Cutting ham is not so simple. You need to know how to position it, have the necessary tools to do it correctly, and know when to rotate it to extract the meat from the other area to make the most of it.
But when should you flip the ham? How do you know when the time has come? At Enrique Tomás, we're here to help!
Let's first see what tools you need to start cutting the Ibérico ham properly.
What do you need to cut ham?
To cut ham, you need a ham holder (jamonero) and a set of knives (kit de cuchillos).
The Ham Holder (Jamonero)There are various types in terms of size and price. Generally, their cost varies from over 10 euros to less than 100 euros. The most crucial thing is that they are secure and that the ham or shoulder is securely held, avoiding any movement. Otherwise, poor stability can affect the cutting and increase the risk for the person performing the cut.
The key is that the ham holder fits the size of the specific ham, not all ham holders are suitable for cutting any ham or shoulder, it depends on its weight and size. For this reason, when purchasing, consider the weight range that ham holder covers.
Premium Professional Ham Holder
Deluxe Mode Ham Holder
Ham knife: It's a 30-centimeter long knife, with a sharp blade and a pointed end. When using your knife, be careful because it's very sharp. Always place your hand above the area you're slicing.
Paring knife (puntilla): This knife is much smaller than the previous one and is used for peeling and boning, so it's the first and last knife you'll use. It's essential for removing all the meat from the ham, and being smaller than the ham knife, it's more manageable. It's the one you'll use when you encounter the bone.
Sharpening steel (broca or chaira): This tool is what you'll need to sharpen your knives. Its blade is rounded, and to use it, you need to hold it with one hand and move the ham knife or the paring knife with the other, from the top to the bottom of the blade, depending on what you want to sharpen.
Buy Ham Knife and Sharpening Set
How to Slice Ham
When to flip the ham?
Where to Start?
Now that you know what tools you need, let's see how to start cutting and when it's time to flip the ham. The first thing you need to do is place it in the ham holder. If you've ever wondered how to position the ham, we have something to tell you: there's no better position than another. You'll have to place your piece with the hoof up or down based on several factors, such as how long you estimate it will take to finish it. If you're serving many people and will finish it quickly, start with the hock, the more cured part; if it's a smaller group, start with the shank.
Start with the Shank
Tips for Cutting the Perfect Ham Slice
Once it's placed, you can start cutting slices. The trick is to let the knife's blade slide behind each slice. Cut them thick enough for the taste and aroma to be noticeable, but thin enough for the fat to melt in your mouth. When you reach the bone, use the paring knife, and when you can't extract more Ibérico meat, flip the ham. Then you'll have to start cutting again, this time from the other side.
- We recommend: "How to Cut the Perfect Ham Slice."
That said, if you realize that your piece still has meat left but you can't extract it, bring it to one of our establishments! Our cutters are true professionals and will prepare slices, shavings, and chunks from your piece, vacuum-packed in sealed packages.
Nothing will go to waste! And since they're vacuum-sealed, you don't have to open them immediately—you can wait up to 90 days to enjoy them!
- Find them in our sliced products section.
Pack jamón and wine- cebo 50% iberian ham shoulder
Saving pack - cebo de campo 50% iberian ham shoulder
Now that you know when to flip the ham and what you need to cut it, what are you waiting for? Do you already have your piece? If so, put your knowledge into practice! Finally, we leave you with a video that summarizes all the cutting techniques and teaches you how to cut ham step by step.
- If you have any more questions, we also have a reference on the blog that can help you: "How to Cut Ham."