Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Cook's Ham FAQ's

If your question isn't answered in this section, please contact us here.

What is the difference between Cook's® spiral sliced hams and specialty store spiral sliced hams like HoneyBaked®?
None, they are both bone-in hams, except specialty stores heat and glaze the ham for you. We prefer to sell our quality products through your favorite supermarkets where we can pass along considerable savings to you without sacrificing product quality.
Where can I find a Cook's ham?
Cook's hams are available at most major supermarkets. If you are having problems finding quality Cook's hams, ask the meat department at your favorite store to order you a Cook's ham.
Can I order a Cook's ham online?
No, we do not offer Cook's Hams online or mail order, but we do have a strong distribution through many of the major supermarkets throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. You'll most likely be able to purchase a Cook's Ham in your local supermarket meatcase at a better value, without having to pay hefty shipping and handling charges.
How many people does an average ham feed?
Number of serving based upon 6-ounce serving size* and will vary depending on the size of your ham.
  • Bone-In Whole Ham: 30-40 people
  • Bone-In Half Ham: 15-20 people
  • Bone-In Quarter Ham: 7-10
  • Bone-In Portion Ham: 10-15 people
  • Bone-In Ham Steak: 3-4 people
  • Bone-In Thick Cut Ham Steak: 6-8 people
  • Boneless Quarter Spiral Ham: 7-10 people
  • Boneless Whole Ham: 10-15 people
  • Boneless Half Ham: 4-6 people
*approximate serving sizes for adults vary
Can I microwave a ham?
Current microwave technology does not generally yield results that are as favorable as conventional cooking methods for larger pieces of meat. Meats tend to be drier and tougher when microwaved. Because of their smaller unit size, however, Cook's ham steaks can be effectively microwaved as a quick, time-saving alternative.
I would like to use a ham rack/holder when I serve my spiral sliced ham. Where can I purchase one?
Sometimes you can find ham racks/holders at local specialty kitchen supply stores. Otherwise, you can find a ham rack at Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop www.fantes.com. Their phone number is 800-443-2683. Please reference item #6889. Or you can purchase a ham holder from Hubert www.hubert.com. Their phone number is 800-543-7374. Please reference item #13200.
If I cook 2 hams in the same pan, do I double the cooking time?
No, you do not double the cooking time. If you put both hams in the same pan, just remember to cover the pan with an aluminum foil tent, which allows air to circulate.
How long can I keep a Cook's ham in my refrigerator?
Please refer to the 'Sell By' date or 'Use or Freeze By' date on your product when it is un-opened. Product is good to use up until the date printed, if kept properly cold and unopened. If you wish to store the product longer, we recommend freezing it to maintain freshness quality.
Can I freeze my Cook's ham?
Yes. The American Meat Institute recommends that you can freeze your ham (before opening the packaging) just as you would other meat for up to 3 months.
How do I thaw a ham?
It depends on the size of the ham, but in general we recommend defrosting in your refrigerator for 24-48 hours. The USDA does not recommend defrosting meat of any kind on the countertop, which can encourage bacterial growth.
What's the difference between bone-in and boneless hams?
Many people think the sole difference between bone-in ham versus boneless ham is simply that one has bones while the other does not. However, you will find that bone-in ham and boneless ham vary in flavor, texture and preparation. Bone-in ham has a superior taste and texture because the natural muscle, fat and bones are undisturbed.
What's the difference between the butt and shank portion/half ham?
The shank portion or shank half of a bone-in ham tends to be a bigger piece of meat, easier to carve and the bone is easier to use when making soups. The butt portion or butt half tends to be smaller and a leaner piece of meat, but can be more difficult to carve due to the irregular shape of one of its bones (aitch bone).
Is there anything I can do to reduce the salty taste of a ham?
Some people are more sensitive to sodium than others. Sodium is an essential ingredient in the curing process of making a ham. If you would like to reduce the salty taste of a ham, here are a few tricks you can try before you cook your ham. Soak ham in cold water overnight in the refrigerator; or bake ham for first 1 to 1½ hours, then pour off salty pan drippings. Pour a small bottle of ginger ale or 7-Up® over the ham, and finish baking.

In some areas, we also carry reduced sodium hams, which contain 25% less sodium than our regular product. An orange colored "reduced sodium" statement on the label easily identifies them in the supermarket meatcase.
Is there a difference between a smoked pork shoulder picnic and a ham? They look the same.
Location. Location. Location. Ham is taken from the back leg of a pig, and the picnic refers to the front leg or shoulder. Hams are a leaner cut of meat. Picnics have more internal fat. Many people use picnics for preparing boiled dinners or find them a great way to add flavor to other dishes, especially soups and casseroles.
Do Cook's products contain gluten?
The manufacturing objective for all Cook's branded meat products is that they be gluten-free. The fresh meat Cook's uses as it's primary raw material is naturally free of glutens, however, other ingredients are also necessary in the production of all Cook's hams and other processed meat products. Since these outside ingredients and spices represent a potential source for the introduction of gluten, Cook's specifies that these ingredients must be gluten-free. Despite this, Cook's suppliers are able to alter their spice formulations from time to time, without Cook's prior knowledge, yet still comply with federal USDA labeling requirements. Any change in an individual ingredient or its source, however, creates the possibility of gluten being unwittingly introduced. For this reason, Cook's cannot absolutely guarantee the gluten-free status of all our vendor's supplies and, therefore, cannot guarantee that all Cook's products will be 100% free of gluten.