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How to Cook Ham in a Slow Cooker

Cooking ham is easy when you use a slow cooker. A simple solution helps to keep the meat moist and delicious.

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.

slice of ham on a fork

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.

How To Cook Ham in a Slow Cooker


  • 1 picnic ham (approximately 6-8 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Remove packaging and netting from ham. Place in a slow cooker.
  2. Pour water and apple cider vinegar over ham. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, or until thermometer reads at least 145 degrees.
hot ham on a cutting board
hot ham on a cutting board
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4.5 from 83 votes

Slow Cooker Ham

This simple recipe creates a moist, tender ham that cooks in your slow cooker.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword dinner, ham
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 ham
Calories 199kcal
Author Lynda


  • 1 picnic ham approximately 6-8 pounds
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 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

Look at the 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

The Set ‘n Forget® is an awesome slow cooker.  You can read more about it on Hamilton Beach’s website by clicking here.  There is information about the program, probe, and manual modes, a cooking guide for the probe, information about adapting recipes for the slow cooker, and information about its care and cleaning.


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.

What is your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker?

Here are some other delicious slow cooker recipes:

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