If you're looking for a tasty and easy way to prepare your Kentucky Legend Ham, then cooking it in a crockpot is an excellent option. Slow cooking the ham will help it cook evenly and retain all its flavors and juices, resulting in a dish that's not only delicious but incredibly moist as well. In this article, we will share with you everything you need to know about cooking Kentucky legend ham in a crockpot, from the basics to all the essential tips and tricks you need to get perfect results every time.
What is Kentucky Legend Ham and How is it Different?
First, it is essential to know what Kentucky Legend Ham is and how it differs from other hams on the market. Kentucky Legend ham is a boneless cured ham that is often spiral sliced and is marketed towards the holiday season. Unlike other hams made from cured pork, Kentucky Legend ham is slow-smoked over hickory logs, giving it a unique, smoky flavor that can't be found in any other ham brand. This unique taste adds an extra dimension to the ham when cooked in a crockpot, making it an excellent option for those looking to add a touch of flavor to their dishes.
Another factor that sets Kentucky Legend Ham apart from other hams is its quality. The ham is made from premium cuts of pork, which are carefully selected and trimmed to ensure that only the best meat is used. This attention to detail results in a ham that is tender, juicy, and full of flavor, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts and chefs alike.
Finally, Kentucky Legend Ham is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. From classic ham and cheese sandwiches to more elaborate recipes like ham and potato soup or ham and pineapple skewers, the possibilities are endless. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy meal or a show-stopping dish for a special occasion, Kentucky Legend Ham is the perfect choice.
Advantages of Cooking Ham in a Crockpot
When you cook Kentucky Legend ham in a crockpot, you have a lot of advantages compared to other methods like roasting or broiling. One of the main benefits is that it's effortless to set it up and go about your day, as opposed to having to monitor the ham while roasting or grilling. The slow cooking process ensures that your ham will be tender and juicy, a guarantee that's less certain in other cooking methods. The crockpot allows the ham to cook in its juices, ensuring the flavors are locked in and never lost during cooking while helping the ham remain moist and succulent.
Another advantage of cooking ham in a crockpot is that it's a great way to save time and energy. Unlike other cooking methods that require you to preheat the oven or grill, cooking ham in a crockpot only requires you to plug it in and turn it on. This means that you can spend your time doing other things while your ham cooks, and you won't have to worry about using up too much energy or heating up your kitchen.
Additionally, cooking ham in a crockpot is a great way to infuse it with different flavors. You can add a variety of herbs, spices, and other ingredients to the crockpot, which will infuse the ham with their flavors as it cooks. This means that you can experiment with different flavor combinations and create a ham that's uniquely your own. Whether you prefer sweet, savory, or spicy flavors, cooking ham in a crockpot is a great way to achieve the taste you're looking for.
Preparing the Kentucky Legend Ham for Crockpot Cooking
Before you can cook your ham in the crockpot, you need to have it ready. Take the Kentucky Legend ham out of the package, and make sure to remove any netting. You can leave a little fat on the ham as it will add to the flavor and moisture. If you want, you can use a knife to score the ham, which will help the flavorings and glaze penetrate the ham during cooking. If you're adding any extra ingredients to the pot, ensure they are prepared and ready before placing the ham in the pot.
Once you have prepared the ham, you can start to think about the flavors you want to add. You can use a variety of ingredients to create a glaze or seasoning for the ham, such as brown sugar, honey, mustard, or cloves. You can also add vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery to the pot to infuse the ham with additional flavor.
When you're ready to cook the ham, place it in the crockpot and pour any glaze or seasoning over the top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the ham is fully cooked and tender. Once it's done, you can remove it from the pot and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Choosing the Right Size Crockpot for Your Ham
The size of the crockpot you use to cook your Kentucky Legend ham will significantly impact the cooking time. We suggest using a crockpot that can easily accommodate your ham. Typically, a 6 to 8-quart crockpot is enough for an average size ham. If you have a larger ham or substantial sides accompanying it, you may need to go for an even bigger pot. Be sure to check to ensure your ham fits easily into the crockpot without squishing the sides, as this can prevent even cooking.
Another factor to consider when choosing the right size crockpot for your ham is the amount of liquid you plan to use. If you plan to add a lot of liquid, such as broth or water, to the crockpot, you may need to use a larger pot to ensure that the ham is fully submerged and cooked evenly. On the other hand, if you plan to use minimal liquid, a smaller crockpot may be sufficient.
It's also important to note that the shape of your crockpot can affect the cooking time and evenness of your ham. Oval-shaped crockpots are typically better for cooking hams, as they allow for more even cooking and better distribution of heat. If you only have a round crockpot, you may need to adjust the cooking time and rotate the ham to ensure that it cooks evenly on all sides.
Choosing the Best Ingredients to Accompany Your Ham in the Crockpot
While Kentucky Legend ham is delicious on its own, adding some other ingredients will help bring out more flavor and make the dish even more enjoyable. If you're not sure what to add, consider the classic maple-brown sugar glaze made from dijon mustard, honey, and brown sugar. You can also add in some pineapple juice, cloves, and cinnamon to give your ham a tropical twist. No matter what glaze or ingredients you choose, make sure to mix everything well, so the ham and additional ingredients cook together perfectly.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Kentucky Legend Ham in a Crockpot
Now that your ham and other ingredients are ready, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of how to cook it in a crockpot. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that every crockpot is different, so cooking times may vary. To cook your ham, place it flat side down in the crockpot. Add your preferred ingredients such as a glaze or some pineapple rings on top of the ham. Turn the crockpot on LOW and leave it to cook for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140°F. Make sure to baste the ham with the juices in the pot every hour or so to ensure all sides cook evenly.
Tips for Achieving Perfectly Cooked Kentucky Legend Ham Every Time
If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can be sure that your Kentucky Legend ham will turn out great. However, there are a few extra tips you can keep in mind to make your dish even more perfect. If you want your ham to have a bit of a crust, consider broiling it for a few minutes before serving. Additionally, you can add some extra ingredients like garlic, onions, or even bacon to give the dish some extra zing. Be mindful not to go overboard since the flavors should complement the smoky flavor of the ham, and not overpower it in any way.
How to Know When Your Kentucky Legend Ham is Ready in the Crockpot
The best way to determine if your ham is ready is by using a meat thermometer, which should be inserted into the thickest part of the ham and give a reading of 140°F. Once the internal temperature of the ham reaches this point, you can be confident it's been fully cooked. Alternatively, you can gently pull at the ham to see if the meat has adequately separated from the bone, which is another indication that it's cooked through.
Serving Suggestions and Pairings for Your Delicious Kentucky Legend Ham Dish
When it comes to serving Kentucky Legend ham, you have a ton of options. You can keep it simple and pair it with some roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes. Consider adding some greens like asparagus, broccoli, or salad to give a complete and well-rounded meal. You can also serve it up as a sandwich or a wrap, or even add it to your next Hors d'oeuvre party platter. The smoky flavor of the ham pairs perfectly with a wide range of foods, so let your creativity run wild!
Storage Tips and Ideas for Leftover Kentucky Legend Ham from the Crockpot
Now that you've enjoyed your delicious Kentucky Legend ham, you're sure to have some leftovers. There are lots of options for storing leftover ham, but one thing to keep in mind is that you should store it in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to eat it again. Some popular options include using the leftover ham to make soups, stock, omelets or adding it to pasta or rice dishes. Consider freezing any leftovers in small portions so that you can use them in a variety of ways in the future.
Overall, cooking Kentucky Legend ham in a crockpot is not only simple and easy—it's an excellent way to ensure the ham retains all its delicious flavors and remains juicy and tender. By following the steps above and trying out different ingredients and recipes, you're sure to create a dish that's both mouthwatering and memorable. So go ahead and give it a try and watch as your guests come back for more!