If you’ve ever bought a refrigerated pre-cooked ham, then you know that the suggested cook time to warm it back up is based on the number of pounds, and could take hours. You get a warm ham, but it’s also usually pretty dry in the middle. I’ve found that you can pressure cook a ham in a fraction of the time and keep it moist and delicious.
How to Heat Fully Cooked Ham in a Pressure Cooker
When I set out to buy a pressure cooker, one of the reasons I chose a 10 quart size was so that I could cook large chunks of meat like a bone-in, or spiral cut ham. With the steamer tray inserted, the ham fit perfectly. Pour at least a cup of water in the bottom and bring your cooker up to pressure.
Each pressure cooker has different guidelines for the amount of water that is needed in the bottom, check with your instructions.
If you have a larger ham, or a smaller pressure cooker, you might need to cut off part of the bone-in ham and do some stacking. Most pressure cookers and Instant Pots are only 6 quarts inside the vessel. Place the bone-in ham on a cutting board, with the bone sticking up, and “trim” it to fit.
If you’re interested in a 10 quart pressure cooker, this is the Fagor Pressure Cooker that I use, available on Amazon.
Cooking Ham in a Pressure Cooker
I started with a pre-cooked 8 pound bone-in ham. Sometimes a bone-in ham is also called a spiral ham. You can even pressure cook honey ham if you purchased in refrigerated.
According to the package, it needed 1 hour and 15 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees, with another 10 minutes under the broiler with their included glaze packet. Some recipes set a lower temperature (around 350 degrees) and call for 20 minutes per pound. At that rate, it’ll be in the oven for almost two and a half hours!
By that time, the outside will be crispy and the inside will be dry as a bone. This is the reason you want to pressure cook a ham instead. Inside the pressure cooker, or an Instant Pot, you are cooking with steam. You’re also only cooking for about 20 minutes.
If your ham is 10 pounds or more, I’d suggest 25-28 minutes in the pressure cooker instead.
Some recipes that I researched suggested pouring black peppercorns and cloves into the cooking liquid to infuse that flavor into the meat. It’s a great idea. It’s sort of like when there’s eucalyptus oil in a steam shower. The flavors will essentially steam into the meat. However, I don’t like cloves, so I just used peppercorns.
Making a Maple-Honey Glaze for your Pressure Cooked Ham
When it’s done cooking, you’ll still want a nice flavorful crust on the outside. This is where the glaze comes in; and there’s usually one included with a ham. If you are doing a honey baked ham in a pressure cooker, omit the sauce
For me, the glaze packet was the first thing to go in the trash. The first three ingredients are usually High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup and then Sugar. And then a bunch of artificial flavors and stabilizers
I’d prefer to make my own glaze and use my own preferred ingredients. Now, using Maple Syrup and Honey as the core doesn’t exactly make this a low-sugar glaze, but it does avoid the HFCS and other nonsense.
While the ham is cooking, you can make the glaze and keep it over a low simmer. When the ham has finished, carefully remove it from the pressure cooker, or your Instant Pot, and place it on a sturdy sheet pan that’s lined with heavy duty aluminum foil.
The ham is going to be falling apart, so be careful.
Finishing the Pressure Cooked Bone-In Ham in the Oven
Brush the ham liberally with the glaze and place it under a broiler. You’ll want to watch it very carefully and rotate it around so that the glaze browns evenly and doesn’t scorch. Alternatively, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and give it 10 to 15 minutes.
I think you’ll find that pressure cooking a ham is a much better way to go than warming it up in the oven!
Using Pressure Cooked Ham Leftovers
I’m sure you’ll have no trouble going through it all, but don’t forget that the bone itself is useful too. All of the scraps and whatnot that’s still on the bone will make an amazing stock for soup!
You can put the ham bone back in your pressure cooker along with onions, spices and a lot of water to make pressure cooked ham stock.
From this stock, and with some leftover ham, you can make some amazing lentil soup!
And while you’re at it, you have to make ham salad with the other leftovers.
This is where it pays off to have a large 10 quart pressure cooker so you can make the big ham. And have a lot of leftovers to keep making even more dishes.
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 Bone-In Ham
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium and mix the ingredients well
- Place the ham in a pressure cooker, cook for 15 minutes according to your cooker’s guidelines and use a quick release
- Transfer the ham to an oven safe dish and baste liberally with the glaze
- Under a broiler, allow the glaze to caremelize and just slightly char on the edges (this will happen quickly)
- MSN: 13 Pressure Cooker Recipes that Ruled Pinterest in 2017
- The Kitchn: The Simple Trick That Makes Meat Cooked In the Pressure Cooker Even Better
- Instant Pot Eats: 15 Instant Pot Recipes for Thanksgiving
- Gnowfglins: Traditional Cooking School: Amazing, Easy & Healthy Pressure Cooker Recipes
- One Beautiful Home: Pressure Cooker Recipes
- This Pilgrim Life: 25 Ways to Make Your Instant Pot Shine this Holiday Season
- Slow Cooker from Scratch: The BEST Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Holiday Ham Recipes