Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review (Costco)

(Last Updated On: December 17, 2015)

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

No bones about it, I am not a fan of boneless hams. In fact, for the past 5 years ago I have been telling people reasons not to buy a boneless ham. So why in the world am I reviewing a boneless? This ham is not the same boneless I am accustom to. What I think of boneless ham, I think of this below –

Sparatan Boneless Ham

That is a ham that has been pressed, formed, modeled into a log shape. Very unnatural. Nothing I want to be a part of. Now take a look at this boneless ham from Costco’s Kirkland brand.

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

Doesn’t look like your grandma’s boneless ham now does it. Instead of taking the meat and pressing it into a log shape, the boneless is just cut out and what you have a is almost heart-shaped thin piece of meat. This shape is great for several reasons:

1. More surface area to apply a glaze to.
2. This shape allows for more even cooking. The temperature of the inner most meat and the temperature of the outer most most is closer – more perfectly cooked meat.

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

3. Super easy to carve. No bone, and the thickness is perfect serving size.
4. In fits in the fridge easily. Due to it’s flat shape, you can easily fit it in your fridge with all of your other holiday foods.

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

6 More Reasons to Buy this Ham
1. Besides the advantages of the shape, I also like this this ham has been smoked using applewood. I find that the flavor of applewood is more complex than that of hickory, which I find one most packages of smoked meats (some don’t tell you). Applewood brings a sweet, fruity, smoky flavor to the meat. It is my second favorite, next to cherrywood.

2. The ham goes for $2.49/per pound. Not very expensive – but not your rock bottom price either. After carving it we had more usable meat than we ever did with the cheap 99 cent a pound bone-in hams we have bought in the past.

3. This ham is marked as “ham in natural juices”. Your cheap hams are labeled as “ham and water product”. These ones have water added to them that does not but increase the costs of the ham as you are paying for water weight. Also water does nothing but delute the flavor of the ham. A ham in natural juices is required to be at least 18.5% protein where as a ham and water product can contain any amount of water. A Cook’s brand ham contains 23% added ingredients!

Cook's Ham Label

4. One of the tastiest hams I have had. It has less added water than the cheap hams I normally buy the flavor shines stronger. Also I found that the ham itself wasn’t overly salty. I have had hams that after eating I had to drink a gallon of water to stay hydrated.

5. The texture was melt in your mouth good and the ham had plenty of moisture.

6. Usually I opt for making my own glaze – Eat Like No One Else style – I decided as a far review to use the glaze that came with the ham. The glaze is a red currant glaze. It contains red currant juice and also whole dried zante currants (which actually aren’t currants but dried champagne grapes). The flavor was sweet and tangy. It had Worcestershire in it as well. Very well done glaze. The only ingredient in the glaze that I didn’t like was the modified food starch, other than that I knew and could pronounce everything else in it.

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

How to Cook this Ham
More often than not I find myself disagreeing with the instructions given on a piece of meat. But this time I had no complaints. Roast it in a 350 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, then allow the ham to rest until it reaches 140 degrees. They say that should take 10 minutes, but in my case it was more like 15 to 20 minutes to carryover those last 10 degrees. Overall cooking time was about 2 hours. If you have plenty of time to cook your ham I would even roast it at a lower temperature for a longer period. A longer temperature allows the ham to re-heat (yes it has already been cooked) more evenly.

In order to get the temperature right, you need a thermometer. I recommend a probe thermometer that remains in the meat the entire cooking time. Just stick it in the most center part of the ham. Since there are no bones to worry about, it is rather easy to find the sweet spot.

I cooked the ham in my roasting pan. I placed it on the rack in the pan so that there could be airflow all around the ham.

Kirkland Master Carve Boneless Ham Review

Applying the Glaze

The instructions said to apply the glaze with in last 20 minutes of cooking. When the ham was at 120 degrees, I took it out and applied the glaze. I brushed it on with my Oxo Silicone Basting Brush. One of the best kitchen tools I have. Easy to brush things on and it actually comes off the brush and it easy to clean. Can’t say enough good things about this brush.

Buy a Boneless Ham
After years of telling my readers to never buy a boneless ham, I can actually change my tune (sort of). Avoid all boneless hams if they look like a log or a football. If the boneless ham has a natural shape, especially if it’s a the Kirkland Master Carve Ham, feel free to fork over your money for a delicious piece of meat where every pond you pay for is edible.

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16 Comment

  1. Gary Walters says:

    I only want to cook half of the Master carved Han, can I freeze the other half and if so how long can it keep frozen?

    Thank you..
    Gary Walters

  2. Eric Samuelson says:

    Yes you can do that, no problem. Make sure you wrap the other half tighly in foil before placing it in the freezer. I would then eat it probably within 3 months for best quality.

  3. Sarah Stahl says:

    I appreciate what you said (all of it) and agree on the other hams ick. I am so thrilled I bought this ham and so glad you wrote how to cook it. I am cooking it in my roaster so my oven is free for other things like my Moons Potatoes. Thanks again. Sarah Stahl
    P.S. You do not have to re;ply I was just letting you know you did good HAPPY EASTER
    Eric and your family too.

  4. KW says:

    Eric, Thanks so much for this article. Based on it alone I bought and served this ham for Easter and everyone loved how lean and moist it was. I normally buy a bone-in ham from a Chicago butcher but couldn’t get there this year in time for Easter. Not only did I love the flat shape of the Kirkland ham for the fridge (as you mentioned) but it was a great space saver in the oven so that I had room for other 9×13 pans of side dishes on other racks. Cheers!

  5. Linda K Novak says:

    Last Christmas I served a Master Carver boneless ham. It was deeeeelicious…enjoyed by the entire family! Thank you Costco for providing such a premier product.

    Please consider bottling and selling the Red Currant glaze. The glaze is only provided with a larger ham. Recently, I purchased a Master Carver half ham and was disappointed not to receive the glaze. Just think of all the customers who will not have the opportunity to enjoy such a delicious glaze.

    Linda K Novak
    2674 Bluff Ridge Dr.
    St Louis, Mo 63129

  6. Jan Kincannon says:

    Please share a recipe for the gorgeous glaze you use on your photos? The glaze looks perfect thanks so much in advance for your help.
    Jan

  7. Eric Samuelson says:

    I didn’t know that about the smaller ham. You should reach out to Costco and let them know your thoughts. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

  8. Eric Samuelson says:

    In this case I just used the glaze that came with the package.

  9. Penny says:

    How big are these hams? I need to do a Christmas church dinner for about 100 people (adults and children). How many would you suggest? Thank you for this great review, it was just what I needed.

  10. Eric Samuelson says:

    The hams average around 10 pounds, give or take. I would say if you want to generous say 1/2 pounds per person, so that is about 20 people for a 10 pound ham. So 5 Hams would be about 100 people. That would be my best guess, I have never feed a crowd that large. I also would recommend asking anyone you might know who works in catering that might have a better idea of how much ham per person. Thanks for asking and I am glad you enjoyed the review 🙂

  11. […] This ham changed my mind about buying boneless hams. It is not just ham formed into a log with chemicals, it just cut from the bone and left it is natural shape. They not have them in half hams so that you don’t need to buy such a big chunk of meat if you don’t need it. To learn more about this ham, check out my Master Carve Ham review. […]

  12. Bill Stevens says:

    Eric…be totally transparent and LIST ALL the ingredients in the Master Carve ham. The chemicals are unnecessary. You want a chemical free ham go to Trader Joe’s.

  13. J TenBroeck says:

    Can this ham be heated in a slow cooker?

  14. Eric Samuelson says:

    It will take longer to get it up to be hot enough in the center, but I don’t see why you couldn’t do that if you wanted. I plan to look more into that topic, maybe do a post about it next month for Christmas.

  15. Sally Frampton says:

    I just purchased the Kirkland Applewood Ham from Costco and very disappointed that the Red-current glaze was not included. Does anyone have a re pie for it?

  16. Eric Samuelson says:

    Maybe they stopped including the glaze. I haven’t bought one in a while. I will see what I can figure out a recipe for you.

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