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How long does it take to cook a Black Label ham?

Cooking a delicious Black Label ham for a holiday meal or gathering takes some preparation and planning. While cooking times can vary based on the size and shape of your particular ham, following some simple guidelines will ensure you end up with a juicy, flavorful centerpiece.

Quick Answer

For a bone-in Black Label ham that weighs 10-14 pounds, the recommended cooking time is approximately 18-24 minutes per pound at 325°F. This equals a total cook time of around 4.5-6 hours for a ham in this size range. Smaller hams may cook faster, while larger hams can take up to 8 hours or more.

Factors That Affect Cook Times

There are several factors that can impact how long it will take to cook your Black Label ham perfectly:

  • Weight – Heavier hams need more time. Plan for 18-24 minutes per pound.
  • Bone-in or Boneless – Bone-in will take longer. Boneless cooks faster.
  • Shape – Non-symmetrical hams cook unevenly so require more time.
  • Cooking Method – Oven, smoker, slow cooker times all vary.
  • Temperature – Cooking at 325°F will be slower than 350°F.
  • Resting – A rested ham retains heat and juices better.

Recommended Cook Times

Taking these factors into account, here are some general guidelines for recommended cook times based on ham size:

Ham Weight Cook Time (at 325°F)
5 pounds 1.5 – 2 hours
7 pounds 2.5 – 3 hours
10 pounds 4 – 5 hours
12 pounds 5 – 6 hours
15 pounds 6 – 8 hours

Use a meat thermometer to confirm the ham has reached an internal temperature of 140°F before removing it from the oven or smoker. This ensures it is fully cooked.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Follow these steps for perfectly cooked Black Label ham:

  1. Select a bone-in, fully cooked Black Label ham and note the weight.
  2. Calculate the estimated cook time based on 18-24 minutes per pound at 325°F.
  3. Set oven temperature to 325°F. Place ham fat side up in a roasting pan.
  4. Score the ham by making diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern. This helps the glaze adhere.
  5. Apply your favorite glaze or seasoning rub all over the ham.
  6. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven. Cook for the recommended time.
  7. Check temperature after 4 hours. Continue cooking until 140°F.
  8. Remove ham from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Transfer ham to a cutting board and slice to serve. Enjoy!

Cooking Tips

  • For added flavor and moisture, try adding apple juice or cider to the roasting pan.
  • Use a foil tent if ham is browning too quickly.
  • Flip ham over halfway through cooking time if shape is uneven.
  • An instant read thermometer should be used for best accuracy.
  • Cover loosely with foil after cooking and glazing to keep warm.

Oven Roasting vs. Smoking

While oven roasting is a convenient cooking method, smoking imparts delicious flavor. Smoking times take longer but yield tender, juicy results. For smoking, plan for 30-35 minutes per pound at 225-250°F until the ham reaches 140°F. Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes prior to smoking. Apple, cherry, pecan and hickory woods pair well with ham.

Can You Speed Up Cooking?

It’s best not to rush the cooking process for a large cut of meat like ham. Lower temperatures over a longer period of time yield the most tender, fall-apart texture. However, if needed, you can increase oven temperature to 350°F which will reduce cook times slightly. Just watch carefully to avoid overcooking or drying out the ham.

What if It’s Still Pink Inside?

Fully cooked hams are safe to eat even if they still have a pinkish tint. Smoking in particular can cause a pink smoke ring around the outer edge of the meat. As long as the internal temperature has reached 140°F, the ham should be fully cooked and safe to eat. The pink color is normal for cured, smoked hams.


Cooking times for Black Label ham can range quite a bit based on multiple factors like weight, shape, and cooking method. For best results, plan on roasting in the oven for approximately 18-24 minutes per pound at 325°F until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reaches 140°F internally. Resting for 15-20 minutes before slicing allows juices to redistribute. Refer to the recommended guidelines and tips above for your ideal cook time. With the right preparation, you’ll enjoy a juicy, delicious Black Label ham centerpiece!