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How to Heat a Precooked Ham: 5 Easy Options

You’re looking for an easy guide on how to heat a precooked ham. Fabulous — you’re in the right place.

We’ll walk you through four easy ways to heat up that precooked ham. Take your pick for the method that feels like a good fit for your cooking skills and the equipment you have on hand.

Oh, and if none of them feel right, that’s OK too. Since your ham is already cooked, you could opt for slicing it and serving it in sandwiches or cubing it for salads. Don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t reheat your ham, though. Your reheating efforts will be rewarded — all of the warming methods below will dramatically improve the ham’s flavor and texture.

Jump right to the heating instructions you need:

Sliced precooked ham after heating and preparation.

Equipment you need to heat a precooked ham

Let’s start with the basics. You can heat ham in the oven, slow cooker, grill, or microwave. For all methods, you will need a carving knife and cutting board.

  1. To reheat in ham in the oven, you need aluminum foil and a baking dish or an oven bag — plus seasoning ingredients.
  2. To warm up your ham in the slow cooker, you only need the ham and a few ingredients for seasoning.
  3. To heat a precooked ham in the Instant Pot, you need foil plus a rack.
  4. To heat cooked ham in the microwave, you need a large microwave-safe dish and parchment paper.
  5. Grilling your ham doesn’t require extra equipment beyond the grill itself.

Cooking time for heating precooked ham

The time it takes to heat a precooked ham varies by method — from quick and easy to low and slow. Depending on how you want your day to go, the timing may be how you decide which method you want to use. See the table below for specifics on cook time by heating method.

Cooking method for heating precooked hamCook time
Oven-baked, bone-in, spiral sliced or boneless ham 15 min. per pound
Slow cooker sliced ham 4 to 8 hours
Instant pot (pressure cooker) ham 3 min. per pound
Microwaved ham5 minutes per pound
or 2 minutes per slice
Grilled sliced ham6 minutes per side

Which reheating method is best for not drying ham out?

Ham dries out easily. Some cooks swear by oven-baking and others by slow cooking. Either method can deliver a moist ham if you follow a couple guidelines:

  • Use a meat thermometer to avoid over-cooking. Your ham needs to reach 140F.
  • If you are oven-baking your ham, wrap it in foil to begin. Near the end of the cooking time, remove the foil and add glaze it.

1. Heating a precooked ham in the oven

Close up of chef using a brush to glaze a precooked ham.
Add a glaze to your ham after it’s cooked, then put it back in the oven for up to 30 minutes.
  • Start by heating your oven to 325F.
  • Place your ham, cut side-down in a large roasting dish. Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the dish. This keeps the ham from getting to dry while it’s heating.
  • Wrap heavy-duty foil around the dish, crimping the edges for a tight seal.
  • Cook the ham for about 15 minutes per pound.
  • Check the temperature with a meat thermometer 30 minutes before you think the ham will be done. Simply pull a corner of foil aside and insert the thermometer. Your target temperature is 140F.
  • You can eat the ham as is when it reaches the target temperature. Or, for more flavor and moisture, add a glaze.
  • Make a simple glaze by mixing melted butter and brown sugar. You can also add other spices, like cinnamon and cloves. Spend with Pennies’ ham glaze recipe uses brown sugar, orange juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and cloves.
  • Remove the foil from your ham and drain the water. Raise your oven temperature to 400F. Brush your glaze all over the meat.
  • Return the ham to the oven and cook for 15-30 more minutes, basting with glaze every 7 minutes or so.

2. How to heat a precooked ham in the slow cooker

Close up of smoked, precooked ham before reheating.
If your whole ham will fit in the slow cooker, that may be the easiest way to heat it.

Slow cooking your ham may be the easiest method, but it takes the longest. All you have to do is pour liquid in the bottom of your slow cooker, drop your ham in, and cook it on low for 30 minutes per pound. Always test doneness with a meat probe. (As a reminder, 140F is your target temperature.)

You can add to that recipe for more flavor of course. Try using water plus apple juice or apple cider vinegar as your liquid. You can also coat the ham with melted butter and sugar. Or, you can wait until the ham is fully cooked, baste it with a butter/sugar glaze, and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes to get a crispy coating.

3. How to heat a precooked ham in the Instant Pot

To reheat precooked ham in your Instant Pot, start by wrapping the ham in foil. Add a cup of water to the pressure cooker, then set your rack inside. Place your wrapped ham on the rack.

Then, set your Instant Pot to high pressure and cook for 3 minutes per pound. Once the timer’s up, let the pot release pressure naturally for about 10 minutes. Then pop the valve and do a quick release for any remaining pressure.

Check that your ham has reached 140F. If it hasn’t, wrap it up and pressure cook it for a few more minutes.

4. Heating precooked ham in the microwave

You can microwave a whole ham, but you’ll have better results if you slice it first. Sliced ham tends to heat more evenly in the microwave vs. a whole ham. If you go un-sliced, you risk having your whole ham get overcooked on the outside and cold (and possibly unsafe) in the middle.

The processing for heating precooked ham in the microwave is simple. Wrap the ham, whole or sliced, in parchment paper. Heat it on high for 5 minutes per pound or 2 minutes per slice.

5. Heating precooked ham on the grill

If you want to grill your ham, slice it first. The grill delivers a lovely, smokey flavor to thick ham steaks or slices.

Grilling ham is as easy as grilling a burger. Simply heat your charcoal grill, and set the ham slices on top. You can get a nice char in about 6 minutes or less per side.

Ham nutrition profile

Per 100 grams, ham has about 145 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 53 milligrams of cholesterol. It’s high i Vitamin B6 and potassium. Unfortunately, ham is also high in sodium — a 100-gram serving provides 50% of your sodium’s daily value.

More ham recipes

Need more insight on how to heat a precooked ham? Watch the video below.