How To Choose The Perfect Easter Ham
by Janet S.
Many new cooks and
more than a few more seasoned ones have trouble picking out the best ham
for the job, for holidays like Easter. Choosing a perfect ham isn’t a
monumental task, but paying a little attention to detail makes all the
difference between a dried out meat, a fatty meat and a melt in your
mouth meat to serve to your family and friends.
From the midway
point of the shank, to the hip bone on a hog’s hind leg is considered
a ham. Learn about the cut because not all butchers
cut good hams. Remember also that raw ham cooks
differently to “cured” ham. They are distinctly
different flavors, as well.
If you decide to
purchase a fresh ham, be sure it has a firm white layer of fat.
If you’re buying a cured ham, make sure the meat
is plump and pink and not dried out looking.
With both types,
remove all store packaging when you bring your ham home. The cured ham
can be put directly into cling wrap, or a plastic storage container.
The fresh ham should be washed and stored in glass (optimally) or
Be sure to store
your ham (either type) in the coldest part of your refrigerator,
properly covered. Fresh ham juices can contaminate
other foods and cause a mess in your fridge.
Cooking tip – If
you are using pineapple with your ham, store the ham in the refrigerator
in a small bit of pineapple juice. It will enhance
the end results with a mellower flavor of pineapple.