A Recipe for Slow-Cooker Cola Ham with a Brown Sugar Glaze

Christmas dinner. Organic ham roasted with sage and thyme leaves and apple chutney
Diana Miller / Getty Images
  • 8 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 9 to 12 servings slow-cooker ham
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This easy slow-cooker ham recipe is made with a fully cooked ham, brown sugar, mustard, and cola. You can use either light or dark brown sugar in the glaze for this popular dish.

If your ham is not fully cooked, make sure it reaches the minimum safe temperature of 145 F (63 C). Also, make sure the ham you buy will fit comfortably in your slow cooker.

See the tips and variations below for ideas and flavor variations, including instructions for a pineapple-topped ham and a variation on the mustard glaze.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup cola (Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, etc.)
  • 1 fully cooked (4- to 5-pound) bone-in ham or 3- to 5-pound boneless ham
  • Whole cloves, optional

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and mustard, blending well.
  2. Moisten the mixture with just enough cola to make a smooth paste. Reserve the remaining cola and set aside.
  3. Score the ham with shallow slashes in a diamond pattern. Rub ham with the brown sugar paste mixture. If desired, insert whole cloves in each "X" in the diamond pattern.
  4. Place ham in the slow cooker and add the remaining cola.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and continue cooking the ham for 7 to 9 hours longer. Baste the ham about 1 hour before it's done.
  1. A fully cooked ham is done when it reaches a temperature of 140 F (60 C). If your ham is not pre-cooked, the minimum safe temperature is 145 F (62.8 C). Use an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham (not touching bone).

Note: A larger ham can be cooked in a large slow cooker. Cook for 1 hour on HIGH, then 8 to 10 hours on LOW.  See this meat temperature chart for safe cooking tips.

Tips and Variations

  • Pineapple-Topped Cola Ham: Place several pineapple slices over the surface of the ham, securing them with toothpicks. If desired, stick a cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice with more toothpicks.
  • Citrus Flavor: Add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (or orange juice) for citrus flavor.
  • Gourmet Mustard: Replace the dry mustard with 1 heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard or a favorite gourmet mustard blend.
  • Spicy Ham: Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the glaze mixture for a touch of spice.
  • Adjust for Larger Hams: For a larger ham prepared in a large slow cooker, the glaze can be doubled.

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