My Crock Pot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. This is because I can use my slow cooker to make just about everything. Your slow cooker can be a great tool for taking some stress off during the holidays. Try cooking your ham in the Crock Pot this year.
This is a great trick for everyday meals if you are using up a ham you picked up on sale and tossed in the freezer or for making Christmas dinner or Easter dinner easier than ever.
Why you should cook your ham in the crock pot
Cooking a ham can take a lot of time and the outer layer of the ham can easily end up dry by the time you are ready to serve.
A ham that has been made in the slow cooker over the entire day is tender, juicy, and never has an over-dried edge making any glaze you use taste so much better.
The Crock-Pot helps to trap in moisture and heat for an even cook and self bastes your ham to help keep even the top tender and juicy without any work for you. I tossed this ham in when I got up, glazed it with a homemade brown sugar ham glaze, and then when night time rolled around turned it into ham and cheese sliders for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
What size slow cooker is best for cooking a ham
When it comes to the best slow cooker for cooking your ham you want the largest one you can get. Half hams tend to fit perfectly into my 7-quart Crock Pot due to its shape and size. I tend to look at the shape of the ham when I buy them on sale.
Mine is old and well-loved. By opting for a manual one, I don’t have to work about the computer going out so this one has been going for years and tends to run 4-5 days a week during the cooler months when we always want hot meals.
What if your ham is bigger than your slow cooker
If you got o put your ham into your slow cooker and it doesn’t fit how you handle it tends to depend on how poorly it fits. Often mine will be a bit too tall on their side for the lid. If it is under an inch I just toss the lid on and let it go.
If your ham is way too big for your slow cooker you can easily cut it down and put the extra along the sides of the slow cooker where it will fit better.
Smaller boneless hams are more expensive and always tend to fit a slow cooker. In my case I got some spiral half hams over the past couple weeks on sale at Kroger so that is what we will be useing when we do ham for the next few weeks.
How to cook a ham in the crock pot
Most hams are precooked meaning you only really need to heat them up and make them taste the way you want them to with thigns like a brown sugar ham glaze or a honey musterd ham glaze.
To cook your ham in the Crock pot simoply place it in, add the lid and kick it on to high. Do this at the start of your day and it will be ready to enjoy byt the time you serve dinner. I find that the ham in usualy warmed through after about 4 hours but will only become more tender the longer it cooks.
A couple hours before serving take the time to drizzle on your ham glaze.
When you are ready to serve your ham you can carefully remove the ham from the crock pot and place it on a serving platter for carving or carve and serve right out of the slow cooker to make your meal even easier to serve.
Can you cook a frozen ham in a slow cooker?
If you have decided to cook a ham in the slow cooker but it is still frozen you may be wondering if this is still an option.
The good news is that seeing a ham is pre-cooked and you are really just heating it up you can toss your frozen ham in the crockpot and then leave it on high all day.
The ham will thaw and warm up for eating at the same time. If cooking from frozen I recommend leaving at least 8 hours for it to cook on high to ensure it thaws and heats completely.
How do you keep your ham from drying out in the slow cooker?
I have done this quite a few times and I can tell you that it is quite possible to make a mistake and to dry out your ham during the cooking process when you cook it in the slow cooker.
1. Do not overcook. while most things are amazing if left in the slow cooker on high all day things like your ham when not soaked in liquid can dry out.
2. Use the lid to trap moisture. If your lid doesn’t fit your slow cooker with the ham at the start of cooking you can add a layer of tin foil to trap in moisture around the edges of your lid.
What to do with your slow cooker ham
A crock pot is a great tool for cooking a ham because it allows the meat to cook slowly and become tender and flavorful. Here are some ideas for dishes you can make with a ham in a crock pot:
Ham and Bean Soup:
Combine diced ham, dried beans (like navy beans or black-eyed peas), onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and broth in the crock pot. Cook on low until the beans are tender.
Split Pea Soup:
Simmer split peas, diced ham, onions, carrots, celery, and broth in the crock pot until the peas break down and the soup thickens.
Ham and Potato Casserole:
Layer sliced potatoes, diced ham, onions, cheese, and a creamy sauce in the crock pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted.
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham:
Alternate layers of sliced potatoes, diced ham, onions, cheese, and a creamy sauce in the crock pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
Ham and Cheese Quiche:
Beat eggs, milk, cheese, diced ham, and your choice of vegetables together. Pour the mixture into the crock pot and cook until set.
Ham and Pineapple:
Place slices of ham with pineapple rings and a brown sugar glaze in the crock pot. Cook until heated through.
Cheesy Ham and Rice Casserole:
Combine cooked rice, diced ham, cheese, broccoli, and a creamy sauce in the crock pot. Cook until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted.
Ham and Cheese Grits:
Combine cooked grits with diced ham and cheese in the crock pot. Cook until the cheese is melted and the mixture is heated through.
Ham and Spinach Dip:
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, diced ham, spinach, and cheese in the crock pot. Cook until hot and bubbly, then serve with bread or crackers.
BBQ Ham Sandwiches:
Place sliced ham in the crock pot with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook until heated through and serve on buns.
Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole:
Layer diced ham, eggs, cheese, and vegetables in the crock pot. Cook until the eggs are set.
Ham and Cheese Fondue:
Melt cheese with diced ham, garlic, and wine or broth in the crock pot. Serve with bread, vegetables, or crackers for dipping.