Roast gammon joint with Szechuan crust, some sliced, on a white platter with festive decor.

What's the Difference Between Gammon and Ham?

“A lot of people don’t really know the difference between gammon and ham, or how it’s made. Well, to be honest, there isn’t a great deal of difference, really, as once gammon is cooked, it becomes ham.”

Gammon is sold in supermarkets and by your local butcher raw, and requires cooking before you can eat it, whereas ham is ready to eat immediately, but both are made in a very similar way.

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Roast gammon joint, some sliced, on a white plate

Cooking gammon

“When it comes to cooking a gammon, some people find themselves feeling a little intimidated, but there’s really no reason to be.”

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Roast gammon joint, some sliced, on a serving plate, with vegetables. Candle lights and champagne glasses in background

Christmas gammon and ham

“If there’s one time of year in particular which make you think of gammon, and succulent cuts of ham, it has got to be Christmas.”

The tradition of serving a Christmas ham or festive gammon joint dates back hundreds of years. As pork is such a versatile meat, gammon and ham can be paired with a number of delicious flavours, sweet, tangy or salty, and serves as the perfect complement to the traditional turkey and other favourite festive side dishes.

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Gammon joint, some sliced, on a wooden chopping board

Gammon and ham FAQs

Advice and information about gammon and ham – including how to cook and how to glaze.

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Gammon is sold uncooked, either on the bone or off the bone and rolled. The main difference between gammon and ham is that gammon requires cooking, whereas ham is sold pre-cooked or cured and ready for eating.  Find out more about the difference between gammon and ham.

There are quite literally hundreds of different types of ham – far too many to mention. There are, however, a couple of standout examples, which are famous the world over. From Italy, there’s Parma ham with its slightly nutty flavour, the highly praised Jamón Ibérico from Spain, and of course everyone’s favourite classics such as York ham and the traditional Wiltshire cure ham.

Gammon and ham recipes

Both gammon and ham make delicious additions to many meals, and can be served in a number of versatile ways. A classic dish is gammon steaks freshly cooked and served with a slice of pineapple, a fried egg and vegetables. Serving a Christmas ham or festive gammon joint is a very popular British tradition.  Gammon, ham and bacon also work so well with fish, seafood and chicken. Eaten hot or cold, it’s an all year-round staple which can be used in many meals, from healthy salads to adding to warm wintery soups, in fact, we have plenty of delicious gammon & ham recipe ideas to get you inspired as well as how to cook gammon & ham.