What Is A Pit Ham? How Is It Different From Other Hams?
'Tis the season I guess for ham; many choose to incorporate the pork entree as a centerpiece to their holiday means. And it's easy to see why: they're large - so they can easily feed a crowd, provide leftovers (think sandwiches for holiday house guests), and they taste good.
As someone who likes to cook, I often get the questions from my co-workers about food prep, recipes, etc. Recently, though - I got a question from someone that I thought most people already knew the answer to. This co-worker wanted to know what a "Pit ham" was and how it was different from other hams. What mostly made me stop was when he asked if it "was cooked in a pit or something".
The term "Pit ham" is a food industry abbreviation: Pit actually stands for "partially internally trimmed" - meaning that during processing, a butcher cut a whole ham apart, trimmed the bone and some of the fat away from the inside, and wrapped it before it was smoked. As such, Pit hams tend to look more "formed" than say a shank or butt end. These hams fall somewhere in between the whole, shank, or butt hams and lunch meat-style hams.
For many, Pit hams are a good option - especially if you're not planning on making soup afterwards. The bone has been removed and the excess fat has been removed, making carving easier for the uninitiated.