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Juicy Instant Pot Ham for the Holidays

Instant Pot Ham is the perfect holiday main dish. You’ll want to serve this juicy brown sugar-glazed ham for Christmas, Easter, even Thanksgiving (way better than turkey in my opinion!)

spiral cut ham with orange wedges and fresh green herbs

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It’s so quick and easy to make, leaving you free to focus on the rest of the meal—appetizers, side dishes, and scrumptious desserts.

Cooking a holiday meal is always a logistical challenge. When will you roast your sweet potatoes or bake your cake if the main dish is cooking in the oven for 6 hours? This Instant Pot Ham recipe is a great solution!

You can cook your spiral sliced ham in the Instant Pot while you tend to the rest of your holiday dinner. And the best part is, the ham won’t dry out the way it might in the oven. You’ll be eating juicy ham in well under an hour.

This electric pressure cooker ham is perfect for Christmas dinner, Easter dinner, or even Thanksgiving dinner.

WHY INSTANT POT HAM?

The Instant Pot heats your spiral ham with wet heat so that the meat doesn’t dry out, because few things are sadder than a dry ham. The pressure cooker works by building up steam inside the pot.

It’s a great way to cook ham because all that moisture means that your meat won’t dry out. The best part is that this brown sugar-glazed ham is ready to eat in just about 45 minutes!

That frees both you up for making side dishes or desserts, getting the house ready for the party, setting your holiday table, or simply relaxing!

overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make instant pot ham

What ingredients do you need to make Instant Pot ham?

This Instant Pot Ham has an orange and brown sugar glaze that is absolutely delectable. Here are the simple ingredients (note that the entire recipe with complete measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions is included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.):

  • 1 bone-in, spiral cut ham (fully cooked) (to fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot, look for one that is 5 to 7 pounds. The one I used for these photos, which was actually a half ham, was just under 7 pounds and just barely fit in my pot. If you have an 8-quart pot, you can go up to about 8 pounds. Either way, you likely can’t fit a whole ham in.)
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Orange juice and zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cloves

How do you cook ham in the Instant Pot?

It is really easy to cook a delicious ham in the Instant Pot, and it’s quick too! Here’s how (note that the entire recipe with complete measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions is included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)

  1. Place the trivet in the inner pot along with 1 cup of water (or 1 ½ if using an 8-quart pressure cooker)
  2. Lay two long pieces (long enough to go all the way around the ham) of heavy-duty aluminum foil crisscrossed one on top of the other, making an X or a cross.
  3. Place the ham on top of the foil in the middle.
  4. Stir together the sugar, mustard, orange zest and juice, and spices.
  5. Brush and drizzle the glaze onto the ham, gently pulling the slices of meat apart to get some of the glaze down in between the ham slices. Reserve some of the glaze for later.
  6. Wrap the top piece of foil around the ham and then wrap the other piece around it. The ham should be completely covered and well wrapped in the foil.
  7. Place the ham on the trivet in the Instant Pot.
  8. Cover and seal the pot and and cook at high pressure for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your ham (20 minutes for a 5- to 6-pound ham, 25 minutes for a 7-pound ham, 30 minutes for an 8-pound ham.)
  9. Once the cooking time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 to 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  10.  Meanwhile, preheat the broiler or your oven to 500ºF.
  11. When you remove the ham from the Instant Pot, place it on a baking sheet and open up the foil.
  12. Brush, drizzle, or pour the remaining glaze over the top of the ham and put under the broiler or in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the glaze bubbles and thickens.
  13. Serve immediately.
cooked spiral ham

Tips for Success

  • Look for a fully cooked, spiral-cut ham for this recipe.
  • Bring the ham to room temperature before cooking. To do this, just let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Be sure to use heavy-duty foil. Regular foil will tear when you try to move the heavy ham around.
  • If you have an 8-quart Instant Pot, it will be easier to fit the ham in. For these photos, I cooked a 7-pound ham in my 6-quart Instant Pot. It took a bit of smushing to make the ham fit, but it worked out fine.
  • If you can’t fit the ham in with the trivet, crumple some foil and place it in the bottom of the pot. This will raise the ham up just enough that it isn’t sitting in the water.
  • Save leftover ham either in an airtight container in the refrigerator i (for 3 or 4 days) or in the freezer in freezer bags (for up to 6 months).
  • Serve with dinner rolls or soft sweet rolls like King’s Hawaiian Rolls and various types of mustard. I loved using Maille horseradish Dijon on my ham sammies.
  • Once you’ve cut all the meat from the bone, toss the bone into the Instant Pot. Add some split peas or other beans, broth, and seasonings to make a delicious pea soup or bean soup!
  • Or use the ham to make a ham and cheese quiche.
  • If you like, you can substitute pineapple juice for the orange juice.
  • You can substitute maple syrup for the honey or for some of the brown sugar.

What do you serve with Instant Pot Glazed Ham?

I love to serve this Instant Pot Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham on special occasions with Pommes Duchesse or Potatoes au Gratin and Maple Roasted Carrots.

Other ideas include Warm Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Green Bean Stuffing Casserole, Green Bean Salad, Gluten Free Creamed Corn, Hawaiian rolls (or any dinner rolls), and this Mandarin Orange Salad.

If you don’t want to use your Instant Pot, you can also boil ham.

low angle shot of the ham on a platter
low angle shot of a spiral sliced ham

Instant Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Robin Donovan
This easy instant pot ham has a brown sugar, honey, and orange glaze that makes it irresistible. Cooking it in the Instant Pot keeps it tender and juicy.
4.84 from 42 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine American
Calories 97 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 6- to 8-pound fully cooked, spiral cut, bone-in ham
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup orange juice

Instructions
 

  • Place the trivet in the inner pot along with 1 cup of water (or 1 ½ if using an 8-quart pressure cooker).
  •  Lay out two long pieces (long enough to go all the way around the ham) of heavy-duty aluminum foil crisscrossed one on top of the other.
  • Place the ham on top of the foil in the middle where the two pieces cross.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, mustard, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  •  Brush and drizzle the glaze onto the ham, gently pulling the slices of meat apart to get some of the glaze down in between the slices. Reserve some of the glaze for later.
  • Wrap the top piece of foil around the ham and then wrap the other piece around it. The ham should be completely covered and well wrapped in the foil.
  • Place the ham on the trivet in the Instant Pot.
  • Cover and seal the pot and pressure cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the ham (for 20 minutes for a 5- to 6-pound ham, 25 minutes for a 7-pound ham, 30 minutes for an 8-pound ham.)
  •  Once the cooking time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 to 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  •  Meanwhile, preheat the broiler or your oven to 500ºF.
  •  When you remove the ham from the Instant Pot, place it on a baking sheet and open up the foil.
  •  Brush, drizzle, or pour the remaining glaze over the top of the ham and put under the broiler or in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the glaze bubbles and thickens.
  •  Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 3gFat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 217mgSugar: 19g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on October 11th, 2021
Photo of Robin Donovan

About Robin Donovan

Robin Donovan is the creative force behind All Ways Delicious. She's a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and cookbook author with more than 40 books to her name, including the bestselling Ramen for Beginners, Ramen Obsession, and Campfire Cuisine. Her work has been featured in major publications, both print and digital, including MSN, Cooking Light, Fitness, Buzzfeed, and Eating Well. More about Robin

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5 thoughts on “Juicy Instant Pot Ham for the Holidays”

  1. 5 stars
    I 100% agree with you that ham is better than Turkey on the holidays!! I did a test run of this recipe over the weekend and loved it so much – love the sugar glaze, and LOVE that it’s so hands off once it goes in the oven, allowing me to get my other dishes made. Perfect for the holidays!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Oooh, this was great and now my new favorite way to do ham! Thanks for the tip about smushing up the foil for a trivet, that helped!!

    Reply
  3. I’m not a ham person but some holidays people go nuts if there’s not a ham on the table so I tried this one out because it looked simple enough and love that it was done in the IP to keep my oven free. Came out perfect and I actually enjoyed a few slices. I really love that glaze. Will definitely be using that on pork chops in the future!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Wow, I tried this Instant Pot ham recipe for our holiday gathering, and it was a game-changer! The ham turned out incredibly juicy and flavorful, and the best part was how much time it saved me in the kitchen. Love it!!!

    Reply

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