A ham is taken from a pig’s leg. Some hams are sold fresh for baking, but most are cured with brine, salt, and spices, making them juicier, and fully cooked. Some are smoked, which imparts a meatier, more intense flavor. Hams are sold boneless, semiboneless, and with the bone in. Bone-in hams usually yield the best flavor, while boneless are easier to cut. Prosciutto is ham that has been cured and air-dried for long periods of time for tenderness and a more complex flavor; it is typically sliced paper-thin and consumed uncooked. Precooked ham can be refrigerated for up to 7 days; when sliced, consume it within 4 days. Sliced deli ham keeps in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to 7 days. Freezing cooked ham is not recommended, as it results in an unpleasant texture.
Best for: Baking.