Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut

Enjoy the best Iberico and Serrano Ham  Visit our shop!

This is a question that for many may seem obvious: we all expect that hand-cut ham will be superior to the machine-cut article. That's especially so if we're devotees of Iberico ham. But why is that the case?

Spanish ham: Hand-Cut or Machine-Cut?

The six million dollar question: the truth is actually that many people prefer Spanish ham that has been cut by machine, because it easier and faster to consume.

However, if you're looking to fully exploit the culinary qualities of Spanish ham it's best to cut it yourself or buy hand-cut ham. The price is slightly higher, but it's well worth it.

Many experts say that hand-cut ham retains its organoleptic properties better than machine-cut. But they also point out that there's an aesthetic quality to the way the Spanish ham is cut, and that to watch a master ham cutter gives you some insight into this and is a pleasure in itself besides.

You yourself can develop enough expertise to successfully cut your own Spanish ham by hand, though be warned: it does require practice!

Why by Hand?

The biggest problem with machine cutting is that it generates friction and heats the cutting surface, which in turn heats the Spanish ham. This affects the taste and does not differentiate between the various different parts of a ham slice.

The heating of the ham via the hot blade can affect the nutritional qualities of the Spanish ham also.

jamón cortado a mano

A master ham cutter in action

A good hand-cut ham is sliced in a firm yet gentle way, by sliding the balde across the Spanish ham to produce thin and exquisite slices.

This is undoubtedly one of the great secrets of the world of ham, and if you've ever had the chance to try it you'll know it's true: you notice the difference when Spanish ham has been cut by a specialist. When it melts in your mouth, when the flavors are drawn out and intense., you know you have a master ham cutter to thank.

Why Machine-Cut?

The truth is that there are many high-quality cutting machines that are capable of cross-cutting ham, respecting the natural path of the muscle fibers and resulting in a superior product - for a machine-cut slice, anyway.

Many even say that the heat generated not only doesn't adversely affect the Spanish ham, but actually enhances it. Clearly, personal opinion is the most important factor here.

jamón cortado a mano

A ham-cutting machine

Remember that the presentation and the company make the Spanish ham more attractive, too, and cutting ham by hand makes for a ritual that can make it feel better even if it doesn't technically taste better. And let's not forget that the most important thing isn't hand-cut ham: it's great ham.

A 100% Iberico ham from a respected producer is your real guarantee of success.


  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

Cutting step Cutting step Cutting step Cutting step Cutting step

Enjoy the best Iberico and Serrano Ham Visit our shop!