Choosing a Good Ham Holder

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The figure of the ham cutter is a recognizable one at both high end restaurants and family gatherings, where there's always someone who stands out as a great cutter. While it's a place of high honor, it also makes one a target for criticisms. How are you going to start the ham there? You're slicing too thick... Of course there's no way to avoid criticism altogether, but the easiest way to reduce it is to have the proper skills - and the proper tools. First amongst these is a sharp ham knife and a shorter blade for peeling and cutting around bones. But knives are of little use without a ham support which allows you to cut smoothly without worrying about whether the ham is going to stay in place. There are a great many ham holders on the market, but they're not all created equal. It's not always easy to decide which one is right for you, so let's look at the factors you need to consider when seeking the perfect ham holder.

It Is Stable
It's crucial to ensure that the base of your ham holder does not slide around when you make your cut. The first factor affecting this is weight - if the ham and holder together weight many pounds this weight alone will hold the ham holder in place. But it's also desirable the the ham holder have rubber feet on its base to prevent slippage on wooden surfaces. Thus the base of the ham holder will be firmly anchored in place, preventing unexpected movements that could spoil your cut, or worse, cause an accident.

It Allows You to Cut Comfortably
To cut comfortably requires being able to cut at certain angles. It's always preferable that the ham should be held so that the cutter does not have to make cuts at awkward angles, increasing the chance of a poor cut or an accident. Additionally, as cuts are made, the surface of the ham changes shape and a good ham holder can accommodate this. A quality ham holder will have a grip, allowing rotary and height adjustment. Often the screw that secures the ham to the stand will be adjustable too so that both the stand and the ham can be moved, together or independently. As far as the height adjustment is concerned, the part of the ham holder to which the ham actually attaches must be extensible, allowing raising and lowering of the hoof. Not all ham holders have this feature, but many experts consider it helpful. There are other fastening systems, including tourniquet pressure, using two boards and a rotating handle that clamps the ham in place. Professionals typically prefer the so-called thumbscrews set-up though.

Storage and Transportation is Easy
It's true that many people choose to leave their ham holder set upend installed in the kitchen, instead of moving it around. Sometimes people will simply leave it in place with a ham in it, covered by a cloth. However, this can take up a lot of space in the kitchen, and some people ned to be able to travel with their ham holder, or only use it on special occasions. In these cases, the best option is to buy a ham holder with folding arms and a bag which you can use to transport it easily and comfortably.

It Is Made From Quality Materials
Obviously, not everyone has the same needs. Someone who cuts ham only rarely can get the right ham holder for a lot less than a professional or a ham lover who cuts ham every day. If you're an occasional ham aficionado, you might be able to get a perfectly adequate ham holder for €30. But for cutting a lot or often, you'll need to look at materials and construction to make sure your ham holder can last the course. Look for models that use stainless steel and solid wood, so that you avoid chipping, scratches and premature deterioration. There are also some very high quality plastic models which are very practical and look like new after cleaning!

Base Size
Undoubtedly, this is related to the question of stability. Simply put, a ham holder with a larger base area will tend to be more stable. You should think about it relative to the size of ham you expect to consume, though: if you plan to eat ham only occasionally, you're more likely to buy smaller hams and shoulders and thus to be better served by a smaller ham holder. If you eat ham regularly, or if you runs  bar or restaurant, though, you might need something with a long base so that you can accommodate a ham up to 12kg. You should also keep in mind that a shorter base can tend to tilt a ham more. While some cutters like that, most say that the ideal position for the ham is horizontal and that the ham holder's base should be longer to accommodate this. 

Skewer and Clamp
Most types of ham holder have at least one vertical skewer in the area of the stifle. This is the easiest sway to fix the ham in place, since its own weight helps to secure it while it's being cut. You'll also find models with two skewers or three vertical spikes, especially where there's also a locking clamp for the hoof. However, despite their popularity,many cutters prefer not to use ham holders with skewers, which they say allow air in and damage the organoleptic qualities of the ham. If you choose to avoid skewers, make sure that your ham holder has a high quality locking system on the hoof.

Cleanliness
Hygiene is a very important factor to consider. Your ham holder is a lifetime investment. To prevent oxidation of the metal parts, as we have said, all metal parers should be made from stainless steel. For the body of the ham holder, it seems obvious that plastic materials or Silestone, a mineral compound, would be wearier to clean than wood because they are nonporous and do not absorb any fat, which does tend to happen with wooden supports. This is a minor problem, though, and one that is little related to performance. Whichever base type you choose, it's important to clean the ham holder thoroughly every time the ham is changed, to avoid the growth of dangerous bacteria or molds. 

Price
As with almost everything in life, the price of a ham holder depends on the materials and craftsmanship with which it is made. It's true that you can find a ham holder for less than €20 that will just about work, but it won't last long, work well or look good. Ham is a high quality product and it makes sense to invest in a ham holder that lets you cut the way you want to for a long time. High performance and craftsmanship aren'\t prohibitively expensive,but there are a lot of models on the market and it can be hard to make up your mind. Here's a comparison of the most interesting models from Buarfe, Steelblade and Sagra to help you come to the right decision:

19.84 € Ham Stand Spain - Spanish Jamonero ham holder
This ham stand is produced in Spain with premium pine wood. The board is 39 x 16 x 2 cm and the arm is 26 x 3 cm. The iron fittings are coated with a non-toxic, antirust paint. This ham stand is ideal for carving spanish hams on the bone. Extremely durable and easy to clean.
24.35 € Ham Stand and Carving Knife Jáen Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is produced in Spain, from premium Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made in bright finish chromium steel. The set includes a knife, and in Spanish this product is called Jamonero Jaén Buarfe y cuchillo jamonero.
27.23 € Seville Ham Stand and Carving Knife Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This Seville Buarfe ham holder is made in Spain from world-renowned Chilean pine and features iron fittings and black epoxy-coated steel skewers with a bright chrome finish. The set also includes a carving knife. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Sevilla Buarfe y cuchillo jamonero.
28.01 € Huelva Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is produced in Spain, with premium Chilean pine construction and black epoxy-coated iron fittings. The steel skewers have a bright chrome surface finish. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Huelva Buarfe.
29.68 € Ham stand and carving knife Bench Jamonprive - ham holder
This ham holder is made from pine wood. Measuring 39cm x 16cm x 1.8cm, it also features an FSC wooden holding arm. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Banqueta con cuchillo.
31.22 € Huelva Ham Stand and Knife Set Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is produced in Spain, with premium Chilean pine construction and black epoxy-coated iron fittings. The steel skewers have a bright chrome surface finish and the set comes with a carving knife. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Huelva Buarfe y cuchillo jamonero.
43.04 € Folding ham stand with knife Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This folding ham holder is manufactured in Spain from Chilean pine and comes with steel skewers with a bright chrome surface finish. This ham holder folds away for storage, making it convenient and space-saving. The set comes with a carving knife. In Spanish, this product is called jamonero Plegable Buarfe y cuchillo jamonero.
47.61 € Rioja Natural Finish Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is Spanish-made, constructed with premium Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made of high-shine chromium steel. The sliding height adjustment system means it's easy to use this ham holder with any type of ham. The design allows easy vertical cutting, and the ham holder can be attached to the wall with screws, making it ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Buarfe natural.
47.61 € Rioja Walnut Finish Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is Spanish-made, constructed with premium Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made of high-shine chromium steel. The sliding height adjustment system means it's easy to use this ham holder with any type of ham. The design allows easy vertical cutting, and the ham holder can be attached to the wall with screws, making it ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Buarfe nogal.
52.09 € Ham stand clamped stainless steel Steelblade
The clamped stainless steel ham stand by Steelblade is a ham stand made of stainless steel that is ideal for cutting boneless pieces. The ham stand measurements are: 47 x 17 x 18 cm.
54.14 € Rioja Alto Brown Finish Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Rioja alto from Buarfe is a Spanish-made ham holder, constructed using premium Chilean pine, and featuring bright chrome fittings and spikes. The restraint system, featuring tourniquet pressure, means the ham holder facilitates perfect cutting angles without damaging the surface of the ham. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Alto Buarfe tabaco.
54.14 € Rioja Alto Ham Stand Natural Finish Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Rioja alto ham holder from Buarfe is produced in Spain from natural Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are in high-shine chrome steel and the restraint system using tourniquet pressure allows easy cutting and a safe anchorage, and it permits a perfect 30° cutting angle. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Alto Buarfe natural.
60.28 € Wine Cellar Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The wine cellar ham holder is produced in Spain, from premium quality Chilean pine.The fittings and skewers are made of steel, with a bright chrome finish, and the four-bracket fastening system holds your ham safely and firmly in place, just where you want it. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Bodega Buarfe.
65.52 € Cadiz Oak Finish Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Cadiz Buarfe ham holder is made in Spain with high-quality Chilean beech and the fittings and spikes are made of stainless steel with a high-shine chromium finish. The scissors pressure system makes this ideal for cooked as well as uncooked hams. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Haya Buarfe natural.
66.96 € Natural Beech Folding Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This folding ham holder in natural beechwood is manufactured in Spain from premium quality materials, from the natural Europen beech base through the fittings to the AISI-304 stainless steel skewers. When folded this ham holder can be stored in its original container. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Plegable Haya Buarfe natural.
66.96 € Folding Beech and Walnut Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is made of walnut and bright premium European beech. There are finished steel fittings, and AISI-304 stainless skewers. The folding system makes this ham holder very convenient: when it's fully unfolded it's ideal for cutting long length of ham. In spanish, this product is called Jamonero Plegable Haya Buarfe nogal.
69.7 € Ham stand walnut Steelblade
The walnut ham stand by Steelblade is a ham stand made with a pinewood base and stainless steel fittings. The fittings are hinged, making storage of the ham stand easy. Its measurements are: 40 x 16 x 30.5 cm.
77.25 € Ham Stand 360 Rotating Steelblade
The 360 rotating ham stand by Steelblade is a ham stand made of pinewood. The ham stand measurements are: 58 x 18 x 40 cm.
79.96 € Brown Finish Meson Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is Spanish-made, constructed with premium Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made of high-shine chromium steel. The sliding height adjustment system means it's easy to use this ham holder with any type of ham. The design allows easy vertical cutting, and the ham holder can be attached to the wall with screws, making it ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Mesón Buarfe tabaco.
82.46 € Natural Beech Rioja Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Rioja Buarfe ham holder is made in Spain with high-quality Chilean beech and the tourniquet-style restraint system means you get a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows horizontal cutting and this ham holder is ideal for longer hams. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Haya Buarfe natural.
82.46 € Oak and Beech Rioja Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The haya Rioja Buarfe ham holder is made in Spain with high-quality Chilean beech and the tourniquet-style restraint system means you get a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows horizontal cutting and this ham holder is ideal for longer hams. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Rioja Haya Buarfe roble.
82.46 € Rioja Beech Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Rioja ham holder from Buarfe is made in Spain with premium Chilean beech. The spikes and fittings have been produced from stainless steel and finished in bright chrome, and the tourniquet-style restraint system means you get a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows for a perfect 45° angled cut and this ham holder is ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, it is called Jamonero Rioja Haya Buarfe wengué.
86.81 € Natural Ham Stand Patanefra Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The Patanegra ham holder from Buarfe is manufactured in Spain from high quality Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made of steel with a bright chrome finish, and the tourniquet restraint system allows for a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows for a slanted 45° cut easily and conveniently, and it is ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called jamonero Patanegra Buarfe natural.
86.81 € Oak Patanegra Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The oak Patanegra ham holder from Buarfe is manufactured in Spain from high quality oak wood. The fittings and spikes are made of steel with a bright chrome finish, and the tourniquet restraint system allows for a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows for a slanted 45° cut easily and conveniently, and it is ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Patanegra Buarfe roble.
86.81 € Ham Stand Cherry Patanegra Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
The brown Patanegra ham holder from Buarfe is manufactured in Spain from high quality Chilean pine. The fittings and spikes are made of steel with a bright chrome finish, and the tourniquet restraint system allows for a safe anchorage for any ham. The design allows for a slanted 45° cut easily and conveniently, and it is ideal for small spaces. In Spanish, this product is called jamonero Patanegra Buarfe tabaco.
98.16 € Folding ham stand with polyethylene base Steelblade
The folding ham stand with a polyethylene base by Steelblade is a ham stand with stainless steel fittings and a base made from white polyethylene. Storage is easy thanks to its hinged fittings. Its measurements are: 45 x 18.5 x 2.5 cm.
122.79 € Rotary Ham Stand Brown Jabugo Haya Buarfe Long Board - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This beech cutting board from Jabugo is made in Spain from premium European white beech wood. Its steel hardware and bright chrome skewers are made from AISI-304 stainless steel with a bright chrome finish, and the design features rotating bushing so that the ham can be held securely at any angle, allowing for an easy horizontal cut. In Spanish this product is called Jamonero Jabugo Giratorio Haya tabla larga Buarfe tabaco.
122.79 € Rotary Jabugo Beech Large Board Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This beech cutting board from Jabugo is made in Spain from premium European white beech wood. Its steel hardware and bright chrome skewers are made from AISI-304 stainless steel with a bright chrome finish, and the design features rotating bushing so that the ham can be held securely at any angle, allowing for an easy horizontal cut. In Spanish this product is called Jamonero Jabugo Giratorio Haya tabla larga Buarfe natural.
122.79 € Rotary Jabugo Beechwood Ham Stand Buarfe Short Board - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This shorter beech cutting board from Jabugo is made in Spain from premium European white beech wood. Its steel hardware and bright chrome skewers are made from AISI-304 stainless steel with a bright chrome finish, and the design features rotating bushing so that the ham can be held securely at any angle, allowing for an easy horizontal cut. In Spanish this product is called Jamonero Jabugo Giratorio Haya tabla corta Buarfe natural.
122.79 € Rotary Brown Beechwood Ham Stand Jabugo Buarfe Short Board - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This beech cutting board from Jabugo is made in Spain from premium European white beech wood. Its steel hardware and bright chrome skewers are made from AISI-304 stainless steel with a bright chrome finish, and the design features roataing bushing so that the ham can be held securely at any angle, allowing for an easy horizontal cut. In Spanish this product is called Jamonero Jabugo Giratorio Haya tabla corta Buarfe tabaco.
127.53 € Ham stand Parma Steelblade
The Parma ham stand by Steelblade is a ham stand that is ideal for cutting Parma ham. The fittings are made of stainless steel and the base is made from ebony wood that also includes a suction cup for better grip.
174.24 € Ham Stand Beech teardrop Steelblade - Spanish ham holder Jamonero
This ham holder from Steelblade is made from laminated beech wood and includes a double skewer position for either ham or shoulder pieces, as well as a 360°rotating stainless steel head. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Gota Haya Steelblade.
217.6 € Ham Stand seesaw with rotating head Steelblade
The seesaw ham stand with a rotating head by Steelblade is a ham stand made of stainless steel whose measurements are: 50 length x 18 width x 41 thickness.
242 € Ham stand Zebrano wood oval suction cup Steelblade - Spanish ham holder Jamonero
This ham holder from Steelblade is made from phenolic plywood in a zebrano wood effect, and has a double skewer position to accommodate either a shoulder or a ham. The design features suction cup technology for secure mounting and a 360° swivel stainless steel head. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Oval Cebrano Ventosa Steelblade.
242 € Ham Stand Oval Ebony suction-mounted Steelblade - Spanish Ham Holder Jamonero
This oval ham holder from Steelblade is made from phenolic plywood with an ebony finish. It features a double skewer position to accommodate either a shoulder or a ham, as well as suction cup mounting for security and a 360° swivel stainless steel head. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Oval Ébano Ventosa Steelblade.
261.36 € Ham Stand Zebrano teardrop suction cup in chrome Steelblade - Spanish ham holder Jamonero
This teardrop suction cup ham holder from Steelblade is made of phenolic plywood in a Zebrano wood finish. It includes a double skewer position, to accommodate shoulder or ham, and a suction cup to hold the stand in place, as well as a metallic chrome finish swivel head. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Gota Cebrano ventosa cromado Steelblade.
261.36 € Ebony suction mounted teardrop ham stand Steelblade - ham holder
This suction cup mounted ham holder from Steelblade is made from phenolic plywood with an ebony finish and includes a dual position skewer for mounting either hams or shoulders, as well as a suction cup for secure mounting and a 360° swiveling stainless steel head.
543.05 € Elite Inox Wenge Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This elite inox ham holder is manufactured in Spain. The base is made form lacquered beech and premium European wenge, a dark tropical hardwood. All the hardware is bright AISI-304 stainless steel or PE-500 black steel. This is one of the most completely controllable ham holders on the market, with an unprecedented degree of control over the angle of your ham achieved by just a few simple controls. The hinged swivel head lets you turn the ham without removing it from the holder, and a system of revolving spikes at the base of the unit can accommodate unusually shaped pieces. In Spanish, this is called Jamonero Élite Inox Buarfe wengué.
543.05 € Elite Inox Black Ham Stand Buarfe - Spanish Jamonero Ham Holder
This ham holder is produced in Spain from premium materials, including a black polyethylene PE-500 base and bright AISI-304 stainless steel skewers. Widely regarded as one of the most complete ham holders on the market, the Elite allows you to adjust the position of your ham both vertically and horizontally, and the hinged swivel head lets you turn the ham without removing it from the holder. The base also has a system of spikes that will hold unusually shapes and cuts of ham. In Spanish, this product is called Jamonero Elite Inox Buarfe negro.
677.6 € Ham stand stainless steel hinged rotating 360 black Steelblade
The 360 hinged rotating ham stand in black by Steelblade is a ham stand made with a black polyethylene base and stainless steel fittings. The ham stand measurements are: 45 x 26 x 49.
677.6 € Ham stand hinged rotating 360 stainless steel in red Steelblade
The 360 hinged rotating ham stand in red by Steelblade is a ham stand made with a black polyethylene base and stainless steel fittings. The ham stand measurements are: 45 x 26 x 49.
750.01 € Ham stand evolution rotary Sagra
A high-end professional ham holder with a swivel to turn the ham. It comes with a tilting system and brake discs to arrange and the firmly fix the ham in just the right position for cutting and it includes an ergonomic polyethylene plate to support the ham or shoulder in a comfortable position. A lateral displacement system allows the ham to be moved and supported on the plate, giving multiple angles. There are multiple options for placing shoulders in the holder too. Important note: the ham holder does not come with a ham! In Spanish, this product is called, "Jamonero Evolution giratorio Sagra."
937.56 € Ham stand evolution with rotating jaw 2 cm base Sagra
A high-end professional ham stand with a swivel to turn the ham. It comes with a tilting system and disc brakes to arrange and firmly fix the ham in the desired position. It includes a 2 cm ergonomic silestone plate in order to support the ham or shoulder in a comfortable position. A lateral displacement system allows the ham to be moved and supported on the plate. There are multiple positions for placing shoulder cuts. It provides an extraordinary grip of the ham.
1031.34 € Ham stand evolution with rotating jaw 4 cm base Sagra
A high-end professional ham stand with a swivel to turn the ham. It comes with a tilting system and disc brakes to arrange and firmly fix the ham in the desired position. It includes a 4 cm ergonomic silestone plate in order to support the ham or shoulder in a comfortable position. A lateral displacement system allows the ham to be moved and supported on the plate. There are multiple positions for placing shoulder cuts. It provides an extraordinary grip of the ham.

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