How to Score a Ham: Scoring a ham is a really important part of baking a juicy, flavorful ham, no matter what size it is. But why is it so important?

Hams have thick layers of fat that insulate the meat and the fat will baste the ham while it cooks! Scoring the ham will allow your ham glaze to seep into the cracks giving you more delicious flavor!  Not to mention it makes for a stunning presentation at the dinner table!

Slices of ham on a wooden board

How To Score A Ham

Scoring a whole ham is actually very easy. Make sure your knife is sharp and place the ham on a thick cutting board or kitchen towel to keep it stable.

  1. Starting from one end close to the bottom, cut about 1/3 of an inch into the ham in a line.
  2. Repeat making lines 1″ apart on the ham.
  3. Turn the ham and repeat diagonally from one side to the other.

Now you’re ready to make Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze! Another alternative is to layer rings of pineapple on top of the ham, secured with toothpicks. As the ham cooks, the sweet and savory flavors will seep into the meat, perfectly complementing the salty pork!

Scoring Ham on a wooden board

Glazed hams are just as yummy because the glaze will drip and stay into the scored grooves, but be careful because a glazed cooking ham times are different.

Either method you pick, place your ham on a rack in roasting pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes per pound or until the scored fat on the outside has open up and started to get crispy. Remove the ham and allow it to sit at least 15 minutes before carving!

How to Score a Ham Hock

  1. Scoring a ham hock is much easier because the hock portion is smaller.
  2. Simply pierce the fat in uniform places all around the hock before placing into a stockpot with water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the water by half, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer until the ham hock is tender and ready to serve.
a ham scored and baked and sliced with a title
a ham scored and baked



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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