This Instant Pot Ham recipe is quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious. It’s cooked in a simple glaze made with honey, brown sugar, pineapple juice, garlic, and a hint of ginger that pairs so nicely with the saltiness of the ham. Don’t forget to serve it with ham gravy! This recipe is so popular and has tons of 5-star reviews.
Instant Pot Ham
We’re taking the traditional holiday ham and giving it a modern twist. All you need is your trusty Instant Pot and a handful of ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store to make ham in the Instant Pot.
Spiral ham cooks up in no time in the Instant Pot and comes out so flavorful and juicy. It’s a simple and easy recipe to make, but the results are amazing. It’s perfect for Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving, but it’s easy enough to cook up on a busy night.
With the help of the Instant Pot, this dish comes together in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven. Plus, the Instant Pot locks in the moisture, ensuring that your ham comes out succulent and tender every time.
The glaze really is just out of this world delicious. The ham tastes so good coated in that sticky, sweet, and slightly tangy glaze. Sometimes I make a double batch because I love dipping the cooked ham in it.
I love the versatility of this recipe. Not a fan of pineapple juice? No problem! You can easily substitute it with apple juice or even orange juice. Want to spice things up a bit? Add a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg to the glaze. The possibilities are endless!
The leftovers are always my favorite part of holiday meals. Leftovers are perfect for those post-holiday ham sandwiches or a hearty ham and bean soup.
Honey: Honey is the key to giving our ham a wonderfully sticky glaze. It not only adds depth and a rich flavor to your ham but also helps in caramelizing the exterior during the broiling process.
Light Brown Sugar: Another ingredient that helps create a beautiful caramelized glaze on the outside of the ham is light brown sugar. The molasses in brown sugar enhances the sweetness and gives the glaze a beautiful deep color.
Garlic: Garlic, a staple in most savory recipes, brings a fragrant and savory kick to our glaze. Fresh garlic cloves will give the best taste, so avoid using jarred or pre-minced garlic if you can.
Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice is a key player in our glaze. This fruity tanginess complements the sweetness of the honey and brown sugar, and it also helps tenderize the ham. Choose a pure, unsweetened pineapple juice for the best flavor.
Ground Ginger: This ingredient may seem unusual, but ground ginger gives a hint of warmth and spiciness to the glaze, making it even more flavorful. It’s best to use a freshly opened ground ginger, as the flavor can diminish noticeably over time in older jars.
Ham: Of course, the star ingredient of our recipe is a good quality ham. I prefer using a spiral ham for the holidays, so that’s what I recommend.
Water: Water plays an important role in creating the necessary steam in the Instant Pot to cook the ham.
- If you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, apple juice can be a great substitute. It gives a slightly different fruity flavor to the glaze.
- If you’re not a fan of ginger, ground cinnamon can be used instead for a more traditional taste.
- You can also add a touch of Dijon mustard to the glaze for a bit of tanginess.
- For some extra zing, try adding 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice, cut the water in half, and add Sprite or Dr. Pepper to make up the difference.
How to Make Instant Pot Ham
Prepare the Saucepan: Start by combining the honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and pineapple juice in a saucepan. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Prepare the Ham: Lay your ham onto a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold the sides up, shaping it like a bowl.
Prepare the Glaze: Once your glaze is bubbling, pour it over the top of the ham, saving about a quarter of it for later.
Wrap the Ham: Securely wrap the foil around the ham, ensuring it’s fully covered.
Prepare the Instant Pot: Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot insert. Position a foil sling on top of the trivet, then place the wrapped ham on top of the sling.
Cook the Ham: Secure the lid to the Instant Pot and set the valve to SEAL. Pressure cook based on the weight of your ham. After the timer has gone off, let it naturally release for a bit then do a quick release.
Broil the Ham: Transfer the ham to an oven-safe dish for broiling. Brush the remaining glaze onto the ham and place it into the oven to broil until golden brown.
Serve: Transfer the ham to a serving dish, slice, and serve with your preferred sides. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Choose Quality Ham: The star of this dish is the ham. Choose a good quality, fresh ham for the best results. Remember, the better the ham, the better your dish will taste!
- Don’t Skip the Glaze: The glaze is what makes this ham special. The combination of honey, brown sugar, garlic, pineapple juice, and ground ginger creates a flavor that’s both sweet and tangy. Don’t skip it!
- Secure the Foil: Make sure to wrap the ham securely in the aluminum foil. This step is crucial as it helps retain the ham’s natural juices, keeping it moist and flavorful during cooking.
- Save Some Glaze: When pouring the glaze over the ham, remember to set a little bit aside. This leftover glaze can be brushed onto the ham just before broiling, giving it a deliciously caramelized finish.
- Use the Drippings: Don’t discard the drippings that collect in the foil during cooking. These drippings are packed with flavor and can be used to make a fantastic ham gravy to serve alongside the ham. Trust me, your family will thank you for it!
Can You Heat Up a Precooked Ham in an Instant Pot?
Absolutely! The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen gadget that makes heating up a precooked ham a breeze. Just remember to adjust your cooking time accordingly based on the weight of your ham. This way, your precooked ham will come out perfectly warm and tender.
How Do You Keep a Precooked Ham Moist?
The key to keeping a precooked ham moist is to wrap it securely in foil before cooking. This ensures that the ham retains all its natural juices. Also, using a sweet glaze will not only add flavor but also help to lock in moisture.
What’s the Best Liquid to Keep Ham Moist?
For our Instant Pot Ham recipe, we use a combination of honey, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and water to keep the ham moist. The pineapple juice adds a lovely tanginess and the honey and brown sugar help to create a delicious glaze that locks in the moisture. Water creates the necessary steam for cooking in the Instant Pot. This combination results in a moist and flavorful ham.
What Size Of Ham Should I Use?
That depends on the size of your Instant Pot. A 6-quart Instant Pot can accommodate a ham that’s about 4-5 pounds, while an 8-quart pot can handle a ham that’s up to 7-8 pounds.
What Type Of Ham Works Best?
A fully cooked ham works best for this recipe. Look for a ham that’s labeled as ‘fully cooked’, ‘ready-to-eat’ or ‘heat-and-serve’.
Can I Use Fresh Pineapple Juice?
Absolutely! Fresh pineapple juice adds a delicious and natural sweetness to the ham. Canned pineapple juice works just as well though.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other holiday recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- Ham Gravy
- Boneless Prime Rib
- Au Jus
- How to Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Better
- Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole
- Boneless Turkey Breast
- Turkey Gravy without Drippings
- Christmas Chicken
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3-5 pound spiral sliced ham (fully cooked)
- 1 cup water
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and pineapple juice together and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Once bubbling, turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
- While the glaze is simmering, prepare the ham by laying it onto a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold the sides up, shaping it like a bowl (do your best to fold the sides up evenly because this is going to catch the ham drippings so you can make gravy).
- Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot insert.
- Pour the glaze over top of the ham, saving about 1/4 cup. Wrap the foil securely around the ham.
- Before putting the ham into the Instant Pot, cut another piece of foil long enough to use as a sling, making it easier to lift the ham out after cooking. Place the sling on top of the trivet, then place the ham on top of the sling.
- Secure the lid to the Instant Pot and set the valve to SEAL, hit the pressure cook button, turn off the warm mode, and set the timer to 2 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes. (For the 4.5 pound ham shown in the photos, that would be 19 minutes of pressure cook time.)
- After the timer has gone off, let it naturally release for 15 minutes then do a quick release by switching the valve to VENT to release any remaining steam.
- 5 minutes before the natural release is done, turn the oven on to broil. Once the pressure has been released, unwrap the ham from the foil and transfer it to an oven safe dish that can withstand broiling temperatures. Always check the internal temperature of the ham with a meat thermometer. It should read 140 degrees Fahrenheit for pre-cooked hams that are just being heated through. Reserve the drippings to make this ham gravy to serve with the ham. Brush the remaining glaze onto the ham, place into the oven and broil until golden brown (about 8 minutes).
- Transfer the ham to a serving dish, slice, and serve with desired sides.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 505Total Fat: 24.1gCarbohydrates: 37.6gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 31.3gProtein: 37.7g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you and your family love this Instant Pot Ham recipe as much as mine does!