How long does it take to slow roast a 13 pound bone-in fresh ham? We want to bring it to 190 degrees F to break down the collagen.


There is no single answer to this question.

Even saying you want to bring it to a temperature of 190 (I infer F) is overly simplified, as the conversion of collagen to gelatin is dependent on both time and temperature. It goes faster at higher temperatures, but still takes time. There is no single magic temperature that when you hit it, the conversion is done.

The time it takes to cook the fresh ham will depend on the size of the ham, the method you use to cook the ham (for example, braising versus dry roasting, and the oven temperature you set.

The time will also depend on whether you want to be able to pull the pork (although should is somewhat better suited to that application), or carve it into slices.

Roasting at 225 F, 10-14 hours would not be out of the question. At 325 F, it may take 6-9 hours. Start checking for donenesss at the beginning of the time.

The ham will be done when you can put a fork in it and twist without too much resistance, demonstrating that it is pullable.

  • Yes - my apologies we do mean 190 deg F. and I forgot to specify dry heat, not braised. We realize it depends on many factors but your answer gave sufficient range for us to start it at least 14 hours before service if roasted at 225 deg F. If not tender and not yet near 190 deg F after 10 hours we will turn up the heat a little to break through any temperature stall that will likely occur near 155 deg F. Thank you. – user22136 Dec 25 '13 at 5:01
  • You may wish to treat it more like a pork roast than a pulled pork, and roast only to 145 F. – SAJ14SAJ Dec 25 '13 at 5:03
  • We have found that when cooked to a lower temp (even as high as 160 to 170 deg F) the leg is too tough for us as we like the more unctuous "pulled" pork texture. – user22136 Dec 25 '13 at 5:26
  • 2
    160 to 170 would be quite well done, without the benefit of collagen conversion, so you would either go to 145 for a medium roast, or all the way to the high end. in between is where you get the worst of both worlds. – SAJ14SAJ Dec 25 '13 at 8:46

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