Australian Pork panel reveal the best value Christmas ham for 2021

Major retailers including Coles, Woolies, Aldi and Costco had their hams put to the test, with one supermarket taking out the winning title.

There’s no better Christmas table centrepiece than a glistening ham.

And with the big day fast approaching, the question on the minds of many is: Where do I get the “perfect” ham?

This is where Australian Pork has stepped in to help narrow it down with its CEO Margo Andrae saying it’s important shoppers know what to choose and what to look for when buying their Christmas ham.

“We know from our research that over 78 per cent of shoppers will purchase their ham from their local supermarket. With our Supermarket Ham Taste Test, we want to take the work out of choosing a ham for Australians, and provide a cheat sheet for any budget and any celebration size this year,” Ms Andrae said.

Ms Andrae, together with celebrity chef Adrian Richardson, award-winning free range pig producer Judy Croagh and fleischmeister Ralf Fink, blind taste-tested 20 hams from all the major retailers on best taste and value.

After meticulously tasting their way through the pork, it was Woolworths’ Double Smoked Half Leg Ham at $12.50/kg, that was voted the best in 2021.

Judges described it as having a sweet and light aroma, clean robust appearance and deliciously delicate taste.

The overall Value Ham also came from Woolworths, with the Half Leg Ham available at

$8.50/kg.

“This ham had a beautiful balanced smoky aroma, flavour with a good bite,” judge Ralf Fink said.

Breakdown of overall favourites and value at all major supermarkets

Coles 
Favourite and value: Beechwood Smoked Half Leg Ham at $8.50 per
kilogram

Woolworths
Favourite: Double Smoked Half Leg Ham at $12.50 per
kilogram
Value: Half Leg Ham at $8.50 per kilogram

Aldi
Favourite: Specially Selected Triple Smoked Ham Half Leg at $11.99 per
kilogram

Costco
Favourite: Central Highlands Pork Ham on the Bone at $8.50 per kilogram

IGA
Favourite: Naturally Smoked Leg Ham at $8.50 per kilogram

Coles, Costco, and IGA’s top hams cost just $8.50 a kilo, with Aldis’s best-selling ham just a few dollars more, at $11.99.

The judges were blown away by the free-range Berkshire full leg ham on the bone from

Costco, awarding it the Premium Buy at $19.99 per kilogram.

Ham sales have gone up 20 per cent from 2020, as families prepare for a much-needed celebration after another tough year.

GLAZING YOUR HAM

This comes down to four steps, as recommended by Australian Pork.

1. Prepare your favourite glaze recipe

2. Remove rind and use a sharp knife to score ham in a diamond pattern

3. Place ham scored side up in a large baking pan and brush over glaze

4. Place into a preheated oven or hooded barbecue at 180°C for 20 minutes per kg, basting occasionally, until ham is brown and warmed through

STORING YOUR HAM

1. Soak a Ham Bag, pillowcase or tea towel in 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp vinegar

2. Wring out excess liquid and place or wrap ham inside

3. Store in coolest part of fridge

4. Re-soak bag in solution every few days or when Ham Bag dries out

Originally published as Australian Pork panel reveal the best value Christmas ham for 2021

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