Difference Between Gammon and Ham

Gammon vs Ham

Gammon is meat from pig that is very versatile and traditionally been associated with the festivities around Christmas. Ham is also pork and comes from the same part of the body of the animal. Both ham and gammon are loved by people around the world because of their taste and flavor. However, many people remain confused as to whether it is ham or gammon that they are eating because of their obvious similarities. This article attempts to highlight the differences between gammon and ham depending upon their curing and treatment.


Gammon is meat from the pork that comes from its hind legs and one that is sold raw. However, gammon is cured before it is sold. Christmas festivities are incomplete without gammon though gammon is bought and cooked all-round the year. With the focus having shifted to nuclear families, it is impractical for someone to buy whole gammon as it can weigh close to 10 kg, much more than a small family’s requirements. This is why it is sold in smaller joints with corner, middle, and slipper gammons being the common names of gammon pieces being available in the butcher shops.

The thing to remember is that gammon is meat from the hind leg of the pig that is cut after it has been cured. Curing is done through the application of salt to preserve the meat.


Ham is a cut from the hind leg of the pig that is treated afterwards. Ham is mostly sold after cooking. The word ham literally means the bend of the knee and reflects the part of the body of the animal from where it is cut. To prepare a ham, the hind leg is cut off the body of pig and its preservation is done through smoking, salting, or drying (it could be a combination of these processes). Hams are smoked using different kinds of woods such as juniper, oak, or beech. The flavor of the smoked ham is dependent upon the kind of wood that has been used.

Hams that are sold without smoking are labeled green hams and do not have the kind of strong flavor that smoked hams have. One finds that ham is mostly sold cooked and in sliced form to be used in sandwiches and in salads.

What is the difference between Gammon and Ham?

• Both ham and gammon are meat from the pork coming from hind legs of the pig, but the difference lies in curing and treatment.

• Gammon is sold raw, and one needs to cook it before eating.

• Ham is sold cured and cooked to be used in sandwiches and salads.

• Gammon is traditionally been associated with Christmas festivities, and it is hard to imagine Christmas without gammon.

• Gammon, after it has been cooked, is nothing but ham.