I'm a microwave cook wanting to get fancy for a Christmas dinner tomorrow. I'm having trouble putting together a schedule for what to put in a regular gas oven at what temp, when, for a 4pm dinner. The menu I put together:

  • Ham that bakes at 300 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (an 8-10 pound ham)
  • Baked ham that glazes at 400 degrees, for 15 minutes.
  • The baked & pineapple-glazed ham does then sit, but for only 15 minutes.
  • Sweet potato wedges, roasted at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • "Soft" veggies, also roasted at 425, but for 10-15 minutes.
  • Salad that doesn't need the oven at all.

I've taken gloomy note of the advice here that I should NOT try to glaze the ham alongside steamy veggies, no matter how tempting it looks on paper. So do I bake the ham & glaze it, and then deal with the sweet potatoes & veggies while letting the ham sit for half an hour?

To make things worse, I only have two cookie sheets, and I suspect that potatoes & veggies for six are going to take up three. Can I do the potatoes very early, and then repurpose their cookie sheet at the end? (But I'd have to heat them back up...) Can I put one of the dishes in a cake pan or Pyrex casserole dish? Will there be enough real estate in my normal-sized oven if I do so?

Should I just break down and cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave? Then I can do so and oven-roast the veggies while the ham sits.

UPDATE: I tried parboiling the sweet potatoes before roasting them, and it went blooie: I just plain boiled them instead. So we'll have mashed sweet potatoes and plenty of room for the veggies... Fingers crossed on those.

  • 1
    Welcome to Seasoned Advice SE!
    – elbrant
    Dec 25, 2018 at 1:44

1 Answer 1


I would attack it in the following manner:

  1. put the ham in the preheated oven, center rack
  2. gather the ingredients for your pineapple glaze
  3. set the table/buffet/beverage areas
  4. prep your salad, cover it with wrap, refrigerate (note: dressing on the side, so the salad won't wilt)
  5. prep the wedges and veggies
  6. remove ham, and set oven to 400F
  7. glaze and decorate (you can use whole cloves to "pin" the pineapple in place)
  8. return ham to oven
  9. arrange wedges and veggies on the cookie sheets, oiled and seasoned
  10. remove ham, set temp to 425F, tent with foil so it retains some of the heat
  11. place wedges in oven, set timer for 12 min
  12. transfer ham to serving platter
  13. place veggies in oven when timer goes off, set timer for 15 min
  14. ask guests if they need a beverage refill
  15. remove cookie sheets and place wedges and veggies in serving dishes, don't forget to turn off the oven
  16. place all food items in the serving area (table/buffet/etc)
  17. announce dinner inviting guests to table or buffet, say grace if customary, make a toast if you are serving alcohol, etc.

You can eliminate a lot of stress if you set up your dishes (empty) on the table or buffet tonight (or early in the day). I will even go as far as putting little sticky notes to remind myself which dish goes where. This allows me to make sure that everything is going to fit. But it also allows me to set out the serving cutlery, make sure that the pieces do not need a last minute scrub or polish, and to note whether I have managed to forget something.

Don't worry, a Ham is one of the all time easiest things to make!

note: I added a couple of minutes to allow for heat loss while opening and closing the oven door.

  • Yep, that sounds reasonable. Can you add a hint about the cookie sheets?
    – Stephie
    Dec 25, 2018 at 5:13
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    ...cookie sheets because you are worried about not having enough space? You will just have to see how much fits where and make a judgement call. If you are prepping the veggies and they won't fit on 1 cookie, start roasting the first cookie sheet when the oven hits 400 (25F difference to start won't be a huge issue). Tenting the ham can be done the entire time, but it would probably work best not to tent after you have glazed it. You want the glaze to harden, tenting it could affect the moisture and keep it "slushy".
    – elbrant
    Dec 25, 2018 at 15:50
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    My question was whether I could use a cake pan or a Pyrex casserole dish, with sides, to substitute for a third cookie sheet if I need it. As to whether I'd have enough real estate, I can check that I suppose with a cold oven this morning. But I don't know why everyone calls for a side-less cookie sheet, so I'm nervous about substituting. Dec 25, 2018 at 16:47
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    How do I commend you for your help, @elbrant? Thank you so much! We had a delicious meal of juicy glazed ham, roasted veggies (even if the half that didn't have a tin foil lining to the cookie sheet got heavily "carmelized"), and mashed sweet potato. All of the veggies and most of the sweet potato and half of the ham got devoured, so I consider this a resounding success! Thank you again, especially for checking in on a holiday. And sorry, "cts" is comments. Dec 26, 2018 at 5:52
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    I'm so glad everything "came together" for you! The mashed sweet potatoes sound like an excellent alternative for the cookie sheet dilema. Smart! (a green check under my vote number would be a most appreciated thank you - it means I gave the best answer) Enjoy the rest of the holidays @bitterlily! and thank you!
    – elbrant
    Dec 26, 2018 at 18:03

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