You’ve all been there where you cook a delicious ham for your holiday feast, only to find out that you’ve gone a little too heavy on the salt while cooking, which resulted in a salty ham. The first instinct is to throw it away and start over, but there’s no need to waste all that food!
There is always a fix! With a few simple steps, you can take your salty ham from inedible to delicious. Below are helpful tips and information on how to make ham less salty after cooking.
How to Save a Salty Ham After Cooking
Cooking a ham is one of the most delicious and easy ways to feed a large crowd during the holidays. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned. So if you find yourself with an over-salted ham, don’t despair! There are a few simple tricks to save your ham and make it less salty.
All you need is a little bit of time and patience. Your goal must be to remove some of the excess salt without ruining the flavor of the ham. Here’s how to do it:
1️⃣Trim Off Any Excess Fat
You can start by trimming off any excess fat from the cooked ham. Since fat is where a lot of the saltiness comes from, getting rid of it will help to make your ham less salty. It’s recommended to trim off at least 1/4 inch of fat so that the cooked ham will be less greasy as well.
Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to do this. Just be careful not to trim too much off the meat itself, as you don’t want to remove any of the flavors of the cooked ham. You can quickly tell where the fat is by looking for the white stripes on the ham.
2️⃣Score The Ham
The next step is to score the ham. It means making more shallow cuts all over the surface of the ham. Be sure not to cut too deep, as you don’t want to cut into the meat itself. Doing this will help the water penetrate the ham more and remove some of the saltiness. It will also make it easier for any glaze or sauce you use to stick to the ham.
You can use any sharp knife to score the ham, but a serrated knife works best. Just make sure to go against the grain of the meat so that the cuts are visible and not too deep.
3️⃣Soak The Ham In Water
After trimming the fat and scoring the ham, it’s time to soak it in water. It will help to remove some of the excess salt from the meat. It’s essential to use cold water to avoid overcooking the ham. Make sure to soak the ham for at least 30, but longer is better if you have the time.
Any bowl will do but be sure to cover the ham completely with water. You may need to weigh it down so it doesn’t float to the top, as too much contact with the air will dry it out.
4️⃣Rinse The Ham
After soaking the ham, it’s important to rinse it off thoroughly. It will help remove any residual salt left on the surface of the meat. Use cold water so that the ham doesn’t start overcooking.
A colander or strainer will come in handy for this so that you can rinse the ham easily. Just be sure to shake it off well so that there’s no water left on the surface of the ham.
5️⃣Pat The Ham Dry
The next step is to pat the ham dry with a paper towel or clean the kitchen towel. It will help remove any water left on the surface of the ham. Just be sure to pat it dry gently so that you don’t remove any of the flavors from the meat.
Not doing this will result in a soggy ham and make it more difficult for any glaze or sauce to stick. Also, make sure to let the ham sit at room temperature.
6️⃣Pour Vinegar Before Re-cooking
After doing all of that, yet the ham is still too salty, you can try cooking it again with vinegar. It will help to remove some of the excess salt from the meat. Just be sure to add the vinegar before cooking the ham so that it has time to work.
You can use any type of vinegar for this, but white vinegar or apple cider vinegar works well. Add a couple of tablespoons evenly over the entire surface of the ham so that it can help to break down the salt.
7️⃣Re-Cook The Ham
Now it’s time to re-cook the ham. You can do this in the oven, on the stovetop, or even in a slow cooker. Just be sure to follow the exact cooking instructions that you used before.
The vinegar will help remove some of the saltiness from the meat as it cooks. Just be sure not to overcook the ham as it will dry out and become even saltier.
8️⃣Add Glaze or Any Sauce
Once the ham is cooked, you can now serve it. You can add any glaze or sauce, but a sweet and sticky glaze is always a good choice.
It will help to offset the saltiness of the ham and add a bit more flavor. Just be sure to serve it immediately so that the ham doesn’t get too dry while it sits.
Dangers of Salty Ham
While it may seem like nothing could possibly go wrong with adding a little extra salt to your ham, it actually causes a lot of problems, including:
- Too salty taste
- Unpleasant odor
- Dry texture
- Mold growth
- Rancid flavor
The best way to avoid these problems is to be careful how much salt you use when seasoning your ham. Just a little bit goes a long way, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you do accidentally over-salt your ham, follow the steps above to try and salvage it.
Common Reasons Why Ham Is Too Salty
Now that you know how to make ham less salty after cooking and the dangers of over-salting, you need to be aware of the common reasons why ham can turn out too salty. Knowing these will help you to avoid them in the future. So here are some of the most common reasons:
➣Not Soaking The Ham In Water Long Enough
One of the most common reasons ham is too salty is that it isn’t soaked in water long enough. It’s essential to soak the ham for at least 6 hours before cooking, but longer is better if you have the time. Doing this will help remove some of the excess salt from the meat.
➣Wrong Curing Process
Ham can also be too salty because it wasn’t cured properly. It is more common with country-style ham. If you’re not sure if your ham is cured correctly, it’s best to ask the butcher or check the packaging.
➣Not Rinsing The Ham After Soaking
Another common reason why ham is too salty is that it wasn’t rinsed after soaking. It’s important to rinse the ham off entirely so that any residual salt left on the meat’s surface is removed.
➣Adding Too Much Salt In The Recipe
One last reason ham might be too salty is that too much salt was added to the recipe. It can easily happen if you’re not careful. Be sure to taste the ham before adding any salt and only add a little at a time until it’s just how you like it.
Best Ways to Serve a Ham
Since ham is such a versatile meat, there are plenty of ways to serve it to please everyone at the table. Here are some of the best ways to serve ham:
Glazed ham is a classic ham dish that is always popular. You can either use a store-bought glaze or make your own. Just be sure to brush it on liberally and let it caramelize while it cooks.
✔Ham And Cheese Sliders
Sliders are perfect for a party or as an easy weeknight dinner. All you need is some dinner rolls, ham, cheese, and a little dijon mustard. They’re easy to customize, and everyone will love them.
✔Ham And Potato Soup
This hearty soup is perfect for a cold day. It’s easy to make and can be made in advance. It’s packed with flavor and will please even the pickiest eaters and ham lovers.
Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is an elegant dish perfect for a special occasion or to impress your guests. It’s simple to make and doesn’t require any cooking. Just wrap some asparagus in prosciutto and bake until crispy.
✔Green Bean Casserole With Ham
This Thanksgiving classic can also be made with ham. Just substitute the traditional turkey for ham, and you’ve got a delicious and easy-to-make casserole that everyone will love. If you’re looking for something a little different this year, give this casserole a try.
A salad is a great option for using up any leftover ham. Just mix it with chopped celery, onions, and mayo, and you’re good to go. Serve it on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich.
Health Benefits of Eating Ham
With all of the talk about unhealthy processed meats, you might be surprised to learn that ham can actually be good for you. Here are some of the health benefits of eating ham:
👍It’s A Good Source of Protein
Ham is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. Eating it twice a week can help you to reach your protein goals.
👍It Can Help You Lose Weight
Despite containing fat and calories, ham can actually help you lose weight. It is because it’s a high-protein food that helps to boost metabolism and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
👍It’s Rich in B vitamins
Ham is also a good source of B vitamins, essential for energy production. So, if you’re feeling run down, eating some ham can help boost you.
👍It’s Good for Your Bones
Ham is also rich in phosphorus, which is essential for healthy bones. So, if you’re trying to improve your bone health, eating ham is an excellent place to start.
👍It Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Processed meats are often linked with an increased risk of heart disease, but that isn’t the case with ham. In fact, ham can actually help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is because of the healthy fats it contains.
Tips for Using Leftover Ham
Sometimes you might find yourself with leftover ham but not sure what to do with it. Throwing it away is definitely not an option, so here are some tips for using leftover ham:
◻Add It to Soup or a Casserole
Ham is a great way to add flavor and protein to a soup or casserole. Just chop it up and add it in. You’ll be surprised how much it will add to the dish.
◻Add It to Pasta
If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner, add leftover ham to some cooked pasta. You can either use it as is or mix it with a sauce.
◻Make Ham Sandwiches
A classic ham sandwich is always a good option. Just pile on the ham, cheese, and your favorite condiments.
◻Use It In Omelettes or Quiche
Omelets and quiche are another great way to use up leftover ham. Just add it with your other favorite ingredients, and you’re good to go.
◻Make Ham and Cheese Rolls
Ham and cheese rolls are delicious and easy-to-make snacks. Just roll up some ham and cheese in a tortilla or flatbread and slice it into bite-sized pieces.
After learning how to make ham less salty after cooking, you’ll never have to worry about your ham being too salty again. Just follow the mentioned tips above, and you’ll be good to go. So get back in the kitchen and bring that salty ham to a whole new level! For more cooking tips like this, click here.