Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Honey Baked Spiral Ham: Easy Recipe, Tips, and Serving Ideas

Selecting the appropriate spiral ham ensures successful results in your slow cooker. Start by considering the size. Most slow cookers accommodate hams between 6 to 8 pounds. Check the dimensions of your slow cooker and compare them to the ham’s measurements. This step avoids any fitting issues.

Pay attention to the cut. Opt for a bone-in spiral ham for more flavor. These hams cook evenly, and the bone adds extra taste to the dish. If boneless hams are easier to slice, they often lack the depth of flavor found in bone-in varieties.

Look for the pre-cooked label. Slow cookers heat and infuse flavor rather than thoroughly cooking raw meat. Ensure the ham is pre-cooked. This detail ensures it heats safely and maintains quality.

Consider the glaze packet. Many spiral hams include a glaze packet. If not included, you can create your own with honey, brown sugar, mustard, and spices. The glaze enhances the overall taste and presentation of the ham.

Check for quality brands. Choose a reputable brand known for its quality and taste. Familiar brands often provide consistently good results. Review labels, ingredients, and any ratings if available.

Think about dietary requirements. Assess sodium content and added preservatives if dietary restrictions are a concern. Selecting a ham that aligns with your health considerations ensures a meal everyone can enjoy.

Below is a summary of key factors to review when choosing the right spiral ham for your slow cooker:

Factor Recommendation
Size Ensure 6-8 pounds to fit typical slow cooker dimensions.
Cut Prefer bone-in for added flavor.
Pre-cooked Status Select pre-cooked hams for safety and quality.
Glaze Packet Look for included glaze or prepare one to enhance taste.
Brand Choose reputable, quality brands.
Dietary Requirements Review sodium content and preservatives if needed based on dietary concerns.

By considering these factors, you’ll select a flavorful and perfectly-sized spiral ham suitable for your slow cooker. This ensures a delicious and memorable meal for your gatherings.

Preparing Your Spiral Ham for Slow Cooking

Gathering Ingredients

Ensure you have all ingredients before starting. You’ll need a spiral ham (preferably bone-in), 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of pineapple juice, and 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard. Optional ingredients include cloves for added spice and a pre-packaged glaze if not included with your ham. Gathering these ingredients ensures a smooth cooking process.

Pre-Cook Preparation Tips

Begin by unwrapping the ham and discarding any plastic or mesh covering. Pat the ham dry with paper towels, then place it flat-side down in your slow cooker. Pour pineapple juice over the ham, ensuring it covers the bottom. Rub brown sugar evenly over the surface, then drizzle honey and mustard on top. If using cloves, insert them into the ham at regular intervals. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, ready for even heat distribution. Preparing your ham well guarantees a flavorful and tender result.

Setting Up Your Slow Cooker

Ideal Temperature and Time Settings

Select the appropriate temperature setting to ensure your honey baked spiral ham cooks perfectly. For a tender and flavorful result, set your slow cooker to low. This gentle heat allows flavors to meld over an extended period. Cook the ham for 4 to 6 hours, depending on its size. A smaller ham (4 to 6 pounds) needs around 4 hours, while a larger one (7 to 10 pounds) may require up to 6 hours. Check for an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) before serving.

Adding Liquids and Flavor Enhancers

Pour liquids and flavor enhancers over the ham for optimal taste and moisture. Combine 1 cup of pineapple juice, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of honey in a bowl. Mix 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard into the blend. If you’d like, add a few cloves for a spicy kick. Evenly distribute this mixture over the ham in the slow cooker, ensuring it seeps between the slices. This enhances flavor absorption and keeps the ham moist throughout cooking.

Cooking Process and Tips

Monitoring the Cooking Process

Regularly check to ensure your honey baked spiral ham reaches the desired tenderness and internal temperature. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the ham to measure its internal temperature. The ham’s internal temperature needs to reach 140°F (60°C). Take care not to allow the thermometer tip to touch the bone, as it can give an inaccurate reading. Aim for checks every hour after the initial 3 hours.

Adjusting Settings as Needed

Modify the slow cooker’s settings if the ham is cooking too quickly or slowly. If your ham’s temperature rises too fast, lower the slow cooker setting to keep it juicy and moist. Should the ham require additional time, increase the temperature slightly, never exceeding the medium setting. Use the juices collected in the slow cooker to baste the ham periodically, enhancing flavor and preventing drying out.

Serving Suggestions for Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Side Dishes to Complement Your Ham

Pair your honey baked spiral ham with complementary side dishes. Consider options that add variety in texture and flavor while enhancing the ham’s natural sweetness.

  1. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes balance the savory and sweet notes of your ham.
  2. Green Bean Casserole: Green beans with a creamy sauce and crunchy toppings provide a satisfying contrast.
  3. Macaroni and Cheese: Rich and cheesy, this classic comfort food pairs perfectly with ham.
  4. Roasted Vegetables: Carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes bring out the ham’s flavors with their caramelized sweetness.
  5. Fruit Salad: A mix of fresh fruits like pineapple, apples, and grapes refreshes the palate and complements the honey glaze.
  6. Dinner Rolls: Soft, buttery rolls are ideal for soaking up ham juices.

Presentation Tips

Showcase your honey baked spiral ham with thoughtful presentation elements, highlighting its appealing appearance and enhancing your dining experience.

  1. Slicing Technique: Slice the ham thinly across the grain, ensuring each piece remains moist and tender. Arranging slices in a fanned-out pattern showcases the spiral cut.
  2. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Add visual appeal with sprigs of rosemary or parsley around the ham. Herbs provide a splash of color and a hint of freshness.
  3. Use a Serving Platter: Present the ham on an elegant platter, surrounded by side dishes. This creates a cohesive and inviting presentation.
  4. Glaze Drizzle: Before serving, drizzle leftover glaze over the ham for added shine and flavor. This step accentuates the ham’s sweet and savory balance.
  5. Accompany with Sauces: Offer additional sauces, such as a honey mustard glaze or a cranberry chutney, for guests to personalize their servings.

Implementing these serving suggestions ensures your honey baked spiral ham becomes the centerpiece of an impressive and delicious meal.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Best Practices for Storage

Ensure your leftovers stay fresh by following these storage tips. Once the meal is over, allow the ham to cool to room temperature without exceeding two hours. Use airtight containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil to store the ham in the refrigerator. Consume the refrigerated ham within five days to ensure the best flavor and safety. For longer storage, place the ham in a freezer-safe container and freeze it. Properly stored in the freezer, the ham remains good for up to two months. Label the containers with the date to keep track of storage duration.

Reheating Without Drying Out the Ham

Maintaining the ham’s moisture is crucial when reheating. If using an oven, set it to 275°F and place the ham in a baking dish with a couple of tablespoons of water or broth. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to lock in moisture. Heat for about 10 minutes per pound or until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. For microwave reheating, place slices on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat on medium power in one-minute intervals. Check frequently to avoid overcooking. Using these methods ensures your ham stays juicy and flavorful.


Using a slow cooker to prepare a honey baked spiral ham offers unmatched convenience and delicious results. With the right ham selection and proper preparation, you’ll enjoy a juicy and flavorful centerpiece for any meal. Pair it with your favorite side dishes and follow the storage and reheating tips to make the most of your leftovers. Embrace the ease and savor the taste of this classic dish, knowing you’ve mastered a simple yet impressive culinary technique.

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