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The Secret to a Moist Holiday Ham

It may not be the healthiest choice of meat on a regular basis, but the occasional baked ham is a delicious meal, and can be simple to prepare. Once you place it in the oven, there's no need to keep checking it, leaving you with plenty of time to prepare the rest of the meal, or to watch a ball game.

But what about the ham drying out while it's cooking? There is a quick and convenient way to bake a moist, juicy ham - use an oven bag.

An oven bag helps to lock in moist heat and juices while the meat cooks, resulting in a succulent and delicious meal without any basting. Maybe just as important, though, for of us who don't like to spend a lot of time doing dishes, is that the bags help keep the roasting pan clean, reducing the time it takes to clean up after dinner.

You can prepare a simple yet elegant ham or jazz it up with a variety of special sauces or glazes. And, don't forget that oven bags are great for making a turkey breast. You can even roast two at once in a turkey-size oven bag.

Try this recipe for a:

Traditional Holiday Ham

1 Oven Bag, turkey size (19" x 231/2")

1 tablespoon flour

1 12 to 16-pound fully cooked whole ham, bone-in

Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 F. Shake flour in oven bag. Place bag in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep.

Trim skin from ham, leaving a thin layer of fat. Lightly score a diamond pattern in the fat; insert cloves.

Place ham in bag.

Close bag with nylon tie; cut six 1/2-inch slits in top. Tuck ends of bag in pan.

Bake 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 140 F in thickest part of ham not touching bone. Let stand 15 minutes.

If you are preparing a smaller ham, use a large size oven bag instead of the turkey size.

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