Shopping for ham for Easter or Christmas? Below you will find our guide to what Costco has to offer in 2023. Find out how much does a ham cost.
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Twice a year I see a lot of activity on our ham posts on this blog - Christmas and Easter (and Thanksgiving to a lesser extent). A big hunk of ham is often our choice for big meals. It feeds a lot and it so easy to cook since it comes already cooked.
Is Costco's ham good? I believe so. We have gotten plenty of hams at Costco over the years, so we have a good idea of what you can expect. This guide will help you pick out your ham and hopefully answer all of your ham questions.
💲 What is the Price of Ham
Here are the prices of ham at Costco. I recorded these prices while a Costco store in Huntsville, Alabama on March 29th, 2023. Costco consistently offers their spiral ham and Master Carve ham. Below I list how much a pound for each ham and how much they weigh on average. Prices may vary by store so take this as a general guide.
|Ham Type||Per Pound Price||Size||Final Cost|
|Kirkland Master Carve Half Ham||$3.39/lb||3-4.5 lb avg||$10.17-$15.26|
|Kirkland Spiral Sliced Ham||$2.29/lb||8-12 lb avg||$18.32-$27.48|
|Smithfield Ham Steaks||$4.49/lb||3.5 lb avg||$15.72|
Costco use to offer a Master Carve ham in a full size until they went to the half size a several years ago. Also there use to be a currant glaze that came with the ham.
🍽️ Many people have complained about the glaze being gone, so I came up with a new glaze recipe that I like more than the one that use to come with the ham.
It's easier to still get a full ham, buy two halves!!!!
The Spiral ham in the red foil has been the same as long as I have been checking for hams at Costco minus some minor packaging changes. The surprising thing to me is that they actually are cheaper this year than last. I did checked with another store to see if their prices were lower too and found that in Southern California they are $2.79/lb which is still cheaper than the 2022 prices.
You can buy your ham a couple weeks before the holiday as they last in the fridge for a long time. No reason to grab a ham last minute unless you are tight on fridge space.
🏆 What is the Best Ham to Buy
Which ham do I choose?
For a while I was going for the Master Carve Ham. The reason being is that I like that the Master Carve is a boneless ham that hasn't been shaped into a log. The ham has a more natural look. Reason why it's called a Master Cave is that it is so easy to carve since the bone is gone and you don't have any weird fatty areas.
I think the Master Carve ham is a better value as you get 100% useable meat, although it has gone up in price so it's not as much of a better value as before. I can understand that desire to bring to the table a delicious looking spiral ham. It wins for appearance. And it's also nice to have the leftover bone for soup.
If you are serving a very small crowd it might be tempting to just go with the ham steaks from Smithfield, but I don't think it's worth paying the additional cost. You can find the smallest Master Carve Ham (around 3 lbs) and just freeze whatever you don't finish. I have cut the Master Carve Ham into steaks before, they just look more irregular.
One of the biggest problems I have had with eating spiral hams cooked is that they dry out easily. So we came up with some tips on How to Keep a Spiral Ham From Drying Out.
🙋 What Does "In Nature Juices" Mean?
Both the Master Carve and Spiral are "hams in natural juices". What does that mean? The protein level is no less than around 18%. Water is added but less than "Ham, water added or ham and water product" both of which are going to have a lot of water weight and thus a watered down taste. If a ham just says "ham" then zero water is added.
A ham in natural juices is a stepdown from just "ham", which you don't find a lot of in stores, for more of us it's going to be our best option.
🍖 Read our post on different types of ham.
🧰 My Favorite Tool
As a final word of advice, I always recommend that whenever you are cooking a ham, that you use a probe thermometer. These take the guess work out of to when your meat is perfectly done the way you want it.
A thermometer has saved me so much stress and heartache over the years. I am always telling people to get one, for good reasons!
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🐖 More Ham Posts
Here are some helpful ham posts you will want to read
- How to Freeze Leftover Ham
- What's in Ham
- Can You Cook a Ham in the Instant Pot
- How to Keep Spiral Ham from Drying Out
- Easy Sides to Serve with Ham
🎧 Listen to Episode 034 of our podcast on - How to Manage Buying Bulk Costco Meat
🥩 More Costco Guide
Here are guides to different meats at Costco