Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham

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We love a good ham for our Easter Sunday feast.  But, what’s the best (and easiest way to prepare it)?

Once you get your hands on a nice fully-cooked (preferably smoked) ham, you are already almost to the finish line for making an amazing holiday centerpiece roast.  But, folks, let’s take it a step further and amp up the flavors even more, make a great sauce, and do it effortlessly.  Sound good? Let’s do it!

A spiral baked ham sitting on a large oval white platter with cooked carrots surrounding the roast.

How To Make Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham

The slow-cooker makes preparing your favorite meals so fast and easy.

This is truly a “set it and forget it” meal. Perfect for a busy holiday meal preparation.


Choosing the Right Spiral Ham

There are lots of good hams on the market nowadays. If you can’t find one at your local supermarket, check with your butcher. We also love to order from D’Artagnan. But, search around, you’ll find a good ham that is perfect for your special feast.

EXPERT TIP: We recommend going with a 6 to 7-pound bone-in, smoked, uncured, fully cooked ham. We love a spiral sliced ham, but that’s up to you. We find that as the ham is slow-cooking, the juices seep in between the slices and make them even more flavorful.

A pair of hands gently spreading apart a few of the slices of an spiral ham that is fully cooked.

The Simple Ingredients You Will Need

Brown sugar is a classic ingredient to amp up your smoked ham.

We sprinkle a good 1½ cups all over the top.

EXPERT TIP: If you go with a 5, 6, or 7 lb ham, you should have no problem fitting into a 6, 7, 8, or 10-quart slow-cooker. It’s okay if you have to stuff the ham in a bit. Be sure to place the ham in the slow-cooker flat-side down.

A person using their fingers to sprinkle dark brown sugar all over the top of a spiral ham that has been placed inside a slow-cooker.

Next, we add even more flavor: 1 cup of pure maple syrup and 1 cup of apple cider.

NOTE: If you can’t find apple cider, then you can just go with regular apple juice, just make sure it’s 100% juice.

Other great substitutes for apple juice include orange juice or pineapple juice.

A person pouring maple syrup from a measuring cup as well as a cup of apple cider into a slow-cooker filled with a spiral smoked ham.

When to Serve Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham

Well, that’s a bit of a no-brainer. Easter Sunday certainly comes to mind.

However, this ham is so easy to prepare, you can throw this in the slow-cooker right after work and be ready to eat within a couple of hours.

Baked ham leftovers are legendary for making incredible sandwiches, especially our Monte Cristo!

Just take a look at this ham!

A fully cooked spiral ham that is on serving platter next to braised carrots.

What To Serve with Baked Ham

Folks, if you’re going to have a fabulous baked ham for your holiday feast, you’ve got to have some stellar sides.

Here are our favorites:

French au Gratin Potatoes
Maple Braised Carrots
Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Eggs
Best-Ever Mac n Cheese
Southern Corn Casserole
Homemade Dinner Rolls

Who’s hungry?

A white dinner plate filled with several slices of baked ham next to au gratin potatoes and braised carrots.

To make a wonderful sauce to accompany the Slow-Cooker Ham, simply scoop a couple of cups of the cooking liquid after you’ve removed the hame and set is aside.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of stone ground mustard with 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard and then 1 tablespoon of apple cider mixture.

Mix in the reserved cooking liquid. Add to a gravy bowl and pass at the table. Amazing!

A mustard-maple sauce being poured from a small ladle onto a plate filled with several slices of baked ham.

Ready to make the best (and easiest) baked ham this holiday season? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon

Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham

This Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham is exploding with flavor and could not be easier to prepare. The mustard-maple sauce puts it over the top. Perfect for holiday entertaining or a special Sunday meal!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked ham recipe, easy baked ham recipe, how to cook a ham in a slow-cooker
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 448kcal


  • 6, 7, or 8 QT Slow-Cooker


  • 7 lb ham bone-in (or boneless), smoked, uncured, fully cooked, spiral-cut
  • cups brown sugar preferably dark
  • 1 cup maple syrup pure
  • 1 cup apple cider or 100% apple juice


  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup stone-ground mustard aka: Old Style
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  • Place the ham in your slow-cooker, flat-side down.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the ham and use your clean hands to work the sugar into the ham. Pour the maple syrup and apple cider over the top of the ham.
  • Place the lid on the slow-cooker and turn on LOW and cook for 2 to 3 hours. (no less than 2, no more than 3).
  • Take the lid off and use a large spoon to pour the cooking liquid all over the top of the ham. Put the lid back on and slow-cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Use a couple of large spoons or spatulas to carefully remove the ham from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board or serving platter. Cover with foil if not serving within 15 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, use a measuring cup to remove 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the slow-cooker. In another medium-sized bowl, mix together the two mustards and the apple cider vinegar. Stir in the reserved liquid. Whisk until fully combined. Taste, it may need a little more salt, if so, sprinkle some in. Transfer to a gravy boat and serve with sliced ham.



Go with boneless or bone-in, but we prefer bone-in.  
Be sure to not let the ham cook for too long.  3 hours is about the max you want to go.  To keep the ham warm, turn the setting to WARM after the braising period is done. 
We like to pull the slices aways from the bone and arrange them on a platter to make it easy for guests to serve themselves.  We also pour a little of the sauce over the ham.
You can also cook cut carrots and/or parsnips in with the ham, but you'll need to increase the time to about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  Be careful not to overcook!


Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!