Never Suffer Through a Dry, Tasteless Ham Again
You'll probably never want to bake a ham again after you've prepared one in a Crock-Pot. Slow-cooking retains all of a ham’s natural moisture, while baking tends to leach it out—at least if you don’t continually baste it or reapply glaze. There are better things you could do with your time, so pop your ham in the Crock-Pot, and then go do them until it’s time to eat.
Total Time: 4 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 8 to 10
- 5 pounds of fully cooked ham, bone-in
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of ground cloves
- Place several small cuts along the top surface of the ham, no more than 1/4-inch deep, and place the ham in the Crock-Pot. Make sure the lid fits securely. You may have to trim a bit off the top.
- Prepare the glaze. Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, mustard, cinnamon and cloves in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Pour the glaze over the ham. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.
- Periodically check the ham by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part, avoiding the bone, as it nears the end of the desired cooking time. The ham should reach an internal temperature of 140F. If you go much beyond this, you’ll overcook it.
- Remove the ham from the Crock-Pot and strain the glaze.
- Serve the glaze on the side, or, if you’re sure it suits everyone’s taste, spoon some on top of the ham before serving.
Butt-end hams tend to fit more easily into a Crock-Pot.
You can make the glaze ahead of time. Store it in the fridge for up to three days if you think your time is going to be a little tight on the day you’re making the ham.
If your time is really tight, you can skip the glaze. Substitute two 12-ounce cans of cola instead, but make sure you use the real deal, not the diet variety. Just mix the 1/2 cup of brown sugar with the 1 tablespoon of mustard and coat the ham with the mixture, then pour in the cola, taking care that it doesn’t splash on top of the ham and wash away the coating.
If you’re serving a crowd and need a larger ham, a 6-quart Crock-Pot will generally hold up to a 10-pound ham, although it may take some trimming and maneuvering. The glaze ingredients can be doubled to accommodate a larger ham.
There’s no harm in spooning some of the glaze over the top of it periodically as it cooks. Although it’s not necessary, if you happen to be home while the ham is cooking, this extra step will also help keep it moist.
You can use a boneless ham in this recipe in a pinch, but bone-in hams are more flavorful and moist.
Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels including the bestselling "Comes the Rain" and "With Every Breath." Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, bankruptcy and estate law. She covers many legal topics in her articles.