham and reduces baking time, thus a moister ham.

I usually bake my spiral ham at 325 degrees for 2 – 3 hours with an internal temperature of 110 to 120 degrees.


I hope these little tips help you.

Happy Easter,


PS.  If you are looking for a potato recipe that you can mix up before hand my family likes this garlic mashed potato recipe.  Also this crockpot macaroni and cheese recipe is a hit with the kids and frees up your oven for other dishes:

Mac and Cheese Recipe

Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole Note, I have always doubled this recipe so it usually takes about 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours to bake when starting cold.  Make sure the top is golden brown. That is the icing on the cake with this dish.


The Images are from my pattern Springtime Joy which you can find on my website:

8 thoughts on “Spiral Ham 101”

  1. Thanks so much for the tips and the recipes! Love the seasonal pictures and they really made me feel like Spring is finally here!

  2. Jane, you mentioned that you have an Easter egg hunt, any ideas for this that you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Debra, are you looking for tips on food or the party. Because our family is getting so large we rent my church because that is how we started. If I had to do it over I would ask each family to bring so many eggs. We have a flexible menu and everyone decides what they would like to bring. I stuff all of the eggs. They usually have packaged candy, change and sometimes I have prize coupons in them. This year I made a little art bag for each of the kids, so I probably won’t have coupons. The older kids and dads hide the eggs. When I had it at my home, I usually had a little craft for the kids while the eggs were being hide. The church has a gym and they play there while hideing the eggs. I usually have one or two colors of eggs that the older kids are not allowed to pick up so that it guarantees the younger kids are allowed to get some eggs. The little kids can pick up any color. It is a fun day and the kids really look forward to it. Hope this helps

  3. Thanks Jane, that was fun to read. Sounds like a really fun day!! We still have about 2 feet of snow this year (some years are better) so doing an Easter egg hunt outdoors is really out of the question for this year. Thanks for some ideas.. Have a wonderful Easter with your family.

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