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Can You Cook Ham Like It’s Bacon?

Bored of bacon? Why don’t you try ham-ming it up instead? Here’s how to cook ham like bacon: crispy, smoky, and delish.

Hey up, home cooks! If you’re looking to up your pork game, then you’ve come to the right place. Because you and I are going to talk about taking that humble ham and turning it into something so delicious, it’ll make you think you’re chowing down on bacon.

That’s right, we’re going to talk about how to cook ham like it’s bacon. Whip out that skillet, fire up the cooktop, and get ready to take your taste buds on a wild ride to hamtown.

So… can you cook ham like bacon?

The short answer is yes, you absolutely and positively can cook ham like bacon. The trick to doing it right is to use give it that crispy, smoky, bacon-like taste by infusing it with flavors and giving it a good browning.

Cooking Ham Like Bacon in the Oven

First things first, let’s talk about the cut of ham. You want to look for a boneless, spiral-cut piece of ham. This type of ham is pre-sliced, which makes it perfect for getting that crispy texture. You can also ask your butcher to slice it even thinner for you—they’ll fine-tune that machine and cut it as thin as your ex wife’s excuses.

Next, we’re going to add some flavor. The biggest difference between bacon and ham is the flavor. To give your ham that smoky, bacony taste, you can marinate it in a mixture of maple syrup and liquid smoke. This will give it that smoky, sweet flavor you’re looking for.

When it’s time to cook, you’ll want to cook it on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the fat to render and the edges to get nice and crispy, just the way you want them.

Finally, it’s all about the seasoning. Once it’s cooked, you can sprinkle it with a little bit of finishing salt and cracked black pepper to give it that final touch. Just don’t forget to invite me over for a taste-test!

Cooking Ham Like Bacon on the Stovetop

Cooking ham like bacon on the stovetop is a great option if you don’t want to fire up the oven. It’s also a great way to get that crispy texture without having to wait for the oven to preheat. The key is to use a heavy-bottomed pan, like a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan, over medium heat with a bit of unsalted butter.

First, you’ll want to start by heating up your pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot enough, add a pat of butter to the pan and let it melt. Then, add your sliced ham to the pan and let it hiss and sizzle in the butter for a few minutes on each side—or until crispy and golden brown.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on the heat to make sure it doesn’t burn. You may need to adjust the heat as needed. Once it’s cooked, you can remove the ham from the pan, and sprinkle it with a little bit of finishing salt and cracked black pepper.

Cooking ham like bacon on the stovetop is a great way to make a delicious, crispy, and flavorful dish without having to wait for the oven to preheat. Serve it up with some scrambled eggs and toast, and you’ve got yourself a classic breakfast that’ll make you feel like you’re in a dream.

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Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.