Cooking a holiday ham in a crockpot can be a stress-free alternative to roasting it in the oven. Slow cooking a 10lb ham in a crockpot may take a bit of time, but the result is a juicy, flavorful ham that's easy to prepare. Here's everything you need to know about slow cooking a 10lb ham in a crockpot.
Preparing the ham for slow cooking in a crockpot
When it comes to cooking a ham in a crockpot, it's important to properly prepare the ham before placing it in the pot. Trim any excess fat using a sharp knife to ensure that the ham will fit well in your crockpot. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the ham. Make sure it's at room temperature before placing it in the crockpot so that it will cook evenly.
Another important step in preparing the ham for slow cooking in a crockpot is to add some liquid to the pot. This will help keep the ham moist and tender during the cooking process. You can use water, chicken broth, or apple juice as a liquid. Additionally, you can add some herbs and spices to the liquid to infuse the ham with extra flavor. Some popular options include garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
Choosing the right crockpot size for a 10lb ham
The size of your crockpot is important when cooking a 10lb ham. Choose a crockpot that's large enough to accommodate the ham with extra room for any other ingredients you want to add, such as vegetables, spices, and liquids. Use a crockpot that's at least 7 quarts in size.
It's also important to consider the shape of the crockpot. A round crockpot may not be the best choice for a 10lb ham, as it may not fit properly. Instead, opt for an oval-shaped crockpot that can easily fit the ham and allow for even cooking. Additionally, make sure to check the temperature of the crockpot regularly to ensure that the ham is cooking properly and reaching a safe internal temperature.
The best ingredients to add to the crockpot for flavor
To give your slow-cooked ham some extra flavor, consider adding some ingredients to the crockpot. You can pour in some apple juice to add some sweetness, or add a handful of sliced onions and garlic for a savory flavor. Fresh rosemary and thyme also add a lot of flavor!
Another great ingredient to add to the crockpot for flavor is Worcestershire sauce. Just a few tablespoons of this tangy sauce can add depth and complexity to your ham. Additionally, if you want to add some heat, consider adding a diced jalapeno pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes. These ingredients will give your ham a spicy kick that pairs well with the sweetness of the apple juice.
Tips for ensuring a juicy and tender ham in the crockpot
To ensure a juicy and tender ham in the crockpot, you'll want to make sure it cooks slowly and evenly. Cook the ham on low for 6 to 8 hours, depending on the desired doneness, and baste it every 1 to 2 hours to keep it moist. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the ham. Once it reads 140°F, the ham is ready to be removed from the crockpot.
Another tip for ensuring a juicy and flavorful ham is to add some liquid to the crockpot. You can use water, chicken broth, apple juice, or even cola to add some extra flavor and moisture to the ham. Additionally, you can add some herbs and spices to the liquid for even more flavor. Some popular options include garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor profile.
How often to check and baste the ham while cooking in a crockpot
It's recommended to check and baste the ham every 1 to 2 hours while it's cooking in a crockpot. This will help keep the ham moist and flavorful, and prevent it from drying out.
Additionally, it's important to note that the cooking time for a ham in a crockpot can vary depending on the size of the ham and the temperature setting of the crockpot. It's best to refer to the recipe or cooking instructions for specific guidance on cooking times. It's also important to ensure that the internal temperature of the ham reaches at least 145°F before serving to ensure it's fully cooked and safe to eat.
Adjusting cooking times based on desired level of doneness
Cooking times for a 10lb ham in a crockpot will vary depending on the desired level of doneness. For a fully cooked ham, cook it for 6 to 8 hours on low. For a partially cooked ham, cook it for 4 to 6 hours on low and finish it in the oven at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.
Serving suggestions and side dishes to pair with slow-cooked ham
When it comes to serving a slow-cooked ham, there are plenty of delicious side dishes to choose from. Consider serving it with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh green salad. You can also serve it on slider buns with a side of coleslaw for an easy and delicious sandwich.
How to store leftover ham after cooking in a crockpot
If you have leftover ham after cooking it in a crockpot, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze leftover ham for up to 2 to 3 months. Reheat leftover ham in the oven at 350°F or in the microwave until it's heated through.
Variations on cooking a 10lb ham in other types of slow cookers
If you don't have a crockpot, you can still cook a 10lb ham in other types of slow cookers. Use a Dutch oven or a roasting pan with a lid, and follow the same cooking instructions for a crockpot recipe. You can also slow cook a ham in a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.
Overall, cooking a 10lb ham in a crockpot is a delicious and stress-free option for your holiday meal. With some basic preparation and the right cooking techniques, you can enjoy a flavorful ham that's juicy and tender, without any fuss.