Are you tired of the same old oven-baked spiral ham? Try using your Instant Pot instead! Not only is the cooking process faster, but the end result is incredibly tender and flavorful. In this article, we will walk through all the steps of cooking a spiral ham in an Instant Pot, from choosing the right size ham to serving suggestions for your delicious creation.
The Benefits of Cooking Spiral Ham in an Instant Pot
First, let's talk about the benefits of using an Instant Pot to cook your spiral ham. By pressure cooking the ham, you can achieve an incredibly tender and juicy texture in a fraction of the time it would take to bake in the oven. Plus, the Instant Pot is an all-in-one appliance, meaning you won't need to dirty multiple pots and pans for the cooking process. And let's not forget, using an Instant Pot means you can free up valuable oven space during the holiday season!
Another benefit of using an Instant Pot to cook your spiral ham is that it allows you to infuse the meat with a variety of flavors. You can add herbs, spices, and even liquids like apple cider or pineapple juice to the pot to create a unique and delicious flavor profile. Plus, the pressure cooking process helps to lock in those flavors, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic ham.
Finally, cooking a spiral ham in an Instant Pot is a great option for those who are short on time or don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. With the Instant Pot, you can set it and forget it, allowing you to focus on other tasks or spend time with your family and friends. And because the Instant Pot is so easy to use, even novice cooks can achieve a perfectly cooked spiral ham with minimal effort.
Choosing the Right Size and Type of Spiral Ham for Your Instant Pot
Before you begin cooking, make sure to choose a spiral ham that will fit comfortably in your Instant Pot. A 6-quart Instant Pot can accommodate a ham up to 6 pounds, while an 8-quart Instant Pot can handle a ham up to 8 pounds. Make sure to choose a ham that is already pre-cut and spiral sliced, with the bone intact for added flavor. If you prefer, you can also choose a boneless ham, although it may result in a slightly drier end product.
When selecting a spiral ham, it's important to consider the type of ham you want to use. Some popular options include honey glazed, maple glazed, and brown sugar glazed hams. Each type of ham has a unique flavor profile, so choose one that complements your taste preferences. Additionally, you may want to consider the quality of the ham, such as whether it is organic or free-range.
Before cooking your spiral ham in the Instant Pot, it's recommended to let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will allow the ham to cook more evenly and prevent it from becoming tough. You can also add additional seasonings or glazes to the ham before cooking, such as cloves, mustard, or pineapple juice. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination!
Preparing Your Spiral Ham for Cooking in the Instant Pot
Now that you've chosen your ham, it's time to prepare it for cooking in the Instant Pot. Begin by removing any packaging and rinsing the ham under cold water. Pat the ham dry with paper towels and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow criss-cross pattern on the surface of the ham, being careful not to cut too deeply into the meat. This will allow the seasoning and flavor to penetrate into the ham while it cooks.
Next, you can add your desired seasonings to the ham. Some popular options include brown sugar, honey, mustard, and cloves. Rub the seasonings onto the surface of the ham, making sure to get into the crevices created by the criss-cross pattern. Once the ham is seasoned, place it in the Instant Pot with a cup of water or broth. Cook on high pressure for 10-12 minutes per pound of ham, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes before removing the ham from the Instant Pot. Let the ham rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Cooking Spiral Ham in an Instant Pot
Now it's time to cook your spiral ham in the Instant Pot! Begin by placing the ham on the trivet inside the Instant Pot, with the cut side facing down. Add one cup of water to the bottom of the pot, and close the lid securely. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 10 minutes per pound of ham, with a natural release for 15 minutes. For example, if you have a 6-pound ham, you will set the timer to 60 minutes of cooking time. Once the cooking process is complete, carefully remove the ham and trivet from the Instant Pot and set it aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
How to Season and Flavor Your Spiral Ham While Cooking in an Instant Pot
There are endless ways to season and flavor your spiral ham while cooking in an Instant Pot. Some popular options include a classic glaze of brown sugar, honey, and Dijon mustard or a mixture of pineapple juice and brown sugar. Whatever flavor profile you choose, simply brush the glaze over the ham before placing it in the Instant Pot to cook. Additionally, you can add additional flavor by adding herbs and spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, and thyme, to the water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Texture and Moisture When Cooking Spiral Ham in an Instant Pot
To achieve the perfect texture and moisture in your spiral ham, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, make sure to allow the ham to come to room temperature before cooking, which will help it cook more evenly. Additionally, be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the ham reaches at least 140°F. Finally, after cooking, allow the ham to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing, which will allow the juices to distribute evenly throughout the meat.
How to Safely Release Pressure from Your Instant Pot After Cooking Spiral Ham
After cooking your spiral ham in the Instant Pot, it's important to release the pressure safely. To do so, simply allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 15 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure manually using the pressure release valve. Always use caution when handling the Instant Pot and its contents, as the steam can cause serious burns.
Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes to Pair with Your Cooked Spiral Ham
Now that your spiral ham is cooked to perfection, it's time to think about serving suggestions and side dishes to pair with it. For a classic holiday meal, try serving your ham with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a fresh green salad. If you're looking for a more unique twist, consider serving the ham with sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and cornbread stuffing. And of course, don't forget the leftovers – spiral ham sandwiches are a classic and tasty way to enjoy the delicious flavors of your Instant Pot creation for days to come!
Storing Leftover Spiral Ham Cooked in an Instant Pot
If you have leftover spiral ham cooked in an Instant Pot, simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can also freeze the ham in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. When ready to use, simply thaw the ham in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cooking Spiral Ham in an Instant Pot
Q: Can I use a frozen ham in my Instant Pot?
A: It's not recommended to cook a frozen ham in the Instant Pot, as it will take much longer to cook and may result in uneven cooking.
Q: Can I cook a spiral ham without a trivet in the Instant Pot?
A: While it's possible to cook a spiral ham in the Instant Pot without a trivet, using one will help elevate the ham and prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Q: Can I cook a spiral ham on low pressure in my Instant Pot?
A: It's best to cook a spiral ham on high pressure in the Instant Pot, as this will help break down the connective tissue and result in a more tender end product.
Additional Recipe Ideas for Using a Spiral Ham Cooked in an Instant Pot
Now that you know how to cook a spiral ham in an Instant Pot, try using it in a variety of dishes! Use leftover ham in a breakfast quiche or frittata, add it to a classic macaroni and cheese dish, or use it as a topping on homemade pizza. The possibilities are endless with the delicious flavors of spiral ham cooked to perfection in your Instant Pot!