Baked Ham with Mustard Sauce; how much is too much?

Baking / roasting times for hams (and turkeys) are all over the charts…. And I’m not doing a chart.

For a ham the number of minutes per pound depends on whether it’s boneless or bone-in, fully cooked or not cooked and the weight of the ham. A larger ham takes fewer minutes per pound than a smaller ham.

Of course the oven temperature makes a difference as well. Some like a hot oven, some not so hot.

If you want more opinions and lots of charts do a search.

Generally speaking a fully cooked boneless ham should be baked to an internal temp of 140F (60C), about 20 minutes per lb for a small ham.

A ham that must be cooked should reach an internal temp of 150F (65C), 35 minutes per lb. for small hams and 22 minutes for larger (over 5 lbs) hams.  These times assume a 325F (165C) oven.

All that having been said – use a meat thermometer.

Please….. Use a meat thermometer.

The other thing I strongly urge…. Make the Mustard Sauce.


It’s the best thing about Baked Ham – and I love Baked Ham.

Baked Ham with Mustard Sauce

Total time: 2 hours


  • 1 small ham, about 4 lbs (2 kg)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar

Baked Ham


  • Put ham on rack in roasting pan and roast in 325F (165C) oven.
  • About 30 minutes before it’s done mix the sugar, mustard and vinegar.
  • Remove the ham from the oven. Remove the skin if there is any, score the fat with a sharp knife (diamond pattern is pretty).
  • Pat the brown sugar mixture over the top of the ham and return to oven.  Finish baking.
  • Remove ham and allow rest for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing.

Mustard Sauce

Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) cider or white vinegar
  • 2 tbs dry mustard
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs butter

Mustard Sauce


  • Crack the egg into the top of a double boiler and whisk until beaten.
  • Add sugar, milk and mustard, whisk well.
  • Cook over simmering water for about 5 minutes, until sugar and mustard are dissolved and mixture is hot, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vinegar and continue to cook until thick.
  • Remove from heat, stir in butter and salt.
  • Refrigerate Good with almost everything and keeps a long time.

Note:  if you don’t have a double boiler, put a metal bowl on a saucepan partially filled with water.  The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.

Print Recipe

This is our traditional Christmas dinner.

This year we’re breaking with that tradition.

We’re having some friends join us for Christmas and we decided to go with the more universal tradition and have Roast Turkey.

Today we went off to get said turkey.

I bought the biggest turkey I could find. It’s just over 8 lbs.

I paid $28.00 (22.00 euro) for it.

I had to go to two stores to find it. One store, the big supermarket that was doing a promotion, had lots of turkeys. They were all between 6 and 8 lbs…. And cost between 40.00 and 50.00 dollars (35.00 – 45.00 euro).

Think about it….. 50 dollars for an 8 lb turkey.

And that was the special promotion price.

I did a post once positing that everyone has a ‘thing’ which, totally unrelated to the rest of his or her lifestyle, is deemed not worthy of expense.

I knew a couple, both doctors, who wouldn’t buy tissues. If one had the sniffles, one was handed a role of toilet paper.

The line that people draw can be totally arbitrary: $7.00 for a cup of gourmet coffee is fine but $3.00 for a pound of coffee beans is too much.

I never thought I would pay over $7.00 per pound for a turkey.

Guess my imaginary line is still flexible.

What do you draw the line at?

7 thoughts on “Baked Ham with Mustard Sauce; how much is too much?”

  1. No line drawing here. If it’s what I came for I will pay the price, however it must be exactly what I came for and the highest quality of that item, whatever it is. 🙂

  2. Sighhhhhh, just before thanksgiving I was at Walmart. I had previously purchased my turkey at Aldi (99¢ a pound) but was amazed to see that Walmart was selling theirs for 49¢ a pound, but they were HUGE, like 25-35 pounds each. No, didn’t buy one.

  3. Katie I love ham too, but have never tasted anything remotely like “American-style” baked ham in France. What is the term in French for the type of meat you buy here to make it? I see fresh meat called “jambon à l’os” (I think) but am never really sure that it would be similar.

  4. Zoomie, I may not draw the line…. but I can get a bit cranky when it seems unreasonable LOL

    brassfrog, could you get a 35 lb turkey in our pressure cooker? I wouldn’t be able to get it in my oven. $.49 a pound? Unbelievable….

    Betty, I buy a ‘gammon joint’ at the local English store. I’ve never seen an American-style ham here. I’ve bought a local smoked pork loin but it was really salty. The gammon is cured, not salted and is raw. It’s probably the best ham we’ve ever had – inc. the ones in the US They’re a special order for Christmas

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