It’s the crowning glory of the Aussie Christmas table (and in sandwiches for days after!), and now the best supermarket ham has been revealed by consumer group CHOICE. And thankfully, it’s a budget beating option.

Even with Australia’s two major supermarkets slashing Christmas ham prices to the lowest in nine years, some of the cuts at the butcher are still costing more than $20 a kilo. But are they actually worth it, or can we default to a cheap and cheerful supermarket option for the same taste?

CHOICE has done the hard yards, enlisting four food experts to rate eight different Christmas hams from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA to discover which supermarket ham comes out as king.

And their research found one of the cheapest options was the winner.

CHOICE’s taste testers included culinary judge Adam Moore, home economist Jan Boon, food consultant Brigid Treloar and David Stössel, who leads Feather and Bone, an ethical and sustainable butcher and providore in Sydney.

And here are the results …

Winner: IGA Naturally Smoked Leg Ham

Best supermarket Christmas ham

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 73% (Recommended)
  • Price: $8 per kilo
  • Taste test score: 64%

While this IGA ham and the second place ham were pretty much on par for taste, this was the winner according to the judges, due to its higher Health Star Rating. At $8 a kilo it’s a great budget option, with the testers saying it has a mild but pleasant taste and even fat distribution.

“It’s better served cold, however, as our testing found it becomes somewhat dry when cooked. But with a price this low, you can probably afford to pick up another cut of meat to roast if you’d like to serve a hot meat dish as well.”

Second Place: Woolworths Gold Triple Smoked Leg Ham

Best supermarket Christmas ham

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 72% (Recommended)
  • Price: $16 per kilo
  • Taste test score: 65%

Not a budget-beater at $16 a kilo, the judges liked the Woolies ham’s appearance and texture, and the balance of smokiness and sweetness.

“While opinion was divided over whether it’s better served hot or cold, it scored marginally higher for taste when warmed, so you can probably take your pick according to whether you prefer a cold or hot Christmas lunch.”

Ham To Avoid: Coles Finest Gold Triple Smoked Free-Range Quarter Leg Ham

Best supermarket Christmas ham

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 21%
  • Price: $15 per kilo
  • Taste test score: 17%

The judges also picked out the ham that they recommend Aussies avoid, saying it tastes ‘unpleasant’. The testers said it has a ‘strong chemical smell, acrid aroma, lacks flavour’ and is ‘very dry’.

“And even heating it didn’t improve their opinions. “Has only got worse with heat”, “very dry and chewy” and “overall incredibly unpleasant” were some of the criticisms. Perhaps the worst was “inedible”.”

Best supermarket Christmas ham

CHOICE’s kitchen expert Fiona Mair also offered her top tips for serving up the best Christmas ham:

1. Keep the fat

“When you bake a ham you need to remove the rind; under the rind is a layer of fat. This layer of fat is going to help keep the ham moist as well as adding flavour,” she said.

2. Glaze and dress

“When baked the fat will render and caramelise, so when you slice the ham you also get a thin layer of fat that helps to balance the saltiness of the ham.”

“Glazing the ham and dressing it with cloves and glacé cherries adds to the presentation.”

3. Avoid overcooking

“I recommend placing the ham on a rack in a baking tray, adding water to the baking pan then covering it with foil for most of the cooking time. Remove the foil for the last 40 mins to caramelise the fat.”

4. Serve with sauce

“If the baked ham is dry there’s not a lot you can do other than serving it with a sauce – try honey mustard sauce, cranberry sauce or even a simple gravy.”

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  • That’s interesting to note. Good tips too.


  • Good to know which one to avoid too :)


  • Its never been my thing ham! Its ok.


  • That’s good to know. I’ll be looking out for the IGA ham.


  • Wow! That’s so interesting. I usually just buy a Bertocchi ham from Coles.


  • They sell the ham $8 to $15 per kilo so why is it the other ham from the Deli is $30 plus per kilo lets face it the supermarkets are getting away with murder and we suffer


  • this is the best time best ham for all of us


  • Good to know, mum normally gets one from a butcher so maybe I’ll send her to IGA and save some $$$


  • Ham off the bone is delicious. It’s so good to have the leftovers too for ages afterwards.


  • I love christmas ham! My father in law does the BEST one!


  • IGA, Here I come. I usually buy my ham from this store, so it’s good to find that it has been thought of so highly by the judges. Thank you for vindicating my choice.


  • I like a bit of ham, but don’t think we’d use a whole leg


  • Thanks for sharing your tips. Being a vegetarian myself, I lack the experience to prepare it in a good way


  • Thanks for sharing this information on ham; a good Christmas food tip.


  • We just buy some from the deli and serve it cold.


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