Choosing a good ham holder
Oct 04, 2021
A beautiful Jamon Iberico in an equally beautiful ham holder is a feast for the eyes. Cutting the Jamon is also an art. Of course you want to try it yourself when purchasing a Jamon. You will find out that achieving the perfect result will take time. Practice makes perfect. There's only one way to really learn it and that's to just do it. In any case, what you can already ensure is that you get started with good material. Have a thin, long and sharp ham knife and a shorter knife for peeling and cutting the fat and around the bones. However, a good knife is of little use without a ham holder, which allows you to make smooth cuts without worrying about whether the ham will stay in place. There are many ham holders on the market that are not all equal. It's not always easy to decide which one is right for you, so let's take a look at the factors to consider when looking for the perfect ham holder.
Provide a stable ham holder
It's critical to make sure the base of the ham holder doesn't shift when you make the first cut. The first factor that affects this is weight - if the ham and holder together weigh many pounds, this weight will better hold the ham holder in place. It is also desirable that the ham holder has rubber feet on the bottom to prevent slipping on wooden surfaces. This anchors the bottom of the ham holder firmly in place, preventing any unexpected movement that could spoil your cut, or worse, cause an accident.
Choose high-quality and durable materials
Of course, not everyone has the same needs. Someone who rarely cuts ham can get a great ham holder for much less than a professional or ham enthusiast who cuts ham every day. If you cut a lot or often, you should look for durable materials so that the ham holder lasts a long time. Choose a model with stainless steel and solid wood, so you don't suffer from splinters, scratches or premature wear.
Make sure the ham holder is big enough
If you plan to eat Jamon only occasionally, you are more likely to buy smaller Jamon's and Paleta's (shoulder hams) and thus be better served by a smaller ham holder. However, if you eat ham regularly, or if you run a bar or restaurant, you may need something with a long bottom so it can carry a ham up to 12kg. Also keep in mind that a shorter base can tend to tilt a ham more. While some slicers like that, most say the ideal position for the ham is horizontal and the base of the ham holder should be longer for this.
Spike and clamp
Most types of ham holders have at least one vertical skewer in the knee area. This is the easiest way to fix the ham in place, as its own weight helps hold it while you slice. You will also find models with two spikes or three vertical spikes, especially where there is also a hoof locking clamp. However, despite their popularity, many slicers prefer not to use ham holders with skewers, which they say allow air to enter and damage the ham's organoleptic properties. If you choose to avoid skewers, make sure your ham holder has a high-quality locking system on the hoof.
As with almost everything in life, the price of a ham holder depends on the materials and craftsmanship with which it is made. It's true that for less than $20 you can find a ham holder that works reasonably well, but won't last long or look good. Ham is a high quality product and it is wise to invest in a ham holder that you can enjoy for a long time. A good result and craftsmanship are not prohibitively expensive, but there are many models on the market and it can be difficult to make a decision. We offer a number of durable ham holders that will last you a long time and give you the best chance of a good result. After all, you still have to cut the ham yourself.