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An 18 lb Ham

Last year I posted several times about my 18 lb hams. Every time I mentioned them several of you would comment or email about how big an 18 lb ham must be.

The other day I was looking through my food pictures and found a few pictures of one of my 18 lb hams. I thought since Easter was coming up, and many of you will be cooking ham, that it would be a good time to share the pictures of what an 18 lb ham looks like, but I was not sure anyone would care about an 18 lb ham.

So, I asked last night on Facebook if I should post about my hams and many readers responded that yes they were curious and wanted to know.

So, here is one of my 18 lb hams.

That is a large kitchen aid roaster pan and the ham takes up basically the whole pan.

Our hams are not fully cooked hams. You can not cut a piece of this off and eat it like you would most of the hams that you buy at the store. It is raw and has to be cooked.

Technically they are not fresh hams because they have been smoked and seasoned by the butcher that processes our meat for us. But they are still basically raw and not ready to eat as is.

Sometime, I will post exactly how I cook my hams, but I will say an 18 lb raw ham is hard to cook. Mainly because it is so large that it does not cook very evenly. And raw hams have to cook for quite a few hours as it is, add on the 18 lb thing, and they take forever to cook.

I really prefer smaller hams, but some times our hogs end up being a bit larger and we get really large hams. Last year I actually had four 18 lb hams.

You see each hog has two hams, basically each ham is half of the backside. We always have each half cut into half  and two hams become four. So, my 18 lb ham was really a 36 lb ham and that means I had about 72 lbs of ham from one hog last year.

Yes, that was one large hog. Any guesses why I am tired of ham.

Thankfully the hogs we butchered this year were smaller, so my hams were smaller. I was quite relived when I saw hams that were closer to 12 lbs this year.

And for those of you thinking that an 18 lb ham must be really fatty, ours are not. We are very careful what type of hogs we raise and we are extremely picky on what we feed our hogs. Our meat is usually very lean meat.

This is what the ham looks like after it is cooked. I will post my favorite glaze for ham next week. It is really good.

The taste and texture of a ham like this is really different than the hams most people are used to, but they are very good.

So, has anyone else cooked an 18 lb ham before?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. AllieZirkle says

    How fun to see pictures of such a large piece of meat!

  2. It sure would take a heavy-duty roasting pan to get that thing out of the oven safely. There’s enough pork in that pan to satiate Congress. I’ll bet you’ve got some great stories to tell of the feast you had with it!

  3. My SIL sent my brother to the store with a detailed list. She didn’t specify the size of ham and he came home with WHOLE ham–32 pounds–frozen solid. It didn’t fit in their oven, the fridge, or any pan that they owned. They decided to hack it into chunks the best they could (still frozen solid) with the help of an ax.

    I think that my brother bought a huge ham on purpose to get out of grocery shopping in the future.

  4. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for satisfying your curious readers! I was going to ask if you could just have the butcher cut the ham in half, and then I read that 18 lbs is already half the ham! Wow!

    I’ve never cooked a ham at all…I’m unmarried and still in college. I can cook but I don’t have full experience with cooking all kinds of different foods yet! I am particularly nervous about cooking different types of meat, like how to prepare steak, roasts, and yes, ham. I wonder if you would consider posting some tutorials on these basics in the future?

  5. Wow, that’s a large ham! I can’t even imagine cooking one that large. I buy small hams (about 8 to 9 lbs) and cook it in the slow cooker. I put a little bit of brown sugar in it and rub it on all sides. I got that from a long time ago, and it’s never done me wrong.

  6. My husband no longer eats pork and I have tried giving it up. But !!!! I love ham and bacon.

    Your finished ham looks great. Are your hams uncured (by this I mean are they nitrate free?)

  7. julie stinson says

    Where is the glaze recipe ? thanks.

  8. julie stinson says

    Thanks for the quickly reply for the ham glaze recipe !!!

  9. Hi Lynn!
    I was just looking for recipes and came across this about the 18 lb hams. I raised and butchered 2 pigs last year and ended up with 4, 18 lb hams. I make my own sausage and bacon and I am making one of the hams for our wedding anniversary (5 years). I have had the ham in brine for 3 weeks and am going to cook it this weekend. I am so excited and was hoping to find how someone else had cooked one. But it seems that hams this big are a rarity. I would love to know how you cooked yours? I am probably going to start mine on our barbeque with some smoke and then finish it in the oven. If you would like to know how this turns out send me an e-mail and we can swap stories, lol! Take care, Cathy.

  10. I have been following you for a while, but just now saw that you raise hogs. We do too. We live on a large family farm, my job is grocery planning and shopping. We have tons of pork, but I run out of ideas of what to do with it. We also commercially grow chickens, but after dealing with those all day, my father does NOT want chicken for dinner. Pork is his favorite, but I still find myself buying beef at the store. I will be following you MUCH closer now! Thanks!

    • Chicken is actually a treat at our house. 🙂 We buy half a beef each year, my husband and kids hunt, and we of course have lots of pork, so my loves loves it when I serve chicken. But I can see why you would not want chicken for dinner after dealing with them all day. I find myself using pork all the time even in things like tacos that you might not usually serve it in. It is fun to find things in common with my readers so thanks for sharing about your family and farm.

  11. My mother-in-law is cooking a 23lb fresh ham today, she said there is nothing like a fresh ham. She grew up on a hog farm in NC, thanks for the info

  12. long will I need to cook a 27 pound uncooked ham?

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