What's the difference between a fresh ham, a cured ham, and a pre-cooked ham?

Most ham that's purchased is either cured or smoked. A fresh ham is one that hasn't been cured or smoked. It is essentially raw pork that must be completely cooked. Depending on the size of the ham, cooking can take up to 5 hours.
What most of us know as ham is cured or smoked pork. The curing or smoking process is what gives ham its salty, smoky and distinctive taste.
As its name suggests, a pre-cooked ham has been completely cooked either by baking, curing, or smoking. Most of these types simply need to be reheated for good flavor and texture. Many such hams also can be eaten cold, just as they are. These include canned hams and hams that are vacuum-packaged during processing. In fact, packaged spiral-cut ham is best when served cold.
Packaging should indicate which type of ham you are purchasing. If it doesn't, ask your supermarket butcher.
www.thecitycook.com "Ham: FAQs"


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