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Ham Roast

A ham roast is an uncured or fresh cut of pork, cut from the back leg of the hog. The ham roast cut is the meat on the middle part of the shank bone extending to the hip bone on the back leg. You will notice that it has a fat cap on the outside and when you eat it, you will notice it is comparable to center loin in terms of being lean. A fresh ham roast should be thick, moist, and tender. If you inspect it closely, you will see the long muscle fibers, and compared to a shoulder roast (cut from the front legs) or the Boston butt, the ham roast has less marbling. You can buy a boneless or bone-in ham roast; the bone is hollow and round with marrow inside it. A ham roast is not a cured ham.

Here are some tips if you are planning to cook a ham roast.

When cooking ham roast, make sure to use a meat thermometer. The ham is done when it reaches 140 degrees internal temperature.

Should you marinade or cure a fresh ham roast? No, you don’t have to. All you need is salt and pepper before cooking to appreciate the full flavor of a fresh ham roast. Brining is another thing. Submerging the meat in salt water helps make the meat juicier and more tender. Just remember that the bigger the meat, the less salt is needed, but make sure to prolong the soaking period. This way, the flavor of the saltwater penetrates the meat fully, and not just the surface of the meat.

Ham Roast Trivia

  • A ham sandwich remains a popular sandwich choice for Americans.
  • In essence, the US pork industry began with 13 hogs brought to Florida by Hernando de Soto. 
  • Diego Hernandez Palacios of Spain holds the Guinness World Record for most slices of meat cut in one hour. Palacious was able to make 2,160 slices on April 12, 2011.

Ham Roast Buying Guide

Where to buy ham roast? Try your local butcher shop or meat market. Farmers and ranch owners also sell in farmers markets. The best ham roast you can buy is a fresh cut, although there are vendors selling frozen ham roast. 

Often, the size of the ham roast varies because what the butcher is considering during cutting is the weight, so it is common to find a thin yet wide ham roast cut (which is cut probably from the upper part of the back leg), or one with a small diameter but thick. So before buying, consider what you plan to make with it. A thin ham roast is best folded and stuffed with other ingredients. If you want to use ham roast as the centerpiece of your dinner in a traditional manner, buy a thicker ham roast cut.

Ham Roast Production & Farming in Texas

There is an abundance of farms, ranches, meat markets, and butcher shops in Texas – an agricultural state – where you can buy ham roast, like Four String Farm in Rockport, Texas.

According to a National Hog Farmer report, pork production in Texas has seen a steady rise in the last ten years, from 705,000 to 1,086,000 hogs, according to the National Pork Board data, making Texas “one of the pork industry’s new hog growth areas”.

The source of the ham roast could either be a conventional hog that might have been injected with antibiotics, steroids, and/or hormones, or a pastured hog raised organically. Knowing the kind of hog from which this slice came is important for your health and cooking considerations (these chemicals are mostly found on the fat and fatty slices like ham roast). Ham roast from a conventional hog is usually big and thick which requires longer cooking and a bigger cooking apparatus, like a commercial gas grill, while ham roast from pastured hog is typically lean so you will need to wrap it in foil when you cook it to keep some parts from drying.

Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:

One of the many lingering concerns of consumer protection groups regarding commercial meat is the chemicals used/put in meats before it is sold to consumers. Pork is not exempted. An online article from the website of National Public Radio (NPR) pointed out that “90 percent of pork are injected with some kind of liquid solution before sale”.

Ractopamine – This is administered in-feed to pigs to develop more muscle and fat and grow faster. The use of ractopamine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and it has been used since 1999. An article explains why ractopamine is controversial: in 160 nations including European nations, China, and Russia, food safety regulators there believe there is not enough proof to say that pork from hogs injected with ractopamine is safe to eat.

Unless you yourself have raised the hogs slaughtered for ham roast, or you have an intimate knowledge of what your local producer is feeding the hogs and whether these hogs are injected and with what drug or chemicals, there is no way to know for sure that the ham roast you bought is 100% free from any chemicals.


A ham roast is a cut of pork typical in countries where the people butcher hogs and eat pork. It is not exclusive to a particular country or area in the world. However, there are varying local terms butchers use to refer to ham roasts in different countries.  


A ham roast is usually sold wrapped in butcher paper. You might also encounter ham roast sold in styrofoam or a carton tray covered in plastic wrap. The packaging of a ham roast should include a label or tag that contains important information like weight, storing instructions, best before date, and name of the company selling this meat, among others.

Enjoying Ham Roasts

Ham roast is very delicious even with minimal ingredients when cooking. You can cook ham roast with very few ingredients – just salt, pepper, and water. You can use ham roast for your New Year’s Ham. You can also use a ham roast to make pulled pork. Simply cook ham roast in the oven. Let it cool and shred it using your fingers. You can use this to make sandwiches, or put as toppings in pizzas, or use as fillings in tacos. Ham roast is a great meat to use in different dishes from fajitas to noodle recipes. You can use ham roast for stir fry dishes, stews, soups, or breaded pork. It is good on a skewer for barbecue or grilling. 


Refrigerate or freeze ham roast as soon as you get home from the meat market or butcher shop. Make sure the refrigerator temperature is at 28°F to 32°F. Make sure to cook your ham roast as indicated in the packaging. For longer storage, freeze your ham roast. Use heavy-duty foil, freezer paper, or in a freezer-safe food container to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to defrost in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to avoid bacterial growth.

Basic and easy steps to cook your ham roast

You don’t need to be a chef or have extensive experience in cooking to follow these easy and simple steps in cooking your ham roast. And the best part is this – once your ham roast is ready, you can eat it with mashed potatoes (or any of your favorite side dishes) or use it to make another dish. 


A 5-pound ham roast is good for 1 to 3 persons. 


  • 5 pounds of ham roast
  • 3 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1. Put the ham roast in a glass baking dish. Make sure the ham roast is clean.
Step 2. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
Step 3. Cover the glass baking dish with aluminum foil.
Step 4. Cook at 350 degrees for 2 hours.
Step 5. Remove the foil and cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
Step 6. Turn the ham roast over and cook for another 10 minutes to cook evenly.
Step 7. Scoop the juices and pour this on the roast as you let the ham roast cool. After 10 minutes, the ham roast is ready to serve.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 231 12%
  • Carbs: 0.7g 0%
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g 0%
  • Protein: 30.8g 62%
  • Fat: 10.7g 16%
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7g 18%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 79.8mg 27%
  • Sodium 1939mg 81%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin A 0IU 0%
  • Calcium 11.2mg 1%
  • Iron 2mg 11%
  • Potassium 507mg 14%
  • Vitamin E 0.4mg 2%
  • Vitamin K 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin B12 1mg 16%
  • Vitamin B6 0.5mg 25%
  • Folate 4.2mcg 1%
  • Magnesium 26.6mg 7%
  • Phosphorus 347mg 35%
  • Manganese 0.1mg 3%
  • Copper 0.2mg 8%
  • Zinc 3.7mg 25%

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