“Butt End” vs. “Shank End” Spiral-Sliced Hams

What's the difference between "butt end," and "shank end" spiral-sliced hams?

A whole ham is the entire rear leg of a pig. Hams are often split into the “butt” (sometimes called “sirloin”) portion, which is closest to the haunch, and the “shank” portion, which is lower down the leg, yielding two half hams of more manageable proportions (about 7 to 10 pounds each). Most of the time, they are labeled, but if not, they are clearly distinguishable in that the butt is more domed, while the shank end is more conical. The butt end is meatier and less fatty than the shank end but it has odd-shaped bones, making it trickier to free the slices. The shank end is slightly fattier but, with a simpler bone structure, is much easier to carve.

THE BOTTOM LINE: For easy carving, buy a shank-end, spiral-sliced half ham, heat, and simply slice the meat off the bone. The butt (or sirloin) end requires the carver to remove blocks of meat from around the T-shaped bone structure.

BUTT END: Domed shape, tricker to carve.

SHANK END: Pointed shape, a breeze to carve.

This is a members' feature.