This Easy Spiral Ham with Apple Cider Glaze is perfect for your Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter table! It’s SO easy to prepare and the glaze adds an incredible touch of sticky-sweetness.
If you’d ask any member of our family here which they prefer on the holiday table, turkey or ham, it’s going to be ham hands down, every time.
Don’t get me wrong, we love turkey.
But we love how easy ham is to prepare. It really takes a lot of the stress out of the holidays when you don’t have to worry quite as much about how to cook the main event!
Since I’ve discovered spiral ham I’ve never really gone back.
I mean, if ham was the golden ticket to a stress-free holiday dinner, a spiral ham is just extra insurance.
Even though hams are large and take some time to heat through, for the most part they come fully cooked (be sure to check), and a spiral ham is sliced nice and thin so there’s no awkward moment in front of the fam when you realize you don’t know how to wield a knife that large 😉
How to choose a spiral ham:
- Choose a grocer or butcher you trust — you want quality for a good price! Thankfully around the holidays, hams go on sale all the time.
- The standard recommendation is to make sure you have 1/2 pound of ham (or any meat) per person, but depending on who you are feeding and how many sides you have, I think this number is rather high. If you’re feeding children as well as adults, you can plan on less (but the leftovers store great!).
- All spiral hams are bone-in but don’t be intimidated by this. Since the majority comes pre-sliced, it’s just the end you’ll have to work around.
- Thick or thin slices — not all spiral hams are cut the same! Some are cut thicker and some are cut thinner, so once you find one your family loves, stick to the same brand year after year.
How to make Crockpot Spiral Ham:
Hams are great for throwing in the crockpot before the big day, too, since they don’t need a lot of babysitting!
You are going to need to cook a spiral ham for 8-10 hours on low before it’s heated through. Throw some apple juice or apple cider in the bottom of the slow cooker, and let it cook on low overnight if you’re serving lunch, or start early in the day if you’re serving dinner.
If you don’t have quite that long, you can always give it a head start on high for roughly 4 hours, depending on the size of your ham.
Tips for making Spiral Ham ahead:
Since there’s not really much prep that needs to be done to cook a spiral ham, there isn’t really a lot that can be done in advance.
You can prepare the apple cider glaze in full up to 2 or 3 days before you are going to cook your ham.
If it makes the big day even easier for you, feel free to cook, then slice completely and place in a large rimmed baking dish, and cover with the glaze. Reheat in the oven, covered, on 275 degrees F for an hour or until warmed.
How to freeze leftover ham:
You can place leftover sliced ham in large freezer bags and flatten to the best of your ability (this allows for quicker thawing when the time comes). I recommend freezing in single-meal portions for you or your family, as you don’t want to thaw and refreeze.
You can freeze cooked ham for up to 3 months.
Variations on this Spiral Ham with Apple Cider Ham Glaze:
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, but be sure to double check all of your ingredients before preparing.
- Feel free to use another juice (pineapple or orange would be great), red wine, or another liquid to make your glaze if you want to get a little crazy. Personally, for us it’s hard to beat the apple and ham combo, but you do you!
- I’ve found that most spiral hams include a glaze packet — if you want to cut down on time, feel free to use the packaged glaze if you prefer.
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Spiral Ham with Apple Cider Glaze
- 3-4 kg spiral sliced ham 7-9 lbs
- 2 cups spiced apple cider (not apple juice)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Wrap ham entirely in tin foil or place in an oven-safe roasting bag — this keeps it moist!
- Bake ham for 2.5-3 hours, or roughly 40 minutes per kg. Remember that the ham is fully cooked (be sure to check your label), so you are simply heating through. You don’t want to overcook and dry out your ham!
- Remove the ham from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. While the ham is resting, make the glaze.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cider, sugar and corn starch.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Serve over ham.
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