Kitchen Tips

How to carve a Christmas ham

A ham on the bone is a Christmas classic, but it can be tricky to carve. Master the skill of slicing perfectly with our simple step-by-step guide.

This easy-to-follow visual guide will ensure that Christmas Day goes smoothly and everyone gets slices of beautiful glazed ham on their plates!
Step 1: Place the cooked ham on a carving board. Steady it by using a carving fork. Insert the fork as far down into the meat as you can, so you have a stable handle to hold while carving.
Step 2: Insert a sharp carving knife perpendicular to the shank (protruding bone) and cut down until you hit the bone. The sharper your knife, the easier this will be to do.
Step 3: Insert your knife about 5cm from your initial cut, then slice down on a 45-degree angle until the second cut meets the first, creating a wedge of ham. Remove this wedge.
Step 4: Cut slices of an even thickness from the removed wedge vertically along the ham, sinking the knife right down to the bone. These can be as thick or thin as you like.
Step 5: Once the slices in one section are cut, work the blade of the knife horizontally under the cut slices, along the bone, to release the meat. You may have to wiggle the knife back and forward.
Step 6: Transfer the cut slices onto a platter. Only carve as much ham as you need to serve; leave the rest on the bone so it retains its juiciness. Keep in a ham bag or damp tea towel in the fridge.
Try the succulent cranberry and orange glazed ham recipe used in this step-by-step guide for your Christmas celebrations, or one of our other delicious ideas below.
For the rest of our Christmas recipes, including edible gifts, perfect starters and decadent desserts, go to our Christmas Made Easy tab.