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Best and worst Christmas hams revealed: 'Unpleasant and dry'

CHOICE tested Christmas hams from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA, and the results might surprise you.

Christmas hams are a staple for many families for the festive season but, with Aussie households feeling the pinch these holidays, which ones are actually worth your money and which ones should you avoid?

Consumer group CHOICE blind-taste-tested eight supermarket-brand Christmas hams from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA, judging them on a range of factors, including appearance, flavour and aroma.

The best-rated ham was also among the cheapest, while the worst-rated one was on the pricier side and described as “unpleasant and dry”.

Christmas Ham
The best and worst Christmas hams from IGA, Coles, Woolworths and more have been revealed. (Source: Getty/CHOICE)

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Here are the full results.

Best Christmas ham

IGA Christmas Ham
IGA's Naturally Smoked Leg Ham earned the top spot. (Source: CHOICE)

IGA took out the top spot this year. Its Naturally Smoked Leg Ham impressed judges with its mild but pleasant taste, even fat distribution and natural appearance. However, they noted it was better served cold and became “somewhat dry” when cooked.


“IGA’s Christmas Ham Half-Leg took first place this year, scoring 73 per cent,” CHOICE editorial director Mark Serrels said.

“If you’re looking for the perfect ham to add to your Christmas shopping list, look no further. IGA has delivered a delicious and budget-friendly product.”

Top 3 Christmas hams

  1. IGA Naturally Smoked Leg Ham - 73 per cent rating, $8 per kg

  2. Woolworths Gold Triple Smoked Leg Ham - 72 per cent rating, $16 per kg

  3. Aldi Specially Selected Triple Smoked Half Leg Ham - 63 per cent rating, $13.99 per kg


Worst Christmas ham

Coles Christmas ham
Coles Finest Gold Triple Smoked Free-Range Quarter Leg Ham scored the worst. (Source: CHOICE)

Coles had the worst Christmas ham this year, with every single CHOICE judge describing the ham in question as “unpleasant”. The experts also noted it had a “strong chemical smell”, “acrid aroma”, “lacks flavour” and was “very dry”. One expert even asked for their money back.

“Coming in at the bottom of the list was Coles Finest Gold Triple Smoked Free-Range Quarter Leg Ham with a score of 21 per cent,” Serrels said.

“Not only did our judges describe it as unpleasant and dry, it also costs a whopping $15.00 per kilo! It's safe to say this Coles product’s price did not equal performance.”

Bottom 3 Christmas hams

  1. Coles Finest Gold Triple Smoked Free-Range Quarter Leg Ham - 21 per cent rating, $15 per kg

  2. Aldi Festive Selection Australian Half Leg Ham - 49 per cent, $7.99 per kg

  3. Coles Christmas Beechwood Smoked Half Leg Ham - 56 per cnet, $8 per kg

A Coles spokesperson said the supermarket had received positive feedback from its customers about its Christmas hams and noted it offered 14 own-brand ham varieties.

"Choice is entitled to its opinion, but the most important feedback we receive is from our customers," the spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

"Coles customers are loving our Christmas hams since they hit the shelves in October, with sales of our Own Brand hams significantly ahead compared to the same time as last year."

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