Food & Wine

Australia's pork panel officially reveal the best value Christmas ham in Australia

Australia's pork panel officially reveal the best value Christmas ham in Australia

The Christmas ham is the glistening centrepiece of every table come this time of the year.

With the big day fast approaching, the question on the minds of many is: Where do I get the “perfect” ham? There is where Australian Pork steps in. To help narrow It down, CEO Margo Andrae has stepped in to let shoppers know what to choose and what to look for when buying their Christmas ham.

“We know from our research that over 78% of shoppers will purchase their ham from their local supermarket. With our Supermarket Ham Taste Test, we want to take the work out of choosing a ham for Australians, and provide a cheat sheet for any budget and any celebration size this year,” Ms Andrae says.

Ms Andrea, together with celebrity chef Adrian Richardson and award-winning free range pig producer Judy Croagh, blind taste-tested 20 hams from all the major retailers on best taste and value.

All making their way through the pork, it was Woolworth’s Double Smoked Half Leg Ham at $12.50/kg that has taken the crown for best pork in 2021.

Judges described it as having a sweet and light aroma, clean robust appearance and deliciously delicate taste.

The overall Value Ham also came from Woolworths, with the Half Leg Ham available at $8.50/kg.

“This ham had a beautiful balance smoky aroma, flavour with a good bite,” said one of the judges.

Woolworth’s commercial director Jason McQuaid said they’re thrilled both hams have been recognised with these awards.

“With customers starting to plan their Christmas celebrations, we’re expecting more than 1.75 million kilos of our Woolworths Half Leg Ham, a 20% increase from last year, to fly off the shelves in the lead up to Christmas,” Mr McQuiad said.

Coles, Costco and IGA’s top hams cost just $8.50 a kilo, with Aldi’s best-selling ham just a few dollars more at $11.99.

The judges were blown away by the free-range Berkshire full leg ham on the bone from

Costco, awarding it the Premium Buy at $19.99 per kilogram.

Ham sales have gone up 20 per cent from 2020, as families prepare for a much-needed celebration after another tough year.


This comes down to four steps, as recommended by Australian Pork.

  1. Prepare your favourite glaze recipe
  2. Remove rind and use a sharp knife to score ham in a diamond pattern
  3. Place ham scored side up in a large baking pan and brush over glaze
  4. Place into a preheated oven or hooded barbecue at 180°C for 20 minutes per kg, basting occasionally, until ham is brown and warmed through

  1. Soak a Ham Bag, pillowcase or tea towel in 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp vinegar
  2. Wring out excess liquid and place or wrap ham inside
  3. Store in coolest part of fridge
  4. Re-soak bag in solution every few days or when Ham Bag dries out

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