This easy Crockpot spiral ham recipe with sweet brown sugar and mustard glaze is the perfect way to cook your holiday dinner while your family is out of the house on Easter morning or Christmas eve. Come home to a hot ham ready to be glazed and broiled in under 10 minutes.
For years and years, our family has cooked our favorite mustard glazed ham with pineapple for Easter Sunday. That recipe is very easy but requires frequent basting and attention.
When I planned our Christmas Eve menu this year, I wanted a festive holiday dish that was more hands-off since our tradition is to attend Christmas Eve Mass at 4:00pm.
I needed a holiday dinner that would be mostly ready for us when we got back home around 5:30 pm if I didn't want to spend my Christmas eve in the kitchen.
This Crockpot spiral ham recipe was the perfect solution!
The ham slowcooks over the hours while we were out of the house at church. We walked in the door to our hot ham ready for a quick basting with the delicious brown sugar glaze and it was ready to serve in 10 minutes!
Why This is the Best Recipe
There are so many ways you can cook a holiday ham for Easter or Christmas, but I think this is the best Crockpot spiral ham recipe because:
- Ready When You Are: Holidays are so busy, you don't want to be waiting on your dinner, you want your dinner to be waiting on you!
- Moist and Juicy: The ham stays so juicy and tender with this slow cooked method.
- Delicious Crispy Edges: Though it slowcooks in your Crockpot, a quick broil in the oven gives your holiday ham that picture-perfect glaze.
- Flexible for Fixing Easy Mistakes: Did you accidentally buy a ham that doesn't fit in your Crockpot? (Ooops, I did, too.) If that happens, no worries. I included the tips on how to slowcook the ham in your oven for the same hands-off benefits.
Just like our favorite mustard glazed ham, this Crockpot ham recipe starts with a very short list of ingredients:
- Spiral Cut Ham: I LOVE the way a spiral cut ham allows for the glaze to drizzle into so many nooks and crannies to flavor the meat.
- Brown Sugar
- Honey: For a traditional glaze, use regular honey. For a fun twist, you can make a sweet and spicy ham by substituting a chili pepper-infused hot honey.
- Dijon Mustard
- Whole Grain Mustard: This gives the glazed finish a lovely texture and boost of flavor.
- Minced Garlic
- Ground Cloves
Prepare the Brown Sugar Glaze
Add the brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, minced garlic, ground cloves, and water to a small saucepan and whisk them together.
Cook over medium-low heat while whisking until the sugar has dissolved in the liquid. This should only take about 2 - 3 minutes.
Crockpot Cooking Instructions
To cook your spiral ham in the Crockpot, remove all the packaging and any plastic picks or ties from the ham and place it in the pot of your slowcooker.
Slowly pour the glaze over the ham while gently separating the tips of the spiral slices so the liquid can drizzle throughout the ham.
Cover the Crockpot and cook on LOW for 3 - 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 - 3 hours.
What to Do if Your Ham Won't Fit in Your Crockpot
I loved our Christmas ham so much, I wanted to prep this recipe in time for you to use it this Easter.
Without thinking, I picked up a spiral ham while I was shopping at Costco without pausing to consider that the ham was much larger than one I would have bought at the regular grocery store.
If this happens to you and your ham is too big for your Crockpot, or maybe the shape of it doesn't work with your round slowcooker pot, the solution is easy-peasy:
- Double Check the Quantity of Glaze to Prep (You may need to double it.)
- Slow Cook the Ham in the Oven (Directions below.)
- Baste it with Glaze
- Broil it to Finish the Glaze
Oven Cooking Instructions
To slowcook ham in your oven, preheat the oven to 300°F.
Place the ham in a roasting pan fitted with a cooking rack. Pour the glaze over the top and separate the slices to allow the liquid to drizzle throughout the ham.
Tightly wrap the roasting pan with aluminum foil, pinching to seal around the edges.
This helps to trap the steam inside the pan while the ham cooks.
Cook the ham for 20 minutes per pound.
There is no need to baste it as it cooks, so you can still leave it unattended while you prep other parts of your holiday meal.
Broil the Glaze
Once the ham has reached 163°F at the center when tested with a probe thermometer, it is time to finish the glaze.
If you cooked the ham in your Crockpot, place it into a broiler-safe roasting pan at this time. Tent it with foil to keep warm.
If you slowcooked the ham in the oven, lift the rack and set the ham on a clean baking sheet. Tent it with foil to keep warm.
Pour the glaze into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat while whisking to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
If you cooked the ham in a roasting pan that is safe to use on your stovetop, you can boil the glaze right in the roasting pan if you desire. (That's what I did in the photos above.)
Brush the glaze over the ham and place it under the broiler for 5 - 6 minutes.
Baste the ham with the glaze every 1 - 2 minutes so you can get that picture-perfect thick glazed coating.
The ham is ready when it finally has those tiny bits of charred edges like this:
Make Ahead Tips
For a holiday meal, the ham is really best served right after it comes out from the broiler all fresh, warm, and crispy glazed.
However, to make things even easier, you could prepare the glaze and store it in an airtight container for 2 - 3 days ahead of time.
This would allow a super-quick prep, just pop the ham into the Crockpot, pour the glaze, and go.
Leftover ham is one of my favorite things to freeze, it keeps so well for several months.
You can freeze the leftovers in slices or take the time to chop it up in advance and store it in smaller portions for using in one of dozens of easy ham recipes for future dinners.
Thaw frozen ham in the fridge overnight and then gently reheat it in the microwave for just a couple of minutes.
This stunning glazed spiral ham would look amazing on a festive holiday platter as the centerpiece of your feast, carved at the table.
Or you can do like we do and eat family-style with the buffet set up on the kitchen island.
My husband carves the ham and places slices on a platter for family to help themselves.
The sweet brown sugar and mustard glaze on the ham makes this dish go very well with savory side dishes like cheesy cornflake potatoes casserole or my make ahead mac and cheese but it would also pair really well with my make ahead sweet potato casserole, too.
If you have an extra Crockpot, you could also make my creamy Crockpot mashed potatoes right in your slowcooker!
When To Make This Recipe
This is the perfect easy holiday recipe for hands-off cooking that gives you more time to spend with the ones you love.
I've served it for Christmas Eve dinner and plan to make it again for our Easter brunch.
You could also serve it for:
- Football parties
- New Year's Eve or Day
- Graduation parties
- Open house entertaining
- Festive brunch for a baby shower or wedding shower
- Special Sunday dinner for lots of leftovers for easy meals the rest of the week
Leftover Ham Recipes
If you make this for Sunday dinner and have lots of leftovers, you can dice the leftover ham slices and use it in so many delicious dinner ideas!
My kids especially love my alfredo with ham and peas, I love how easy the ham and cheese stuffed potatoes are to make on a busy night.
If your spiral ham has a bone in it, be sure to save it to make my delicious split pea and carrot soup!
Crockpot Spiral Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1 spiral cut ham 5 - 10 pounds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey substitute hot honey for a sweet and spicy ham if you like
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup water
- Double check that your ham will fit in the bowl of your Crockpot. If it does, proceed. If it is too big or oddly shaped, see "How to Slow Cook in Oven" below.
- Place the ham in your Crockpot and set aside.
Prepare the Glaze
- Add the brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, minced garlic, ground cloves, and water to a small saucepan and whisk them together.
- Continue to gently whisk and cook the glaze over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour the glaze over the ham in the Crockpot, gently separating the spiral slices so the liquid drizzles down and flavors the ham from the top through.
Cook the Ham in the Crockpot
- Cover the slowcooker and cook the ham on LOW for 3 - 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 - 3 hours. There is no need to baste the ham during this process.
How to Slow Cook in Oven
- If your ham doesn't fit in the Crockpot, you can slow cook it in your oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the ham in a deep roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Cover the entire pan in aluminum foil and tightly seal the edges to catch all the steam as the ham cooks.
- Cook the ham for 20 minutes per pound. (A 5 pound ham would cook for about an hour and a half, a 10 pound ham would cook for about 3 hours.) The internal temperature should be 163°F when tested with an instant read thermometer.
Broil the Glaze
- Whether you warmed the ham in your slowcooker or the oven, the final step is to broil the ham for 5 minutes to give the glaze a thick and slightly crispy finish. Be sure to preheat your broiler while you finish the glaze.
- Transfer the Crockpot ham to a roasting pan and loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat while whisking to prevent it from burning. Cook until the glaze has reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.NOTE: If you slowcooked the ham in the oven and your roasting pan is stovetop safe, you can cook the glaze right in the roasting pan while the ham rests on the side as shown in the photos in the post above.
- Brush the glaze all over the ham in the roasting pan. Place the glazed ham under the broiler for 5 - 6 minutes. You can baste it every 2 minutes as the juices run to the bottom of the roasting pan if you wish.
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