MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you celebrate Easter, there’s a good chance there’s a ham involved. And though they say variety is the spice of life, some of us wonder why there are so many choices when it comes to ham.

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Angela Davis asked a few questions of Boyd Oase, the director of meat at Kowalski’s Markets.

How do you get that cool spiral cut that saves so much time?
“It’s a funny process, it’s like a lathe but it is horizontal,” Oase said, explaining that they put the blade on and it spins around while they turn the ham. “It slices it about a quarter of inch from the bone so it stays intact.”

What’s better? Bone-in or boneless?
“(The bone) produces a lot of great flavor,” Oase said. “For Easter and special occasions, there are bigger hams. If you are serving small parties, you might want to go boneless.  A half bone-in ham’s going to be about 6 to 8 pounds would serve roughly 12 people.” Oase added that the bone is great for leftovers like, for instance, a bean soup.

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How do you know how many minutes you need per pound?
“Really for all hams, refer to the label instructions,” Oase said. “But it is very simple. Roast 325 degrees, use a good meat thermometer and cook it to 135 degrees. Generally on hams it is about 18 to 20 minutes per pound.”

What about all that leftover ham?
Boyd said you should slice it up, put it in an airtight bag, and then you can freeze it for up to six months.

The folks at Kowalski’s Markets shared a few recipes with us for Easter meals. Here are links to their suggestions:

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Asiago Au Gratin Potatoes
Rosemary Asiago Salad With Honey Butter
Basic Roasted Vegetables
Gorgonzola Pistachio Risotto