Crock-Pot Ham

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Crock-Pot ham is easy and flavorful. You simmer the meat in maple syrup and brown sugar, then brush it with the thickened glaze. Perfect for holiday gatherings!

Crock-Pot ham with maple syrup glaze.

A baked ham requires a lot of oven space, but the slow cooker is a compact countertop device, making it easy to prepare other parts of your feast. A holiday ham is a popular main course for special occasions like Easter dinner. Just mix the sauce, add it to the pot, and simmer.

The beauty of preparing a 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 reduces to a syrupy glaze.

Large ham cooking inside a slow cooker.

Ham selection

There are different types of ham options like cured, uncured, or smoked. The market sells them as unsliced boneless ham or spiral cut ham that has the bone-in, which is the least processed. It’s the chef’s choice if you want to carve the ham later for an interactive presentation. Avoid water-added ham as the flavor is greatly diluted.

Ham size

A 5-pound boneless ham fits perfectly in a 6-quart sized Crock-Pot. It’s straightforward 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 right on top before serving. 

With a bone-in ham, you’ll have less yield, so increase the size by around 25 to 50%. Make sure it can fit in the slow cooker vessel and not go over 8 pounds bone-in.

How much ham to buy per person

It can be a little unpredictable how much each person might eat. If your family is hungry like mine, it’s best to have more. 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 reasonable 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 will feed 8 to 10 people if they have two pieces each. You would then need between a 6 ¼ to 7 ½ pound ham for a bone-in ham.

Spoon showing the consistency of a reduced brown sugar glaze.

Make a simmering sauce

A spiced maple sauce makes the ham fragrant, and the additional steam created keeps it moist. Maple syrup and brown sugar give a deep molasses flavor. Pineapple juice and Dijon mustard add tartness to balance the sweeteners. 

Combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves adds a sweet baked aroma and punch of flavor to the sauce. I figure no more salt is necessary because some will infuse into the liquid from the ham as it simmers. Add freshly cracked black pepper or ginger (fresh or ground for a spicier taste).

How to cook ham in a Crock-Pot

Add half the maple sauce to the cooking vessel, then place the ham cut-side down to absorb the flavorful liquid. I like to pour the rest on top to coat the surface of the meat. Remember, the goal is to rewarm and not overcook.

To prevent the ham from drying out, cook on the “Low” setting for 3 to 4 hours. Before serving and slicing, cover the ham with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. Don’t throw out the sauce. Use it to make a maple brown sugar glaze.

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). A 5-pound boneless ham will take about 3 ½ hours on “low” heat in the slow cooker. Spiral cuts or larger cuts may need an additional 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size. 

It takes longer for the bone inside the ham to heat 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.

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 the excess moisture. This concentrates the sugar solids, creating a luscious sticky spiced maple glaze.

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

Carving slices of ham on a wooden cutting board.

Serve this with


How do you keep ham from drying out in Crock-Pot?

Add a liquid such as pineapple juice, stock, or broth to create a steamy environment in the vessel. This keeps the ham moist and tender. Cook on the low setting for a pre-cooked ham to gently rewarm the meat.

How long does it take to heat ham in a Crock-Pot?

For a 5-pound pre-cooked boneless ham, about 3 to 4 hours on the low setting. For bone-in, add 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size.

Can I reheat precooked ham slices in a Crock-Pot?

Yes! Add in the carved slices with some liquid to generate steam to quickly warm the pieces. You can add ½ cup of water or a more flavorful liquid like a fruit juice or a savory unsalted stock or broth. Use the low setting to reheat for about 1 to 2 hours or the warm setting to keep the meat warm when serving.

Slices of ham warming in a slow cooker.

Rest the meat before slicing

After hours of reheating in the slow cooker, resting the meat gives the muscle proteins a moment to relax and retain more moisture before carving—cover and rest for 15 minutes. The carryover cooking ensures its warm to the center without risking overcooking.

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Crock-Pot Ham

Crock-Pot ham with maple syrup and brown sugar glaze, it's an easy and flavorful meal perfect for holiday gatherings.
4.83 from 35 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


  • 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
  • 5 pounds ham, fully cooked, boneless


  • Make the Sauce – In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, pineapple juice, brown sugar, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (if using).
  • Prepare the Ham – Pour half of the sauce mixture into a 6-quart slow cooker along with the ham placed cut-side down. Pour the rest of the sauce over the ham. For spiralized ham place slices facing up.
  • Cook Time – Cover and cook the ham for 3 to 4 hours on the low setting, or until the internal temperature reaches between 135 to 140ºF (57 to 60ºC). Cook time will depend on the size of the ham.
  • Rest the Meat – Transfer the ham to a cutting board. Cover with foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Make the Glaze – Add the juices and sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker into a saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce bubbles. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens and reduces to 1 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Glaze the Ham – Brush some of the glaze over the round side of the ham. Allow it to set for 5 minutes, then brush another layer on the top.
  • Slice – Cut the ham into ¼-inch thick slices, if not already spiral cut. Serve with the remaining warm glaze on the side.


  • Serving Size: ½ pound boneless ham
  • Serving 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 7 ½ -pound bone-in ham.
  • Using a 6-quart Slow Cooker: A 5 to 7-pound ham works best.
  • Using Bone-in Ham: Spiral cut, bone-in ham can be used instead of whole boneless ham. Add 1 to 2 hours of cook time, depending on size.
  • For Larger Roasts: Increase cooking time to 4 to 5 hours for a 7 to 10-pound cut. A larger slow cooker may be needed, or trim the sides to fit the vessel.
  • Substituting Brown Sugar: Add more maple syrup, honey, orange marmalade, or apple jelly.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 10 servings
Calories 573kcal (29%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 49g (98%)Fat 38g (58%)Saturated Fat 13g (65%)Cholesterol 140mg (47%)Sodium 2709mg (113%)Potassium 674mg (19%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin C 0.6mg (1%)Calcium 25mg (3%)Iron 2mg (11%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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15 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.

  4. Margie Eckert says

    Jessica, would a sliced ham get too dry if it is warmed in a crockpot with the glaze that you recommend. Thank you so much for your delicious recipes!

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