A hand bastes ham with a white brush. The dish sits on a white tablecloth.

We tend to reserve cooking juicy, tender ham for holidays, and while I love a good ham for Christmas or Easter dinner, I’m here to tell you that by using the slow cooker, making a ham is easy enough for even the busiest of weekdays!

My method for slow cooker ham results in a tender, juicy, über-flavorful ham with just a few minutes of hands-on time. The secret: an amazing homemade honey ham glaze that whips up using ingredients you have on hand. This rich and thick glaze adds tons of moisture and flavor!

Sliced ham is glazed on a white dish. A silver fork and a sprig of rosemary also sit on the dish.

Should I buy a boneless or a bone-in ham?

There are some pros and cons to going with either type of ham, so it’s more of a personal decision than anything. Here’s some info that might help you make a decision:

  • Boneless hams are…easier to work with (no bone to cut around) and smaller (making them easier to fit in a slow cooker), but they also tend to dry out more easily.
  • Bone-in hams are…larger and slightly harder to carve, but they hold moisture better, and as a bonus, you get a great ham bone that is perfect for Ham and Beans!

I’ve made this recipe with both boneless and bone-in hams, and I do prefer the flavor and moisture you get from a bone-in ham—but it’s hard to beat the convenience of a boneless. It’s really up to you, whichever you prefer.

Do I need to get a spiral ham?

Having a pre-sliced ham (also sold as a spiral-cut ham) will save you a lot of headaches when it comes time to carve, and it also has the added benefit of allowing you to get all the flavorful glaze in between all the slices. A pre-sliced ham is less important if you are getting a boneless ham, as those are much easier to carve than a bone-in ham.

Ham is thinly sliced. A silver fork sits in the bottom right corner.

What size ham should I look for?

The general recommendation for ham serving sizes is that you need about 1/2 pound of boneless ham per person, or 3/4 pound bone-in ham per person. I have found that a boneless quarter ham (about three pounds), is plenty to serve my family of three for dinner, and still have plenty of yummy leftovers for next-day sandwiches.

Wait, will a ham really fit in my slow cooker?

Now, I know what you’re thinking—there is no way my slow cooker will hold a ham. And, well, that’s true if you have a small slow cooker. But if you have a larger one (like my six quart one), you can absolutely fit a quarter ham with the lid on, and you can even fit a half ham if you make a fake lid with aluminum foil—it works perfectly.

I’ve found that most smaller hams (quarter hams) fit in a slow cooker pretty well. The largest ham I was able to fit in my slow cooker was a 7-pound ham. If you end up going bigger, you might have to trim off some of the end to fit it well.
Slow cooker ham sits on a white dish. Juices from the glaze surrounds the ham.

So how do I make Crockpot ham?

The great thing about slow cooker ham is that if you absolutely must serve turkey for all your holiday meals, this ham is so simple that you can make it for pretty much any meal. It doesn’t have to be a totally special holiday dinner. Heck, this is even fast enough prep time-wise to work for a weeknight dinner! And then you could have really amazing sandwiches for lunch at your desk the next day. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Place ham in the basin of your slow cooker.
  2. Whisk together the honey mustard glaze, and pour it over top of the ham.
  3. Cover the slow cooker, and set it for 2-3 hours on the low setting.
  4. Reduce the glaze for five-ish minutes on the stovetop, pour it back over the ham, and stick the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes.

Seriously, that’s all it takes! A few minutes of prep in the morning, and a few minutes of perfecting everything right before dinner. You can do this.

Okay, but wouldn’t it be faster to just warm the ham up in the oven?

Yes, you can absolutely warm up a fully-cooked ham in the oven, and have dinner on the table in a shorter amount of time. But not only does the slow cooker keep the whole process so beautifully hands-off, it also keeps the ham from drying out. In the slow cooker, the ham is kept covered, and is cooked slowly at a low temperature. All this comes together to help retain moisture, so you end up with a juicy, delicious ham. 

Sliced ham sits in a white rectangular dish. A small bowl of honey is on the side.

Is the glaze really necessary for this slow cooker ham recipe?

You could just cook the ham in the slow cooker in the honey mustard mixture, serve it, and call it there. It would be delicious! But I like to go the extra step and simmer down the cooking liquid and juices, glaze the ham, and then put it in the oven for a quick trip under the broiler. It gives it that glossy, glazed, sticky, delicious coating that is pretty much the thing dreams are made of.
A silver serving spoon pours glaze into a small cast iron dish.

How do I reheat the leftovers?

Unless you’re having a huge gathering, you’re bound to have some leftover ham. You can certainly eat it cold, but if you want to heat it up, you have two options. For heating up just one or two servings, you can warm up individual pieces in a skillet over medium heat. To warm a larger batch of slices, place the ham in a baking pan, add ½ cup of water, and cover with foil. Heat in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

Warm or cold, you can use your leftover ham in sandwiches or salads, serve it for breakfast, or stir it into soups.

Sliced slow cooker ham rests in a white dish. A sprig of rosemary sits in the top left corner of the dish.

What should I serve with slow cooker ham?

I typically make this Crock Pot ham recipe in the colder parts of the year, so I like to serve it with side dishes that are either 1) comfort food, or 2) made with fall or winter produce. If you have access to a second slow cooker, serve this ham alongside some mashed potatoes. Yeast rolls are a classic option (don’t be scared—cooking with yeast isn’t that hard!), or you can try something different with some butternut squash basmati rice. To get some colorful produce on your plate, try a pomegranate persimmon salad, glazed beets, or cranberry applesauce.

A hand bastes ham with a white brush. The dish sits on a white tablecloth.

Slow Cooker Ham with Honey-Mustard Glaze

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Use this amazing ham glaze recipe and your slow cooker to make a juicy, flavorful ham anytime!


  • 1 spiral-sliced, fully-cooked boneless ham (between 4-7 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place the ham in the basin of a slow cooker.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, mustard, cloves, garlic, and water over high heat. Heat until just warm enough to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over the ham, making sure to separate the slices to let the glaze get between.
  3. Cover the slow cooker tightly with the lid, or, if the ham is too large, make a tight cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2-3—just until warmed through. 
  5. Preheat the broiler, transfer the ham to an oven-safe dish, and set aside. Pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Heat cooking liquid on medium-high for 5-7 minutes, or until thick and bubbly. Brush onto ham, and broil for 4-5 minutes, removing to baste with additional glaze every minute or so.
YouTube video
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 369mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 38gProtein: 5g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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