Knife cutting a ham.
Is Ham Considered Red Or White Meat?

Ham has a unique color, texture, and flavor when compared to most other meats. This has led many to wonder whether it is red, white, or neither.

Ham comes from a hog's hind leg, which means it is pork and, therefore, red meat. Its pinkish color comes from the curing process pork undergoes to become ham.

The easiest way to define red meat is that it comes from mammals, from cows and pigs to game meat like deer. White meat, on the other hand, generally refers to poultry.

The difference between red and white meat lies in the amount of myoglobin, which controls oxygen to the muscles. The more of it an animal has, the redder the raw meat appears.

When most red meat is cured, it turns pink. This is why ham, as well as several other cured meats like bacon, are pink.