If you have been wondering how to cook a spiral ham, I have everything you need to know right here. Cooking a spiral ham is actually quite easy with all these tips and tricks!
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Easter is coming up and spiral ham is one of the classic Easter meals. If you plan on serving a delicious maple glazed spiral ham or a honey baked ham this season, then you should definitely read this article first. I have made my fair share of Christmas hams and Easter hams and know exactly how to make a beautiful, mouthwatering ham that will be the centerpiece of your table.
What Is a Spiral Ham?
Before we talk about how to cook spiral ham, let me tell you a little bit about what a spiral ham actually is. A spiral ham is a bone-in ham that has been sliced using a special machine. The machine cuts the ham into perfect, thin slices by spinning the blades around the bone in a spiral. The result is a beautiful, whole ham that is easy to cut and serve.
Spiral hams are very flavorful since the glaze or sauce on the ham can drip between the slices as the ham cooks. The bone inside the ham keeps it tender and also adds flavor as the spiral ham cooks.
How Long to Cook a Spiral Ham in the Oven
The classic way to cook a spiral ham is to use the oven. Most spiral hams are already fully cooked when you buy them. So, you are actually just reheating the ham in the oven. However, you do want to be sure it is heated all the way through. The best way to do this is to bake spiral ham at a low temperature, heating it slowly so it stays moist.
Check the size of your ham by looking at the package. How long to cook a spiral ham will vary based on the weight of the ham. You should cook spiral ham for 13-15 minutes per pound at 325ºF.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ham and remove the ham from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 135ºF. The temperature will continue to rise to 140ºF and then it will be ready to slice and serve!
Should a Spiral Ham be Covered When Baking?
I like to lay a piece of foil over the top of my spiral ham when baking. This helps prevent the ham from drying out as it bakes. Once I put the glaze or topping on my spiral ham in the last few minutes of cooking, I do remove the foil. Baking spiral ham uncovered in the last part of the cooking process lets the ham get slightly crispy on top, but it will not dry out.
How to Cook Spiral Ham in the Crockpot
Spiral ham is delicious when cooked in a slow cooker; it’s a great way to make a juicy ham without ever turning on the oven. I have a fantastic crockpot ham recipe you can follow, but here is a quick look at how to cook a spiral ham in a slow cooker.
- Place the spiral ham in the slow cooker with the large, flat side down.
- Add a small amount of liquid to the slow cooker. I usually add about ½ cup of apple juice or water to the bowl. This helps keep the ham moist as it slowly cooks.
- Brush the ham with glaze, then cover the bowl of the crockpot and cook on the low setting.
- Cook the spiral ham in the crockpot for about 18 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reaches 135ºF. A 10-pound spiral ham will cook for about three hours in the slow cooker.
How to Glaze a Spiral Ham
Whether you are making a maple glazed spiral ham or a honey glazed ham, you want to add the glaze at the end of the cooking process. Many spiral hams come with a glaze packet, which makes glazing the ham super easy.
However, making your own glaze is simple, too. All you need to do is whisk the glaze ingredients together! Here is a very simple brown sugar glaze you can make to put on top of your spiral ham:
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
Whisk the glaze ingredients together, then use a pastry brush to evenly add the glaze to the top of the ham.
Brush the glaze on the spiral ham in the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. Place the ham back in the oven or slow cooker and keep it uncovered. This will allow the glaze to soak into the layers of the spiral ham and also get a little crispy on top.
A sweet, thin crust on the outside of a spiral ham is absolutely delicious!
I always like to double the glaze, then brush half the glaze on the ham and use the other half to make a thick glaze sauce. Whisk the extra glaze with about a tablespoon of cornstarch, then bring it to a boil in a small saucepan. Serve the warm, thick glaze with your baked spiral ham to give it even more flavor. Ham glaze is also delicious when poured over mashed potatoes or green bean casserole.
How to Cut a Spiral Ham
Once your spiral ham is glazed and cooked, it is ready to serve! Spiral hams are pre-cut around the bone in the center of the ham. They are made with one continuous cut that goes from one end of the bone to the other. You can easily pull the slices of ham off of the bone using a fork, a serving knife, or even your hands.
Slice and serve the cooked spiral ham and spoon a little extra glaze onto the plate. You can never have enough sweet glaze to go with the salty ham.
What to Serve with Spiral Ham
Spiral ham pairs well with so many side dishes. I love to serve spiral ham with traditional Easter sides like honey-glazed carrots, hot cross buns, and cheesy asparagus casserole. My corn pudding recipe is a family favorite at Eastertime and spiral ham is delicious with potatoes au gratin.
How to Store Spiral Ham
If you have leftover ham, wrap it tightly and store it in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. I like to cut the ham off the bone and keep the slices in an air-tight container. This makes it very easy to grab a few pieces and make some ham and Swiss sliders or a leftover ham and cheese quiche.
You can also freeze the cooked spiral ham for up to two months. Divide the leftover ham between gallon-sized zippered freezer bags. Anytime you are craving ham for dinner or want to whip up a ham and cheese breakfast casserole, you can take a bag out of the freezer to thaw and it will be ready to use in no time!
Easily Make the Best Spiral Ham
Hopefully, these tips and tricks help you make a perfect spiral ham. It is really a very easy meal to make and one that is perfect for serving a crowd. Let me know how your spiral ham turns out and if you have any cooking secrets I need to try!
How to Cook Spiral Ham
- 1 fully cooked boneless spiral ham 4 to 7 pounds
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Place ham in a shallow roasting pan or baking dish.
- Spoon half of the glaze over the ham.
- Place a piece of foil over the ham, loosely covering it. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes per pound.
- During the last 20 minutes of cooking time, uncover the ham and brush it with the remaining glaze.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ham and remove the ham from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 135ºF. The temperature will continue to rise to 140ºF and then it will be ready to slice and serve!