I've tried a few time to roast gammon, typically my method is to soak the gammon and then roast for a few hours. The result is typically just this side of editable. I've even tried boiling it first (after a suggestion that this removes the salt), but to no avail.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

4 Answers 4


Soak at least overnight. In addition to that, consider a sweet glaze like apricot, or an acidic one like one that includes cider vinegar. Best yet might be all three, an overnight soak (change the water a few times) and a sweet, acidic glaze.

If you still find it too salty, go ahead and try boiling briefly in fresh water (blanching) after soaking, and then plunging in ice water before you continue to glaze and roast. If all of that isn't enough, and you are choosing the lowest salt gammon available to you, then gammon isn't your thing. Try a fresh ham instead.


When soaking very salty meats it is good practice to change the soaking water frequently. For the first 2 or 3 hours change hourly, and after that increase the time in between changes to 2 or 3 hours.

I have also found that a few carefully placed slits in the thickest parts of the meat can be helpful. You would want the slits to be no more than 1" wide, but they should go deep into the meat even to the point of reaching the bone. This will allow the water to get deeper into the meat.


Heavily salted meats, like gammon, speck, country ham, proscuito di parma and such aren't intended to be eaten as a steak or roast.

They're typically used in small amounts as flavoring in other dishes.

If you're looking to roast a ham, you'll want to find a different variety that isn't as heavily salted. There are 'fresh hams' which isn't cured at all, and 'city hams' which are cured, but still need refrigeration for long-term storage.

  • A thin slice is great on a [us] biscuit, for example. Also great as a flavorant in soup or beans.
    – Preston
    Sep 29, 2014 at 16:05
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    @PrestonFitzgerald : thin slices are fine, either in a sandwich, as a topping for or wrapped around something. Even on its own it's fine in small amounts ... but in large volumes, it's basically a salt lick.
    – Joe
    Sep 29, 2014 at 16:22
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    I totally disagree with the assertion that these meats should only be eaten in thin slices or used as flavoring. Before wide spread refrigeration the only way you would have a roasted Christmas ham was to use one that had been dry cured after the slaughter in the Autumn. Sep 29, 2014 at 19:12
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    @Didgeridrew : dry curing hams takes a 1-2 weeks in salt or brine, then 1-2 months to air dry ... if you waited 'til mod-November to slaughter, it might not be cured in time for Christmas. But by then, the average temperatures in Germany and Scandanavia (where the tradition is believed to have started) are quite cold, and wouldn't have needed a full cure ... they could've just smoked it, or lightly brined it.
    – Joe
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:23

To remove salt from Haddock, I use milk. I think it would be a good idea to let it soak for 6 hours. Then 1 hour in water. The meat will be softer anyway.

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