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 crock pot ham. And it’s so perfect for holiday gatherings!
Ham is simply a MUST for the holidays! My mom makes this ham 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.
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 of ham 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.
What Is The Cook Time For A Fully Cooked Ham?
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 the ham is cooked, it falls right off of the bone. Boneless will work, too, though. A sprial-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 ham no matter the cut.
How Do You Make Slow Cooker Ham?
Now that we’ve gone through all of the details, let’s get to the tasty part of this recipe! 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.
Start this recipe by adding brown sugar to the bottom of your slow cooker and place the ham inside, on top of the brown sugar. 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, falling off the bone and the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
Tips For Crock Pot Ham
This slow cooker 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. (affiliate links)
How To Reheat Leftover Ham
Enjoying the leftovers are one of my favorite parts of holiday meals! Reheat individual servings of the leftover ham in the microwave or cover all of the leftover ham with foil and warm it in a 275 degree oven.
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.
Using a slow cooker is such an easy way to cook ham and it always results in the most delicious, tender, flavorful ham. I look forward to this ham every time Easter, 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 crock pot ham.
If you try this easy slow cooker 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.