Maple Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Ham

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Ham in the slow cooker? I never would have imagined- but it was one of those life changing recipes. You will definitely want to bookmark this recipe for Easter! I always loved to cook a nice spiral sliced ham, but it took up my oven at too low of temperature to make anything else with it. And honestly I think I only liked to cook the ham as a means to get the bone and extra meat for soups and other uses.  I was so excited to try this recipe and it was better than I could have imagined. Instead of a drier good ham, I got an amazingly tender, juicy, falling off the bone ham that was infused with flavor. (In fact, I had to keep wiping the juices off the plate to get a clean picture!)  To top it off there was plenty of drippings for lots of ham gravy (my favorite!)…. All without the use of my oven! I will never make ham another way again. 

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This works best with a spiral sliced ham, which is done in 4-5 hours. I have tried it with a regular ham and it does produce a nice tender ham (not quite as amazing as the results from the spiral sliced) but takes a couple hours longer (6-8 hours). Honestly, It could just be that I prefer and always have preferred spiral sliced. It is just much easier to serve and I just like the slices.  And don’t forget to save that ham bone and extra meat for some yummy split pea and ham soup or ham and bean soup.  Or you could use them in these hot ham and cheese sliders. I also cut up my leftover ham into bite size pieces, freeze them and then have them to use in eggs and other recipes.

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Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham
An amazing ham made in a crock pot
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Ingredients
  1. 7-10 pound bone-in spiral sliced ham (keep in mind size of your crockpot)
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 1/2 cup water-Original recipe calls for 2 cups pineapple juice but I don't use it and it is amazing!
  5. 2 Tbsp of deli brown mustard (or dijon)--I love the flavor this adds.
Instructions
  1. Use a 6-7 quart crockpot. Unwrap ham, discard glaze packet, and place ham flat side down in slow cooker.
  2. Rub brown sugar and mustard all over ham.Pour maple syrup over ham and pour water (or pineapple juice) in the bottom.
  3. Cover tightly and cook on low 4-5 hours, basting once or twice during the last hour.
  4. If desired, remove from crockpot and let rest for 10-20 min before serving (I often just serve it right out of the crockpot)
  5. Reserve the juices to make gravy if you want
Notes
  1. I have done a ham that is not spiral sliced before and it does work- you may have to increase the time to 6-8 hours to heat completely through
Amy Kay's Kitchen https://www.amykayskitchen.com/

80 Responses to Maple Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Ham

  1. I have a 5 lb boneless spiral cut ham. Should I just half the amounts of your recipe and how long would it take just to heat it through on low in the Crock-Pot?

  2. I usually leave the house for work at 5 am and do not usually get home till about 4 pm. Could I do this maybe on the warm setting and still get a great result?

    • I have a 7 quart and have cooked up to the 10 pound ham. It’s best if the lid fits on the crockpot well though. There are 7 of us and even a smaller ham is plenty but I love the leftoevers for other recipes!!

  3. Amy, just found your site and this recipe. I want to be sure I’m understanding this – we are talking about fully cooked hams right? I get my meat from the farmers market and can get either fully cooked or not cooked at all…

  4. I just tried your slow cooker spiral ham recipe yesterday as I was hosting dinner for my husbands family (just over 30 guests) and I knew my oven would be fully occupied. It was hands down THE BEST ham I have ever made! And the added bonus of not having to use up valuable oven space/time makes this recipe even better.
    I will never cook my ham any other way!!!
    Thank you!!

  5. made this for Christmas dinner today and it was fantastic – very well received by my family! using the crockpot also kept my small wall oven free for other things. thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    • I’m sure you could just leave out the sweet things and use any seasonings you want or none at all. It shouldn’t affect much but the taste.

  6. Trying this for the first time this Christmas. I don’t eat ham so I have no idea what I am doing. I want to get it right for the in-laws of course. I bought a 8 pound boneless spiral cut ham that is smoked. Will that be okay or will the “smoked” change this for the worse? Thanks.

  7. Wow. We are part of a two state power outage (pacific NW) and we are spending Thanksgiving at a lake cabin with power. Couldn’t figure out yow to do a “traditional” T-giving dinner w/ limited resources (i.e. limited oven space) and found this site. Ham in in the crockpot as we speak!! Now small oven is free for other things. Starting to smell amazing.

  8. Just curious, can you just baste it/rub the mix/packet it comes with and just add the water to the bottom?? It sounds delish though, may have to try it this Thanksgiving! Thanks!

  9. I am very excited/nervous to be preparing this ham for my in laws on thanksgiving….. I am not a pro in the kitchen and the last time they put me in charge of the ham i overcooked it in the oven…a couple questions: do you use Dark Brown Sugar or Light (don’t know if it makes a difference) and the ham I just purchased is a little under 10lbs and it barely fits in my crockpot (the lid doesn’t shut all the way) any suggestions? should I bungee-cord the lid down (perhaps this is why i am not a pro in the kitchen) or is it possible to ‘trim’ 1/2″ to get it to fit..thank you in advance

    • Either dark or light brown sugar work well. I just did this with an 11 lb ham (regular not spiral sliced) and ended up tripling foil to put on top, then putting the lid on as best I could. It took a bit longer cause of the size of the ham and heat loss but still came out very moist. If you can get the lid on its best but improvising works too.

  10. This looks soo good and I must try. I don’t usually get spiral hams but this sure makes me want to try. Your slices look thicker than ones I’ve been served by someone else. Could you please tell me what brand you bought because I’d prefer these thicker slices. Thanks so much and keep those recipes coming.

    • I usually get my hams at Aldi’s and they are great. I think the one in the photo was an uncured, nitrite free one which I have not seen yet this year.

  11. I’m doing this with a much smaller ham (2lbs). The recipe sounds delicious! Has anyone put veggies in to cook as well, like carrots and small potatoes? Any suggestions as to when to put in the veggies? Thanks!

    • If your ham is already pre-cooked it shouldn’t take long at all, I am not sure if veggies would cook through in the amount of time it would take to warm a 2 lb ham πŸ™‚

  12. Just wanted to say that this was a real lifesaver this Easter. Ham turned out nice and moist and my oven was free for all the yummy sides.

  13. I was planning on doing this for easter tomorrow but I may have to end up putting the ham in the oven. Have you ever made this recipe in the oven? Wondering if I would still need to cover it.

    • So sorry I couldn’t get back to you but the website went down and I had no access. I have never made it in the oven but I am sure you could, less time and low temp. I would definitely cover it well so it won’t dry out.

  14. How about posting the recipe for the ham gravy you mention, made with the drippings from the slow-cooker ham? Thanks!

    • The next time I make it I will keep that in mind. I usually just thicken with a flour/water slurry and heat through though.

  15. It came out great! I cooked it overnight and will have it for dinner tonight. It’s my first time cooking a ham in a crock pot. I was surprised of the amount of juice it produced. Should I leave it sitting in the juice while I go to work? Or drain it? I am not sure how to store it?

    • Sorry it took so long to respond- have been having email issues! I think I would have let it sit in the juice to keep it moist. Hope it worked out!

  16. I tried this today with very poor results to say the least. My ham was 8.92 pounds. I used the “foil” lid to seal. When I uncovered to baste ham after cooking it on Low for 4 hours in my 7 quart Crock-pot cooker I found liquid was covering half of ham. The ham was over-cooked and dried out on bottom and edges. My family joked that my new found recipe was for Ham Jerky.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work for you πŸ™ I have always made an incredibly tender juicy ham this way and so have many others here and on other blogs. The only thing I can think of is the foil lid being the issue. I have always been able to fit it with the glass lid. Or maybe less time was needed- I’ve noticed some crockpots really heat more than others.

  17. Trying this tomorrow for Xmas! Never done one in the slow cooker! It will be a great help as my oven in already going to filled to maximum occupancy! Will post how it turns out! Gracias!

    • Yes- spiral cut hams are pre cooked and just need to be warmed. If using non spiral cut ham, check your packaging- but many bone in shank or butt hams are precooked also. It should say if its “ready to eat” or not and give instructions. I think “fresh ham” or “country ham” are the hams that are not cooked at all prior to selling. For pre cooked or “ready to eat” ham it should reach an internal temp of 140Β°F while a “cook before eating” or uncooked ham needs to reach 160Β°F. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  18. Do you slice the spiral sliced all the way thru before slicing like in the picture? Or just put it in crock pot like it comes from the store and slice after cooking?

    • I actually didn’t do anything to the spiral sliced ham in the picture besides cook it. It was so tender out of the crockpot, that is what it looked like. So just throw the spiral sliced ham as is right in πŸ™‚

  19. This is just what I’m looking for. I have a Christmas family breakfast in two days and didn’t know how I was going to cook the ham and an egg casserole in the oven at the same time. I’ll be trying this recipe for sure, thanks!!

    • As long as it fits in your crock pot I don’t see why it would not work. I bought a larger 7 quart crock pot to fit bigger hams. It just may take a little longer to heat through.

      • it’s a bit “tall” for my giant crock but I figured I would make a foil lid…how long do u heat bigger hams? im trying to time all the cooking for a large event!

        • Oh dear- I don’t want to steer you wrong on timing!!! I believe I have done a 10 to 11 pound ham in the time the recipe calls for. I am not sure how a foil lid vs glass lid will affect the timing but you can always give yourself some extra time and just use the keep warm setting to hold it if needed- just baste it every now and then. Hope this helps- I know how hard and stressful timing can be with entertaining!!!

    • I am so glad you liked it and thank you for commenting! I made this too yesterday and every time I just love how moist it comes out and love that I still have my oven free!

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