Back around Easter time I shared my Honey Caramel Ham recipe and since it was so popular, I thought I’d share another fun ham recipe – this time a Root Beer Glazed Spiral Ham that you can make in your slow cooker!
Crockpot Spiral Ham Recipe
So for a bit of background as to why I’d pick root beer for the glaze, my stepdad loves A&W Root Beer. He keeps his glass mugs in his freezer and enjoys a glass with supper almost every day – and if you ask for a glass, he’ll give you the stingiest pour you’ve ever seen.
He and my mom will be helping a lot during our upcoming home renovations, nearly 6 weeks of labour-intense work every evening after an already exhausting day of work. So, I’m trying to do some special things for them when I can like make them supper or offer to combine their errands with mine.
However, I’m also super busy over here purging and packing my house, prepping for Ella’s upcoming surgery, and keeping two businesses afloat, so making them supper also has to be quick and convenient for me – so anything that can cook in the slow cooker is perfect.
Spiral hams are on sale everywhere, so a delicious glazed ham that you can make in the slow cooker sounded perfect. After running several ideas past him, we finally agreed on a root beer spiral ham – and it turned out amazing.
Succulent, juicy ham with a slightly crisp and caramelized skin with that delicious sweet hint of root beer and fresh apple.
I played around a bit with adding acidity to the recipe and I just didn’t like it. The root beer has so many flavor notes in itself already that you don’t need additional contrast.
This recipe can be easily done in the oven, just set to 325F and cook the spiral ham for an hour. (This is the cooking time for a pre-cooked spiral ham, as they sell them in the store, not a raw ham.)
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. If you’re unsure if your ham is pre-cooked (most that you would buy at a grocery store are), check out this post.
What size spiral ham should I buy? I’ve personally had good luck squeezing a 10lb spiral ham into my 8qt crockpot, but you should aim for a 7-8lb spiral ham if you don’t want to have to trim any of the ham away. Also keep in mind how many people the ham needs to serve; I plan for about 1/3 lb of ham for each person since we always have a lot of side dishes.
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 four months.
Why does this recipe call for juice? You need to add liquid to the crockpot to avoid the ham from burning, and it also helps ensure a succulent final product. You can alternatively use pineapple juice or apple juice. For a less sweet version, opt for broth or water.
While your crockpot is warming up your mango spiral ham, whip up these side dishes to accompany it:
- Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
- Ginger Ale Glazed Carrots from the Soccer Mom Blog
- Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
- Pea Salad with Red Onions and Cheese from Salty Side Dish
- Honey Roasted Carrots from Sizzle and Salt
- Creamy Potato Pea Salad
- Brussel Sprout Salad
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
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Root Beer Ham
- Root beer – this can be swapped for your favorite dark soda (Coke, Dr Pepper, etc)
- Brown sugar – if you are trying to reduce the sugar in this recipe, you can swap this with 1/2 cup honey
- Apples, sliced – can be swapped out for pineapple slices
- Spiral ham (pre-cooked) – check out the capacity for your slow cooker before buying your ham. An 8qt slow cooker can accommodate about a 7-8lb spiral ham without difficulty. Worst case scenario, you’ll just have to trim a bit of your ham to fit it or use our tin foil trick (below)
- Liquid smoke, optional – helps balance out the sweetness of the recipe
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: If you can’t find a spiral-cut ham, use an easy “hatch” pattern instead, cutting intersecting diagonal lines into the ham, as they are easier to get right.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Slow cooker
- Small saucepan
- Silicone basting brush – I like these ones because the brush head doesn’t come off (which can trap bacteria)
- Sharp knife
- Crockpot Liners – I haven’t used these but I have several friends who SWEAR by these for easy clean up
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pretty Serving Platter
How to Make a Slow Cooker Root Beer Spiral Ham
Place the root beer and brown sugar in a sauce pan and heat for 10 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the root beer has slightly thickened.
Pour the root beer over the ham, and use a basting brush to help you get into the spiral cuts.
Cook in the slow cooker for 20-30 minutes on high before adding the apple slices into each cut.
(You can add the apples from the beginning but they will turn to practically apple sauce by the end of the cooking time.)
Brush the drippings onto the ham to build up that delicious root beer glaze and cover to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.
(Alternatively, you can cook for 3-4 hours on low.)
Grab your free printable for our Slow Cooker Root Beer Spiral Ham recipe:
If the lid on your crockpot doesn't fit over your ham, securely cover the opening with tinfoil and place the lid on top to secure. Note: Plan for 20 minutes of cooking time for every 1lb of ham. You are just warming the ham through to an internal temperature of 140F - it is pre-cooked. If you can't find a spiral-cut ham, use an easy "hatch" pattern instead, cutting intersecting diagonal lines into the ham, as they are easier to get right. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
If the lid on your crockpot doesn't fit over your ham, securely cover the opening with tinfoil and place the lid on top to secure.
Note: Plan for 20 minutes of cooking time for every 1lb of ham. You are just warming the ham through to an internal temperature of 140F - it is pre-cooked.
If you can't find a spiral-cut ham, use an easy "hatch" pattern instead, cutting intersecting diagonal lines into the ham, as they are easier to get right.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This super easy slow cooker ham recipe was such a hit with my entire family – it was almost embarrassing when I was asked for the recipe, but sometimes delicious doesn’t have to be complicated.
For more delicious pork recipes your family will love, check out our Honey-Caramel Ham Recipe or our Mesquite pork tenderloin with fall fruits recipe.