Instant Pot Ham: Perfect Recipes and Tips for Tender, Juicy Results Every Time

Instant Pot Ham: Perfect Recipes and Tips for Tender, Juicy Results Every Time

Cooking ham in an Instant Pot saves valuable time. The pressure cooking method drastically reduces cooking time compared to traditional methods. A ham that usually takes several hours to cook in an oven can be ready in less than an hour in an Instant Pot. This rapid cooking process is ideal for busy individuals or unexpected gatherings, ensuring you have a delicious dish without lengthy preparation.

Flavor and Texture

The Instant Pot locks in moisture and flavor, creating a tender and juicy ham. The sealed environment retains natural juices, preventing dryness and enhancing flavor. Seasonings and glazes infuse deeply into the meat, ensuring consistent taste throughout. The pressure cooking process ensures that the ham’s texture remains tender and succulent, distinguishing Instant Pot cooking from conventional methods.

Choosing the Right Ham for Your Instant Pot

Types of Ham to Consider

When selecting a ham for your Instant Pot, bone-in hams provide richer flavor compared to boneless ones. Opt for spiral-cut hams for even seasoning distribution and easier serving. City hams, pre-cooked and cured, suit quick meal preparations. Country hams, salt-cured and uncooked, offer intense flavors but require soaking and extended cooking. If you value convenience, opt for pre-sliced hams as they fit well into the Instant Pot and allow better seasoning absorption.

What Size Ham to Buy

Consider the size of your Instant Pot when choosing the ham. An 8-quart Instant Pot accommodates hams weighing 6 to 8 pounds, while a 6-quart model fits hams up to 5 pounds. Ensure the ham fits comfortably, allowing room for pressure circulation. Smaller hams cook more evenly and quickly, producing consistent results. If the ham exceeds the pot’s capacity, consider cutting it into smaller pieces while maintaining its structural integrity for uniform cooking.

Essential Instant Pot Ham Recipes

Classic Honey Glazed Ham

Preparation involves using a mix of honey, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar for a well-balanced sweetness and tanginess. Combine these ingredients in a bowl, then pour over the ham. Set your Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 140°F using a meat thermometer. Let the ham rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pineapple and Brown Sugar Ham

Create a rich glaze by mixing brown sugar, pineapple juice, and some ground cloves. Coat the ham with this mixture. Pressure cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Check that the internal temperature is 140°F. The pineapple juice enhances the ham with a tropical sweetness, making it ideal for festive occasions. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Ham

Preparing Your Ham

Ensure optimal flavor by selecting the right ham. Spiral-cut hams are convenient for serving. Rinse the ham under cold water to remove any packing fluids. Trim excess fat, leaving some for moisture. Pat the ham dry using paper towels. Choose a suitable glaze recipe and prepare it in advance.

Cooking Times and Settings

Cook a fully cooked ham for 10–12 minutes per pound on high pressure. Use the recommended 1 cup of liquid (water, broth, or juice) for pressure buildup. Seal the vent and select the ‘Pressure Cook’ setting. Allow a natural release for at least 10 minutes after cooking. Apply the glaze during the sauté function for 3–5 minutes to achieve a caramelized finish. Avoid quick release to prevent drying.


Using an Instant Pot to prepare ham transforms a traditional dish into a quick and flavorful experience. By following the right steps and choosing the appropriate ingredients, you can create tender, juicy ham with ease. Whether you prefer a classic honey glaze or a tropical twist with pineapple and brown sugar, the Instant Pot offers versatility and convenience. Embrace these techniques to elevate your ham dishes and enjoy a delicious meal without the lengthy cooking times.

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