At Josep Llorens we’re specialists in Iberian ham and we get asked all kinds of questions about it. The most frequent question is the one about the best way of cutting a ham. We analyse the pros and cons of each way of cutting below in order to make it easier for you to reach a conclusion.

Cutting Iberian ham by hand

Apart from the ritual involved in carrying out this task, we should bear in mind that it’s much easier to get the most out of each ham with this form of cutting. Each part of the pig’s leg has a different flavour and nuances that ultimately merge on your palate. It’s also easier to be more accurate and obtain the best result for each slice.

Ham experts categorically state that only a hand-cut ham retains all the nuances of taste, but is this view correct?


Its detractors claim that the continuous rotation of the blade warms the ham and makes it almost impossible to cut the highest-quality pieces properly. In addition, to cut a ham with a machine you have to debone it, chop it up into cubes and then cut it, a procedure which, for some people, alters the flavour of each slice and makes it sweeter, according to the most demanding diners.

However, only with a machine is it possible to ensure that all the slices have the same thickness and the same shape. Besides, even the most uninitiated are able to cut ham with a machine, provided that they’re careful when doing so.

What do we think at Josep Llorens? That it’s best to cut a ham by hand, not only because this way respects the features of each joint better, but also because it enables the person doing the cutting to perform the task more effectively. We hope we’ve dealt with your queries about one of the most common issues for ham lovers.