Slow Cooker Holiday Ham
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If you want a tender and juicy ham this for your holiday dinner, look no further than this Slow Cooker Holiday Ham recipe. It’s especially nice when you want to free up oven space for other dinner items. The pineapple, cloves, and brown sugar all lend extra flavor to the dish.
My mom always baked a ham for our Christmas and Easter family dinners, and it was always so delicious and something everyone looked forward to eating. I will always remember the hustle and bustle in that small kitchen.
(Post modified with new photos on 3/30/23.)
My kitchen is small as well, and that’s one of the reasons I like this slow-cooked recipe for a holiday ham. I have enough items to place in my oven when I’m making a holiday dinner, so I appreciate not having to work around a large roaster and big ham.
Side Dishes to go with a Holiday Ham
- Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Holiday Ham
(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)
- brown sugar
- pineapple slices with juice
- whole or ground cloves
- bone-in smoked or cured ham (shank or butt)
Tips for Buying a Smoked or Cured Ham
Bone-in hams make a pretty presentation on your table, and the bone lends more flavor to the ham.
You can buy a whole ham or in parts by shank or butt portions. The shank portion has one bone in it, but will not have as much meat on it. My mom likes to buy shank hams and then will reserve and freeze the tip end for making ham and beans.
The butt portion will have more meat (and fat), but it will also be harder to slice, due to the hip and pelvic bone.
When shopping for smoked or cured hams, I like to wait for the holiday specials at local grocery stores. In our area of the country, you can easily find shank hams for around $1.29 a pound. If you can find them for less, go for it! The butt end ham will probably cost a little more.
As for how many pounds to buy per person on your guest list, you can safely figure 3/4 pounds per person for a bone-in ham.
When buying a ham for this recipe consider size and shape
One slight drawback of this recipe is finding a ham that is in proportion to your slow cooker. On a couple of occasions, I’ve had to cut a portion of the end off (as in, my husband has done this for me) in order for the lid to close on my slow cooker. This tends to be a problem for shanks rather than butt portions. Obviously, the bigger your slow cooker, the better.
Instructions for Making This Recipe
Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Spread 1/2 cup brown sugar on the bottom of your slow cooker.
Place ham, flat side down on the brown sugar. Rub the remaining brown sugar over the sides of the ham.
Arrange pineapple slices on the sides of ham. Be sure to reserve your pineapple juice. Pour 3 tablespoons pineapple juice over the ham.
You may use either whole cloves or ground cloves in this recipe. If using whole cloves, pat them into the brown sugar with your hands. Or sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves over the ham.
Cover and bake on low for 8 hours until tender.
Place cooked ham on a baking sheet to slice. Or place the whole ham on a serving tray and slice it at the table. An eight pound bone-in ham will serve 8-10 people.
Serve with your favorite holiday dishes. We like it with Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Corn and Macaroni Casserole, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Red Cabbage with Apples, Fresh Green Bean Casserole, and Ambrosia Salad.
Slow Cooker Holiday Ham
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 10 oz pineapple slices reserve juice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 8 lb cured bone-in ham
- Gather your ingredients so that you have everything at hand on the counter or table.
- Spread 1/2 cup brown sugar on the bottom of a 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker.
- Place thawed ham, flat side down on brown sugar. Rub remaining brown sugar over the rest of the ham.
- Arrange pineapple slices on the sides of ham. Be sure to reserve your pineapple juice. Pour 3 tablespoons pineapple juice over the ham.
- You may use either whole cloves or ground cloves in this recipe. If using whole cloves, pat them into the brown sugar with your hands. Or sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves over the ham.
- Cover and bake on low for 8 hours until tender.
- Place cooked ham on a baking sheet to slice. Or place the whole ham on a serving tray and slice it at the table. An eight pound bone-in ham will serve 8-10 people.