The 5 Best Ham for Pizza (You’ll Want to Try All 5)

Ham is tasty and affordable. It is also very versatile and can last very long with the right preparation and storage. Ham is also one of our favorite toppings for pizza. Who doesn't love a good pizza? So join us as we explore to find the best ham for pizza and what our favorite is.

Does Ham Taste Good on Pizza?

Yes, it does. Beef and pepperoni are the king and queen of toppings. However, ham is slowly reaching the top of the list and is becoming one of the best pizza toppings. Not to mention fresh ham is very savory and delicious.

Ham always has a sweet taste, whether prepared or preserved, and even smoked ham tastes sweet. Preparing ham is simple, you can bake, grill and even fry. Ham has been used all over the globe for different dishes. However, since it can feed a crowd, it is a very common and famous traditional dish.

Now that we agree that the option is sweet, savory and everything in between, let's get to the best ham to use on your pizza recipes.

Best Ham for Pizza

1) City Ham

If you like ham, you have probably heard of city ham. This option comes ready to eat, so you don't have to prepare it. Store-bought city ham is easy to get and is perfect for delicious homemade pizza. Specifically, a Hawaiian pizza. But, of course, we did try to bake one. The trick to having excellent city ham is using very low heat.

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After the dough and pizza sauce were done, we shaved a few thin slices of ham and placed them on the pizza dough once it came out of the oven. Of course, the thin slices melted into the cheese. The best part about homemade pizza, and pizza dough recipes, is you can always add as many toppings as you like.

We preferred some pineapple chunks, but not too much that the bacon bits would be overshadowed taste-wise.

2) Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon has more in common with ham than bacon. It also has a ham taste because it's wet-cured and smoked. Traditionally, Canadian bacon is eaten for breakfast. However, we found out it works just as well on pizza. So, after preparing the pizza dough, we stuffed it with mozzarella cheese for a gooey cheese pizza.

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Moreover, parchment paper and olive oil prevented the pizza crust from sticking to the pan. Canadian bacon tastes better fried. Therefore, we lightly fried the bacon slices before using them on the pizza, which tasted great. However, we only put the bacon on the pizza crust after it was out of the oven. It is worth mentioning that we cooked this pizza directly on the oven rack.

3) Butt End Ham

Butt-end ham is the opposite of shank-end ham. Butt-end ham is leaner and easier to carve with a knife. Additionally, it makes delicious and fresh slices. However, both ham types are sold in large quantities. Therefore, you might need to know how to store ham before choosing this option for your homemade pizza.

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That being said, we tried both ham types to have a feel of what both would taste like on pizza. After a pizza was done, we cut it in half and added butt-end ham on one side and shank-end ham on the other. The shank end ham was a little fatty. However, if you go with it, ensure not to use too much, as oil will drip from your homemade pizza dough.

The butt-end ham was perfect and was the same flavor as any other ham. You wouldn't notice the difference.

4) Ham Hock

Ham hocks are the calf area of the hog. It is very juicy and delicious. It also cooks very well and gets very tender. It is also easier to roast and braise the ham hock, making it easier to use even with the most popular recipes. As you already know, our pizza dough was already in the oven.

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On a separate pan, we proceeded to roast shaved pieces in the oven over low heat. Again, the pizza was very tasty, even with pineapple chunks. The ham was well-roasted and juicy, and the flavor exploded in the mouth. I also got to sprinkle other toppings like olives and ranch dressing, which made it better.

5) Boneless Ham

As the name suggests, boneless ham has no bone in it. The upside to that is you get meat that's easier to carve. The downside is that if you get your ham from the nearest store, you might have to part with some flavor since the meat is processed. However, this ham still makes a decent topping choice for pizza.

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It is recommended not to use high heat on boneless ham since the goal is to warm the ham; it's already cooked. You can easily make many great meals with boneless ham. For us, this ham tied up the entire pizza crust with homemade tomato sauce. Usually, we prefer to buy pizza sauce because making it takes time.

However, it turned out okay after making it using a recipe online. Next, we carved a ham section and shaved it into manageable sizes for a pizza. Our Hawaiian pizza came out very tasty, with the right amount of salt and fresh pineapple. Here is a list of the 25 best pizza pie recipes to try out.

The trick is not to let the ham lose moisture or get crunchy. Therefore, we slightly roasted the ham using a blow lighter. Remember that the flame was held a distance away to prevent charring.

How to Choose Ham

Ham could be hard to select, especially since many types and varieties exist. However, here are some things to look out for to select the best ham for pizza.

a) Cooked or Uncooked

Different varieties are cooked while other options aren't. Most popular recipes call for cooked ham. However, if you usually prefer to cook your ham from scratch, then uncooked ham would be a good option.

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Ham types like city ham are sold fully cooked. Therefore, there is no need to cook it again. Most people reheat and glaze, which is perfect for pizza dough. However, if you know how to cook brine ham, you can easily cook your ham for pizza recipes.

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All hams are labeled either cooked or uncooked, with the latter coming with cooking instructions. Ensure to follow through with the instructions for the best outcome. After all, ham has to be thoroughly cooked before consumption.

b) How the Ham Is Made

Before being sold, ham is made differently. For instance, city ham is made by brining the pork leg. Sometimes it is also prepared by injecting it with a saline solution. After all, there is no one way to prepare ham.

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Additionally, country ham is cured with a dry rub like prosciutto and salt and then hung to dry. Of course, you have to cook country ham when you buy it. But it also makes one of the best ham for pizza recipes. Additionally, with country ham, you can flavor it with herbs, honey, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and other condiments.

c) Sliced or Whole

On a personal level, we prefer pizza ham to be in slices. It makes it easier to cut into smaller pieces for the pizza. However, with whole ham, you can shave off the pieces of ham and choose how thin or thick to have them.

13294930 - whole ham with tomato in the background, selective focus

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Sliced ham is sold cooked, and you can eat it right off the packaging. You can also eat it cold without reheating or warming it. The same cannot be said for whole pork. A whole ham is sold with baking in mind, and it is usually cooked whole with recipes that call for multiple servings.

d) Flavor and Texture

Most city hams are moist and mildly flavored. However, most of their flavor is lost in the preparation process. The upside is you can always mix in your flavors when you prepare it for re-cooking.

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On the other hand, country hams are mostly salty and drier than city hams and have a funky flavor. Additionally, the funky and intense flavor is the result of aging. After all, it is aged for a period before selling.

e) Label

Checking the labels on the ham before you buy is important. The label should only have "ham" written on it. Other variations, such as "ham with natural juice," are not what they seem. Such hams have been pumped with saline water to give the illusion of the ham being plumped up.

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You can make basically every recipe for pizza, pie, and baked ham with the right label. Unfortunately, most people don't check the label and end up with flavorless ham that can't be salvaged no matter how many condiments you spread on it.

Hawaiian Pizza with Ham and Dough Recipe

To prepare our Hawaiian pizza, here is the recipe we used. We cooked everything together; however, should you cook pizza dough before adding toppings? You can cook pizza how you like as we cook everything together. However, some argue that pizza dough cooks better without toppings.

What you need:

  • Flour
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Hot water (120-130 degrees Celsius)
  • Oil
  • Cheese
  • Ham slices
  • Pineapple pieces

In a bowl, stir and thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients first. Next, knead in the wet ingredients. However, ensure to be careful with the hot water. After kneading all the ingredients, let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes.

On a round pizza pan, spread the kneaded flour. Try to keep the prepared flour as level as possible. Before spreading the dough, ensure to lightly oil the inside of the pan to prevent sticking. Plus, you can use olive oil.

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Next, top your pizza dough with pieces of ham, pineapple, and shredded cheese. Keep in mind you can use as many toppings as you want. That's why I feel like homemade pizza is the best. We also added pickles, anchovies, and potatoes, so it wasn't a plain old pineapple pizza.

Slide the pizza pan into your preheated oven, and bake at 250-260 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. The cheese should have turned golden. Wait for the whole pizza to cool a little, and enjoy. You can add hot sauce or other garnishments you like. This Hawaiian pizza dough recipe is flexible.

You can use the same dough recipe to prepare other types of pizza for experimentation. However, we feel that all the pizzas you attempt to make will be delicious. Any leftover ingredients can be used for other dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

i) What kind of ham is the best for pizza?

Proper ham is the best in terms of taste. On the other hand, reformed ham is not the best choice because they are limited in flavor and everything else.

ii) What is the best cheese for pizza?

The best cheese for pizza is mozzarella. It balances moisture, stickiness, melting, and elasticity best. Mozzarella is the king of cheeses and makes the perfect stuffing for a stuffed crust cheese pizza.

iii) What ham do Italians use on pizza?

They use pizza al prosciutto. The best pizza has tomato sauce, cheese, and a few slices of ham when you remove the pizza from the oven.

iv) Is ham good on pizza?

Ham is excellent on pizza. It is rich in protein and tastes even better when mixed with cheese. Additionally, ham is an excellent topping because it works for both thin and thick crusts. Furthermore, it also goes well with other garnishments.

v) How do you keep ham moist?

Of course, the best-tasting ham is moist. So keeping ham moist is important to preserve the flavor. To keep it moist, add a cup of stock, wine, or water to the bottom of your pan before cooking the ham.

The Bottom Line

With dozens of ham options and varieties, it might not be an easy task to select the best ham for your pizza. Ham is versatile and one of the most popular ingredients for many dishes. With different combinations of ham, it is also a crowd-pleaser. For the most flavorful experience possible, selecting the best type of ham for your pizza is important.

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The 5 Best Ham for Pizza (You’ll Want to Try All 5)