Slow Cooker Ham
Slow Cooker Ham is an easy, flavorful meal that takes only a few minutes of prep work. Simply add the ham, honey, pineapple juice and brown sugar to a crock pot and let the slow cooker do all of the work! Your family is sure to enjoy this tender and juicy crockpot ham. And it’s so perfect for holiday gatherings!
This Crockpot Ham is simply a MUST for the holidays! My mom makes this entree for any special occasion and there’s never leftovers. Not only does this slow cooker ham recipe cook up perfectly delicious every time, it’s super easy!
This crock pot ham is a breeze to prep and only requires 3 ingredients for the glaze. As an added plus, cooking it in the slow cooker saves oven space for all of your delicious sides and desserts that you might need to be baking.
Awesome the BEST ham I’ve ever tasted. It melts in your mouth. The whole family loved it! It was so easy to make too.— Cara
What type of ham cooks best in the slow cooker?
The great thing about this holiday ham recipe is that you can pretty much use any cut or size of ham (if you can fit it in the crock pot), boneless or bone-in, whole or spiral-sliced. The cooking time may vary some, depending on what size and cut you use.
You will start with a fully cooked ham, and this recipe will simply be heating and flavoring it. My mom buys Frick’s gourmet super trim bone-in ham that is hardwood smoked. And she typically gets the shank portion of the ham. We find it at H-E-B and it’s very affordable, but tastes amazing. Most standard hams at the grocery store will probably be cured but not smoked, though you can choose cured or uncured, plain or smoked. It’s just a matter of personal preference. Be sure to discard any flavor/glaze packet that may come with your ham.
What size ham do I need?
A 7-8 pound ham is a good size to feed a large group. Estimate about 1/2 pound of boneless ham per person and 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person. If you go any larger than 8 pounds, you may have trouble fitting it into your crock pot. You can always trim off the end to make it fit, if needed.
Even though we usually reserve this recipe for special occasions, it’s a good one for any old weeknight because it’s so easy. If you are cooking for a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children), you can use a small 2-pound petite ham and half this recipe. The cooking time will also need to be decreased to about 2 to 2 1/2 hours on low.
If you use bone-in ham and you are having difficulty fitting your ham into the crock pot because of the bone or overall size, you can trim off a chunk of the ham to make it fit. You can also cover the slow cooker with heavy duty aluminum foil that is tightly-sealed. This is actually what my mom usually does. There will be some liquid from the steam that will drip down the slow cooker, so beware of that.
Other ingredients needed
In addition to the ham itself, you’ll need just a few additional ingredients for slow cooking and glazing. Here’s the lineup:
- Brown sugar. This will sweeten and thicken the glaze. Dark brown sugar or light brown sugar will work, though your resulting glaze will be lighter or darker as a result.
- Honey. Gives the glaze sweetness and a sticky component that helps it stick to the meat. You could sub with maple syrup, although this will have a different taste.
- Pineapple juice. Ham and pineapple are two flavors that pair so perfectly together. And in my opinion, this ham does not end up tasting overly pineapple-y. However, if you don’t care for pineapple juice, you can easily sub apple juice or orange juice instead.
- Herbs for garnish. Optional, but is nice for presentation, especially if you’re serving this for a holiday gathering. Fresh rosemary and/or sage are great choices.
How long do I cook a fully cooked ham in the slow cooker?
The FDA recommends reheating a fully-cooked ham to 140°F. A very small 2-3 pound ham may reach that point in a slow cooker set to low within 2 to 3 hours. A large ham of about 8 pounds will take about 6 hours on low to reach that temperature. If it’s cooked long enough, it will be falling off the bone. And remember, that each time you remove the lid of the slow cooker, you may need to add a bit of additional cooking time.
As with most cuts of meat, a bone-in ham is more likely to stay juicy. We like to use bone-in best and once it’s cooked, it falls right off of the bone. Boneless will work, too, though. A spiral-cut ham is convenient for serving and will also work, it is likely to dry out a bit faster than a whole, uncut ham. If you use a spiral ham, I would recommend basting the slices a few times throughout the cooking process. Your cook time can also be slightly reduced as compared to an unsliced ham. This should all ensure a juicy finished product no matter the cut.
How to make this recipe
Now that we’ve gone through all of the details, let’s walk through the steps for making this recipe! Here’s the simple process:
See printable recipe card, below, for full ingredients and instructions.
- Add brown sugar. Sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the slow cooker and place the ham inside, on top of the brown sugar.
- Add honey and pineapple juice. Pour honey and then pineapple juice over the top of the ham.
- Cook. Cover and cook on low heat for about 6 hours or until the meat is tender, falling off the bone and the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
- Shred and serve. Once fully cooked, remove the ham onto a large, rimmed serving platter. If using a bone-in ham, it is recommended to shred the meat and remove any clumps of fat. The ham will easily fall apart and off of the bone. We usually shred the ham more than what is shown in the pictures and video. You can serve the ham shredded or sliced. Before serving, ladle or spoon the desired amount of juices from the crockpot. So delicious!
This crockpot ham is super simple to make, but here are a few tips to make sure it lives up to the hype!
- A large oval 7-8 quart slow cooker works best for this recipe. See the notes in the recipe card about the lid, if you are not able to fit the lid on top.
- You can swap out the pineapple juice for apple cider, apple juice or orange juice to make the ham glaze.
- For a festive presentation, garnish the ham platter with an assortment of herbs and fruit.
- In case you’re in the market for a new crock pot, this is my favorite one. And this is a great thermometer to use when cooking.
Frequently asked questions
It can, but as long as you warm it in a slow cooker, low and slow, you’ll end up with a ham that’s juicy, tender and flavorful. Warming it on high runs a higher risk of drying out the meat and making it tough.
Absolutely! A large slow cooker, with its moist environment, is the perfect choice for reheating a fully-cooked ham. As it heats up, the glaze is absorbed into the outer skin, while the ham releases juices that blend with the glaze, creating a sauce to spoon over the sliced meat.
Enjoying the leftovers are one of the best parts of holiday meals! Reheat individual servings in the microwave or cover all of the leftover ham with foil and warm it in a 275 degree oven until heated through.
Ways to use leftover ham
If you’re making ham for the holidays, you’ll probably end up with leftovers. Here are some tasty ways to use up the leftover ham:
- Uses the slices to make sandwiches. You could swap the turkey in these turkey cranberry sliders for ham. Yum!
- Chop it up and add it to soups or salads.
- Cook it up in the morning with eggs and potatoes for a delicious breakfast hash.
- Add it to breakfast casserole, pizza or cheesy pasta.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or ziplock bags in the fridge for up to about one week. You can also freeze cooked and cooled ham in freezer-safe bags for up to three months.
Using a slow cooker is such an easy way to cook ham and it always results in the most delicious, tender, flavorful ham. We look forward to this ham every time Easter dinner, Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around! I also use this technique with a small ham for an effortless weeknight dinner for my family. I know your family will love this recipe as much as mine does! It gets rave reviews every time I serve it!
What to serve with ham
Ham pairs perfectly with so many different sides! We love it with potatoes, vegetables, casseroles, or even stuffing! Here are some of my favorite holiday side dishes that I serve alongside my crockpot ham:
If you try this easy crock pot ham recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Slow Cooker Ham
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 7-10 pound bone-in ham*
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
- optional: fresh herbs for garnish
- Sprinkle brown sugar evenly in the bottom of a large 7-8 quart crock pot. Place ham in the crock pot, cut side down. Pour honey and then pineapple juice over the top of the ham. Cover and cook on low heat for about 6 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, and the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
- Once fully cooked, remove ham onto a large, rimmed, serving platter. If using a bone-in ham, it is recommended to shred meat and remove any clumps of fat. Ham will easily fall apart. Before serving, ladle a desired amount of juices from the crock pot.
**To ensure you have the right amount of meat, estimate about 1/2 pound of boneless ham per person and 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person.
***If you are having difficulty fitting your ham into the crock pot because of the bone or overall size, you can trim off a chunk of the ham to make it fit. You can also cover the slow cooker with heavy duty foil that is tightly-sealed. There will be some liquid from the steam that will drip down the slow cooker, so you may want to beware of that.
Did you make this recipe?
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So, so tasty and super easy too!
How big of a deal would it be to put the ham on its side instead of sliced side down in order for it to fit in the crockpot? I would have to trim it significantly in order for it to fit with the bone…
It will be fine to put it on its side. Enjoy!
looking forward to trying your recipe this weekend.
Christmas time in Alabama
Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas!
I don’t think I’ve had a more delicious ham! This recipe was super easy too! Thanks for this and I can’t wait to check out more of your recipes!
This will be my go to recipe for ham! Deeeeelicious and so moist!
Awesome the BEST ham I’ve ever tasted. It melts in your mouth. The whole family loved it! It was so easy to make too.
Made this yesterday and it turned out so good! Can’t wait for leftovers later today!
This ham was incredible! I really couldn’t believe how easy it was and what great flavor it had. Plan to make again soon!
Made this last night for a small holiday gathering. Best tasting ham I’ve had in a long time. I received many compliments. I will definitely be making this again!
The brown sugar and pineapple gives this ham so much flavor! We loved it!
That was delicious also easy. I will be making this again and again!
Such a delicious recipe! I couldn’t believe how easy it was and I had family members asking for the recipe! Thanks so much!
Made this for our Easter dinner and it was amazing! Super tasty and very moist. Whole family ate it up. Can’t wait for leftovers!
This turned out so good! Served it with a side of mac and cheese and everyone enjoyed!
I made this ham and your deviled eggs for Easter lunch. Both were easy and were fantastic! Happy Resurrection Sunday!
I made this ham recipe last night – it was DELICIOUS!!!!! As it was just for my husband and myself, I used a much smaller ham and reduced the amount of the glaze. This glaze is so flavourful and we enjoyed the juices as a gravy, as per your suggestion. We will always cook ham this way – thank you. And we enjoy all your recipes!!
We made this dish for Christmas and it was delicious! The whole family enjoyed!
OMG! This ham was so tender and juicy! And it was great being able to make it in the slow cooker!
This was amazing! My go to ham recipe from now on.
Wow! I just made this and all I can say is wow! The flavor was fantastic and everyone loved it! I will be passing it on to all my friends.
This is the perfect recipe – it is quick and easy. Just what I need considering the timing LOL And the best part is that I already have everything I need for it.