Starting a ham.

How to start a ham? It is not hard, do the following if you want to know how to start a ham.

Tools used to cut ham


Basically working tools to properly cut ham (plus ham holder) are carving knife, French knife and a sharpening steel.


Carving knife

It is a special knife with a long blade, rather narrow and flexible so that it can be firmly and accurately cut the ham, while the movement of the cut ham fits the profile.


The carving knife dulls easily, so it is advisable to sharpen every time is to be used, must always be sharpened with a sharpening steel. After sharpening the blade should be cleaned with a clean cloth to remove the remains of metal that have been able to stay on the surface of the sheet.

French knife

This knife with a straight blade almost triangular, with a blade about 20 cm more than give a specific use is often used to cut, chop or slice all kinds of meats, vegetables, poultry or fish. If the ham is used to make good the most attached to the bone, to cut with a carving knife more difficult areas.



To obtain long-lasting performance of the knives is essential regular sharpening. When knives are used, they are subjected to a wear edge with the sharpening steel is achieved resharpened in a simple way. It is best to periodically use for good maintenance of knives.

For the use of these knives, as they can cause serious accidents and to ensure safety should follow some rules:


Use a ham holder that is secure and will not slip, ham being. While clinging to him. This step must be paramount before starting to cut.
While the cut is made, the left hand should be placed at all times higher than the hand that operates the knife. If he is left-handed rule is contrary.

If the knife is sharp, you should not pry.

The court should be slow and deliberate.

As a precaution you should keep the body in a retracted position as possible to the cutting area.

Distinguishing parts of a ham.


Always before starting to cut a ham, should distinguish the parts. In Point Ham and explain the different parts from the point of view of our



Without any gastronomic value, although it is very important in differentiating other Iberian ham from white pigs.


Shank or shank

This area has little meat but is juicier ham area, as is the tibia bone, and fat that exists elsewhere in the ham.



It is the area with more meat, and where the gauze is having more marbling streaks. The most commercial part of the ham is considered.



It is the part between the stifle and mace, why is the pig femur bone, and must first bone to be cut.


Stifle or contramaza:

It is the narrowest therefore drier part, less bacon, and. The part which should always start a ham if it is cut with a knife, later followed by the club that has more fat and thus endure longer if dry.


Tip or hip

This part usually pretty bacon, so that makes it pretty juicy. In this area is the bone bridge, which must be removed in order to cut machining, and in the case of cutting knife facilitate its use. It is not considered a very commercial part, because it is unsightly.


How to slice a ham

First, the ham is placed on the ham holder, so that the stifle initially is up to consume, thereby leaving the part of the hub to the end, as already mentioned above.

To clean comfortably French knife is used. So it is not too dry, it is advised not to remove all the fat, if not that will be cleaning the ham as it is being consumed. Fat is removed from the knee to the hip, thus cutting will follow a pattern, and not be cut more than one site to another.


Once clean, it will start to cut with the carving knife previously sharpened with the sharpening steel. It shall be fastened firmly, making the knife run, (ideally throughout that is), cutting small flakes of about 5 cm and thin. They know that the court is right when they see the knife through the flesh.


When you reach the bone of the bridge, a French knife incision surrounding the bone will be done, to facilitate cutting with the carving knife. Once it reaches the femur bone, it's time to turn around and do the same cleaning done previously with the stifle.


When you have reached the bone on both sides, and it is not possible to cut thin slices over the ham knife, proceed to cut the two studs attached to the bone ham with French knife to make the most of the ham.


These blocks can be used for cooking, saute some vegetables or just eat in small taquitos. In turn, the broken bone can be used to make soups, beans, lentils, etc.


Practical advice


Top with remaining bacon ham cut so as not to dry.


Once started the ham, it is recommended to consume at least forty days, as more and more it will dry and be harder to cut.


If you know not continue, or ham is too dry, take it to a professional finish ham for ham cutting and sawing bones; this way you will maximize your ham.