Slow-Cooker Holiday Glazed Ham
From Cook's Country
We’ve all seen beautifully bronzed hams emerge from the oven, so why not from the slow cooker? We lacquered hams with every thick, sticky, sugary coating we could think of, but every glaze slid right off during slow cooking. The glaze definitely needed to be applied after the ham was brought to temperature in the slow cooker. Our goal was to make a stovetop glaze that would have a thick, coating consistency without having to make a trip to the oven. After producing countless glazes that ranged from hard and brittlelike to tough and chewy, we found that equal parts of dark brown sugar and apple jelly thickened with a tablespoon of cornstarch gave us the ideal glaze.
Serves 16 to 20
Do not substitute spiral-cut ham, as it dries out during slow cooking. Let the glaze cool for 5 minutes before applying (it should be just warm to the touch). For a hint of spiciness, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to the sugar mixture at the beginning of step 2.
- 1 (6- to 7 1/2-pound) cured bone-in ham
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple jelly
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1. Remove skin from exterior of ham and trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness. Score remaining fat at 1-inch intervals in crosshatch pattern. Place ham, cut side down, into slow cooker. Add 1 cup water, cover, and cook on low until fat is rendered and meat registers 100 degrees, 5 to 6 hours. Transfer to carving board and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- 2. Bring sugar, jelly, mustard, cornstarch, and pepper to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking until smooth, until glaze begins to darken and is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, let glaze cool for 5 minutes in saucepan. Brush ham evenly with glaze and let sit for 5 minutes. Carve and serve.
Spiral-sliced hams dry out in the slow cooker. Bone-in, uncut hams turn out moist and succulent, but they do require some upfront work.
TRIM Use a chef’s knife to remove the tough skin or rind. Then carefully trim the fat to about a ¼-inch thickness.
CROSSHATCH Slice a grid pattern into the ham’s exterior fat. The ham shrinks as it cooks, deepening the score marks, so the glaze adheres better.