Place all chilled items in your fridge. All products will have a “Use By” date on them.
Any of our hams can be frozen on receipt in its original packaging for up to three months.
Storing Your Ham
Leave the ham in its vacuum packaging until you are ready to use it. When you first take the meat from the vacuum pack you may notice a slight odour. This is normal with traditionally cured ham and will fade in a few minutes.
Once open, keep cooked ham covered with greaseproof paper to prevent the ham from drying out. Never cover your ham with polythene or cling film, as this will encourage the development of mould. An alternative is to use our Ham Storage Bag, a calico bag that can be dampened with some water and a splash of vinegar and will do a great job of keeping your ham moist in the fridge.
We would always recommend storing your ham in a refrigerator.
Carefully following these guidelines will ensure that you maximise the life of your ham.
Freezing Your Ham
All our hams and bacon freeze well. Ensure they are tightly wrapped to eliminate air and defrost thoroughly in a refrigerator before use.
Glazing Your Ham
There are no strict rules about what you should use, but if you want to make life easy then use one of our delicious, ready-made glazes; each jar contains enough to glaze a whole ham.
Alternatively, try coating the ham in marmalade or chutney - as long as it contains something sugary which will caramelise to a rich golden colour. You may also choose to score a diamond pattern into the fat and decorate the diamonds with cloves.
Your ham can be successfully glazed in any type of oven, preheated to at least 180ºc or 360ºF. The key is vigilance, it will probably take between 10 and 15 minutes, but a few minutes can make all the difference between golden and charred!
For glazing ideas and for lots of great ways to cook and use your ham and other DukesHill products please visit our Recipe collection.
Carving Your Ham
If you have a boneless ham or joint then carving is as easy as slicing a loaf of bread.
For bone-in ham carving need not be a worry as long as you remember a few basic rules!
First and foremost, for safety, always ensure that the ham is held securely when carving, and use a good, sharp carving knife. The carver’s aim is to cut the ham into attractive slices, giving an even distribution of fat and lean.
It is a good idea to take slices from the shank (bone end), cut them down perpendicular to the bone, and from the flank (bottom of the cushion end) of the ham.
The shank slices are lean; the flank gives a fattier slice. Continue cutting alternate slices from each and finish on the middle section of the ham, the crown.
Using the cooking bag
If you wish you can opt to cook your uncooked ham in a cooking bag. This bag has very low permeability and can reduce weight loss during cooking and improve the flavour.
Put the uncooked ham into the bag together with any other ingredients such as cider, brown sugar, herbs etc., and dip in boiling water.
The bag will shrink around the meat expelling most of the air. Twist the neck of the bag, removing any remaining air and tie it tightly.
Place the sealed bag in a roasting tin in a pre-heated oven. Cooking timings are as shown for simmering.
After cooking, leave the ham to cool thoroughly in the bag, unless eating it hot. Skin and decorate or glaze as required.
Always let your ham rest after cooking - we recommend around 15 minutes.
Cooking an uncooked ham
Prior to cooking, the York and Shropshire Black hams should be soaked in cold water for at least 24 - 48 hours, changing the water once or twice. The length of soaking will affect the final saltiness of the meat. The Wiltshire hams and the “Freezer Selection Pack” joints are brine-cured and do not need soaking prior to cooking.
When ready to cook, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, bring slowly to the boil and barely simmer for approximately 25 minutes per pound. Unless you want to serve it hot, let it cool in the cooking water.
If you wish to bake it, we recommend simmering for 20 minutes per pound, followed by baking at gas mark 5, 190ºc or 375ºF
If you have a meat thermometer, the ham is cooked once it has an internal temperature of 70ºc or 158ºF.
Reheating a cooked ham
Our cooked hams can be reheated to produce an excellent hot meal. Put the ham in a roasting tray with a little liquid (stock, cider, wine or water) to keep it moist and seal tightly with a tent of foil.
Bake at around 160ºc or 320ºF until heated sufficiently. Allow two hours for a whole ham to be heated all the way through.