Crock-Pot Ham

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Crock-Pot ham simmers in maple syrup and brown sugar sauce for an easy and flavorful meal made in the slow cooker. Once the meat is ready, the sauce is reduced to a thick and syrupy glaze to brush on top. Perfect for holiday gatherings!

Crock-Pot Ham with Maple Syrup Glaze

A holiday ham is an essential main course for special occasions. Using the slow cooker method frees up time because all that’s needed is to mix, add to the pot, and simmer. Plus there’s a bonus- there’s no need to share oven space while other parts of your feast are being prepared. In fact, this recipe is so easy, you don’t have to wait for a celebration to enjoy.

The beauty of preparing Crock-Pot ham is that the meat is already pre-cooked. The key is to gently reheat it so that the texture stays tender while infusing a boost of sweet spices. A mixture of maple syrup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves creates a candied sauce that is later reduced to a syrupy glaze.

ham cooking inside a Crock-Pot

How to cook ham in a Crock-Pot

  • Combine maple syrup, pineapple juice, brown sugar, mustard, and spices.
  • Add ham and sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on “Low” setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Rest ham for 15 minutes.
  • Add sauce left in the slow cooker to a medium saute pan.
  • Simmer and reduce the sauce over medium-high until thickened.
  • Brush the glaze over the ham two times.
  • Cut the ham into ¼-inch thick slices and serve warm.

What type of ham do you purchase for slow cooking?

A cured, uncured, or smoked ham can be used in a Crock Pot. The grocery store also provides the choice of unsliced boneless ham or spiral cut ham that is bone-in, which is the least processed. Avoid water-added ham as the flavor is greatly diluted. It’s really up to you for the presentation.

I use a 5-pound uncured boneless ham that fits perfectly in my 6-quart sized Crock-Pot. I like that it’s really easy to cut, but the only downside is the sauce doesn’t seep into the meat like it would when pre-sliced. That’s okay, I brush a little extra glaze on right before serving.

reducing brown sugar to make a glaze

How much ham do you buy per person?

It can be a little unpredictable how much each person might eat. To be on the safe side you can use this formula for feeding guests at a holiday dinner:

  • Boneless ham: ½ pound
  • Bone-in ham: ¾ to 1 pound

This is a good estimate if the ham is the main entree. With a 5-pound boneless ham, I was able to get 20, ¼-inch thick hearty slices. This would feed 8 to 10 people if they have 2 slices each. For a bone-in ham, you would then need between a 6 ¼ to 7 ½ pound ham.

What other ingredients do you add to the ham as it cooks?

To warm the ham in the slow cooker and keep it moist, a spiced maple sauce is added. Maple syrup and brown sugar give a deep molasses flavor. Some pineapple juice and Dijon mustard add some tartness to balance the sweeteners.

A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves adds that cozy Christmas aroma and punch of flavor to the glaze. I figure no more salt is necessary because some will infuse into the liquid from the ham as it simmers. For a spicier taste, some freshly cracked black pepper or ginger (fresh or ground) are great additions.

basting brown sugar glaze on the outside of a ham

How long do you cook ham in a Crock-Pot?

The ham is ready when it reaches an internal temperature between 135 to 140ºF (57 to 60ºC). Remember, the goal is to rewarm and not overcook. For a 5-pound boneless ham, it will take 3 ½ hours on “Low” heat in the slow cooker. Spiral cut or larger cuts may need an additional 1 to 2 hours depending on the size.

Sometimes it takes longer for the bone inside the ham to heat, and the surrounding protein. The best indicator for doneness is using an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature every 30 minutes after the minimum recommended cook time. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to rest as you make the glaze.

Make a glaze for the ham

The flavorful sauce that remains at the bottom of the vessel is sweet, savory, and full of spices. Don’t let it go to waste! Simply reduce the sauce by boiling off excess moisture. This concentrates the sugar solids, creating a luscious, and sticky glaze.

Apply the glaze with a basting brush over the ham and it will cling to the surface, creating a mouth-watering crust. Serve the extra glaze warm on the side. I made sure to have extra for you because it’s so good.

Serve this with

If you have any leftover ham, use it the next day in a breakfast casserole, eggs benedict, or add it to fried rice to make it a little more exciting.

carving slices of ham on a wooden cutting board

More holiday recipes

Rest the meat before slicing

After hours of reheating in the slow cooker, resting meat gives the muscle proteins a moment to relax and hold on to more moisture before carving. There is also carryover cooking that happens that ensures the meat is warmed to the center without risking overcooking.

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Crock-Pot Ham

Crock-Pot ham simmers in maple syrup and brown sugar sauce for an easy and flavorful meal made in the slow cooker. Perfect for holiday gatherings!
Pin Print Review
4.42 from 17 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Servings 10 people
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds ham, fully cooked, boneless or spiral cut
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon cloves, optional

Instructions 

  • Whisk together maple syrup, pineapple juice, brown sugar, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Pour half of the sauce mixture into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Place ham cut-side down in the slow cooker.
  • Pour the rest of the sauce over the ham. For spiralized ham place slices facing up.
  • Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on “Low” setting, or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches between 135 to 140ºF (57 to 60ºC). Cook time will depend on the size of the ham.
  • Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Add the juices and sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker to a medium-sized saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat so that the sauce bubbles. Stir occasionally, until the mixture thickens, and reduces to 1 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Brush some of the glaze over the round side of the ham. Allow glaze to set for 5 minutes, then brush another layer on the top.
  • Cut the ham into ¼-inch thick slices.
  • Serve warm glaze on the side.

Notes

  • Brown sugar can be substituted for more maple syrup, honey, orange marmalade, or apple jelly.
  • Spiral cut ham can be used instead of whole boneless ham.
  • For larger ham roasts, increase cooking time to about 4 to 5 hours for a 7 to 10-pound cut. If the ham does not fit into the slow cooker trim off the sides.
  • For a 6-quart slow cooker, about a 5 to 7-pound ham works best.
  • How much ham is needed per person: ½ pound ham for boneless, ¾ to 1 pound for bone-in. For 10 guests, you would need a 5-pound boneless ham, or around 10-pound bone-in ham.
  • 1 Serving: 1/2 pound ham

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Nutrition Facts
Crock-Pot Ham
Amount Per Serving
Calories 573 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 13g65%
Cholesterol 140mg47%
Sodium 2709mg113%
Potassium 674mg19%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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7 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Georgina- I have not tested this recipe with raw meat. I’m guessing you can use the sauce to simmer with the pork, but make sure to check for the doneness temperature. You make need considerably more time.

  1. Ali Cook says

    Hey! FYI 454g is 1lb. So 5lbs of ham should be 2267.96g (or 2.25kg near enough)

    Easy typo I guess 🙂

  2. Jeff Eppinette says

    I made this ham recipe for Easter, and it was a fabulous hit! I carved five pounds of ham off the shank, crocked it, reduced the sauce by 50% in a saucepan, and served it over the ham slices. The combination of spices was wonderful. Easy and mouthwatering!

  3. Lisa Corcoran says

    I made this a few days ago and it was the BEST ham I ever had! Thank you so much for such a great recipe. I thought it might be too sweet considering all the sweet ingredients, but it was absolutely perfect.

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