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Ultimate Holiday Ham

I have tried a few ham recipes and this ultimate Holiday ham is still the best one according to my whole family. Easy slow cooker recipe for your next family gathering.

It is that time of year again. Time to start cooking for the holidays. The hardest part about holiday dinner can be figuring out what you are going to make, but not this year. I am here to help with an amazing recipe for a ham. This recipe is easy enough for any novice cook and it will have your family asking for seconds.

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Easy Ham Dinner

This ham dinner is a welcomed treat anytime of the year. We seem to enjoy this recipe more so during the cooler fall days and cold winter months. We use our slow cooker often during this time of year and this is a perfect recipe to make for any special occasion or just a great tasting easy weeknight meal.

I have tried other ham recipes and my family keeps asking for this one. Works for me because it is a dump-and-go type of recipe. Get the ingredients into the slow cooker and let that do the work. The result is a tender ham with minimal prep time.

Ultimate Holiday Ham
Ultimate Holiday Ham

If you’ve never made a whole ham recipe before, I understand if you’re feeling a little intimidated right now. Take the guesswork out of your Holiday cooking. You got this.

Best Ham for Thanksgiving

When choosing the type of ham for Thanksgiving, I like to look for a spiral cut ham. If I can find one on sale a few weeks ahead of time, I will get that and freeze it. Make sure to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking. If the spiral ham is not available, I will use another bone-in ham. I just find it easier to cut and serve the ham with the pre-cut spiral ham.

Brown Sugar & Pineapple Sweet Glaze Recipe

To glaze the ham, I use the drippings from the slow cooker. Just thicken and ladle over the ham and place it in the oven in a baking pan for 20 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The sticky sweet ham glaze will crisp up in the oven. Pair this glaze with this moist spiral ham; add the bits of pineapple, and everyone wants a bite.

Finger-licking good Holiday Ham

Don’t feel like putting the ham in the oven to bake on the glaze? No Worries.

Often, I take this route when serving this ham. Once you remove the ham for slicing, pour the juices into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and add some corn starch to thicken. It makes a delicious sweet and salty gravy/glaze.

Slice your ham and place in a serving plate, ladle the delicious brown sugar and pineapple glaze over the top.

Brown Sugar and Pineapple Sweet Glaze
Brown Sugar and Pineapple Sweet Glaze

Slow Cooker Holiday Ham

Discovering the easy slow cooker ham recipe. Many years ago, I was out of oven space and still needed to get the ham cooked. The slow cooker saves oven space and the slow cooker was a game changer. It was one of the most brilliant holiday cooking decisions I ever made.

Often, when I bake the ham it seems to get a little dried out. However, when cooking this in the slow cooker, it is always a tender and juicy delicious ham.

What Dessert to Serve with The Perfect Holiday Ham

Using the slow cooker also saves your precious oven space to bake other things. such as pies for instance. Here are some delicious pie recipes for you to consider at your next Holiday meal.

This recipe will work with any ham; however, our family favorite is the spiral sliced ham. Sometimes the ham comes with a packet of seasoning for a glaze. I don’t use that. Just add brown sugar and pineapple.

A spiral sliced ham makes it much easier to slice and place on a platter when ready to serve.

So simple and delicious!

Ingredients for a Juicy Crockpot Ham

It just takes three ingredients to make a perfectly cooked ham. The ham, brown sugar, and pineapple. The pineapple juice and the tidbits. To thicken the juices and use it for a glaze or gravy I will bring the juice to a boil and add a mixture of water and corn starch to thicken the juice.

What Size Ham Should You Make?

I generally purchase up to an 8-pound ham, as this size will fit in a large 7- to 8-quart, slow cooker. This also depends on the shape of the ham. I have a large round slow cooker and a large oval slow cooker. My ham is sure to fit in one of these.

On a rare occasion the ham doesn’t quite fit all the way in. Even though I have a large crock pot. No worries. Cover the slow cooker with heavy duty foil, crimping it around the edges; lay the lid on top as it will help hold the aluminum foil down.

If you are in the market for a slow cooker, here are two types that I like to use. This one is a round 5-quart. Here is an oval slow cooker that is also large enough for a ham.

Juicy Tender Ham
Juicy Tender Ham

Cooking Time for Ham

The cook time in a slow cooker will vary based on the size of your ham. The larger the ham, the longer it will take. Cooking times are for a ham that is thawed prior to adding to the slow cooker.

Make sure to use a meat thermometer and heat the ham to 140 degrees.

Here are the general cooking times in a slow cooker depending on the size of ham.

A small ham, 2- to 5- pounds may reach that point in a slow cooker set to medium-high within 2 to 3 hours.

A large ham, 8- to -10 pounds should be to that temperature by 4 to 6 hours on medium-high.

Keeping in mind; each time you remove the slow cooker lid, you will lose heat and it will take more time.

Therefore, get the ham in the slow cooker, add the brown sugar and pineapple, set the temperature and forget it for a few hours. Get rave reviews every time you serve this main dish no matter what time of year.

Just Add Pineapple and Brown Sugar
Just Add Pineapple and Brown Sugar

Serving the Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

I like to transfer the ham to a pretty serving bowl and ladle on some of the thickened juices with pineapple tidbits. The thickened delicious brown sugar glaze juices are great over mashed potatoes too, so on the Holiday Table I generally have a gravy boat of this on the table for those that would rather have this salty, savory, and sweet gravy on their potatoes.

Serving the Ultimate Holiday Ham
Serving the Ultimate Holiday Ham

Save the Meaty Ham Bone and Juices

Save the meaty ham bone for other recipes. I save some of the delicious sauce from the slow cooker. Usually I freeze 1 – 2 cups for future recipes. Leftover ham is wonder in so many recipes.

Freeze the ham bone in a freezer bag. when you are ready to make bean soup or split pea soup, it is time to get them out. This is so flavorful in helping your next meal be gobbled up by your family. Just amazing and simple. Here are those soup recipes.

I look forward to making ham this way every time Easter Dinner and Christmas Day roll around!

However, for a weeknight meal, I use a small ham for an effortless dinner anytime of the year, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion.

I hope you have a chance to give this easy recipe a try. For me, it is the best way to make a succulent ham and it is a Holiday recipe to keep.

Ultimate Holiday Ham
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Ultimate Holiday Ham

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham is flavored with pineapple juice and a brown sugar glaze. Simple and easy Holiday ham.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 hours
Total Time5 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham, holiday, slowcooker
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 137kcal


  • 1 7-8 Lb. Fully Cooked Ham
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can Pineapple
  • 2 TBL Corn Starch
  • 2 TBL. Water


  • Remove ham from the packaging and discard any flavoring packet that may come with the ham. If using a bone-in ham, check the end of the bone for a plastic cap; if present, discard.
  • Place the ham in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the ham. If you have a spiral ham, make sure to lift the ham sections and get some sugar sprinkled in there too.
  • Pour the container (not drained) of Pineapple over the ham and brown sugar.
    Adding Brown Sugar and Pineapple to the Slow Cooker Ham
  • Cover slow cooker with lid and set to medium-high. Cook ham for 4 to 6 hours or until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches 140°F. If desired, baste the ham halfway through cooking time with the juices and again about an hour before ham is done.
  • Once ham is done, remove to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Ham Glaze

  • In a sauce pan add 2-3 Cups of the pan juices. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and bring the juices to a boil.
  • 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. Whisking constantly as you add the slurry.
  • 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.
  • While I previously mentioned, you could brush this glaze on the ham and bake it in the oven for a thick and sticky glaze on the ham. However, it is just as easy to ladle some of this delicious sauce over the ham and enjoy. I also put some in a gravy boat for those that want even more of this delicious saucy flavor for their Holiday ham.
    Serving the Ultimate Holiday Ham

Your Own Private Notes


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.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.

Vegetable Recipes

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