Make your holiday cooking quick & easy with a crock pot ham! This sweet and savory Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham is flavored with pineapple juice and a brown sugar rub featuring Dijon, balsamic vinegar, and honey that melt into an amazing glaze.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 5hours
Total Time 5hours10minutes
Servings 10servings (approximately, for an 8-pound bone-in ham)
Fully-cooked hamapproximately 7 to 8 pounds (*see Notes below)
1 1/2tablespoonsDijon mustard
1 1/2tablespoonsbalsamic vinegar
Remove ham from the packaging and discard any flavoring packet. If using a bone-in ham, check the end of the bone for a plastic cap and, if present, discard.
Pour the pineapple juice in bottom of a large (6.5- to 8-quart), oval slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, and honey into a paste. Spread brown sugar mixture all over ham and place, flat side down, in slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker with lid and set to low. Cook ham for 4 to 6 hours or until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches 140°F. If desired, flip and baste the ham halfway through cooking time and again about an hour before ham is done.
Once ham is done, remove to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Skim any fat and strain the juices from the crock pot into a saucepan. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and bring the juices to a simmer. In a small bowl, use a fork to stir the cornstarch into the water to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the pot while whisking the ham juices. Allow the mixture to bubble and thicken for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. If you desire a thicker sauce, you may stir in a bit more cornstarch slurry. Do not add straight cornstarch to the hot liquid or it will clump, and do not over stir the sauce once the cornstarch has been added or it may not thicken properly.
Serve the ham warm, with the sauce on the side or drizzled on top. If you prefer an oven-cooked ham effect, you may also glaze the entire ham with thickened sauce and pop it under the broiler for about 5 minutes (watch it closely!) before serving.
You may use a bone-in ham (recommended) or boneless, whole or spiral cut, cured or uncured, smoked or not, shank, butt, or shoulder.
To determine number of servings, estimate approximately 1/2 pound of boneless ham per person and 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person.
A ham that's less than 7 or 8 pounds will probably reach 140° sooner than 4 to 6 hours. The ham is already cooked, so all you are doing is heating it through to a safe temperature and allowing it to absorb the flavors of the glaze. For example, a small 3-pound ham will probably be done in 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Overcooking will lead to a tough, dry ham, even in the crock pot! You may also want to halve the other recipe ingredients if cooking a ham that's smaller than 4 pounds.
Try to ensure that your ham is going to fit in your crock pot before buying it. However, if your ham is particularly large or of a shape that will not allow the lid of the slow cooker to properly close, trim off a chunk of ham to make it fit. As a last resort, you may cover the slow cooker with a tightly-sealed, triple layer of heavy duty foil instead. Beware of hot steam when you remove the foil!