Ever wonder how a boneless ham is made? Learn how it's done and the different types boneless hams. Should you even consider buying a boneless ham?
Ham is a choice of many households, whether it be for Christmas or Easter dinner. What is not to love about something that will feed a lot of people and can be had for a couple to a few dollars a pound.
The supermarkets are packed full of different types of ham. You may see them advertising a ham that has no bones. If you see such a ham should you buy it or run for your life?
Learn what a boneless ham is and how it is made.
❓ What is a Boneless Ham?
Simply it's a ham with no bones. The reason behind them is to make it easier to carve for the home cook. However it's not as simple as that anymore. In recent years a different type of boneless ham has come on the market.
🐖 Types of Boneless Hams
Here are the two types of boneless hams.
- Reconstituted Ham - meat is removed from the bone and then shaped into the shape of a log, contains modified food starch. Either comes in a whole ham or portions of. These hams are labeled as ham & water product.
- Carving Ham - the meat is cut off the bone without the shape of the ham being altered. Kirkland Master Carve is one example. I have also gotten this type of ham at ALDI and Kroger. Often considered a ham in nature juices.
RELATED - What are the Different Types of Ham?
👍👎 Pros & Cons
👍 Pro - Easy to carve
Since there is no bone to carve around, these hams are simply just sliced like you would a stick of butter!
👎 Con - No bone for soup
One of the best things about having a ham bone is to make soup with it later on. You will be denied this by getting a boneless ham.
👍 Pro - Easier to store in the fridge
Either type of boneless ham is going to be easier to fit into the fridge because of their flatten shape.
👎 Con - In the case of reconstituted hams, you have to add non-natural ingredients to them to keep them together.
This is a point that Alton Brown made on an episode of Good Eats, if the ham is boneless what is holding the meat together? A "carving ham" is different in that you just need to remove it from the bone just like a boneless ribeye steak.
👎 Con - The price of some boneless hams can be more than a traditional bone-in ham.
You will often pay more per pound for a boneless ham in either style. The extra labor involved with making them is why.
A reconstituted boneless ham I find lacking in flavor. And the texture is different. It's more manufactured. The modified food starch added to jell the meat, make it more like ham jelly! I don't recommend them.
However the carving style ham that just has the bone removed, can be a good option for your dinner table. They still taste like a real ham and they are simple to carve. Even though they often are more expensive per pound, you are getting all useable meat. They don't have lots of fatty pieces.
I never recommend boneless hams at all until I first had a "carving ham". Now we often get them as Costco sells them for a good price that sometimes is cheaper than their bone-in spiral ham. I do still cook up a bone-in shank ham from time to time.
🐽 More Ham Posts
Want to learn more about ham? Check out these posts.