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Brown Sugar Ham is simple to make thanks to a crock pot! Spiral ham with a pineapple, maple, and brown sugar glaze. This ham recipe is a perfect Holiday main dish and easy enough for a weeknight dinner with the family also. 

Try this honey glazed ham if you want a smaller ham that’s boneless. It also cooks in the slow cooker which makes it a hands-off, set it and forget it recipe. 

Spiral ham with a brown sugar glaze inside a crock pot with the spirals showing.

Brown Sugar Ham Recipe

I make this easy brown sugar ham recipe every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s even simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner with the family. With only about 5 minutes prep time and 4 ingredients, this ham recipe is a set it & forget it recipe, and then you let the slow cooker do all the work!

With the leftovers I like to make these baked ham & cheese sandwiches and this macaroni & cheese ham casserole

Slices of ham on a white plate with mashed potatoes.

What You’ll Need

This spiral ham recipe only needs 4 ingredients! 

  • Spiral Ham : This recipe calls for a 6-8 pound spiral ham. The spiral hams are precooked and come wrapped in foil with a glaze packet. Discard all that stuff as we are just using the spiral ham. 
  • Pineapple Juice : 100% pineapple juice can be found in the juice aisle at the grocery store. It comes in a large can and I use the Dole brand. It’s the best!
  • Brown Sugar
  • Pure Maple Syrup : Do not use pancake syrup. It’s not the same thing. You will find pure maple syrup by the pancake syrup, usually at the top shelf. 

How To Make Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Ham In The Crock Pot

Only a few minutes prep time is needed for this recipe. See how easy it is to make this ham recipe. 

Step 1 : Unwrap the foil around the ham and discard the flavor packet that comes with it. Place the ham, flat side down, into the insert of the slow cooker. 

Step 2 : Pour the pineapple juice around and on top of the ham. Firmly press the brown sugar onto the ham, forming a crust with the brown sugar. Pour the pure maple syrup over the ham. 

Step 3 : Cover with the lid and cook on LOW heat for 4-5 hours, or until tender and at temperature. 

Two photos showing how to make spiral ham with a brown sugar glaze. The ingredients needed to make it.

Steps needed to make pineapple brown sugar ham in the slow cooker. Two pictures in a photo collage.

Tips For Success

Here are a few of my helpful tips that will hopefully make this recipe a hit in your own kitchen. 

  • Use Pure Maple Syrup : Please do not use pancake syrup. Pure maple syrup is more expensive but you want that pure, rich, super flavorful maple syrup for this ham. 
  • Crock Pot Lid : Sometimes the hams are bigger and they stick out the top of the slow cooker, which makes covering it with the lid impossible. If this happens, simple wrap tin foil over the insert of the slow cooker, and then place the lid on top of the tin foil. I’ve done this several times and the ham turns out perfectly. You just want something to keep the heat in the slow cooker during the cook time, which is what the tin foil does. 

Close up image of spiral ham with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to serve this spiral ham recipe. 

Slow cooker with a ham inside of it showing the spiral cuts and brown sugar crust.

Variation & Substitution Ideas

There are not many ways to switch up this recipe but there are a couple things that you could try. I’ve always followed the recipe as is, but these ideas would work just fine. 

  • Juice : If you don’t like pineapple juice then try substituting orange juice or even some apple cider would be delicious. 
  • Brown Sugar : I use light brown sugar but if you want a richer molasses flavor then use dark brown sugar. You can also use more or less depending on sweetness preference. 

Slow cooker insert with a spiral cut ham inside of it.

Brown Sugar Ham FAQ’s

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about making a spiral-cut ham in the crock pot. 

  • How To Store Leftovers
    • Store leftover ham in an air-tight container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days. I use a Tupperware container to store leftover ham. 
  • What Temperature Does A Ham Have to Be at For Serving?
    • Spiral-cut hams, which are fully cooked, can be served at a warmer temperature (140 degrees F) or hotter (165 degrees F). Some say that ham is best served cooler because the high heat can dry out the ham and cause the glaze to melt. I prefer the hot ham that is fall apart tender so I always serve at a much warmer temperature. 
    • Leftovers of ham can be eaten cold or heated up to 165 degrees F before serving. 
  • Can I Freeze Ham?
    • The ham comes wrapped up tight in a netting and tin foil wrapper. If you are not cooking it right away then yes you can freeze the ham in it’s original packaging, for up to 3 months. Let the ham thaw in the fridge before cooking according to the recipe below. 
    • You can also freeze leftover cooked brown sugar ham. I cut up the leftover ham into small chunks and freeze in freezer-safe bags or container for up to a month. Use leftover ham in soup recipes or any recipe that calls for ham. 

Ham slices on a white plate with carrots and mashed potatoes in the background.

Fork inside a spiral cut ham.

Supplies Needed

Here are a couple supplies that you will need to make this easy brown sugar ham recipe. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.

Crock Pot : I own three different slow cookers and this one is my favorite. You want a large slow cooker for this recipe, and this one works perfectly. Use a large 8 QT crock pot for this recipe. 

Baster : You need one of these to baste the ham in the juices. I do this after the ham is done cooking. Use the baster to pour the cooking liquid in the slow cooker over the ham. 

 

Spiral ham with a brown sugar glaze inside a crock pot with the spirals showing.
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Brown Sugar Ham


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings 10
Brown Sugar Ham is simple to make thanks to crock pot! Spiral ham with a pineapple, maple, and brown sugar glaze. This ham recipe is a perfect Holiday main dish and easy enough for a weeknight dinner with the family also. 

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 pound bone-in spiral cut ham
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Unwrap ham from the foil wrapper and discard the flavored glaze packet. Place ham, flat side down, into the insert of a slow cooker.
  • Pour pineapple juice around and on top of the ham. Firmly press the brown sugar onto the ham, forming a crust. Pour the maple syrup over the ham.
  • Cover with the lid and cook on Low heat for 5 hours. Ham should be fall apart tender when done.
  • Remove the ham from the slow cooker and move it to a platter or serving try. Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Baste ham with the juices as needed before serving.

Notes

Tip : If the ham sticks out of the slow cooker, making the lid impossible to put on, simple wrap the insert of the slow cooker tightly with tin foil, and then place the lid on top of the tin foil. This keeps the hot temperature during the cook time. I've done this several times and it works well.
Crock Pot : Use a large slow cooker for this recipe. I use an 8 QT crock pot. 
Ham : The spiral-cut hams are precooked but you still need to cook it for the 5 hour cook time. The 5 hour slow cooker time brings the ham to a warm serving temperature,  and helps infuse the ham with flavor and gives the ham this sugary crust on the outside. 
Some of the spiral-cut hams might say 'honey cured' or 'brown sugar glazed'. Just ignore that because we will discard the flavoring packet anyways. Make sure you get a bone-in, spiral-cut ham. 
Serving Size : The serving size varies depending on the size of ham you use. 

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for Christmas day. It was amazing! My husband kept taking slices to eat, even before the meal began. He loved it! The taste was just as good as the name brand ham store. Thanks for sharing this recipe as well as the helpful tips!