Farmhouse Ham Balls are one of our family’s most unique recipes for parties and special meals. Our family ham ball recipe is moist and glazed with a sauce that is slightly sweet and tangy. These ham balls are a delicious treat!
This post is sponsored by Indiana Pork, but all opinions are my own!
Farmhouse Ham Balls
My Grandma shared this recipe many years ago. My mom makes these ham balls regularly. I even made these ham balls for a 4-H project called All-American Foods and won a nice prize at the county level.
Know that this Farmhouse Ham Balls recipe has been tested by several generations and even judges and always passes with flying colors! Another variation we have with ground ham is our Farmhouse Ham Loaf which has graham cracker crumbs in the meatloaf and is topped with a sweet pineapple glaze.
We typically make the ham balls to enjoy as appetizers, but they make a great main dish too! For appetizer sized balls I use a regular size cookie scoop. For a meal-sized portion, I use a large cookie scoop.
The cookie scoop helps me ensure that I get roughly the same amount of meat in each ball. After dividing up my meat I always roll each ball in my hand to help bind the meat together better. This helps prevent the cooked balls from falling apart as easily.
Both sizes of ham balls cook in a similar amount of time. I cook my ham balls for 30 minutes and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. Then I add the glaze and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the ham balls reaches 160°F.
Where to Find Ground Ham
Growing up we would go to a local butcher and purchase ground ham. I recently found tubes of ground ham in the ham case at Kroger that taste great.
When purchasing ham of any kind I always take a look at the label to see how much water has been added. The ground ham I found only had its natural juices in the package, so that’s a signal of quality meat. The meat to fat ratio was also reasonable. Fat equals flavor, so I like meat that has a little fat, but I certainly don’t want more fat than meat in my meals.
Leftover ham can be ground in a food processor to make your own and use up any extra ham that you may already have. Just work with small quantities of ham at a time and make sure to run the food processor until the ham is properly ground.
Award Winning Ham Balls
As I shared earlier the first time I made these ham balls for a 4-H competition I was probably in middle school. Judging requirements included sitting down before a judge and sharing what I had learned by completing my cooking project and making this recipe.
I remember being awarded the Best Display silver tray along with a rosette and the opportunity to compete at the Ohio State Fair in the project. Opportunities like these to work hard and be rewarded for success were some of the highlights of my childhood.
As an adult, I can look at community programs like 4-H and understand that a lot of businesses and people give a lot of time and money to make the programs work. I especially see a lot of farms and farmers contributing time, equipment and money needed to make youth events happen.
I see pig farmers regularly supporting their communities and living out the We Care Ethical Principles. I appreciate these contributions now more than ever because I understand that it takes a village to raise a kid. It takes many people with many different talents contributing to make the community a better place. I’m grateful that when I review the list of sponsors for events that my kids participate in there are so many farmers that offer generous support!
I’m proud to enjoy meals like these ham balls because I know that the ingredients I purchase at the grocery store come from farm families across the United States. My family can enjoy a good meal, we can support farmers and they can support their communities.
Here are a few other recipes with ham that we hope you enjoy as much as we do!
Printable Recipe for Farmhouse Ham Balls
Farmhouse Ham Balls
- 2 pounds ground ham
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cracker crumbs I use saltines
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Mix all ingredients in ham balls. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape into balls of desired size. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Mix glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat for about five minutes until the glaze begins to boil. Remove from heat and baste over ham balls.
- Return ham balls to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until a digital meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. internal temperature.