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Crockpot ham sweetened with maple and brown sugar is a favorite for holidays, Sundays, and more! This spiral ham is never dry, always flavorful, always a hit.
Featured with this recipe
- Types of Ham
- Tips for Choosing the Perfect Ham
- Ingredients in Crockpot Ham
- Benefits of using a CrockPot (Slow Cooker)
- Ham Glaze Options
- Best Maple Syrup for Slow Cooker Ham
- Tips for Making a Spiral Ham in the Crock Pot
- No Crockpot? No problem!
- Best Side Dishes to Serve with Crockpot Ham
- 5-Star Reviews
- Storing Leftover Spiral Ham
- Best Leftover Ham Recipes
- How to Cook a Spiral Ham in the Crockpot
- Crockpot Spiral Ham Recipe
Christmas and Easter dinners wouldn’t be complete without a succulent spiral ham. Dripping our homemade maple and brown sugar glaze, not the grainy packet that comes with the ham. This ham is slow-cooked in the Crockpot and it always turns out perfectly! Sometimes if I can get a ham on a good sale, I will make this easy crock pot ham for Sunday dinner. Then we can make lots of different meals throughout the week with the leftover ham (more on that below, we have lots of great leftover ideas). This holiday ham is sweet, rich, and looks beautiful on a serving platter. The flavor is so sweet and savory, that you will never want to use the included flavor packet again!
Types of Ham
Choosing the right ham can make a significant difference in the outcome of your meal. For this recipe, we use a bone-in spiral ham, but you can always choose which type of ham best suits your needs:
- Bone-In Ham: This is the whole ham with the bone still intact. It tends to have better flavor but can be slightly harder to carve.
- Boneless Ham: These hams have had the bone removed, making them easier to slice and serve.
- Spiral-Cut Ham: These hams are pre-sliced in a spiral pattern, making serving a breeze.
- Smoked Ham: Smoked hams have a rich, smoky flavor due to the smoking process. They come bone-in or boneless.
- Cured Ham: Cured hams are preserved with salt or brine. Country ham and prosciutto are examples of cured hams.
- Fresh Ham: Fresh hams are uncured and uncooked, similar to a pork roast.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Ham
- Choose a Quality Brand: Opt for a reputable brand known for its quality hams. If you aren’t sure about quality brands, ask your butcher. They are usually always willing to steer you in the right direction! This ensures you’re getting a ham that’s been properly prepared and processed.
- Consider the Size: Ensure the ham you choose fits in your crockpot or slow cooker. Smaller hams work well for most standard-sized slow cookers.
- Bone-In vs. Boneless: Bone-in hams tend to be juicier and more flavorful, while boneless hams are easier to carve. Choose based on your preference and the convenience factor.
- Check the Label: Pay attention to the label for information on whether the ham is pre-cooked or raw. Pre-cooked hams are quicker to prepare and are the most common. It is also the type we use in this recipe.
- Smoked or Unsmoked: Smoked hams have a distinct smoky flavor, while unsmoked hams have a milder taste. Choose based on your flavor preference.
Ingredients in Crockpot Ham
This crock pot ham recipe could not be easier! All you need is a ham and three other ingredients to make the tastiest sauce you’ll ever try. Here’s what you need:
- Spiral-cut ham: This recipe calls for an 8-10 pound boneless or bone-in ham. You can easily cook a larger ham, and double the ingredients for the sauce.
- Brown sugar: About a cup
- Maple syrup: For this recipe, use real maple syrup. The thick, sweet syrup will make the best glaze for the ham!
- Canned pineapple juice: For best results do not use fresh pineapple juice.
Benefits of using a CrockPot (Slow Cooker)
Spiral sliced ham is delicious anytime, but especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. When preparing meals for a holiday dinner or even a big Sunday dinner, oven space becomes an issue. Heating the ham in the crockpot saves oven space for side dishes and rolls and allows the meat to simmer in the glorious sauce. Another benefit of using a slow cooker is that it doesn’t dry out the ham. The ham stays tender and flavorful. You can always cover the ham with foil before serving to keep it from drying out. Don’t forget to use a CrockPot liner to make cleanup even easier!
Ham Glaze Options
For this recipe, we use a delicious maple and brown sugar glaze. It is our favorite and we use it often! If you want to try something different, you can try any of these glaze options:
To use these glazes in this recipe, simply place the spiral ham in the crockpot and brush the glaze over it. If you are using a spiral ham, make sure to get the glaze on every slice. Cook on low for the same amount of time as in the recipe below, occasionally basting the ham with the glaze. The low and slow cooking process will allow the flavors to meld beautifully, no matter which hame glaze you choose!
- Honey Mustard Ham Glaze – ½ cup honey, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Cherry Coke Glaze – 1 cup cherry Coke (or any cola), ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
- Orange and Ginger Glaze – ½ cup orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup orange juice, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cranberry and Dijon Glaze – ½ cup cranberry sauce (whole berry or jellied), 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Apricot and Rosemary Spiral Ham Glaze: ½ cup apricot preserves, 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
- Balsamic and Fig Crockpot Ham Glaze – ½ cup fig preserves, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Spicy Sriracha and Honey – ¼ cup honey, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (adjust to your spice preference), 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Cider and Mustard Crockpot Ham Glaze – ½ cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Best Maple Syrup for Slow Cooker Ham
For this recipe, I love using REAL maple syrup. It adds such a rich, maple flavor that is hard to beat. Of course, real maple syrup is quite expensive, so if you want to use your typical Mrs. Butterworth’s (or any regular breakfast maple syrup), that’s okay too. Don’t skimp on the syrup. If you feel like you need to add a little extra, do it! Follow your heart. If syrup just isn’t your thing, you can also use honey.
Tips for Making a Spiral Ham in the Crock Pot
- Choose the Right Size Crockpot – Ensure that your Crockpot is the right size for your ham. A bone-in ham may require a larger slow cooker.
- Use a Liner for Easy Cleanup – Consider using a Crockpot liner to make cleanup a breeze.
- Insert Cloves for Flavor (optional) – Cloves add a wonderful aroma and flavor to the ham.
- Layer with Ingredients – For added flavor, consider layering the ham with ingredients like pineapple rings, maraschino cherries, or even brown sugar on the bottom before adding the ham.
- Cook on Low Heat – Slow cookers are meant for low and slow cooking. Cooking on low heat ensures the ham remains tender and doesn’t dry out.
- Baste Periodically – Baste the ham with the glaze and juices from the bottom of the slow cooker every hour or so for maximum flavor.
- Check the Internal Temperature – Ham is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to perfection.
- Use the Broiler for a Glaze Finish – To create a caramelized glaze on the ham’s surface, transfer it to a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for a few minutes after slow cooking.
- Let It Rest – Allow the ham to rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving. This lets the juices redistribute, resulting in a juicier spiral ham.
- Serve with Extra Glaze – Offer extra glaze on the side for those who want an extra drizzle of flavor. Thicken the glaze by placing it in a small saucepan on the stove and thickening with a little cornstarch-water mixture and a little extra brown sugar until thickened to your desired consistency.
No Crockpot? No problem!
Don’t have a Crockpot but still want to make a delicious spiral ham? Try our oven-baked Honeybaked Ham Recipe. This is the perfect solution if your ham is too big for your Crockpot or you simply don’t have a Crockpot to use. You can still use the brown sugar glaze found in this recipe or go all in and make it Honeybaked ham style.
READ MORE: 25+ Traditional and Easy Sunday Dinner Ideas
Best Side Dishes to Serve with Crockpot Ham
Want to make this slow cooker spiral ham but need some side dish ideas? You can never go wrong with a side of simple green beans, corn, carrots, and/or potatoes. We almost always serve this ham with our Cheesy Potato Casserole (aka Funeral Potatoes) but it is also VERY good with Parmesan Potato Halves or Dauphinoise Potatoes (scalloped potatoes). You can also serve with a salad (I love making our Christmas Salad, especially), Sautéed Peas, or even Creamy Potatoes and Peas. You can’t go wrong with any of these ideas for sides!
We’ve had many rave reviews on this Crockpot Spiral Ham recipe. Here are a few of our favorites.
“I made this for Christmas and it was delicious!!”-Kimberly
“This made an amazing ham! I have never made one and who knew it was so easy and flavorful! I did substitute orange juice for the pineapple juice since that is what I had on hand.”-Beth
“Thank you for helping me cook my first Thanksgiving ham ever 🙂 Your instructions are very easy to follow. Have a Happy Thanksgiving 🙂”-Dahlia
“I tried this today and the ham was so moist and tasty. This is the way I will cook ham from now on. Thanks!”-Sherry
“I made this for our family for the last 3 years and we all love it. It is simple and delicious. I chose to add fresh pineapple. Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving to all!”-Sas
A spiral ham works best for this recipe. Bone-on or boneless both work great.
It only takes 2-3 hours to heat a ham in the crockpot, depending on the size of the ham.
No, if a ham is fully cooked you don’t have to heat it. You can serve it cold. It’s a matter of preference. However, when serving a holiday meal or formal meal, most people prefer if the ham is warmed.
No, this recipe does not use the seasoning packet. You can just toss it. Our homemade glazes are way better than using a glaze packet.
You can try trimming the ham or cutting it into smaller pieces. You can also cover the top of the ham with foil and place the lid over the top covering it as best you can. If your ham still doesn’t fit and you’re unable to modify it, you may need to resort to oven cooking. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature for your ham, place it in a roasting pan, and follow the cooking instructions provided with your ham.
Use canned pineapple juice. You can buy canned pineapple juice or use the juice from a can of sliced pineapple or pineapple chunks. We don’t recommend fresh pineapple juice. The acids in the juice will break down the ham.
To reheat, pop a slice or two in the microwave until hot, or you can cover in foil and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Yes, if you don’t like pineapple, orange juice is also very good with ham. You can also use apple cider.
Storing Leftover Spiral Ham
To store your leftover spiral ham, let it cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in an airtight container. Keep it in the fridge for three or four days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When reheating individual slices in the microwave, wrap them in a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. For larger portions, heat in an oven-safe dish with a lid or tight foil cover and reheat in a preheated oven at 325°F until heated through (about 10-15 minutes per pound). Always check with a meat thermometer (140°F). You can also use your leftovers in soups or other recipes (see more ham recipes below). Remember, ham can only be reheated once so if you are heating a large amount, be prepared to polish it off!
Best Leftover Ham Recipes
No matter how many guests we have, we always seem to have so much ham left over! Chop up leftover crockpot ham and use it in omelets, breakfast casseroles, or breakfast sandwiches. So many possibilities! You can make so many meals from just one ham! Here are a few of our favorites:
How to Cook a Spiral Ham in the Crockpot
Crockpot Spiral Ham
- Remove ham from packaging and place in a large (7+ quart) slow cooker. Discard flavor packet (if any). Place ham flat-side down in the slow cooker, but if it doesn't fit, ham can be placed on its side so the lid can close.
- Generously rub with brown sugar all over the ham. Pour maple syrup and pineapple juice over the ham.
- Add lid and cook for 2-3 hours on low heat.
- Spoon juices over the ham and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove ham from slow cooker and serve!
- Heating the ham in the crockpot saves oven space for side dishes and rolls and allows the meat to simmer in the glorious sauce.
- Another benefit of using the Crockpot is that it doesn’t dry out the ham. The ham stays tender and flavorful.
- Not a fan of pineapple juice? Try apple cider or orange juice instead.
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