This slow cooker ham recipe is the BEST way to prepare a holiday ham because the crock-pot does all the work!
Slow cooked to perfection in a brown sugar and honey glaze, everyone will go crazy for seconds!
When we say that this is the easiest, no-fuss way to make a holiday ham, we're not exaggerating. The slow cooker IS the answer to a stress-free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Even better, because the ham is pre-sliced at the time of packaging, a spiral-cut ham is easy to prepare. That means less work for you and more surface-area for the brown sugar and honey glaze to work on. YUM!
What you need
- bone-in, spiral-cut smoked ham
- brown sugar (light or dark)
- dijon mustard
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves
Here are a few ways to modify this recipe if needed.
- spiral cut-ham - A boneless, precooked ham can be used with a similar cooking time.
- honey - Maple syrup can be used instead of honey.
- brown sugar - Coconut sugar or granulated sugar can be used in place of brown sugar.
- ground cloves - Instead of ground cloves, 10 whole cloves can be simmered along with the glaze ingredients and removed before pouring over the ham.
NOTE: When choosing your ham, look for the term "spiral-cut" on the packaging. I've made the mistake of purchasing one that wasn't pre-sliced and it proved to be very hard to cut into thin, evenly divided portions.
How much ham do you need per person?
- 6 people 2-3 lbs. (3-4 hours on low)
- 12 people 4-6 lbs. (4-5 hours on low)
- 18 people 8-10 lbs. (4-6 hours on low)
The FDA recommends reheating a fully cooked ham to an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) before serving.
How to make it
Spray the liner of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Insert the ham, cut-side down, and place the lid on top. If the ham is too big, the lid won't make contact with the top of the slow cooker.
If that's the case, take a sharp knife and cut a small portion off of the top. Move it to the side of the ham.
If the lid of the slow cooker still doesn't fit after cutting off as much as you can, use a piece of heavy foil to replace it. Wrap a piece of foil securely around the opening to seal in the heat.
Use pot holders when handling the foil as it will become hot during the cooking process.
Heat the glaze ingredients together in a saucepan on the stovetop until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the glaze over the ham and place the lid onto the slow cooker.
Cook the ham on LOW for 4-6 hours, basting with the glaze once an hour, if you are nearby. When ready to eat, baste one last time.
Transfer the ham to a serving platter OR turn it on its side and serve it straight from the slow cooker.
To thicken the glaze, transfer it to a saucepan. Let it simmer on the stovetop while you stir. As the glaze starts to reduce, it will become thicker and thicker. It's done when it's thickened to your liking.
How to store it
Refrigerate any leftover ham within 2 hours of cooking to avoid spoilage. Keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 4 months.
What to serve with it
Recipes to use with leftover ham
Slow Cooker Ham
- 8 lb. bone-in spiral cut ham
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Spray the slow cooker liner with cooking spray. Lay the ham, cut-side down into the slow cooker. Place the lid on to ensure that the ham fits inside the slow cooker. If the ham is too big for the lid to seal completely, take a sharp knife and cut off a small portion on top and move it to the side of the ham.
- In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, water, dijon mustard, cinnamon and cloves. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the ham.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the ham on LOW for 4-6 hours. Baste the ham with the juices on the bottom of the pot once an hour during cooking time. The ham is done when the internal temperature is at least 140°F (60°C).
- To thicken the glaze, transfer it to a saucepan and simmer while stirring until it thickens.