How to Score a Ham
- To score a ham grab a very sharp knife and place the ham on a pan with the fatty side up.
- With the knife, carefully cut down through the fatty outside layer of the ham, stopping just before reaching the actual meat.
- Cut in clean even slices from one side of the ham toward the other.
- Once sliced from one side to the other, turn the ham clockwise a half turn and begin slicing again from one side to the other. A diamond pattern will begin to form on the top pf the ham.
- Reach the other side, and the ham has been scored – goal!
There is no need to flip the ham over, only the fatty side of the ham is typically scored.
The Benefits of Scoring Other Foods
Although ham is a prime target for scoring, lots of different foods can benefit from scoring.
For fatty meats, scoring helps release some of the fat while the meat cooks.
Duck is known for being very fatty, scoring can help alleviate some grease.
For fish, scoring prevents the skin from curling when it hits the heat from the skillet or grill. Only the skin side(s) of a fish are scored.
For flat tougher cuts of red meats, like flank and hanger steaks, scoring helps to tenderize these tougher cuts.
Squid steaks are often found scored to better absorb some flavor and look prettier.
For larger vegetables with tougher skins, scoring allows seasonings and marinades to be more easily absorbed through the skin.
Any glaze or marinade will sink further into its subject and produce more intense flavor if it is scored first.
After scoring, try placing some bits of seasonings into the new crevices for even more flavor.
For instance, garlic and herbs into meats and cloves into hams.