How to Perfectly Cook a 9lb Ham

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How Long Does It Take To Cook A 9lb HamYou’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to spend so much money or exert too much effort to create the perfect holiday meal using fresh ham! Whether you want to work with bone-in ham or boneless ham, you’ll find that this recipe can be used to feed friends and family for any special occasion. In this article, we’ll show you how to perfectly cook a 9lb ham that’s tasty, juicy, and all-around delicious for the whole family!  

Choosing the Right Ham 

Before anything else, it’s important to pick the right ham from your grocery store; getting the right type of ham will ensure maximum taste and juiciness out of your meal. First, you have your traditional spiral-cut ham, which comes with a simple glaze and will typically be a pre-cooked ham. As its name suggests, a half ham is simply one-half of a whole ham and once it’s cut, it becomes a spiral cut ham. 

You may also find options labeled “City Hams,” which are injected with moisture to prevent them from drying out. There are also Country Hams; these wet-cured hams can be very salty and are great for making gravy, while uncooked hams aren’t cured and don’t belong in the precooked category. You can also opt for boneless hams which are available sliced or uncut, which can be great if you plan to host a sandwich bar and are in need of hearty slices of ham.   

Best Cooking Time for Your Ham

If you’re unsure about how long you need to cook a big ham, you should stick to the general rule of 10-15 minutes per pound. Working at 350 degrees for your oven temperature means that you’ll be aiming for a cooking time of around 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 9-pound ham. Those cooking ham for the first time should take note of these times because they will likely come from a cold fridge, so you need to thoroughly cook your ham to ensure that everyone gets a hot ham slice.

However, if you’re working with boneless ham, you can work using the same temperature but you’ll want to cut your cooking time to 10 minutes per pound. 

How to Achieve Juicy Ham 

Everybody has their own way of cooking ham; we’ll be using a 9lb precooked ham, but if you purchased an unsliced ham, be sure to give it a diamond pattern using a sharp knife. This will give your glaze a place to stand by, allowing it to truly moisten your ham; once your ham is scored, be sure to follow the rest of the instructions further down below. A spiral-sliced ham should be removed from the packaging and placed into a large roasting pan with a little water, between ¾ of a cup to 1 cup.  

How to Cook Holiday Ham 

After your ham finishes inside the roasting pan and it has little water left at the bottom, be sure to cover it tightly using aluminum foil. At this point, there’s no need to add glazes, juices, or anything else — now place your ham inside a cold oven, then turn it on to 350° F. After an hour, you’ll notice that your ham has released plenty of juices, so be sure to get your turkey baster and squeeze this liquid all over your ham. 

Be sure to do this every 15-20 minutes to keep your ham moist and juicy — it should have an internal temperature of 145° F when you check it with a meat thermometer. This will let you know that you have fully cooked ham that’s safe to eat and serve to your guests. When there are only 15 minutes left in your cook time, you can get started with making the best glaze for your ham.  

Making Your Glaze 

This brown sugar glaze recipe will get you similar results to a Honeybaked Ham, without breaking the bank; all you need is some brown sugar, mustard, and orange juice (or pineapple juice). Heat up these glaze ingredients inside a small saucepan and use a basting brush to paint your glaze over the ham. Because it’s a sugary glaze, you’ll need to keep your eye on it, otherwise it could burn quickly — it’s also possible to brush your ham with this over the final 10 to 15 minutes of your cook time.  

This glaze will caramelize your ham and create a crust that’s almost crispy and breaks as you bite it. Alternatively, you can also make a Coca-Cola Glaze, a Southern specialty that you can make by simply boiling down a small bottle of Coke, and then adding other ingredients. It results in a rich, dark-colored glaze that you can pair with macaroni and cheese or collard greens. 

Best Ham Recipe

This recipe will only work for precooked hams; if you’re using fresh, uncooked ham, you won’t get the best results. These will usually be smoked first and then roasted inside the oven just like bacon. But for this recipe, we’ll use precooked ham to save you some time and effort. 


  • 9-lb. Spiral-Cut Ham
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 TBS Mustard
  • 1 cup Water


  1. Remove the packaging from your ham and place it inside a shallow roasting pan.
  2. Pour your water into the bottom of your roasting pan.
  3. Cover your ham tightly using aluminum foil.
  4. Place it inside a cold oven (do not preheat) and turn it on to 350° F.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes per pound. For your 9-lb. ham, it should take around 2 hours and 15 minutes. 
  6. After cooking it for 1.5 hours, remove your ham from the oven and take the foil off. 
  7. Using your turkey baster, suck in all the juices that pooled at the bottom of the pan, then squeeze them out all over your ham. Do this step every 15 minutes for the last hour of your cook, for a total of 4 times. 
  8. Using a small saucepan, add in your brown sugar, orange juice, and mustard. Bring everything to a boil and stir until they’re evenly combined and have reduced by half. Keep an eye on your glaze and make sure it doesn’t burn.
  9. Over the last 15 minutes of cooking, brush your ham using your glaze over 2 to 3 times, placing your ham back into your oven each time. 
  10. Once you finish glazing your ham, remove it from your oven and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before you slice and serve it up. 

How to Perfectly Cook a 9lb Ham

Now that you know the best way to make juicy, tender meat for your holiday celebrations, you’ll know exactly how to infuse your ham with extra flavor no matter the size of ham you use. The best ham doesn’t have to be complex or expensive; you can find the perfect balance of sweet and savory with this cooking process. Don’t forget to serve up some classic sides like bean soup or green beans to make the most out of your meal.