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How to Cook Ham in a Slow Cooker

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A slow cooker is the key to cooking a delicious ham. By using simple ingredients, you are guaranteed moist meat every time that will be perfect for sandwiches or dinners. Let us show you how to cook ham in a slow cooker.

Hot ham on a cutting board.
This post was sponsored by Hamilton Beach.

My mother-in-law made the best ham in her slow cooker, and hopefully one day I will be able to replicate it. Somehow she managed to get it so tender that it could practically be shredded with a fork. She knew exactly how long to cook her ham.

I have tried to make it like her in the past, only to overcook it time and time again. I am determined, though, to perfect it since I received a Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid. The Set ‘n Forget®  is not your grandma’s slow cooker – it is a sleek, modern-age technological wonder. I will tell you more about it in a moment, but first, let me share with you an easy way to cook a ham in the slow cooker.

Ham can dry out in the slow cooker. My mother-in-law would pour a can of Mountain Dew over her ham to keep it moist. To avoid extra additives (high fructose corn syrup, etc.),  I use 1 1/4 cups of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar instead of the soda.

I cover the slow cooker, insert the temperature probe, and then program the slow cooker on LOW heat to reach a temperature of at least 145 degrees.

Ham in a slow cooker.

Once the meat hits that temperature, the Set ‘n Forget® automatically switches to the WARM setting.

Hamilton Beach slow cooker.

While I haven’t reached the point of the ham shredding, I haven’t overcooked it either. Since ham should be cooked until it reaches at least 145 and no more than 160 degrees, I know that I can increase the temperature setting without overcooking it. I am going to experiment some more to find that perfect temperature – one day I will be able to cook ham like my mother-in-law.

With the temperature programmed to 145 – 150, ham comes out slice-able and delicious. It is great paired with green beans and macaroni & cheese.


  • 1 picnic ham (approximately 6-8 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

How To Cook Ham in a Slow Cooker

  1. Remove packaging and netting from ham. Place in a slow cooker.
  2. Pour water and apple cider vinegar over the ham. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the thermometer reads at least 145 degrees.
Slice of ham on a fork.
hot ham on a cutting board

Slow Cooker Ham

This simple recipe creates a moist, tender ham that cooks in your slow cooker.
4.53 from 115 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 ham
Calories: 199kcal


  • 1 picnic ham approximately 6-8 pounds
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar


  • Remove packaging and netting from ham. Place in slow cooker.
  • Pour water and apple cider vinegar over ham. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, or until thermometer reads at least 145 degrees.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1324mg | Sugar: 2g
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Features of the Set ‘n Forget®

  • Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual
  • Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
  • Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
  • Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
  • The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
  • 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
  • Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
  • Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
  • Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
  • Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
  • Backed with a one-year warranty

With the Set ‘n Forget®,  I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family. In addition to ham, we enjoy cooking roast and Seven Can Soup in our slow cooker.

Need some tasty side dishes to go with your ham? Carrots, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli are a few of my favorite sides to serve with ham.

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  1. 5 stars
    thank you so much for a recipe (as basic as it might be) that doesn’t have cups of sugars, honey, syrup, or syrupy fruits.

  2. I’m trying the water and apple cider vinegar recipe with my slow cooker and ham hope iit’s a good one☺️

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