Just like turkey, ham is popular on Easter tables worldwide. The tradition began years ago out of necessity. It’s typically slaughtered in the fall and cured for the winter; the spring holiday was the perfect opportunity to use what was left as the farming season began.
Many people now get their holiday hams at our favorite retailer. There are two main types of Costco ham in the warehouse. Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham and Kirkland Signature Master Carve Half Ham. Both are great holiday meals, but they are distinctly different.
Let’s dive in.
Does Costco Carry Ham? Is Costco Currently Selling Ham?
Costco has two different types of main course hams in the warehouse. The smoked Master Carve version and the Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham.
The Master Carve version is in the refrigerated section near the cheeses and prepared foods, while the spiral hams had an area all their own. Spiral Hams are a seasonal item sold during Easter and the holidays. They typically arrive in October.
Costco Ham Prices 2023
Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham is $2.29 per pound; they weigh anywhere from 9 to about 13 pounds. The Kirkland Signature Applewood Smoked Master Carve Half Ham costs $3.79 per pound and averages 3 to 5 pounds in size.
These prices are way less than we’ve seen in local grocery stores. Both the Costco Spiral Ham and the Smoked Ham are a good deal!
A comparable spiral ham costs $3.99 per pound on sale. The standard price is $5.99 per pound. For a 10-pound ham, you save $17 at the sale price and $37 at the regular price. The current Costco price is cheaper than in December 2022, which was $2.39 per pound.
A smoked ham, comparable to Master Carve, was $5.45 per pound. That’s over $1.50 more per pound. If you were purchasing a 4-pound ham, you’d save $6 by shopping at Costco.
These prices are as of October 2023.
Costco Ham Master Carve
Kirkland Signature Applewood Smoked Master Carve Half Ham is a boneless cut of meat from the pig’s back leg. These hams are slow-cooked, which allows the applewood smoke flavor to infuse the meat.
You will see on the package, “with natural juices.” This phrasing indicates that the processor added meat juices to the final product. Since the meat is sold cooked, manufacturers add liquid to ensure the meat doesn’t dry out during reheating. According to the USDA, this designation means the product must contain at least 18.5% protein.
Since it contains nitrates, Master Carve Ham is considered processed meat. “Eating too much bacon, sausages, hot dogs, canned meat, or lunch meat—meat that has been processed in some way to preserve or flavor it—is bad for health, according to experts,” per Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
This variety of ham from Costco is fully cooked and gluten-free.
Is Costco Sprial Ham Any Good?
Yes! We’ve had Costco Spiral Ham a few times for Easter dinner, and it was a hit! It’s easy to prepare and carve.
We love that it includes the bone since making split pea soup with a ham bone is one of the best parts of Easter leftovers. Even though it has bone, it’s still easy to cut.
Since the hams are precut, more meat is exposed to heat when cooking. This extra surface area makes them more apt to dry out. Be sure to use the glaze to help keep it moist. It’s also essential to follow the cooking instructions inside the package.
Costco Spiral Ham Cost
In October 2023, a Costco Spiral Ham costs $2.29 a pound. Most weighed between 9 and 13 pounds and cost $20.61 to $29.77. This is a great deal!
A comparable grocery store spiral ham costs $3.99 per pound on sale. The standard price is $5.99 per pound. For a 10-pound ham, you save $17 at the sale price and $37 at the regular price. The current Costco price is cheaper than in December 2022, which was $2.39 per pound.
What’s Better, A Spiral Ham Or A Whole Ham?
Both spiral and whole hams come from the back leg of a pig. The spiral variety is more popular simply because it’s easier to serve. But there’s another reason for its popularity – taste.
While both have that meaty, salty taste we’ve come to expect with ham; the spiral cut boosts flavor from the glaze. Home cooks add this sweet concoction during the last twenty minutes of cooking a spiral ham. Since it’s pre-cut, the sauce has more surface area to stick to, making almost every piece sweet.
The precut ham is more likely to dry out during cooking, so following the cooking instructions is essential.
Costco Ham Cooking Instructions — How Do I Fully Cook Costco Ham?
Both the Kirkland Master Carve Ham and the Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham are fully cooked, you could eat either without cooking, but they taste much better when served warm. Following the instructions carefully is essential; overcooking will cause the meat to dry out.
How To Cook A Kirkland Spiral Ham
- Remove the plastic, and place the meat cut side in a baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Cook in a preheated 325-degree oven for 10 minutes per pound.
- Remove the foil, pour on the glaze, and cook for 20 more minutes.
The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
You can also use the slow cooker for cooking a spiral ham. Here’s how.
- Spray the crock with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the meat cut side down and pour in the glaze. You may need to add a little more liquid. If this is the case, water or even apple juice work well.
- Cook for 3-4 hours on low.
Can You Eat Costco Ham Without Cooking?
Yes! You can eat the Costco Spiral Ham and the Kirkland Signature Master Carve hams without cooking since they are fully cooked. We do recommend you heat them first since they taste better warm.
To heat just a few slices, place them on a microwave-safe plate for 1-2 minutes.
How To Cook A Kirkland Signature Master Carve Ham
This version is fully cooked but best served warm. Here’s how to heat.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the meat cut side down in a shallow roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Cook for 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
4. Remove from the oven, place on a carving board, and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
5. Slice and serve.
How Much Costco Ham Do I Need?
You will need different amounts of bone-in versus boneless ham. Plan on ⅓ lb. per person of the Master Carve ham and ¾- 1lb. per person for the spiral ham.
Here’s a chart to help.
|How Many Guests||Spiral Ham||Master Carve (Boneless)l Ham|
|4||4lbs||1 ⅓ lb.|
|8||8lbs.||2 ⅔ lbs.|
|10||10lbs.||3 ⅓ lbs.|
|20||20lbs.||6 ⅔ lbs.|
How Long Can A Costco Ham Stay In The Fridge?
Costco hams are fully cooked and cured, meaning they will last quite a while in the refrigerator if properly stored. It’s best to use within a few days of the “Use By Date.” It’s tough to determine the exact length of time of a use-by date, but a March trip to Costco had hams with May 27 dates.
Once the meat is cooked, it’s best eaten within 3-4 days. Cooked ham can be frozen for about two months without losing quality.
It’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines. Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours. This is when pathogens start to grow rapidly.