Easy Crockpot Spiral Ham Recipe – Slow Cooker Ham without Brown Sugar

Closeup of crockpot spiral ham on a plate with slices of oranges and pineapple.

Try this easy crockpot spiral ham recipe if you're tired of the same old brown sugar glaze.

That’s because you'll flip over this unique beer and chutney glaze for slow cooker ham.

My kids insist that I make this every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It's one of our favorite ways to prepare ham.

I love it because this simple recipe takes very little effort and only 15 minutes of prep.

Why you'll love making crockpot spiral ham

You don't have to be an expert in the kitchen to make this fantastic ham into a special holiday meal.

This easy crock pot ham recipe is a great way to free up your oven space during big cooking holidays like Thanksgiving.

Spiral cut ham in the crock pot is also a great option for any holiday you don't want to spend all your time cooking. Or when you're cooking other dishes and need to save on oven space.

That's because this spiral ham is already pre-cooked and pre-sliced. It just needs to be heated up and given its own glaze in your slow cooker.

Best of all? With a large ham, you'll have plenty of leftovers after the holiday dinner.

Closeup of  metal tongs picking up a piece off a spiral cut ham.

How to make easy crockpot spiral ham

The secret to this crock pot ham recipe is its spicy beer and chutney glaze. You'll love this spicy but sweet glaze.

1. Place the entire ham in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.

For easy crock-pot cleanup, the best way is to use a slow cooker liner. Now that I use liners, I just rinse my slow cooker insert when I'm done cooking. So easy!

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

3. Pour off and discard pan juice.

4. Return ham to crockpot. If cooking on LOW, change the setting to HIGH.

5. Place chutney in a medium bowl. Stir in mustard and beer.

6. Pour the chutney and beer mixture over the ham. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes, basting every 5 minutes with the chutney and beer mixture.

7. Transfer the ham to a carving platter or a cutting board. Tent with foil and keep warm with a clean dish towel. Let stand for 15 minutes before uncovering and serving.

8. Spoon chutney and beer mixture over ham when serving.

Have leftovers? Wondering can you freeze ham? Here's the best how-to guide on freezing ham!

Making gluten free slow cooker spiral ham

Why create a homemade spicy beer glaze? First, it's a more wholesome alternative to the scary glaze packet that comes with your ham. Just toss that stuff!

Also, you can make sure it's gluten free by using the following ingredients:

Gluten free beer or hard cider: Make this amazing glaze gluten free with a gluten free beer or hard cider.

You can find many terrific gluten free beers and gluten free ciders at your local supermarket or liquor store.

Overhead shot of a crockpot spiral ham on a plate with a bowl of lettuce and a slow cooker in the background.

Alternatives to beer in the glaze mix

Don’t want to use beer or hard cider? Apple cider, apple juice, or sparkling cider are all delicious, wholesome, and gluten free substitutes.

You can also use juice. I recommend:

  • orange juice,
  • fresh pineapple juice
  • cranberry juice
  • mango juice

All of these should go well with the ham, Dijon mustard, and chutney.

What size spiral ham should I buy?

You need to make sure that your slow cooker is big enough – or your ham small enough – to use the lid.

I have an 8-quart slow cooker and try to find a ham that's big and wide but flat. I go more by size than finding an X-pound spiral ham. It's all about volume!

During the holidays when spiral cut ham is on sale, buy an extra one to freeze. That way you can use this amazing ham recipe when it's too hot to use the oven to cook.

What if my ham doesn't fit my crock?

If your spiral cut ham doesn't fit, here's what you can do:

1. Flip it around. The flat side doesn't always have to sit on the bottom. One time the best fit was sideways, especially after I squished the top of the ham down a bit.

2. Trim it. Place any trimmed bits into the sides of your slow cooker.

You can use the trimmed ham in another dish or for lunch. (The ham is already cooked and can be eaten right away.)

3. Cover it. Cover the top of your crockpot with several sheets of heavy-duty foil. Then put on the lid. Just make sure to get a good seal so all the heat and moisture stay inside your crock.

What is chutney?

Originating from India, chutney is a savory condiment made from slow-cooked fruits, vinegar, and spices.

I usually find chutney in the ethnic or British section of my grocery store. The three I like to use in this glazed ham recipe are:

  • Patak's Sweet Mango Chutney
  • Patak's Hot Mango Chutney
  • Patak's Major Grey Mild Chutney

If you cannot find chutney at your local supermarket, use a cup of mild mango salsa plus a cup of peach or apricot preserves. That should be just as tasty!

Slow cooker sliced ham on a plate with a bowl of lettuce and a crock pot in the background.

Other glaze mix tips

Mustard: While Dijon mustard is the best, you can use yellow, spicy, or grainy mustard in a pinch.

Thicker glaze: If you want a thicker glaze, add a cornstarch slurry. Do this by mixing together 2 tablespoons of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water.

Then add it to the crock after you’ve removed the ham. Keep the slow cooker on high and stir until the glaze thickens.

Can I make spiral ham in an Instant Pot?

You sure can with this easy Instant Pot Ham recipe. What I like about this recipe is that it only takes a couple of hours to make (including coming up to pressure and natural release time).

The Instant Pot ham recipe also comes with three glaze recipes:

  • brown sugar glaze for ham,
  • maple syrup glaze for ham, and
  • coca-cola glaze for ham with a low-carb, keto-friendly alternative.

You could also use these glazes for use in the slow cooker. (Note: Double or triple the amount and add some juice or water since you need more liquids in the crockpot.)

How to serve spiral ham

Serve the ham with delicious holiday side dishes like:

Besides holidays meals, you can serve this crockpot ham recipe at Sunday afternoon sports watching parties and brunches.

What to do with leftover ham

Here are some ideas of what to do with leftover holiday ham:

Serve the ham on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce mixed with the chutney glaze.

Make ham and eggs, omelets, and a quick and easy quiche.

Use the leftover ham in breakfast casseroles.

Cook the leftover ham bone in split pea soup and serve with diced ham.

Use it in Seven Layer Salad instead of or along with the bacon.

Yield: 8 servings

Easy Crockpot Spiral Ham Recipe

Slow cooker sliced ham on a plate with a bowl of lettuce and a crock pot in the background.

Try this easy crockpot spiral ham recipe without brown sugar. You'll love this beer and chutney glaze for this slow cooker spiral ham recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 6-pound fully cooked, pre-cut spiral ham
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar mango chutney
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 24 ounces gluten free beer

Instructions

  1. Place ham in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Pour off and discard pan juice.
  3. Return ham to crockpot. If cooking on LOW, change the setting to HIGH.
  4. Place chutney in a medium bowl. Stir in mustard and beer.
  5. Pour chutney and beer mixture over ham into the crockpot. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes, basting every 5 minutes with the chutney and beer mixture.
  6. Transfer ham to a warm carving platter or a cutting board. Cover with foil and keep warm with a clean dish towel. Let stand for 15 minutes before uncovering and serving.
  7. Spoon chutney and beer mixture over ham when serving.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

3/4 pound

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 710mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published December 12, 2004 and March 24, 2017. Updated with new photos and information on March 16, 2021.

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Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1