The Perfect Ham With Bone Air Fryer Recipe

ham with bone air fryer recipe

Ham with bone is a succulent and flavorful dish that many people enjoy during special occasions, such as Easter or Christmas gatherings. Traditionally, this delicacy is prepared in the oven, requiring hours of cooking and constant attention. However, with the advent of air fryers, you can now achieve the same deliciousness in a fraction of the time. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the food science behind cooking ham with bone in the air fryer, as well as provide you with detailed instructions to create a mouth-watering ham that your guests will rave about.

Understanding the Food Science

Before diving into the culinary details, let’s take a moment to understand the food science behind cooking ham with bone in an air fryer. The air fryer works by circulating hot air rapidly around the food, creating a beautifully crispy exterior while sealing in the juices and flavors. This cooking method is particularly effective for hams with bone, as it helps to retain moisture, resulting in a succulent and tender meat.

Selecting the Right Ham

When it comes to choosing the perfect ham for your air fryer recipe, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, look for a ham with bone that is fully cooked or partially cooked. This ensures that you don’t end up with an undercooked dish. Additionally, consider the type of ham you prefer, such as smoked or glazed, to cater to your taste preferences. Remember to check the label for any added preservatives or artificial ingredients, opting for natural and high-quality hams.

Cleaning and Preparing the Air Fryer

ham with bone

A clean and well-maintained air fryer is essential for achieving optimal results. To begin, detach and remove any removable components, such as the cooking basket, and wash them with warm soapy water. Use a sponge or brush to gently scrub away any food residue. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Clean the interior of the air fryer with a damp cloth or sponge, ensuring all surfaces are free from grease or debris. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations.

Preparing the Ham with Bone

ham with bone

Now that your air fryer is sparkling clean, it’s time to prepare the ham with bone for cooking. Follow these steps for a hassle-free preparation process:

  1. Thawing the Ham: If your ham is frozen, make sure to thaw it completely before cooking. Place it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, allowing it to defrost slowly and evenly.

  2. Trimming and Scoring: Before cooking, trim any excess fat from the ham, leaving a thin layer for added flavor. Score the surface of the ham by making shallow diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern. This allows the glaze or seasoning to penetrate deeply, resulting in a more flavorful end product.

  3. Glazing or Seasoning: Now comes the fun part – adding your personal touch to the ham. You can either apply a glaze of your choice or season it with a blend of herbs and spices. Some popular glaze options include honey mustard, brown sugar, or pineapple glaze. If you prefer a savory seasoning, use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried herbs. Be generous with your application to create a delicious crust.

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Tips and Variations

close up view of air fried ham with bone

To take your air fryer ham with bone to the next level, consider the following tips and variations:

  1. Moisture Retention: To prevent the ham from drying out during the cooking process, consider using a basting brush to apply additional glaze or a small amount of broth. This will help to seal in the moisture and enhance the tenderness of the meat.

  2. Adding Aromatics: For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding aromatics to the cooking process. These can include cloves, sliced onions, or even a splash of apple cider vinegar. These elements infuse the ham with a delightful aroma and subtle taste.

  3. Experiment with Seasonings: While a traditional glaze or seasoning is always delicious, feel free to experiment with different flavor profiles. Consider using a tangy BBQ sauce, a spicy rub, or even a citrusy marinade. The possibilities are endless!

Determining Doneness

close up view of air fried ham with bone

One of the essential steps in cooking ham with bone in an air fryer is ensuring it reaches the perfect level of doneness. Here’s how you can check the doneness of your ham:

  1. Internal Temperature: The safest way to determine doneness is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the ham, avoiding contact with the bone. For fully cooked hams, the internal temperature should read 140°F (60°C). If the ham is partially cooked, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160°F (70°C).

Recipe: Air Fryer Ham with Bone

Now that you have a good understanding of the culinary details, let’s dive into the recipe for air fryer ham with bone. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a delectable result:

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  • 1 bone-in ham (fully cooked or partially cooked)
  • 1 cup of your favorite glaze or seasoning
  • Optional: additional glaze or broth for basting


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Place the ham in the air fryer basket, making sure it’s not crowded to allow for proper air circulation.
  3. Cook the ham at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes per pound. For example, if your ham weighs 5 pounds, the cooking time would be approximately 50 minutes.
  4. After the first 25 minutes of cooking, carefully remove the basket and baste the ham with additional glaze or a small amount of broth, if desired.
  5. Return the ham to the air fryer and continue cooking until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Refer to the "Determining Doneness" section for temperature guidelines.
  6. Once cooked, remove the ham from the air fryer and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and tender ham.


Cooking a ham with bone in the air fryer is a game-changer for those seeking a hassle-free and delicious meal. By understanding the food science, selecting the right ham, properly preparing the air fryer, and following the provided recipe and tips, you can create a succulent and flavorful ham that will impress your guests. Get creative with your glazes, seasonings, and cooking variations to personalize the dish to your taste. So, why wait for a special occasion? Treat yourself and your loved ones to a mouth-watering ham with bone using the air fryer and savor the delightful flavors that await you.

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    FAQS On Ham With Bone Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is The Best Type Of Ham To Use For This Recipe?

    The best type of ham to use for an air fryer recipe is a bone-in spiral ham. This allows for easier cooking and a juicier end result.

    Can I Use A Boneless Ham For This Recipe?

    Yes, you can use a boneless ham, but keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly and the end result may not be as juicy as using a bone-in ham.

    What Temperature Should I Set My Air Fryer To?

    Preheat your air fryer to 380°F for this recipe. This high temperature will ensure a crispy exterior while keeping the inside of the ham moist.

    How Long Should I Cook The Ham In The Air Fryer?

    The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your ham, but the average cooking time for a 2-pound ham is 25-30 minutes.

    Do I Need To Flip The Ham While It’s Cooking In The Air Fryer?

    It is not necessary to flip the ham while it’s cooking. The hot air circulation in the air fryer will ensure that the ham is evenly cooked on all sides.

    Can I Add Glaze To The Ham While It’s Cooking In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can add a glaze to the ham during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. This will give the ham a nice caramelization and added flavor.

    How Do I Know When The Ham Is Fully Cooked?

    Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ham. It should read 145°F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. If it’s not fully cooked, continue cooking in 5-minute increments until the desired temperature is reached.