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I was starting to cook Friday night’s dinner and after turning on the oven, I heard a thump. Everything shut off—the motherboard was gone, and I had a 6-pound ham to cook. (Six pounds for two, you say? Yes—that’s a lot. See the Slow Cooker Ham and Split Pea Soup recipe that was a perfect way to use the leftovers!)

What I learned in the following days is that between our slow cooker, toaster oven, and outdoor grill, our two-person household almost doesn’t even need a full-size oven. That ham went in the slow cooker the next day, and in about four hours, we had a delicious, moist piece of meat—so good, in fact, that I’ll skip the oven from now on and slow cook our future hams, saving precious oven space for other dishes.

Thank you, Samantha Skaggs, at Five heart Home for this fabulous recipe!

As with many of the recipes that I share, you’ll find more information, cooking tips, and great recipe pictures on the source website.  

Source: Five heart Home Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

Author: Samantha Skaggs

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 hours

Total time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Fully-cooked ham, approximately 7-to-8 pounds

Estimate approximately ½ pound of boneless ham per person, or ¾ pound of bone-in ham per person

Remember that the ham is fully cooked, so that all you are doing is heating it through to a safe temperature (140⁰F) and having it absorb the flavors of the glaze. Overcooking will lead to a tough, dry ham even in a slow cooker. For example, my 6-lb ham was done in about four hours, and a 3-lb ham will probably be done in 2 ½ to 3 hours.

Try to ensure that your ham will fit in your slow cooker before buying it. However, if it is too big, or is shaped in a way that prevents the lid from properly closing, you can cut off a chunk of the ham to make it fit. As a last resort, you can cover the slow cooker with a tightly-sealed, triple layer of heavy duty foil. Just watch out for steam when you remove the foil!  

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Remove ham from the packaging and discard any flavoring packet. If using a bone-in ham, check the end of the bone for a plastic cap and, if present, discard.
  2. Pour the pineapple juice in the bottom of a large (6 ½ -to-8 quart) oval slow cooker.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and honey into a paste. Spread mixture all over the ham and place flat side down, in the slow cooker.
  4. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set to low. Cook ham for 4-to-6 hours or until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches 140⁰F. If desired, flip and baste the ham halfway through cooking time, and again about an hour before ham is done.

We were minimalists that day—I stopped here but the recipe continues for those of you who would like a sauce, made with the ingredients that the ham bathed in while it cooked.

5. Once the ham is done, remove to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Skim any fat and strain the juices from the slow cooker into a saucepan. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and bring the juices to a simmer. In a small bowl, use a fork to stir the cornstarch into the water to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into a pot while whisking the ham juices. Allow the mixture to bubble and thicken for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. If you desire a thicker sauce, you may stir in a bit more cornstarch slurry. Do not add straight cornstarch to the hot liquid or it will clump, and do not over stir the sauce once the cornstarch has been added or it may not thicken properly.

6. Serve the ham warm with the sauce on the side or drizzled on top. If you prefer an oven-cooked ham effect, you may also glaze the entire ham with thickened sauce and put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes (watch it closely) before serving.