Christmas Ham in the Slow Cooker (Honey Citrus)


Honey Citrus ham uses honey, mustard, ginger, cloves and cinnamon paired with a citrus blend to create a moist, juicy ham perfect for your Holiday dinner table!

photo by Tara Donne

We only have one more weekend before Christmas! It's time to start panicking!

I must be in complete denial because so far I've got this weird peaceful vibe going on. I sort of feel like things will just get done when they get done. Or they won't. But I'm oddly calm about the whole thing.

of course it might also be a side effect from all the spiked eggnog..........

Anyhow, if you are in charge of Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner and you're in the mood for ham, you should make this one. It's tasty and it involves citrus pulp, honey, cloves, and ginger ale. 

The Ingredients
serves 8

1 (6-to-7-pound bone-in spiral cut smoked ham
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 cup ginger ale

The Directions

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham, and discard the flavor packet. Place the ham into your insert (flat side down).

In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey, mustard, ginger, cloves, cinnamon. Smear this paste evenly all over the ham. Pour on citrus juices.

You can even do this the day before, if you'd like, to let the flavors meld, although it isn't necessary.


Pour ginger ale around the base of the ham -- you don't want to "wash" the glaze off of the ham, if you can help it.

 Cover, and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for about 3 hours.

Your ham can sit in the slow cooker for quite a while on the warm setting before carving, or you can take it out, carve it into pieces, then return it to the pot to stay warm in the yummy sauce until you and your guests are ready to eat.

Ham pairs well with Brussels Sprouts!


Honey Citrus ham uses honey, mustard, ginger, cloves and cinnamon paired with a citrus blend to create a moist, juicy ham perfect for your Holiday dinner table!


The Verdict

I made this ham for Thanksgiving, and Adam's grandpa said it was the best ham he ever ate (he put cranberry sauce on it, too), and when I recipe-tested this for the new book, I served it to seven children, and they all ate it!


Have a wonderful and joyful Holiday season. If you're not in the mood for ham, here are all of the Holiday-approved slow cooker recipes you might enjoy.

2017 is just around the corner. Let's make it a good one!!





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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 23, 2020

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What they say about this recipe

  1. This looks delicious, and if I have a ham in the freezer (I think I do), I have all the ingredients to try this. YUM!

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  2. What do you do if the ham is so large, the lid won't fit?

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  3. Hi Jodi,
    You can make a lid out of a few layers of foil -- go over the whole top and crimp on the sides. Be very careful removing the foil-- the steam will shoot out and it'll be hot!

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  4. I just picked up a spiral ham at Costco yesterday and was wondering what to do with it. Thanks to you and this yummy looking recipe, now I know!!

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  5. I'm not a ginger fan, any substitution suggestions or just omit?

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  6. Hi Lorie, go ahead and leave it out. There's enough flavor! Is the gingerale okay? You could do a lemonlime soda if desired.

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  7. Will this work on flash frozen fresh ham I get from pig share that I get from a local farm? It's not spiral cut. I have used your other ham recipes with this kinds of ham and they've worked. Want to try this one as it sounds so yum! :) And how long would I need to cook it for? Thank you so much!

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  8. I may try this for Christmas - it sounds great!

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  9. Hi Braleys -- yes. I'd definitely cook on the longer end of the time range and check with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. Don't poke at it until it's been in the pot for at least 4 hours on high, 6 or so on low --- since you're cooking with fresh you've got to make sure everything is thoroughly cooked whereas the smoked spiral cut is already fully cooked, it's actually just getting heated through.

    And I know you know this---- I'm just putting in writing just in case! :-) xoxox

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  10. Thanks so much Steph!!! I just wanted to make sure! Always feel better when you say it ;P

    xoxo - Annie

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  11. This is in the slow cooker as I type, for my office's Christmas lunch potluck. I probably shouldn't have the crockpot at my desk - the smell is VERY distracting, LOL. Can't wait to taste it!

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  12. I am going to make this for Christmas dinner tomorrow. My ham is a bit too tall for the 6 qt. crockpot, so thanks for the foil idea. I am going to smear it with the sauce tonight to let it soak in. Jane

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  13. I am wondering what you could sub for the ginger ale?
    We don't keep soda in the house.

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  14. In the crockpot now....already smells amazing!! Merry Christmas Steph, and thanks for the recipe :)

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  15. Hi Seagreenaz, you can use juice ~~ I'd try apple, white grape, lemonade, or orange juice.

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  16. This sounds amazing, and easy! Having spent over 30.00 for 1/2 Honeybaked that was dry and tasteless, I am very motivated to try this! Excuse me for being dense - but what does this mean "Place the ham into your insert"
    Thanks for a great site, Happy New Year.

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  17. Hi Ellen, you aren't dense! The insert is the part of the pot that you put your food inside of. Since it can come out for cleaning (unless you're using a super old cooker), it's called an insert.

    I hope you like this ham better than the other one!

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  18. Yes, I have one of the original crockpots! Thanks again, Ellen

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  19. This turned out badly. Fortunately, it wasn't the main course of the Christmas dinner but by following the directions and cooking time, it ended up dried out, indistinguishable with flavor and it looked extremely unappetizing. It was a flop and ended up getting thrown out.

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  20. oh no, Addy! I wonder what happened? I'm terribly sorry ~~ I hate wasting food, and I'm so sorry to have led you astray in any way.

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  21. I'm looking forward to tasting this later. My only concern is the hope that I'll be able to repurpose the leftovers. If nothing else, I should be able to use the bone for ham & beans. I hope that by not scoring the ham, I'll be able to use some of the interior meat for scalloped potatoes and ham. :)

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  22. Anonymous1/03/2014

    This looks really good. Surprisingly this was my first year cooking a Christmas ham and I also decided to put it in my crock pot. It turned out fabulous!

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  23. Anonymous12/15/2015

    Is there something else I can substitute for the spicy brown mustard? Please advise. Thank you.

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  24. Hi Anon, is it because you don't like mustard, or because you don't have any?
    If you don't like mustard, you can simply omit; there's plenty of moisture in the pot already.
    If you still want mustard flavor you can use a teaspoon of ground mustard. Hope this helps a bit, Steph

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  25. Anonymous12/12/2016

    The recipe lists 1 orange, juiced;1 lemon, juiced; and 1 lime, juiced. I don't see where to use it in the recipe directions. Also, would yellow mustard work well too.

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  26. This sounds way better than my usual ham! I'm going to have to try this for Christmas!

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  27. Hi Anon, thanks for telling me about the citrus juice -- I fixed it in the directions.
    I think yellow mustard would work just fine if you prefer that flavor. Whisk it with the spices and honey and it should smear on the same way.

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  28. Hi,
    I want to try this but don't know where to get a spiral cut ham. Do most grocery stores carry it? I googled it and only specialty stores came up, like Honeybaked and Harry and David, and they are expensive. I didn't see it online at Safeway or other grocery stores in my area. Thanks Jami

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  29. Hi Jami, the hams they start stocking at Safeway will be cut this way. They might use different wording -- I wonder if the HoneyBaked people trademarked the term?? -- anyway I have gotten our hams at Safeway before and they cut and cook the exact same way.
    :-)

    enjoy!!

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