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 –
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.
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.
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.
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.
**UPDATE** Sold as Half Hams
Check out my post on how Costco changed to only selling these hams as half hams.
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!
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.
**UPDATE** No Glaze This Year
Apparently Costco is no longer including the glaze with the ham. Find out how I am making my own red currant glaze this Christmas.
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 KitchenAid roasting pan. I placed it on the rack in the pan so that there could be airflow all around the ham.
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.