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How to Cook a Smithfield Spiral Ham 2 Ways

Our topic here is how to cook a Smithfield spiral ham — that is, a ham with a delicious, sweet glaze and rich flavor. Ham is a wonderful entree to anchor any celebration, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or Aunt Edna’s birthday.

This guide covers everything to know about prepping a Smithfield spiral sliced ham that guests will rave about. 

About Smithfield hams 

Smithfield is a Virginia-based gourmet grocery store that specializes in ham and turkey. The brand sells into Walmart and grocery stores, which is likely where you’ve found it. 

There are two main categories of Smithfield hams, city hams and country hams. City hams are salt-cured quickly for bold flavor. Country hams are precooked and have a milder flavor than Smithfield’s city hams. 

You can also can choose from spiral cut honey cured, brown sugar cured, hickory smoked spiral, glazed, or unglazed hams. 

Smithfield also makes a pork tenderloin, which is very popular in grocery stores. See my guide to preparing a Smithfield pork tenderloin here.

About spiral hams 

Spiral hams are usually bone-in, though they can be boneless. The spiral slices the meat down to the bone in one continuous motion. The point is threefold. This method of slicing allows glazes and marinades to absorb deeply into the meat for improved flavor. It’s also easy to serve and looks beautiful. 

Top view of Smithfield spiral cut ham on serving platter.
Source: Envato.

Most spiral cut hams are precooked, which means the prep involves reheating the meat rather than cooking it. Precooking methods include smoking, curing, baking, steam-cooking, or boiling. I’d argue that smoked hams and cured hams have the best flavor. 

How much ham per person

The usual recommendation is to prepare 1/4 to 1/2 pound of ham per person. You’ll adjust these numbers based on the type of ham, the what the rest of the meal consists of, how many kids are invited, and whether you want leftovers. 

  • Type of ham: For bone-in hams, adjust the target weight to account for the bone. As an example, you’d buy a 3-lb boneless ham to serve six people. But you’d need a larger bone-in ham. Target a 1/2 to 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person instead. 
  • Rest of the meal: You can assume a smaller portion per person if you’re serving more than one protein or many side dishes. 
  • Kids: Kids eat less than grown-ups. If your guest list includes more kids than adults, lean to the lower end of the targeted portion sizes. 
  • Leftovers: If you want leftover ham, adjust the target portion sizes higher. 

Step-by-step instructions: How to cook a Smithfield spiral ham

This spiral ham recipe is for a fully cooked, spiral-cut Smithfield ham with no glaze. Reference this method alongside the instructions on the ham’s packaging. 

Ingredients for preparing a spiral ham

You don’t need a lot to prepare a baked ham, especially if your ham came with a glaze packet. If yours didn’t or you’d prefer to make your own glaze, you’ll need: 

  • The ham 
  • Brown sugar 
  • Honey
  • Pineapple juice 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Meat thermometer

1. Prep the ham 

To start, preheat oven to 275°C or 135°C. 

Take the packaging off the ham and remove the plastic bone guard if there is one. next, place ham, flat side down, into a shallow roasting pan. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil. This helps the ham retain moisture as it cooks. 

2. Bake 

Plan on baking the ham for 10 to 15 minutes per pound. That means you’ll bake a 5-lb. ham for 50 to 75 minutes. Your goal is to heat the ham to an internal temperature of 140°F or 60°C. There is an exception here, though. If the ham is not in its original packaging, bake it until it’s 165°F or 74°C. 

While the ham is cooking, mix together 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, and 1/2 cup honey. This is your glaze.

3. Glaze

About 20 minutes before you expect the ham to be done, remove ham from oven. Raise the oven temperature to 425°F or 220°C. Carefully pull the foil away and brush the glaze all over the ham. Apply it generously enough that the glaze seeps into the spiral cuts. 

Return the ham to the oven without the foil and let it bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the glaze caramelizes and the temperature reaches 140°F or 60°C. Confirm the temperature with a meat thermometer. 

4. Rest, then serve 

Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This prevents the juices from running out when you serve it. 

After the resting period, serve ham slices by cutting along the spiral seams.  

How to cook a spiral ham in crock pot 

The crock pot is the simplest way to cook a spiral ham. Here’s a quick recipe to follow: 

Remove the ham’s packaging materials and place ham in a slow cooker with the fat side up. Using your hands, rub 1 cup of brown sugar all over the outside. Pour 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup pineapple juice on top. Close the lid and cook on low for 4 hours. Every once in a while, baste the meat with the juice in the bottom of the pot. 

Once the meat reaches 140° or 60°C, remove it from the pot, let it rest, then serve. 

Recipe: How to Cook a Spiral Sliced Ham

Yield: 16 servings

Crock Pot Spiral Ham

Top view of spiral cut ham on top of spinach and pomegranate seeds.

This is an easy method for preparing a spiral ham in a crock pot.


  • 1 7-lb Smithfield spiral ham (precooked)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, olive oil, 2 cups of spinach leaves


  1. Remove the spiral ham from its package and place it in the crock pot, fat side up. Rub the sides with brown sugar and pour on the honey and pineapple juice.
  2. Close the lid of your slow cooker and cook the ham for 4 hours on low. Open the lid occasionally and baste the meat with the juices.
  3. Turn off the crock pot when the internal temperature of the spiral ham hits 140°F or 60°C. Let the ham rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, serve the ham slices with a drizzle of the pot juice.
  4. Optionally, toss spinach leaves with olive oil. Place them on your serving platter. Place the ham on top. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the spinach.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 1959mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 45g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Spiral ham FAQs

How long do you cook a precooked Smithfield spiral ham?

Heat a precooked Smithfield spiral ham at 275°C or 135°C for 10 to 15 minutes per pound. Or, cook the ham on low in a slow cooker for 4 hours. 

How do I cook a Smithfield ham without drying it out?

If you are oven-baking the ham, wrap it tightly in foil to keep it moist. Or, heat it in a slow cooker and periodically baste the meat with the juices that accumulate in the bottom. Resting the ham before serving also helps retain moisture. 

Is a Smithfield smoked spiral ham already cooked?

Yes, a smoked ham is precooked. 

Can you eat Smithfield ham without cooking?

If the ham is labeled “fully cooked,” then yes, you can eat it without cooking. It’s won’t taste great, though. Heating adds flavor and texture. 

Should I cover a whole ham when baking?

Yes, you should cover a whole ham with foil when baking. This helps the meat retain its juices. You should also cover a half ham when baking, for the same reason. 

What temperature do you cook a Smithfield spiral ham?

Use the low setting on a slow cooker or bake it in the oven at 275°C or 135°C. 

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