Alderfer Meats

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Serving the Perfect Ham


All varieties of ham are either bone-in or boneless. While bone-in hams are traditionally considered more elegant and boneless easier to serve, both types have the same great taste. Bone-in hams are available in a variety of shapes—whole or as a shank or butt half—and typically serve two to three people per pound. This type of ham has superior taste and texture because the natural muscles, fat and bones are undisturbed.

Boneless hams, recognizable by both label and heavy plastic or foil wrapping, keep for several weeks in their original packaging in the refrigerator. A boneless ham will yield roughly four to five servings per pound.

Almost all hams come fully cooked, as noted on the label. If desired, cooked hams can be served directly from the refrigerator without heating. To serve hot, simply unwrap and heat to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boneless Ham


Cut several long slices off the side. Turn the ham onto its cut surface and slice to the desired thickness.


Count on four to five servings per pound with a boneless ham. When serving, arrange the slices around the uncut portion of the ham on a platter and garnish platter. Only cut enough ham for immediate needs. The remaining ham stays moist and juicy when left uncut, maintaining the same great flavor every time you go back for seconds.

Bone-in Ham


Begin carving by placing the ham on its side on a firm cutting surface. Steady the ham with a large fork and cut several long slices off the thin side and turn the ham onto its flat, cut surface. Make perpendicular slices to the leg bone to the desired thickness. To loosen the slices, cut horizontally along the leg bone, removing each slice with the fork.


When serving a bone-in ham, plan on two to three servings per pound. Arrange the ham slices, separate from the bone, on a serving platter and garnish with fresh fruit or greens. Be sure to wrap the bone and unused ham in plastic wrap and refrigerate for delicious leftovers.


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