Reheat Leftover Ham In The Oven To Make It Taste Good The Second Time Around

With a sticky-sweet glaze that becomes irresistibly caramelized in the oven, it's not hard to understand why honey glazed ham is such a popular choice for occasions like Easter  and Christmas. This undeniably special main course is easy to make, and will feed however many family members and friends are tucked in at your dinner table, but it can be hard to accurately guess how much ham you need per person. This means most households will likely wind up with leftovers to use in the days that follow.

Cold leftover ham can be used in a quick sandwich (or just enjoyed on its own, as many of us have done), but what if you want it to be warm and crisp again? Ham can be easily reheated in the oven, without sacrificing any of the meat's moisture or flavor. Just portion out the amount you need, layer it in a baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil, and pop it into an oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it cook for about ten minutes per pound, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (via the USDA). This method is a fast and easy way to give you — and anyone lucky enough to take home leftovers — another chance to enjoy ham as a hot and delicious entree.

Why reheating ham is best done in the oven

When reheating a fully-cooked ham, your main concern — aside from merely raising its temperature — is maintaining as much moisture as possible. Bone-dry, reheated meat that was once perfectly juicy is a sad state of affairs. The microwave's electromagnetic waves heat up food quickly and efficiently, which is why this tool is easy to reach for, but meat doesn't always fare so well. The heating process creates fundamental changes in the structure of proteins, which means that ham and other meats often turn out tougher, dryer, and chewier than most people like. 

For your leftover ham, chicken, or roast beef, the absolute best way to reheat without losing tenderness is to pop the cuts in the oven for a little while. Ovens heat food much more slowly than microwaves, but this comes with the upside of gentle, even heat transfer through the circulation of hot air. While the oven could still dry out food, if you cook it for too long at too high a temperature, it's much easier to control and harder to overdo.

Lastly, if you want to ensure your reheated ham is as tender as possible, include a few tablespoons of water or broth in the baking dish before covering it with foil and putting it in the oven. This will prevent the meat from drying out by increasing the humidity of the environment.