For food safety, a good meat thermometer is an essential kitchen tool. It’s just as important to know how to use it properly. This is the topic of much confusion and consternation. Fret not! We’ll clear it up with a common sense tips on where to insert the meat thermometer in your Holiday Ham.
Tip # 1: Always use a meat thermometer when baking ham. This applies regardless whether you’re baking a partially cooked or fully cooked ham. It will tell precisely when your ham is done avoiding over-cooked, dry hams or undercooked meat – which can cause foodborne illness.
You can’t guess at ham doneness by eyeballing or using general per-pound oven cooking times. Ovens vary too greatly, as to peoples’ eyeball perception of doneness.
Tip #2: Use the thermometer of your choice. There are many types of meat and food thermometers on the market. Choose the one you feel the most comfortable using. They’ll all do the job.
Tip #3: Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone. For any bone-in ham, the thickest part is going to be the cut portion of the ham. But when baking a ham, it’s by far best to bake it cut side down to preserve juices. This is necessary if you’re cooking a spiral sliced ham. Solve this dilemma by inserting the thermometer at an angle from above into the thick portion below, while being careful to not insert too far to hit the bone.
Read more about meat thermometers and food safety from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Enjoy your Holiday Ham, and please share with us your best tips on using a meat thermometer with Ham.
For more ham recipes and cooking tips, be sure to download our FREE “Holiday Ham” Cookbook. Click the image below to download your cookbook now.
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