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There are a few reasons why you should cook gammon in the slow cooker. After trying this easy FOOLPROOF recipe, you’ll see why! 

The results are a ham joint packed full of flavour and tenderness, with a honey, mustard and brown sugar glaze for a delicious crunch, all made with simplicity and convenience.

Side photo of finished joint of slow cooker ham on a wooden board with a white napkin, a bunch of parsley and two slices cut off coated in honey and brown sugar perfect for Christmas.

There is nothing better than turning to your trusty slow cooker when it comes to the festive season, when the kitchen gets busy, the oven gets full and time becomes precious.

We have a few secret weapons when it comes to making this slow cooker ham that’s PERFECT for (but not not exclusive to) Christmas time… 

  1. Apple juice and cider – An amazing combination to stew a ham joint in (feel free to only use one)
  2. The combination of slow cooking followed by a short, sharp roast – This gives us succulent meat AND a crunchy outer crust

I kid you not, this is the most sweet, tangy and satisfying hunk of ham to feed your family and friends with. What’s not to love?! 


❗️A quick note to say: This recipe is NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS. 

While yes, I use it every single year without fail at Christmas (because what is the festive holiday with a ham, I ask you?) BUT I also make it at other times of the year too. 

Gammon is a very cost-effective and tasty meat, and this boneless joint would be perfect for any Sunday lunch or a regular family dinner of ham, egg and chips! 

There are so many ways to use cooked ham during the week for meals too – in sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, pies, soups and loads more!


Did you know?

You can also cook a Roast Chicken, Beef Joint or Lamb Joint in the slow cooker too!

You could also try out my Campfire Stew if you have a ham joint for the slow cooker.


Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Ham recipe

⭐️ Delicious hot or cold

⭐️ Doesn’t take up oven space for too long

⭐️ Budget friendly showstopper to bring to the table!


Side photo of finished joint of slow cooker ham on a wooden board with a white napkin, a bunch of parsley and two slices cut off coated in honey and brown sugar.

How we came up with this recipe

I first published this recipe as my Cider Christmas Ham recipe here in 2014. (Oh my goodness, that feels like a lifetime ago!)

I decided to play around with it a little and see if I could simplify it for busy lives. I tried it in the slow cooker (or crock pot if you’re in America) and it was a definite winner. 

You can leave it all day if you like, without it needing too much attention, leaving you to get on with other things and free up space in the oven.

While gammon in the slow cooker tastes amazing and is unbelievably tender, I realised if I was going to do this properly, it would have to be finished off in the oven.

This is where the all-important honey glaze comes in. 

After a half hour short burst in the oven, you’ll see how we can have the best of both worlds with this foolproof recipe that you can use again and again!


Ingredients Notes

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Gammon laid out on a counter.
  • Gammon – I used smoked and boneless, but choice is down to personal preference. You can use unsmoked if you prefer. The quantities in this recipe is for a 2kg joint
  • To flavour – Peeled and halved carrots and onion go in with the gammon
  • Mixed spice – This is easily available in most supermarkets and is for rubbing into the joint before it goes into the slow cooker
  • Cider – Any type of alcoholic cider is fine, or replace with extra apple juice if you don’t want to use alcohol
  • Apple juice – Any type of apple juice (the cheap pure ones are fine!) The exact quantity will depend on the size of your slow cooker. Ideally the joint will be covered
  • Runny honey – Runny is best as you can easily spread it on the ham
  • Dark brown sugar – Light brown will work if it’s all you have
  • English mustard – This is optional but is a delicious addition!

How to make Slow Cooker Gammon

  1. Rub the mix into the ham, add all the slow cooker ingredients to the pan and cook according to the recipe below.

2. Take ham out, remove the string and layer of fat. Score and coat in honey and sugar, then roast as per the recipe below.


Substitutions

  • Cider – If you’d prefer not to use alcohol for your gammon’s bath in the slow cooker, you can use the whole amount of liquid as apple juice instead

Storing Slow Cooked Gammon

If you are eating the ham cold, it will be fine in the fridge for up to 3 days. Wrap it up well.

Top tips

Type of gammon joint

Ham on the bone does retain moisture and keeps its shape well, but for this recipe I use a boneless joint as it’s easy to handle and easy to carve. It’s personal preference really, just adjust your timings accordingly.

I also prefer to use smoked ham rather than unsmoked as it gives great depth of flavour.

However, just choose the best quality (ideally British) ham you can find in the local supermarket. Again, in terms of taste it’s personal preference. Use which bacon you’d buy as a guide.

Amount of liquid

I like to almost cover my ham with the liquid as this makes the cooked ham really juicy and moist. This slow cooker gammon recipe uses 500ml of cider and 1ltr of apple juice. You can vary the amount of apple juice depending on the size of your slow cooker. 

How to know when it’s cooked

If you are unsure of how to tell if your ham is cooked, you could invest in a meat thermometer.

This is the one I have found to be the most reliable and I use it all the time for many recipes. It’s not the cheapest option but it’s better than many I’ve tried.

Make a stock

Rather than discarding the liquid, you can use it for stock instead. Ham stock is great for making soups. Just test to make sure it isn’t too salty before using.

Line the baking tin

When it comes to the oven part of the recipe, make sure you line the baking tin with foil as the honey and sugar combo can really stick to the pan!

Use leftovers in…

FAQs

How long should I cook a ham in the slow cooker?

The beauty of this recipe is it can take as long as you have.

You can leave it in your slow cooker on HIGH for 4-6 hours, or if you are out all day, leave on LOW for 6-8 hours. It’s so versatile.

Can I cook this ham on the hob instead?

Yes, you can cook the ham on the hob for around 2 hours instead.

For this you need to know the weight of your joint. It requires 30 minutes cooker per 450g/1lb, plus an additional 30 minutes. Then finish it in the oven as per the recipe to glaze the joint. 

If I cook my Christmas ham this way, I tend to work out the total cooking time, then make sure that the boiling time + oven time = the total, so it’s not overcooked.

Do you have a slow cooker recommendation?

My favourite trusty slow cooker is the Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker for gas hobs as you can brown meat beforehand if necessary (I do try and avoid this most of the time though), or if anything needs a quick heat up after slow cooking. It’s also really light which is a bonus.

For induction hobs, I find that the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker is really good too.

What to serve with cooked gammon?

This depends on when and how you want to eat it. If it’s part of a buffet, simply carve it up.

You could also eat it sliced with egg and homemade chips, or in a sandwich, or with coleslaw and salad, with Colcannon or Boulangere Potatoes, diced in pasta sauce, in a pie or even a full roast dinner.

Should I soak gammon before cooking it?

If you’re in the UK, most gammon joints, even smoked ones, are now quite mild. I never soak mine.

However, if you’re concerned about food being too salty, or if that’s not to your taste, you can soak it in fresh cold water for a couple of hours before adding it to the slow cooker.

If you’re in the USA, uncooked ham joints tend to be much stronger in flavour so follow the instructions on that joint about whether you should soak it first.

Is this ham or gammon?

Both! They’re the same thing (gammon is the meat in its raw form, ham is what it’s called when it’s been cooked). This is why we’re calling it both Slow Cooker Ham and Slow Cooker Gammon in this recipe, because different people call it different things. 

At Christmas it tends to be called ham and the rest of the time gammon (I think?!)

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 145 votes

Slow Cooker Gammon {Best Ever Ham!}

This easy FOOLPROOF Slow Cooker Gammon recipe is perfect for Christmas or any time of year. Cooked in apple juice and cider with spices for immense flavour, it's then smothered in honey, mustard and brown sugar for a quick roast to give a delicious outer crunch.fff
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

For the slow cooker:

  • 1 Gammon joint, About 2kg
  • 1 Carrot, Thickly sliced
  • 1 Onion, Cut into quarters
  • 3 tbsp Mixed spice
  • 500 ml Cider
  • 1 ltr Apple juice, Depending on slow cooker size

For the glaze:

  • 6 tbsp Runny honey
  • 3 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder, Optional

Instructions 

  • Turn on your slow cooker, this recipe can be done either on high or low depending how hungry you are!
  • Quarter the onion and thickly chop the carrot.
  • Rub the mixed spice onto the ham.
  • Put the onion, carrot and ham joint into your slow cooker.
  • Add in your cider, and upto 1ltr of apple juice (the exact quantity depends on the size of your slow cooker – ideally the joint would be covered).
  • Place the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours. If you can baste, and turn the joint whilet cooking. 
  • When the cooking time is complete, take out of the slow cooker and discard the vegetables, liquid and spices.
  • Remove the string and layer of fat/skin (if your gammon has them). Score the fat.
  • Put into a roasting pan and drench in the honey. Pat the sugar onto the honey. (Make sure you line the baking tin with tin foil as the honey and sugar combo can really stick to the pan!)
  • Roast for the remaining 30 minutes at about 200C until the ham is just blackening and crispy at the edges.
  • When cold, store in the fridge and enjoy whenever!

Notes

Type of gammon joint: I prefer boneless and smoked, but you could choose bone-in and unsmoked, depending on your preference. Check cooking times beforehand
Liquid: I like to almost cover my ham with the liquid as this makes the cooked ham. This slow cooker gammon recipe uses 500ml of cider and 1ltr of apple juice. You can vary the amount of apple juice depending on the size of your slow cooker. Alternatively, only use apple juice
Serve with: Homemade chips and eggs; roast potatoes and vegetables; or as party of a buffet dish
Honey: You can use any but runny honey is best for pouring
Storing: This will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. Wrap it well
On the hob method: Cooked for 30 minutes per 450g/1lb, plus an additional 30 minutes. Finish in the oven as per the main recipe (factor this into the cooking time)
Line your tin: When it comes to the oven part of the recipe, make sure you line the baking tin with foil as the honey and sugar combo can really stick to the pan!

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 17mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 1707IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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66 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last minute, having regretted not making a christmas ham. Slapped it all together and it worked so well. Super succulent, so so easy. Will be making this again soon!

  2. 5 stars
    Never liked gammon before, but this recipe has turned me in to a lover. It’s simply perfect and has received so many compliments when is indeed really simple to make.
    I love the taste of the apple juice/cider.
    It has become a family favourite.

  3. 5 stars
    So delicious n easy! Covered roasting tin in foil as recommended and washing up was done in a sec. Served with homemade chips n coleslaw!!

  4. 5 stars
    Served up Slow Cooker Gammon on Christmas Day. Been cooking Christmas Dinner for 39 yrs now and usually buy ready cooked glazed ham for convenience. Decided this year to cook from fresh and as much successful hassle free as I could find. Came across your receipe and is definitely a game changer for me from now on. The tenderness and flavours got such alot of compliments from my guests. So much better than any supermarket ready glazed Gammon you could buy cheaper too. Thankyou!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I made it for our Christmas gammon and it was stunning! It was so easy to prepare and everyone loved it. Thank you again and a Merry Christmas to you.

  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I’ve cooked it so many times and Christmas is the perfect time to serve such a beautifully easy to cook ham. Thanks for all your fabulous recipes. Happy Christmas 🎄

  7. 5 stars
    Oh no! I’ve just made this for tomorrow for my daughters birthday… I can’t stop eating it.
    It was so unbelievably easy and delicious!
    Honestly your recipes are so fool proof!
    Absolutely delicious! Definitely making it again!

  8. 5 stars
    Slow cooker gammon, yes please, hopefully will save on the gas bill this winter, Im going to do mine with ginger beer!