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Ultimate Holiday Ham

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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.

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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.

Brown Sugar & Pineapple Glaze Recipe

The sticky sweet ham glaze will crisp up in the oven. Pair this glaze with this moist spiral ham; add he 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.

Once you remove the ham for slicing, pour the juices into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and add some corn starch to thicken.

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

Brown Sugar and Pineapple Ham Glaze
Brown Sugar and Pineapple Ham Glaze

Slow Cooker Holiday Ham

Many years ago, I was out of oven space and still needed to get the ham cooked. the slow cooker was a game changer. It was one of the most brilliant holiday cooking decisions I even 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 tender and juicy.

Save Room for Dessert

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!

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. 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 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.

Cooking Time

Make sure to heat the ham to 140 degrees.

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 crock pot’s lid, you will lose heat and it will take more time.

Adding Brown Sugar and Pineapple to the Slow Cooker Ham
Adding Brown Sugar and Pineapple to the Slow Cooker Ham

Therefore, get the ham in the slow cooker, add the brown sugar and pineapple, set the temperature and forget it for a few hours.

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. 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 and Christmas roll around!

However, for a weeknight meal, I use a small ham for an effortless dinner anytime of the year.

I hope you have a chance to give this recipe a try. It is a Holiday recipe to keep.

Serving the Ultimate Holiday Ham
Serving the Ultimate Holiday Ham
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 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 5 mins
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


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

Environmental Information

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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.

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