A pre-cooked ham is already a tasty dish to have for many occasions. But you can also improve the flavor and texture by cooking it again in a slow cooker. The slow cooking process adds further tenderness and moisture to the ham. And you can influence the flavor by adding extra ingredients to the dish like spices, fruits, herbs, and condiments.
Why Cook a Precooked Ham in a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers are fashioned to cook food by the combination of a pressurized environment filled with steam. The appliance cooks at a low temperature, and this takes a long time. The extended period allows the ham to be thoroughly infused with flavor and come out tender and soft. Slow cookers are also convenient for preparing pre-cooked ham. You can toss the needed ingredients into the container, time the slow cooker and leave it.
Handy Tips for Crock-Pot Precooked Ham
Though using a slow cooker to prepare pre-cooked ham is a handy option, you need to stick to some essential suggestions if you want it to come out as tasty as possible.
Go for Bone-In Ham
The best option to prepare in a crockpot is the bone-in spiral-cut pre-cooked ham. They’re easier to train in a slow cooker, and the bone means you’ll get more flavor from the ham. Also, consider the size before selecting and make sure the ham can fit in your slow cooker.
Add Liquid to the Crock Pot
The crockpot needs a liquid base to generate the steam that softens the food. As such, you’ll need to fill the bottom of the slow cooker with your preferred cooking liquid. Water, wine, or even fresh fruit juice can be poured into the slow cooker. And if you prefer a savory flavor, fill it with chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.
Glazed, Spiced, or Both?
Glazing your pre-cooked ham will give it a sweet or savory flavor when cooked. You can get a sweet taste with a mixture of honey, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and mustard. Combining honey with crushed peppercorns, minced garlic, mustard, and vinegar, will infuse a savory flavor to your ham. You can also consider a mixture of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, cloves, and garlic if you don’t want to glaze. And if you wish to infuse a more complex blend of flavors, do both.
Cook at Low Heat
Slow cookers work by delivering low heat to food for an extended period. So, when cooking your pre-cooked ham in the crockpot, set the temperature to low heat. The size of the ham determines how long you’ll cook it. As such, smaller-sized hams will cook faster than larger ones.
Regardless of how long it’s cooked for or the size of the pre-cooked ham, you’ll want the internal temperature to reach 145°F to consider it done. This temperature is the safest at which pork can be eaten. Some people may opt for cooking it up to 160°F but note that the ham will be softer at that temperature. In summary, you’ll want to cook the ham at 30 minutes per pound.Print
- One 10-pound ham, bone-in, spiral cut
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- Ten whole cloves
- Mix the sugar, honey, mustard, water, and cloves in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium-high heat till the glaze is uniform and the fragrance of the cloves is infused. Bring down and take out the cloves.
- Place the ham in the crockpot and gently pull the slices apart to separate. Pour the glaze over the ham to cover enough of its surface.
- Cover the lid and set the crockpot to LOW for 5 hours. At every hour, open the slow cooker and baste the ham with the glaze. Halfway through the time, turn the ham over in the crockpot.
- Once its internal temperature hits 145°F, bring the ham out of the slow cooker and serve with the glaze.