Are you looking for an easy and delicious way to cook a fully cooked ham? Look no further than your trusty crock pot!
With just a few simple steps, you can have a tender and flavorful ham ready to serve for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a holiday dinner or just want to switch up your weeknight meal routine, cooking a ham in the crock pot is a great option.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to cook the perfect ham in your crock pot, including cooking times, glaze options, and more.
So grab your slow cooker and let’s get started!
How To Cook A Fully Cooked Ham In Crock Pot?
Cooking a fully cooked ham in a crock pot is a simple and stress-free process. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Choose the right size ham: Make sure your ham fits comfortably in your crock pot. A 5-7 pound ham is ideal for a standard 6-quart crock pot.
2. Prepare the ham: Remove any packaging or glaze packets from the ham. If desired, score the top of the ham in a diamond pattern to allow the glaze to penetrate.
3. Add the glaze: There are many glaze options to choose from, including honey mustard, brown sugar, and pineapple juice. Pour your chosen glaze over the ham, making sure it covers all sides.
4. Cook on low heat: Set your crock pot to low heat and cook the ham for approximately 3-4 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the ham has reached 140°F.
5. Baste occasionally: Every hour or so, baste the ham with the juices in the crock pot to keep it moist and flavorful.
6. Serve and enjoy: Once the ham is fully cooked, remove it from the crock pot and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Choosing The Right Ham For The Crock Pot
Choosing the right ham for the crock pot is crucial to ensure a delicious and tender end result. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Precooked ham: Make sure you choose a fully cooked ham, as this will significantly reduce the cooking time. Most hams available in grocery stores are precooked, but double-check the label just to be sure.
2. Bone-in or boneless: Both bone-in and boneless hams work well in the crock pot, but a bone-in ham is more likely to stay juicy and tender. The bone also adds flavor to the meat.
3. Spiral-cut or uncut: A spiral-cut ham is convenient for serving, but it may dry out faster than an uncut ham. If you choose a spiral-cut ham, make sure to baste the slices a few times throughout the cooking process.
4. Size: Make sure your ham fits comfortably in your crock pot. A 5-7 pound ham is ideal for a standard 6-quart crock pot, but adjust accordingly based on the size of your ham and crock pot.
By following these tips and choosing the right ham for your crock pot, you can create a delicious and stress-free meal that will impress your family and guests.
Preparing The Crock Pot For Cooking
Before cooking your fully cooked ham in a crock pot, it’s important to properly prepare the crock pot for cooking. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Clean the crock pot: Make sure your crock pot is clean and free of any debris or residue from previous cooking. Wash the crock pot with warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly.
2. Layer wisely: For even cooking, cut any large pieces of ham into smaller, uniform-size pieces. Place firm, slow-cooking root vegetables like potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crock pot and pile the ham on top.
3. Add liquid: To prevent the ham from drying out, add a small amount of liquid to the crock pot. You can use water, chicken broth, or apple juice to add flavor and moisture to the ham.
4. Preheat if necessary: If your recipe calls for browning the ham before adding it to the crock pot, consider preheating your crock pot before adding the ingredients. This will help ensure that the ham cooks evenly and thoroughly.
5. Cook on low heat: Set your crock pot to low heat and cook the ham for approximately 3-4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.
6. Monitor cooking time: It’s important to monitor the cooking time of your ham to ensure that it doesn’t overcook or dry out. If your ham is smaller than 5-7 pounds, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
By following these steps, you can prepare your crock pot for cooking a fully cooked ham and ensure that it comes out moist, tender, and delicious.
Adding Flavor With A Ham Glaze
A ham glaze is an excellent way to add flavor, color, and texture to your fully cooked ham. The best glazes for baked hams are a balance of sweet and tangy, with ingredients like honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, and juice. Some glaze recipes also call for spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to create a tapestry of warm and comforting flavors.
To add a glaze to your crock pot ham, simply pour your chosen glaze over the ham before cooking. Make sure to cover all sides of the ham with the glaze for maximum flavor. As the ham cooks in the crock pot, baste it occasionally with the juices in the pot to keep it moist and flavorful.
Some popular glaze options for crock pot hams include honey mustard, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and peach preserves. Brown sugar glazes are sweet and slightly tangy, and can be made with a combination of brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and spices like cinnamon. Peach preserves mixed with country-style Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, fresh thyme leaves, and chopped shallots make for a unique and delicious glaze.
If you want to add a tropical twist to your ham glaze, try combining honey, pineapple juice, fresh ginger, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a sweet and zingy flavor. Remember to apply your glaze about 20-30 minutes before the ham is done cooking to avoid burning the sugars in the glaze.
Cooking Times And Temperature For A Fully Cooked Ham
When cooking a fully cooked ham in a crock pot, it is important to know the appropriate cooking times and temperatures to ensure that the ham is heated through without drying out. The general rule of thumb is to cook the ham on low heat for approximately 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
It is important to note that the cooking time may vary depending on the size of the ham and the specific crock pot being used. For a 5-7 pound ham, 3-4 hours on low heat should be sufficient. However, for larger hams, it may be necessary to increase the cooking time accordingly.
To ensure that the ham is heated through evenly, it is recommended to baste it occasionally with the juices in the crock pot. This will help to keep the ham moist and flavorful.
When checking the internal temperature of the ham, it is important to use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat, without touching bone.
Letting The Ham Rest And Serving Suggestions
After removing the ham from the crock pot, it is important to let it rest for a few minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful ham. Cover the ham with foil and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.
When it comes to serving suggestions, there are many options to choose from. A classic pairing with ham is mashed potatoes and green beans, but you can also serve it with roasted vegetables or a fresh salad. Another popular option is to make sandwiches with the leftover ham, using crusty bread and your favorite condiments.
If you have leftover ham, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftover ham for up to 2-3 months. When reheating, be sure to heat the ham to an internal temperature of 140°F before serving.