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Crock Pot Ham – Cooking Classy

Flavorful Crock Pot Ham! A spiral sliced, bone-in ham is coated with a sweet and lightly tangy glaze and slow cooked until just heated through and tender. It’s perfect for holidays and weekends and it’s so easy to make!

Serve it with twice baked potatoes and cornbread for a classic meat and potatoes dinner.

Sliced ham on a platter with fresh fruits and bay leaves.

Slow Cooker Spiral Sliced Ham

One of best ways to cook a (pre-cooked) ham in a crock pot is to cook it on low, covered with a simple glaze to upgrade it, just until it’s heated through.

Here a savory smoked ham roast is generously coated with the perfect autumn inspired glaze. It includes apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard. It lightly sweetens the ham and gives it a welcome extra layer of flavor.

At the end of cooking, you can choose the thickness preferred for the glaze. It will be very runny (more like a broth) so you can choose to thicken those juices from the crockpot with some cornstarch, or just keep it as is and spoon some over the sliced ham for added moisture and seasoning.

This is a recipe that is easy to modify to include other flavors you like or use up ingredients you may have on hand. Here are some ideas:

Possible Substitutes

  • Try it with pineapple juice concentrate in place of apple juice concentrate.
  • Switch out the spice. We went with ginger because I like it with this blend of ingredients but cloves or even cinnamon can be added.
  • You could even use fresh ginger here in place of dried (add a few teaspoons).
  • If you don’t have real maple syrup try it with honey.
  • Dijon Mustard will work for spicy brown mustard. Add more mustard if you want more tangy flavor.

Crockpot Ham with an apple maple

Crock Pot Ham Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 lb. bone-in fully cooked spiral sliced half ham
  • 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water (optional, for thickening)

 

Photo of ingredients used to make a crockpot ham with glaze.

How to Cook Glazed Ham in the Slow Cooker

  1. Place ham in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker on it’s side.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, mustard, orange zest and ginger.
  3. Slowly pour juice mixture over ham while separating slices to pour mixture between each slice, then close slices back together. Turn ham then using a baster repeat pouring mixture (which is now at the bottom of the slow cooker) over other side and between slices then close slices back together.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar and pepper evenly over ham. Cover slow cooker with a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil wrapping it snuggly around all edges (or use the slow cooker lid if it fits).

How Long to Cook Spiral Ham in the Crock Pot

  1. Cook the ham on low heat until just heated through, about 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Only cook long enough just to heat through. This type of ham we are using is already fully cooked so it just needs to be warmed through.
  3. Remove the cooked ham from slow cooker to a carving board. Cover it with foil and rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

To Thicken the Glaze (Optional Step)

  1. If you’d like a thicker glaze remove 1 3/4 cups juices from the slow cooker and transfer to a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and water, pour into saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently until it simmers and thickens.
  3. Pour desired amount of mixture over ham.
  4. If you opted not to thicken the glaze mixture then just pour some of the juices from slow cooker over ham.

Collage of four photos showing how to make maple glaze mixture for ham, basting it over ham in a slow cooker. Then shows covering it with brown sugar and wrapping foil over the crockpot.

Ham Shank vs. Ham Butt

  • Spiral sliced city hams come in two varieties, a ham shank half or a ham butt half (but note they often aren’t labeled when spiral sliced). Both come from the hind leg area of a pig.
  • The shank portion is usually taller and more narrow tapering to a point. While the butt is shorter, wider and has rounded edges.
  • Ham butt comes from the upper part of the ham. The meat is fattier, richer and more tender. Carving is just a little more difficult since the bone has a “T” shape (but with a pre-sliced ham it’s not much of an issue).
  • Ham shank comes from the lower part of the ham (the leg portion) and is more visually appealing. It is a little more lean and less tender, but it’s easier to carve since it has a longer bone.
  • You can use a spiral sliced ham shank or spiral sliced ham butt portion here.

How Much Ham to Plan Per Person

  • As a general guide you’ll want to plan on about 1/2 lb ham per person with bone-in ham (because the weight of the removed bone takes up a fairly big portion of the ham).
  • In other recipes where boneless ham is called for you’d want about 1/3 lb boneless ham per person.

Helpful Tips for the Best Crock Pot Ham

  • I prefer to cook the ham on it’s side if you are able. Otherwise slices at the bottom will cook hotter.
  • Be careful not to over-cook or it will start to dry out. Every slow cooker is a little different. Crockpot brand tends to run hot and that’s what I use and have found it only needs about 3 hours, other brand you may need about 4 hours.
  • Many of the average size spiral sliced hams don’t fit super well in a slow cooker – the easy fix is just to cover it with foil rather than the lid. Just be sure to cover it snuggly so the heat and moisture doesn’t escape so easily.
  • Work to baste each slice with some of the juice mixture before slow cooking so each piece is coated with a little flavor as it cooks.
  • Wrap with foil after carving and basting with glaze to keep the ham warm.

Spiral sliced ham that was cooked in a slow cooker shown on an oval white serving platter close up with decorative fruit and herbs to the sides.

Ways to Use up Leftover Ham

When using leftover ham in recipes I recommend using ham that has been unsweetened with a glaze (or even quickly rinsing it off so it doesn’t throw off the recipe with added sweetness).

Sliced ham on a platter with fresh fruits and bay leaves.

Crock Pot Ham

A spiral sliced, bone-in ham is coated with a sweet and lightly tangy glaze and slow cooked until just heated through and tender. It’s perfect for holidays and weekends and it’s so easy to make!

Servings: 16

Prep10 minutes

Cook3 hours

Ready in: 3 hours 10 minutes

  • 8 lb. bone-in fully cooked spiral sliced half ham
  • 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water (optional, for thickening)
  • Place ham in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker on it’s side.

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, mustard, orange zest and ginger.

  • Slowly pour juice mixture over ham while separating slices to pour mixture between each slice, then close slices back together. Turn ham then using a baster repeat pouring mixture (which is now at the bottom of the slow cooker) over other side and between slices then close slices back together.

  • Sprinkle brown sugar and pepper evenly over ham. Cover slow cooker with a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil wrapping it snuggly around all edges (or use the slow cooker lid if it fits).

  • Cook on low heat until just heated through, about 3 to 4 hours.

  • Remove the ham from slow cooker to a carving board and cover with foil to rest for about 10 minutes.

  • If you’d like a thicker glaze remove 1 3/4 cups juices from the slow cooker and transfer to a small saucepan.

  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water, pour into saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently until it simmers and thickens. Carve ham and pour desired amount of mixture over ham.

  • If you opted not to thicken the glaze mixture then just pour some of the juices from slow cooker over ham. Serve warm.

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