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FeChef

Sous vide cooked ham?

20 posts in this topic

Anybody just drop a fully cooked spiral ham still in the package into a sous vide water bath? If so what temp and how long? I am going to be bringing a 10lb spiral ham to a Xmas dinner (6pm) and want to know what temp and time i should go with. I did some searching and found a few articles but after reading the articles reviews there was alot of mixed results. I have been reading between 3 hours and up to 24 hours, and temps of 120-140F. Need some advice.

Im thinking drop it in right before bed @ 132F and 3 hours before serving time crank it up to 140F to make sure its cooked all the way through because in the past ive got a fully cooked ham and decided to slice it before reheating it for cold ham sandwiches and the connective tissue was under done.

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I think your plan is an excellent one. im very interested in how this turns out.

these hams ( Honey Baked etc ) have a lot of water injected into them so don't be alarmed if there is a lot of 'jus' in the bag

Im assuming the bag is food safe and well sealed.

what Id do if there are leftover, seal a few days worth in bags and freeze. then you don't O.D. on ham sandwiches for the next month and can space them out.

PedroG has suggested < 57 - 58 for 6 - 12 h for the connective tissue surrounding the muscle fibers to gelatinize so at a higher temp the muscle fibers won't contract and squeeze out the muscle Jus.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Honestly, I have tried PedroG suggestion with a chuck roast and to be honest i saw no benefit. I actually had to rebag it and cook it an additional 12 hours to get it to fall apart. This was of course cooking it for 12 hours at 136.5F (58c) and then 12 hours at 160F. It was still tough and wouldnt pull. So it needed an additional 12 hours at 160F for a total of 36 hours. I saw more moisture loss then if i had just went a full 24 hours @ 160F.

But back on topic, Im thinking because its spiral cut, the hot liquids in the bag will get in between the slices and cook faster? You think I should maybe just go a full 136.5F overnight and just take it out when im ready to leave? Probably going to coat it with a peach and pineapple glaze and hit it with a blow torch for some carmelization.

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""" hot liquids in the bag will get in between the slices and cook faster? """

I doubt this. you are thinking a traditional way where the liquids are ' over hot ' as in simmer.

Id be a bit careful only that you might be startled on how much 'jus' comes out.

I do think that as long as you are under the 57 - 58 temp you will be fine.

go for 135.

as to the coating, if you have a lot of jus in the bag, and can taste that for salt ( ... key...) use that with your glaze

torching is always good in Moderation!

best of Luck please post w pics if you have the time

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What im saying is that it is a spiral ham so it comes already thin sliced. The liquids already in the bag are going to reach temp quickly. because the meat is already sliced the liquids will seep in between the slices and most likely bring it up to temp faster. You dont think?

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I will be getting an 8 lb smoked but not cooked ham on Monday so will also be very interested how this works for you FeChef: l32F for what looks like 12 or so hours then 140F for 3 hours.

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What im saying is that it is a spiral ham so it comes already thin sliced. The liquids already in the bag are going to reach temp quickly. because the meat is already sliced the liquids will seep in between the slices and most likely bring it up to temp faster. You dont think?

I seriously doubt it.


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What im saying is that it is a spiral ham so it comes already thin sliced. The liquids already in the bag are going to reach temp quickly. because the meat is already sliced the liquids will seep in between the slices and most likely bring it up to temp faster. You dont think?

I seriously doubt it.

Well either way, i suppose the verdict so far seems to be cook it overnight @ 132F and then 140F for 3 hours, or overnight till serving time @ 135F.

Still could use some more opinions please

Anyone think theres a chance of mushy falling apart texture, definitely dont want that.


Edited by FeChef (log)

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I've not tried this yet, but intend to next week. I've been planning on a much shorter cook than you, though, as I view this as simply retherming rather than cooking as such. After all, as you note, the ham is already cooked (generally, as I understand it, in a steam oven at low temp). An uncooked one would be a whole nuther kettle of fish, of course. Haven't decided how long the retherm will take, by the way, as it will depend on thickness and I don't yet have the ham.

The main thing I'm the fence about is temp. Will try both low and medium eventually, but probably will do the latter first (i.e., 150F), as I find water-added hams rather flabby and think I'll probably be happiest drawing some of that off. YMMV.

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On review, I notice you want to further cook the ham to reduce connective tissue. My bad. It's right there in the OP. Sorry.

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On review, I notice you want to further cook the ham to reduce connective tissue. My bad. It's right there in the OP. Sorry.

Its ok. I am actually not even sure i want to cook it further. I had a bad experience with a ham once before, but it could have been a fluke, and was not the same brand, and im not even sure it was spiral. I do know it was labeled as "fully cooked" though. Again it could have been a fluke. I am leaning toward just bringing up to serving temp, but i just dont know how long is too long or is too little. I dont want mushy ham, or ham that just falls apart. Its already pre sliced on the bone pretty thin, so could end it falling apart looking like bacon bits on the plates..lol

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If it's already precooked, isn't this a lot of faff just for the sake of reheating it? I would just glaze it and stick it in a hot oven. It's probably been brined to every inch of its life, so I doubt it'll go dry.

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My prediction is that using the proposed time and temperatures with a pre-cooked and pre-sliced ham you may end up with softer connective tissue but the meat is likely to become softer still. You are risking a mushy texture. I wouldn't recook it, rather just reheat it. I'm with ahpadt on this.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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We had some smoked pork loin chops that were basically 'cooked' and all they needed was a reheat. I guess the question is 'how long will it take to reheat in the water bath?' So you may as well put in a hot oven as ahpadt says. Then you can have a nice sticky glaze on it too.

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We had some smoked pork loin chops that were basically 'cooked' and all they needed was a reheat. I guess the question is 'how long will it take to reheat in the water bath?' So you may as well put in a hot oven as ahpadt says. Then you can have a nice sticky glaze on it too.

Yes the Question has been, still not determined, is how long will it take to bring a 10lb pre cooked, spiral sliced ham to serving temp (lets go with 132F) ?

As far as sticky glaze, I am going with a peach and pineapple powdered sugar glaze, honey baked ham style.(Turn table, Flame thrower)

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FWIW, I'm expecting a retherm time of four to six hours for an 8 lb ham. Will be monitoring with a thermometer, so I'll know when it's gotten there and get some idea of the curve. Will decide whether it's worth the trouble when I'm done. As it happens, I'll be heating a ham the conventional way for a pot luck dinner with friends on Christmas Eve (actually, it's the hostess' ham, but I handle the kitchen), so will have a good basis of comparison. Indeed, figuring out whether to use sous vide for that dinner next year is the main point of the experiment for me. Unfortunately, of course, that doesn't help you this year.

BTW, I happened to be researching carrageenan this evening and noticed mention of its use in meat processing. See, e.g., this FAO fact sheet, especially section 7.3.3 (towards bottom of the page). I wonder whether that might have been the issue with the ham you didn't like. Apparently they generally use kappa for this application. Was unable to determine how common the process.

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I think i am just going to drop the ham in a 135F water bath when i wake up.( probably 8am ish ) I will have to pull it around 3pm at the latest to head to the dinner party. I am going to probe it so hopefully it reaches temp sooner so we can leave alittle sooner. I still have to glaze it before we leave so thas a good 15 minutes aswell.

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Well, I'm not so sure this is something that was really meant to be cooked sous vide... Not having tried this before I can't offer any kind of definitive opinion. However, hams are typically very thick and thicker cuts of meat really have trouble getting the core temperature up to something reasonable in a sane amount of time... Remember below 125 degrees bacteria do grow and a spiral cut does not exactly equate with intact muscle tissue so you might be creating a bacteria farm...

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My prediction is that using the proposed time and temperatures with a pre-cooked and pre-sliced ham you may end up with softer connective tissue but the meat is likely to become softer still. You are risking a mushy texture. I wouldn't recook it, rather just reheat it. I'm with ahpadt on this.

This.

It might also end up too salty.


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I am going to say this one last time, I am probing it as soon as i drop it into the 135F water bath. I will see how long it takes for the center to reach temp. I am setting my alarm clock to wake up at 7am, I am hoping it reaches 135F between 2-3pm. Dont expect a follow up. PM me after tommorow if you want to know details.

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