Christmas Ham Recipe

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Is this your first time hosting Christmas dinner? 

Or maybe you’re just asking yourself, “Which ham is the right ham to make for Christmas Day?”

When it’s the holidays, the answer is easy. Always a Christmas ham recipe!  

Christmas Ham Recipe

Then, of course, in the New Year, there’s Easter ham!

But when it’s the end of the year holiday season, There’s nothing like enjoying a delicious Christmas ham recipe with your family and friends. 

Surrounded by warmth, laughter, and all the holiday festivities. 

How is Christmas ham made?

This glazed Christmas ham is coated in pineapple juice and a sweet brown sugar glaze. Then cooked until golden brown and caramelized – yum!

The glaze caramelizes as the ham cooks, making the ham deliciously sweet and glossy with a sticky mahogany crust. 

Each slice is so tender and juicy that it melts in your mouth!

The best part is this Christmas ham recipe is super easy to make. 

What’s not to love?

So put that dry and flavorless baked ham behind us and surprise your guests this Christmas with a beautifully baked ham drenched in a vibrant, sweet yet salty glaze. 

Guaranteed you’ll bring your guests back for more!

Whether you’re hosting a holiday feast or looking for new ways to brighten your Christmas dinner, this glazed ham recipe is a welcome addition to any table. 

With spiral-cut ham, there are many possibilities!

Do you serve Christmas ham hot or cold?

Do you serve Christmas ham hot or cold?

You can slice a Christmas ham thin and serve it on sandwiches – just cooked or a day later from the refrigerator cold. 

Or, as a traditional ham, keep it whole and serve it as a centerpiece on your Christmas holiday table!

With delicious cinnamon-infused brown sugar and pineapple glaze, this recipe is as easy to make as it is tasty to eat.

Traditional Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham

What can you add to ham for flavor?

Pineapple and ham is a classic combination, so why not turn it into a glaze?

Yes, cooked ham is best glazed! With delicious sweet sauces like a mustard powder or mustard glaze (honey mustard or Dijon mustard). Or with orange juice, brown sugar, pineapple, maple syrup, or a honey-glazed ham. 

An old-fashioned Christmas ham recipe is glazed and decorated with cloves, pineapple rounds, and maraschino cherries.

The combination of the ham’s saltiness and the glaze’s sweetness makes for a sweet and salty taste beyond compare. 

And this Christmas ham recipe introduces a spiced pineapple-brown sugar glaze!

When should you put the glaze on your ham?

A generous amount of glaze is brushed onto the ham before it’s pressure cooked or baked. 

The ham is then baked until it’s crisp, brown, and glossy. Because a glaze should be thick enough to cover the ham.

Many Christmas ham recipes borrow from this soul food pineapple glazed ham recipe

How do you make ham glaze?

How do you make ham glaze?

So the glaze includes crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves with a hint of vanilla extract.

Related recipes:

Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham
Black folks are famous for our sweet ham glaze recipes, especially with pineapple and brown sugar. So you may know this Black folks soul food recipe by other names like pineapple ham, pineapple baked ham, or pineapple and brown sugar ham.
No matter what you call it, it's the same beautiful and delicious glazed ham recipe masterpiece!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham

Pineapple glazed Christmas ham recipe

Kitchen equipment for a soul food ham

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How do you cook a glazed ham?

Ingredients for a Christmas ham recipe

  • 4–6-pound spiral-sliced ham (already sliced upon purchase)
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 cup of pineapple juice
  • ½ a cup of crushed pineapple (fresh pineapple or canned pineapple)
  • 3 cups of light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch 

How long do you cook a glazed ham?

Wondering how do you cook a store-bought Christmas ham or a pre-cooked holiday ham?

How do you cook a glazed ham?

You can bake it in a roasting pan. Or my favorite way. Pressure cook it.

What is the best cooking method for ham?

Follow the instructions below to quickly and easily Instant Pot pressure cook a Christmas spiral ham.

What is the best cooking method for ham?

Instructions for a Christmas ham recipe

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the water into the stainless-steel inner pot. 
  2. Prepare the ham’s glaze by whisking the pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, vanilla extract, and cornstarch, and set the mixture aside.
  3. Place the ham in the Instant Pot baking sling. (If you don’t have a baking sling, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil folded up to make a hammock-like sling shape around the ham.)
  4. Gently separate the slices of the spiraled ham, and use a large serving spoon to pour the pineapple glaze over the ham and between the spiraled slices.
  5. Secure the Instant Pot baking sling around the ham. (If using foil, make sure it’s securely wrapped around the ham and there’s enough foil for ‘handles’ to lift the ham.)
  6. Using the handles of the baking sling, place the ham in the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot. (If using an aluminum foil sling, put the Instant Pot trivet rack in the stainless-steel inner pot. Then using the aluminum foil sling handles, place the ham on the trivet rack inside the pot.)
  7. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 2 minutes per pound of ham (For example, pressure cook a 5-pound ham for 10 minutes). *Add an additional 5 minutes of pressure-cooking time if you’re using a heavy-duty aluminum foil sling. (Ex. 15 minutes for a 5-pound ham in a foil sling).
  8. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least the same time as your pressure-cooked the ham. (For example, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release for a 5-pound ham. 15 minutes of natural pressure release if the 5-pound ham is in a heavy-duty foil sling.)
  9. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  10. If your ham is not done when the pressure-cooking time is complete, add an additional 3-5 minutes and pressure cook on high again.
  11. After the pressure is released, remove the ham from the Instant Pot using the baking sling handles (or the aluminum foil sling handles). You may need to use oven mitts.
  12. Place the fully cooked ham on a large platter and remove the baking sling (or aluminum foil) by gently sliding it from under the ham. 
  13. Optionally, garnish your Black folks’ pineapple glazed ham with a medley of festive fruits around the platter, like cut pomegranates, figs, clementines, oranges, cranberries, or apples. Pearl onions, fresh parsley, and baby arugula also add a beautiful touch!
  14. Serve your pre-sliced Christmas ham recipe right away, and enjoy!

Pro tips:

  • This Christmas ham recipe is for a pre-sliced, pre-cooked ham, so you don’t have to worry about achieving a cooked internal temperature.
  • This recipe is for a 4–6-pound ham. If you’re making a larger ham, simply use the dynamic recipe card below to double the ingredients. 
  • For a ham larger than 6 pounds, use an Instant Pot larger than the standard 6-quart size. Or you can use the same recipe ingredients for baking your ham in the oven.
  • You can use the remaining glaze from the pot or pan juices to brush on the ham, baste the ham, or dip for the ham on a serving tray.
Christmas Ham Recipe - What side dishes go with ham?

What side dishes go with ham?

Christmas ham pairs well with various side dishes, such as:

Check out these many delicious sides & Christmas recipes!

Southern Soul Food Christmas Side Dishes
The most magical time of the year & a holiday feast that should include Southern, savory, & soul food best Christmas dinner side dishes!
Check out this recipe!
Southern Soul Food Christmas Side Dishes
What cut of meat is a Christmas ham?

Christmas ham recipe FAQs

What type of ham is Christmas ham?

The term Christmas ham refers to a ham that is cured, smoked, or baked. In essence, cooked!

These hams are usually roasted and served at Christmas dinner. 

Because they are usually a bit leaner than other cuts, they are the perfect ham to prepare for a special holiday dinner.

What cut of meat is a Christmas ham?

Typically, when people think of a Christmas ham, they first think of the ham’s shank end. 

Pig leg meat tends to be leaner than other parts of the pig because there’s only one long bone in a bone-in ham from the shank, which makes carving it easier.

What’s the difference between ham and gammon?

Both are delicious and versatile cuts taken from the pig’s hind legs. 

However, gammon is meat that’s been cured (by salting, brining, or smoking) and sold raw.

Ham is meat that has been dry-cured or cooked and is sold ready to eat. 

So when gammon is cooked, it becomes ham!

How do you keep a Christmas ham moist?

How do you keep a Christmas ham moist?

Every year on Christmas Eve, countless families relish the delicious taste of Christmas ham. 

Nevertheless, you must be aware that there is still the possibility of drying out your holiday ham recipe while cooking it. So if you want to make sure your meat is juicy and tender, there’s a simple trick to keep moisture in.

Glazing your ham will help seal moisture and flavor while preserving its natural juices. 

It also helps prevent the ham from drying out during cooking.

 So, if you want to ensure that your holiday dinner goes off without a hitch, follow the instructions mentioned above for the perfect Christmas ham.

How much ham should you buy?

The age-old question, “How much ham per person?”

For boneless ham, ⅓ pound of ham for each person is recommended.

Do you put water in the pan when cooking ham?

Do you need to soak Christmas ham?

When cooking ham, you should put water in the pan. Not enough water to soak the ham. Enough in the pan to create a moist environment and prevent the ham from drying out.

What temperature should you cook your Christmas ham?

This recipe is for 4-6 pounds of pre-cooked boneless ham pressure cooked on high for 2 minutes per pound of ham. 

For example, pressure cook a 5-pound ham for 10 minutes. 

Add 5 minutes of pressure-cooking time if you use the Instant Pot with a heavy-duty aluminum foil sling. (Ex. 15 minutes for a 5-pound ham in a foil sling).

You should pressure cook this glazed pineapple ham on high for 2 minutes per pound of ha. For example, if you have five pounds of ham, you need to pressure cook it on a high setting for 10 minutes.

Attention: If you are cooking your ham wrapped in a heavy-duty aluminum foil sling, then you need to add an additional 5 minutes of pressure-cooking time—for example, 15 minutes for 5 pounds of ham.

Do you put water in the pan when cooking ham?

Instant Pot to oven recipe conversion

Instant Pot cook time | Oven cook time

40 minutes | 2 hours

30 minutes | 1 ½ hours

20 minutes | 1 hour

10 minutes | 30 minutes

*pressure cooking on high | oven cook times may vary by oven type

Instant Pot Cooking Times
How to cook with Instant Pot is one of my favorite topics!
I wish everyone knew how easy Instant Pot cooking is for busy households – one-pot… straight to plate!
Print my helpful Instant Pot cooking times chart to always know how long to let meats, seafood, vegetables, eggs, rice, grains, and beans pressure cook inside the pot.
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Instant Pot Cooking Times Guide by The Soul Food Pot

Can you cook a Christmas ham the day before?

When should you buy a Christmas ham? Or should you cook your ham on Christmas Eve?

Typically, Christmas hams come pre-cooked because they are smoked or cured. 

The ham’s salty, smoky, and distinctive taste comes from this cooking method, so the host does not have to worry about serving undercooked meat on the big day. 

However, you can still pressure cook a pre-cooked ham a day before serving.

What do you do with leftover ham?

The holidays are over, but you have leftover ham. Don’t worry! 

There are lots of delicious things you can make with it. 

You can create an array of tasty dishes. For example, place ham on a charcuterie board with ham and cheese. 

 

Or make biscuits and ham, leftover ham sandwiches, homemade pot pie with ham, or use ham slices (since there is no ham bone) for ham hock meat flavoring in your collard greens.

How do you slice ham?

How do you slice ham?

There are many ways to slice ham, but I’ll focus on the spiral-cut method.

The spiral cut method is often the most visually appealing for slicing ham.

It involves cutting thin slices of meat, like carving a pumpkin or other round object at Halloween time

The process can be done with an electric knife, but it’s also easy enough to do by hand using a regular kitchen knife. 

  • First, lay the ham down on its flat side and slice off any fat you see hanging from underneath. 
  • Then turn your attention towards making spirals out of the rest of the ham until you are left with just one small chunk in the middle, which won’t fit into your pattern. 
  • Don’t forget to carve extra ham slices before serving, so everyone gets their fair share!

So what’s the secret to this fancy ham’s undeniably sweet flavor?

The secret to this ultra juicy ham, easy recipe is a Black folks’ recipe!

Black people are famous for our sweet ham glaze recipes, especially with pineapple and brown sugar.

So you may know this Black folks soul food recipe by other names like pineapple ham, pineapple baked ham, or pineapple and brown sugar ham.

How stunning is this Christmas ham?

Merry Christmas!

How stunning is this Christmas ham?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

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Christmas Ham
Christmas Ham Recipe

Christmas Ham Recipe

Which ham is the right ham to make for Christmas Day?
A Christmas ham! Coated in pineapple juice and a sweet brown sugar glaze. Then cooked until golden brown and caramelized – yum! The best part is this Christmas ham recipe is super easy to make. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black folks pineapple glazed ham, Christmas ham, Christmas ham recipe, Christmas recipe, how long to cook a spiral ham, how to cook a pre-cooked ham, Instant Pot ham, Instant Pot recipe, pineapple glazed ham, soul food, soul food ham, southern food
Servings: 24
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Instant Pot 6-quart electric pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot baking sling or heavy-duty aluminum foil & the Instant Pot trivet rack
  • Roasting pan (if not using the Instant Pot)

Ingredients

  • 6 pound ham pre-cooked, pre-spiraled 4-6 pound ham
  • 1 ½ cups water for the Instant Pot
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple fresh pineapple or canned pineapple
  • 3 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the water into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Prepare the ham’s glaze by whisking the pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, vanilla extract, and cornstarch, and set the mixture aside.
  • Place the ham in the Instant Pot baking sling. (If you don’t have a baking sling, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil folded up to make a hammock-like sling shape around the ham.)
  • Gently separate the slices of the spiraled ham, and use a large serving spoon to pour the pineapple glaze over the ham and between the spiraled slices.
  • Secure the Instant Pot baking sling around the ham. (If using foil, make sure it’s securely wrapped around the ham and there’s enough foil for ‘handles’ to lift the ham.)
  • Using the handles of the baking sling, place the ham in the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot. (If using an aluminum foil sling, put the Instant Pot trivet rack in the stainless-steel inner pot. Then using the aluminum foil sling handles, place the ham on the trivet rack inside the pot.)
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 2 minutes per pound of ham (For example, pressure cook a 5-pound ham for 10 minutes). *Add an additional 5 minutes of pressure-cooking time if you're using a heavy-duty aluminum foil sling. (Ex. 15 minutes for a 5-pound ham in a foil sling).
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least the same time as your pressure-cooked the ham. (For example, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release for a 5-pound ham. 15 minutes of natural pressure release if the 5-pound ham is in a heavy-duty foil sling.)
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • If your ham is not done when the pressure-cooking time is complete, add an additional 3-5 minutes and pressure cook on high again.
  • After the pressure is released, remove the ham from the Instant Pot using the baking sling handles (or the aluminum foil sling handles). You may need to use oven mitts.
  • Place the fully cooked ham on a large platter and remove the baking sling (or aluminum foil) by gently sliding it from under the ham.
  • Optionally, garnish your Black folks’ pineapple glazed ham with a medley of festive fruits around the platter, like cut pomegranates, figs, clementines, oranges, cranberries, or apples. Pearl onions, fresh parsley, and baby arugula also add a beautiful touch!
  • Serve your pre-sliced Christmas ham recipe right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • This Christmas ham recipe is for a pre-sliced, pre-cooked ham, so you don’t have to worry about achieving a cooked internal temperature.
  • This recipe is for a 4–6-pound ham. If you’re making a larger ham, simply use the dynamic recipe card below to double the ingredients. 
  • For a ham larger than 6 pounds, use an Instant Pot larger than the standard 6-quart size. Or you can use the same recipe ingredients for baking your ham in the oven.
  • You can use the remaining glaze from the pot or pan juices to brush on the ham, baste the ham, or dip for the ham on a serving tray.
  • Christmas Ham Recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1355mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Christmas Ham Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
397
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Cholesterol
 
70
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
1355
mg
59
%
Potassium
 
385
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
31
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
29
g
32
%
Protein
 
25
g
50
%
Vitamin A
 
5
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
41
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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