How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham

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To cut Iberico Ham has become a ritual, and those who have mastered it travel the world delighting diners and expectant tasters. To cut an Iberico ham and fillet an Iberico ham there are a series of steps to follow and essential tools that are needed.

Necessary tools

The first item needed is a good base to place the leg of the Spanish ham and safely work. In the market there are many models available. However, it is important to select one that will support and secure the Spanish ham adequately from the hip area to the hoof.
Base for hams (Ham holder)

To cut Iberico ham one must also have a series of specific knifes:
Types of knifes needed to cut Iberico ham

A - Broad blade knife: a short blade, but wide, robust and very sharp. It is used to make cuts in the ham hock area, and also to peel and remove the most superficial fat before beginning to slice.

B - Jamonero knife: blade is long and narrow, flexible and very sharp. This is specially designed to make clean and accurate cuts and to make the thinnest slices possible. This type of knife is also used for salmon as the alveoli in salmon are very sharp

C - Boning knife: blade is very short, narrow but robust and sharp. It is used to make clean cuts in areas of the ham that are complicated, especially zones that are close the bones.

* - Knife sharpener: A knife steel, used to sharpen all types of knives.

How to sharpen a jamonero knife

Most knives are sharpened with a sharpening stone, however in the case of the jamonero knife it is recommended to use a knife sharpener.

The knife sharpener must remain still during sharpening, letting the knife do the fluid movement along the length and width of the blade.

Start sharpening by placing the part of the blade closest to the handle onto the tip of the sharpener, then proceed to lowering progressively to the handle of the sharpener. Once one side of the blade is done, clean the knife sharpener and do the same on the other side.

How to cut an Iberico ham

Step 1: Prepare the ham

Before placing the jam on the base you have to think about the number of slices to be cut.

If you will be consuming the entire ham start by trimming at the hoof. If it is going to take several weeks to consume, place the Spanish ham upside down and remove the first slices from the hock area.

The ham should be placed on the base at the most comfortable height for the one processing and cutting it.

Step 2: Peel the ham

Once the Spanish ham is placed, you must peel the area where the slices will be removed from. Then continue to remove the yellow skin and fat along with any mold that has appeared during the curing and drying process.

It is advisable to only strip the area to be consumed to prevent the rest of the Spanish ham from drying and losing its properties.

Step 3: Slicing

Now you can start to slice the Iberico ham. After peeling the area to be sliced, it is recommended the slices to be around 6 cm. To do this, slide the knife from the hoof towards the hip, trying to cover the entire surface. Make cuts parallel cuts by keeping the knife as flat as possible.

The meat slices that come from the hip and lower part of the ham hock tend to be less juicy. It is strongly recommended to combine these slices with other slices that are juicy and with infiltrated fat.

To remove sliced from the hip it is necessary to use the smallest knife and make vertical cuts to allow easier meat extraction. Once all the slicing is completed, there can be pieces of meat stuck to the bone that can be removed. These pieces can be used to make delicious tacos.

When finished with one side of the ham, turn the Spanish ham over and continue the same procedure elsewhere on the ham.

When all the meat has been sliced, including the parts directly stuck to the bone, you can use a saw to cut the bones and use them to add flavor and aroma to soups or make a bone broth.

How to cut an Iberico shoulder

To cut an Iberico shoulder one must follow the same steps as to cutting Iberico ham, and take into account the same principles that apply to Iberico ham.

The only difference is the location of the bones in the shoulder and the need to use knives that are shorter and more rigid to be able to reach the shank area, which is one of the juiciest areas in the Iberico shoulder.


  1. Types of Iberico Ham
  2. How to Consume Iberico Ham
  3. How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
  4. How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
  5. Pairing of Iberico Ham
  6. Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
  7. The Dehesa | The Meadow
  8. DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
  9. Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
  10. Recipes with Spanish Ham
  11. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
  12. Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
  13. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
  14. Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
  15. Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
  16. Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
  17. Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
  18. Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut
  19. Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
  20. Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
  21. Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
  22. Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
  23. The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
  24. History of Iberico Sausages
  25. VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
  26. Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
  27. Curiosities of Iberico ham
  28. How to Store Your Serrano Ham
  29. Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
  30. Preparation of Serrano Ham
  31. Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
  32. Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
  33. Recipes With Serrano Ham
  34. Types of Serrano Ham
  35. Pairing of Serrano Ham
  36. How to Consume Serrano Ham
  37. How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
  38. All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
  39. Choosing a Good Ham Holder
  40. Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
  41. The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
  42. What is the best para negra ham?
  43. Is the term pata negra correct?
  44. How can you know which ham to buy?
  45. Why is good ham so expensive?
  46. How to buy ham from online stores
  47. Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
  48. Is Iberian ham fattening?
  49. What to do with the ham bone?
  50. Why do we usually hang ham?
  51. Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women’s diets?
  52. The Role of Ham in a Child’s Growth and Develeopment
  53. Tips for Preserving Ham
  54. What is ham shaping and why is it done?
  55. New Technologies and Ham – MRI in Ham Tasting – Spectral Images
  56. The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
  57. Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
  58. Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
  59. Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
  60. Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats

Ham carving manual

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