Although the popular, spiral-cut, honey-glazed ham may be what you picture when you think of ham, there are a variety of hams and the best way to cook them depends greatly on which one you buy.
For instance, a country ham – harvested from pigs that have been fed fruits and nuts to produce a flavorful meat – is packed in salt and dry-cured. A nice way to cook this tasty ham is to bathe it in apple cider, maple syrup and spices and cook it low and slow. You can even add a bit of bourbon for a little kick if you dare!
Bone-in hams tend to be more flavorful and make a beautiful presentation for special occasions; and the bone is great to save for a delicious ham and navy bean soup. Glazes can be a simple honey-butter combination or any combination of fruit juice, whiskey, honey, mustard, brown sugar, wine and spices.
A delicious way to cook a traditional-style ham is by baking it cut side down and tented in foil in a 350 degree oven. Bake ten minutes for every pound. You can even cover it in pineapple slices before you bake it to make it pretty. To keep it moist and juicy, brush it with your glaze or its own juices from the pan approximately every 20 minutes. If you glazed it, broiling it at the end for just a few minutes to caramelize your glaze is a nice touch. Then just let it rest 15 minutes before serving.