Slow Cooker Ham for the Holidays

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Make a Slow Cooker Ham for your next holiday feast. It’s easy. It’s delicious. It’s a good cheap eat that will make you the hit of the party.

Slow Cooker Ham on a platter

Ham plays a starring role at many a holiday feast. While the humble ham may be relegated to sandwiches most of the year, it’s welcomed with open arms at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. And trust me, you’ll be hard pressed to find a half ham any other time of the year. I’ve tried.

Hint: if you want to make a ham those off-holiday months, stock up!

Over the years, I’ve come to realize how vital my oven is during feast days. It seems like it runs 24/7, particularly when I want to bake my own rolls (which I do), bake my desserts (which I do), and prepare the best scalloped potatoes in the universe (which I most definitely do!)

This means that I need to find alternative cooking methods so my oven can be free to make all the things in due time. Preparing a slow cooker ham solves my problem! I can get the ham going early in the day, allowing it to soak up all the yummy flavors and then finish it off with a glaze in the oven right before serving.

I get my ham AND my scalloped potatoes, too!

Slow Cooker Ham | Good Cheap Eats

How do you make slow cooker ham?

This Slow Cooker Ham recipe is super straightforward, with only six ingredients. I really love this boneless half ham that Costco now carries. It looks small, but trust me, it’s mighty. It cooked up beautifully.

This recipe is loosely adapted from a recipe from Jacqueline Heriteau’s Best of Electric Crockery Cooking.

In addition to your ham, you’ll also need:

  • juice (apple or grape or apple-grape)
  • dried cranberries
  • brown sugar
  • Dijon mustard
  • ground cloves.

Tips for making this slow cooker ham:

  • Big enough crockpot. You’ll, of course, need a slow cooker that fits your ham. The ham pictured fit very nicely in my 6-quart Crock-pot. Other hams I’ve bought in the past have been a tight squeeze, requiring me to slice off a sliver from one end so that the lid would fit snugly.
  • Snug lid. You definitely want your lid to close properly. This insures your food safety as well as adequate heating of the ham.
  • You will have leftovers. Ham tends to be a pretty economical protein. When you buy a half ham, you’ll likely have some leftovers. This means that you can make the most of one meal prep and use that meat in the days and weeks to come.

My eldest son loves to chop or slice the leftover ham and freeze it in meal-size portions to use in his breakfasts and lunches over the coming months. Ham is his love language. What can I say?

Be sure to read –> Great Leftover Ham Recipes

How much ham for one person?

A good rule of thumb, especially if serving this for the holidays is about 3/4 of a pound per person. 

How long should I cook a ham in the crockpot?

The ham will take about 6-8 hours on low, or you can cook it on high for about 4 hours. 

What to serve with this slow cooker ham:

Slow Cooker Ham | Good Cheap Eats

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make slow cooker ham any old time of the year. One, you won’t be able to find a ham, and two, if you do, it will be expensive. Stock up the week before the Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays and throw a couple extra hams in your freezer.
  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Again, with the sale thing. Also, watch for clearance the day after the aforementioned holidays. The store wants to move those hams because they don’t carry ham any other time. 
  • Price match. Check your grocery store fliers to see who has the best price on hams.

Tools I use to make this recipe easy:

This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.

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Slow Cooker Ham | Good Cheap Eats
Slow Cooker Ham
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
6 hrs 40 mins
Make a Slow Cooker Ham for your next holiday feast. It's easy. It's delicious. It's a good cheap eat that will make you the hit of the party.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham, slow cooker
Servings: 8 -12 servings
Calories: 131 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • one large half ham that fits in your largest crockpot
  • 2 cups apple grape juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Place ham, cut side down into crockpot. Add apple grape juice and dried cranberries. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
  2. Carefully remove the ham from crockpot and place in roasting pan, on its side.
  3. Heat the oven to 375 ° Combine brown sugar, Dijon mustard, ground cloves, and enough of the juices from the crockpot to create a paste. Spread the paste over the ham. Place in the hot oven to glaze, about 20 to 30 minutes. Slice and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Ham
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Slow Cooker Ham For The Holidays | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. This looks like a great way to make a ham! I think I’ll try it next week!

    I cut any meat I can off of the ham and use it for similar things that you do. Then I cook the ham carcass in some water in the crockpot for even longer until more meat comes off the bone and I make bean and ham soup. Yum!!

  2. Nancy says

    i’m grateful for your what to do with leftover ham ideas as i bought a spiral ham for our christmas dinner and then our elderly neighbor man gave us one as a thank you for all we do for him throughout the year. we’ll be eating ham until easter!

  3. With any kind of “pork”, I do veggie breakfast biscuits cups. Like “Bacon” egg & cheese biscuit cups. It’s basically biscuit dough filled with egg, cheese and whatever meat (I use fake meat) you want to put in there. They’re yummy and a good fast and nutritious breakfast.

  4. Christina S. says

    Trying this today. Had to use foil instead of the crock pot lid. My ham is too big for the lid to fit. Oops. 🙂

  5. Alice E says

    What a great idea. My Mom had an electric roaster which regularly cooked turkey for all holidays freeing up the oven for things like pie, rolls and dressing. I usually keep holidays fairly simple for the two of us, but ham in the crockpot sounds perfect for this Easter. I have a small chunk of ham in the freezer from a after holiday bargain purchase. I may not get this fancy, but I think I will try adding apples and cooking them with the ham.

    Best wishes for a happy Easter season to you and your family.


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