This Slow Cooker Balsamic Cherry Glazed Ham couldn’t be easier — the slow cooker keeps the meat so juicy and the Balsamic Cherry Glaze adds so much sweet and tangy flavor! It’s perfect for Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Includes step by step recipe video.
Friends. If you aren’t on the holiday glazed ham train, jump on board ASAP.
Seriously though, it’s so easy to make a real ham (I mean the kind that is not just that watery, pureed, perfectly-molded oval hunk of meat of some sort), that I don’t even want to worry about a turkey.
I’ve made a few turkeys in my day, and I’m just not quite there yet, you know? First, they’re so huge, so how do you defrost them, and do you brine or not brine, and how long to bake, etc., etc., etc.. Then they turn out maybe a little dry (hey — at least it’s not underbaked!) or maybe a little lacking in flavor… and you slaved over the thing for like 4 days. Am I the only one??
But ham. Sweet, glorious ham.
It’s just so darn easy!
First, most hams comes fully cooked (yes, even the real deal hams), and so, yes, you want them hot but there’s no worrying about poisoning any of your guests. Second, they usually come refrigerated and keep a long time in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to worry about thawing that big hunk of meat.
Third, if that big hunk of meat doesn’t fit in your slow cooker? You just do a little trimming! It’s not going to look or taste any different, and you’re not even really working with raw meat. So you just save that little slice to fry up with your breakfast hash or throw in your Christmas morning quiche and you’re good to go. No problemo.
And lastly, we just love ham here. Especially with this perfectly sweet and tangy Balsamic Cherry Glaze. I honestly don’t know if it gets much better for the holidays.
Tips and Tricks for Making this Slow Cooker Balsamic Cherry Glazed Ham:
- Choose a good ham. A bad ham is still going to be a bad ham even with the most delicious glaze! For the holidays, I like to look for a fully cooked, skinless, shankless, bone-in ham, weighing about 8-9 pounds.
- Know your slow cooker. Some slow cookers get way hotter than others. Since the ham is already cooked, it won’t matter too much, but since it’s a large piece of meat you do want it hot all the way through. For this recipe I used my 6 quart Hamilton Beach slow cooker (<– also awesome because it will tell you how hot it is inside!)
- Use dark, sweet cherries. I know they’re not in season now, but I use frozen (that I’ve saved from the summer, or you can buy them easily at the grocery store!) and they make the sauce.
- This ham will obviously serve a lot of people, depending on how many side dishes you have on the menu. You should figure 1/4-1/2 pound of meat per person, depending on the amount of servings and if you’re feeding a lot of adults or children, etc.
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Slow Cooker Balsamic Cherry Glazed Ham Recipe + VIDEO
- 3-4 kg skinless, shankless bone-in ham 8-9lb
- 3 cups dark sweet cherries fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup liquid honey
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place ham in 6 quart slow cooker, trimming if necessary so that the lid closes, and score the top so that the glaze can sink into the meat.
- To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add cherries, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until cherries have softened.
- Puree until smooth (I use an immersion blender and a deep bowl for this — if you’re using a smaller, deeper skillet it should work right in the pan).
- Return sauce to pan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced (it will be thick and syrupy), about 5-8 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Brush ham with 3-4 tablespoons glaze, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove ham from slow cooker, slice, and serve with remaining glaze (reheated if desired).
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