Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Ham is a holiday staple: Where to buy the star of your Christmas dinner

Celebrate at the table with one of these delicious hams

Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham
Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham
Jump to details
Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham
Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham
Jump to details
Snake River Farms Half Bone-In Ham
Snake River Farms Half Bone-In Ham
Jump to details
The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
Jump to details
D’Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
D'Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
Jump to details
Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham
Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham
Jump to details
North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham
North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham
Jump to details

The holiday season is here, and that brings with so many traditions, like getting together with family and friends to celebrate the season. What some people look forward to most is sitting down for a delicious meal. And what is the centerpiece of many of those feasts? Ham. Sweet and savory, crispy and juicy, a delectable ham makes the perfect showstopper for your holiday feast. We suggest you step away from the generic store-bought hams and instead spring for a high-quality product that'll taste great no matter how you prepare your ham.

From the animal that brought you bacon, a large bone-in ham rivals other popular roasts of meat, including prime rib, crown roast of pork, and of course, turkey. And compared to those three, ham is the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and simply perfect on its own (or used in an epic ham and cheese sandwich). So whether you've prepared ham before, or it's your first time, our top ham picks are sure to delight you and your family.

Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Hams, which are hanging
Fermin

Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham

This one's the Lamborghini of hams, and you can tell by the price tag. Fermin's Iberico ham, or Jamon, is from the Sierra de Francia region of Spain and is among the best and most uniquely flavored hams you'll find anywhere in the world. The company's Iberico pigs are exclusive to Spain and get treated better than wagyu beef.

They live a happy, free-range life dining on acorns in oak-covered meadows, which gives the meat its buttery and nutty flavor. Once they are selected for the Jamon, they go through a meticulous curing and aging process that has been perfected for over 60 years. When it's all said and done, the Fermin ham master puts each piece through a rigorous testing process to see if it meets the required standards. How's that for quality control?

Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham
Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham
A close-up of Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham, which is sliced.
Tender Belly

Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham

Denver may be known for its sunny days and walkable downtown area, but did you know that it also boasts a passionate ham company? Tender Belly emphasizes its love and devotion to pork with its classic slogan, "If loving pork is crazy, we don't want to be sane." They also use 100% natural pork without any antibiotics, nitrates, or nitrites, gluten, or MSG. Bottom line — zero fake stuff.

You'd be crazy not to try this uncured ham from heritage-breed pigs, which yields an incredibly moist and tender hunk of meat. And once you try it (and inevitably love it) you can get a ham subscription on the website. Individual hams tend to sell out as the holidays draw near (which shows you just how good these are), but not all hope is lost. You can still get a bundle with two packages of uncured bacon, which you will absolutely want after trying this ham.

Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham
Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham
Snake River Farms Kurobuta Whole Bone-in Ham, which is laying on a cutting board.
Snake River Farms

Snake River Farms Half Bone-In Ham

Just one look at the picture-perfect coloring and marbling on its Kurobuta Ham and you’ll understand why Snake River Farms products are used in Michelin-star kitchens all over the globe. Made from heritage-breed Berkshire pigs, Snake River Farms’ hams are known for flavor so naturally delectable that it hardly even needs a pinch of salt.

For the prefect holiday ham, be sure to grab the Kurobuta Ham Starter Kit, which includes a bone-in, 8+ pound ham, a Snake River Farms apron, and a step-by-step guide for cooking a whole bone-in ham. These tend to range from 14 pounds to around 20 pounds.

Snake River Farms Half Bone-In Ham
Snake River Farms Half Bone-In Ham
The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
The Honey Baked Ham Company

The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half

Honey-glazed ham has become a phrase synonymous with the best holiday feasts, and The Honey Baked Ham Company loves to keep this tradition going with its signature bone-in ham. The fully cooked, spiral-sliced hams are roasted over hardwood chips for over 20 hours before getting topped off with the irresistible crispy, syrupy glaze that helped them become a household name. The half ham is available in 6- to 10-pound sizes that can serve up to 22 people so everyone can indulge no matter the size of your gathering.

The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
D'Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
D'Artagnan

D'Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham

If you’re looking to inject some applewood-smoked deliciousness into your holiday feast, long-time gourmet meat specialist D’Artagnan has you covered. The Berkshire hogs used for the company’s beautiful hams are raised humanely and sustainably with no antibiotics or hormones.

Before it reaches your table, this ham gets smoked over real Applewood and gets topped off with the perfect elevating hit of salt and brown sugar. The result? A tender, hearty main course with just enough sweet smokiness to bring out the meat’s natural succulent flavor.

D’Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
D'Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
A close-up photo of Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham, which is partially sliced.
Logan Farms

Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham

If you're watching your sodium intake during the holiday season, Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham is the way to go, as the company has the best low-sodium hams on the market. The low-salt curing recipe coupled with the delicious crispy glaze makes this ham perfect for your next holiday brunch or dinner. You can order directly online from one of their multiple locations, so pick the one closest to you to get the lowest shipping costs. If you have a smaller gathering, the brand also offers half-ham options.

Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham
Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham
North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham
North Country Smokehouse

North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham

If eating organic at the holidays is important to you, then the North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In ham should be on your holiday table. North Country Smokehouse sources all of its pork from family-owned farms that are certified humane.

The ham contains no nitrites or nitrates and is also gluten, dairy, and soy-free. In other words, this delicious, sweet, and smoky ham has nothing but the good stuff. The whole hams weigh in somewhere between 18 and 22 pounds, perfect for a huge feast, but if you're expecting a smaller crowd, North Country Smokehouse has half-ham options as well.

North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham
North Country Smokehouse Organic Uncured Maple Bone-In Half Ham

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill

Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in Culinary Arts. Her favorite passions are food and creative writing, and loves to combine these two pursuits by writing about everything food and drink. She has over a decade of food writing experience, including several articles and restaurant reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food and Wine section. She is also trained in the art of food styling and photography, which she has mingled with her part-time job as a photographer.

When Lindsay isn’t developing new recipes, devouring the latest cookbooks, and writing about all things culinary arts, she is busy trying to coax her children into eating anything but macaroni and cheese.

Send all editorial inquiries HERE.

A complete guide: How to clean your oven racks
Most of what you need for this task is in your home already
Inside of a modern empty oven

Let's be real. When it comes to household chores and responsibilities, cleaning oven racks falls pretty low on the fun-to-do list. It's messy, it's greasy, and it tests the line of needing to be a circus contortionist in order to reach all those dark, dingy corners.

But it's a task that simply must be done. A dirty oven can actually affect the taste of your food, and if the situation is dire (no judgment here), even lead to food poisoning in certain cases. So, as grimy and gruesome as the chore can be, it's an important one to conquer. Just think of how rewarding a squeaky-clean oven will be and about all the delicious casseroles waiting to be prepared and enjoyed, a testament to your efforts.

Read more
It’s time to learn about bourbon – here’s your guide
Put down the IPA and meet the actual coolest drink in town — bourbon
Bourbon in a glass

Hello, class, and welcome to Bourbon 101. Don't worry; we're not like those other schools where you aren't allowed to drink during class. We're cool. Now, get your notebooks and a glass of whiskey ready because it's time to dive into the history of this American spirit.

It would be hard to find something more American than bourbon, except for maybe a bald eagle draped in an American flag with a baseball and an apple pie clutched in its talons. In any case, the history of bourbon follows the highs and lows of our country, as a whole, with good times, great times, and really bad times. It was built with ingenuity in a time of great hardship and flourished despite the best efforts of outside forces.
What exactly is bourbon?

Read more
12 delectable lobster recipes that aren’t just dipped in butter
Get more serious with your lobster, and whip up one or more of these lobster recipes
Lobster roll

Lobster, or if you're from New England — Lobstah — is among the most coveted seafood around. Because of this, we have to pay the market price for these overgrown crawfish, which means the cost goes up and down based on supply and demand. The most recent numbers had lobster at almost $18 per pound, and when you think about all the inedible shell, it comes out to a lot more. That's why canned, pre-cooked lobster is always more expensive than the whole lobster itself.

But let's forget about the price. Sometimes, we have to indulge. Some of the most popular lobster recipes are the ever-popular New England lobster roll or simply ripping the cooked meat straight from the tail and drenching it with butter. Although lobster is excellent on its own, its dense flesh and unmistakable flavor lend themselves to a wide array of dishes. So, we reached out to renowned chefs and food industry pros to deliver some of the most delicious lobster recipes you can wow your guests with at your next dinner party.

Read more