A couple of years ago my Crockpot Root Beer Ham went viral, but now I’m all about my Instant Pot, so I had to make an Instant Pot Spiral Ham recipe to share with you!
Instant Pot Spiral Ham Recipe
I’ve only recently become aware of spiral ham – maybe three years ago now?
Growing up, my mom bought those super-processed, tiny little hams that just tasted like salt, so that was all I knew until I saw a gorgeous picture for a spiral ham on Pinterest and was shocked to discover that hams could come that way! (I thought the person who took the picture just had excellent carving skills.)
And just like when you learn a new word and start hearing it everywhere, I started noticing spiral hams at my grocery store all the time. I still wasn’t really interested in a salt-laden meal, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that low-salt options were available, so I grabbed one… and I’ve never looked back!
I find low-sodium hams to have the perfect amount of salty-umami flavor, and it pairs perfectly with a sweet glaze or marinade.
I love combining sweet and umami flavors – chicken and waffles, bacon and maple syrup – I’m all about it, so it was pretty easy to figure out how I wanted to cook this instant pot ham!
I used a combination of maple syrup, dijon mustard and brown sugar to create a decadent glaze with good depth of flavor. You can also add in some apple cider vinegar or apple juice, if desired.
Cooking your spiral ham in the instant pot is awesome for not only keeping your oven available for other mains or side dishes, it also prevents the ham from drying out in the oven and overcooking. The Instant Pot traps the moisture and steam of the cooking liquid, resulting in a tender, succulent ham with just slight caramelization.
(Note: if you really like crispy edges on your ham, you can also finish this recipe in the oven, popping it in at 400ºF for a few minutes, or even a couple minutes under the broiler.)
What size ham can I fit in my Instant Pot? A 6qt Instant Pot can fit a 5-6lb ham, while a 8qt Instant Pot can fit a 7-8lb ham. If your ham is slightly bigger, you can trim it to fit.
Do spiral hams need to be cooked? No, you do not have to “cook” a spiral ham since it is pre-cooked before it gets to you. You just need to warm it up to 140ºF, so even 10 minutes in the instant pot is fine.
How long do I need to cook my ham in the Instant Pot? You want to cook your ham for approximately 2 minutes per pound, plus about 5 additional minutes:
- 4lb ham = 13 minutes
- 5lb ham = 15 minutes
- 6lb ham = 17 minutes
- 7lb ham = 19 minutes
- 8lb ham = 21 minutes
How long is leftover cooked spiral ham good for? Cooked spiral ham can be kept in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for up to two months.
How do you freeze leftover ham? Simply place the cooked ham in freezer-safe ziptop bags and remove as much air as possible. You can also wrap the ham in tinfoil before placing it in the bag.
Why does this recipe call for optional water? Officially, you should add 1 cup of liquid to your instant pot to allow it to come to pressure, but I have had success adding less. I used 1/2 cup of water for this recipe to help increase the liquid amount without requiring additional (expensive) maple syrup. You can alternatively use a juice such as pineapple juice or apple juice.
How to cook frozen ham in the Instant Pot? Personally, I don’t recommend cooking ham from frozen as it can lead to uneven results – but I totally understand that you may not have a choice in the matter! A 6-7lb ham will take approximately 35 minutes on the manual setting to fully cook (not including the time to takes to come to pressure and release). Ensure that your ham reaches the recommended temperature of 140ºF.
While your instant pot is warming up your spiral ham, whip up these side dishes to accompany it:
- Creamy Potato Pea Salad
- Garlic Parmesan Risotto from Kylee Cooks
- Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
- Ginger Ale Glazed Carrots from the Soccer Mom Blog
- Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
- Brussel Sprout Salad
- Roasted Carrots with Fresh Rosemary from Salty Side Dish
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Skillet Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary from Kylee Cooks
And, if you’re looking for recipes to use up that leftover ham in, check out:
- Breakfast Egg and Ham Sliders
- Ham Tetrazzini from Kylee Cooks
- Homemade Ham and Cheese Lunch Pockets
- Cheesy Ham Pot Pie from the Gunny Sack
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich Sliders
- Mason Jar Cobb Salad
- Hawaiian Pasta Salad
Instant Pot Spiral Ham Ingredients
- Spiral ham – keep the dimensions of your Instant Pot in mind when selecting the size of ham (see our guide above)
- Maple Syrup – REAL maple syrup, none of that corn syrup-based table syrup. Can be swapped for honey
- Brown sugar – can be swapped for coconut sugar, if desired
- Dijon Mustard – can be swapped for mustard powder and apple cider vinegar
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: add in apple cider vinegar or apple juice, as desired.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
How to Make Instant Pot Spiral Ham
Place the water, maple syrup, brown sugar and dijon mustard in a saucepan over medium heat.
Heat just until the brown sugar is melted and dissolved completely into the maple syrup.
(You can alternatively microwave the glaze.)
Place the spiral ham in your instant pot and pour the glaze over the whole ham, being sure to get in all those slices.
Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and cook on the meat/stew setting for 15 minutes, 20 if you like crisper ham.
Grab your free printable for our brown sugar maple ham recipe:
This Instant Pot Ham recipe is so incredibly simple to make but has amazing flavor. It’s perfect for Easter ham or Christmas supper.