Making a Simple and Easy Instant Pot Ham For The Holidays

Dec 02, 2022 / MIN READ


For many families, homemade meals are one of the most cherished holiday traditions. And with the holiday season quickly approaching, you’re likely looking for your next delicious recipe to keep family, guests and loved ones nourished and satisfied. If you’ve been looking for the perfect mealtime adventure, look no further than an Instant Pot ham.

A delectable holiday ham has been a staple over the years, and with an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can enjoy this dish in a fraction of the cooking time required in the oven. We’re taking a closer look at a simple Instant Pot recipe for cooking ham, so you can wow your loved ones with ease this holiday season.

A holiday meal for the whole family — simplifying the process with an Instant Pot

While you can always make your holiday ham in the oven, this can take a considerable amount of time for a dry and tough result. Pressure cooking in an Instant Pot helps your ham retain all of its juices — achieving a result that’s juicier and full of more flavor. Honey baked ham made with a pressure cooker not only offers an amazing flavor and texture, but it’s also incredibly simple so you have more time to spend with your family and friends over the holidays.

Steps to prepare and make your ham

Ingredients to gather for your simple ham recipe

  • 5 to 7-pound Hardwood Smoked Boneless ham.
  • ¼ cup honey.
  • ½ cup apple juice.
  • ¼ pineapple juice.
  • ¾ cup brown sugar.
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (optional).

Preparing your glaze
Before getting started, it’s helpful to have your ham glaze ready to go for an even simpler process. To do this, stir the brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey and your preferred spices in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until the glaze has warmed through.

Making your honey baked ham

  1. Prepare your Instant Pot or pressure cooker: First, coat your Instant Pot with a non-stick cooking spray and pour apple juice into the bottom of the pot. Then, place your trivet on the inner pot of your pressure cooker and place a foil sling on top of the trivet. This will make it easier to remove your spiral sliced ham after it’s finished cooking.
  2. Set up your sliced ham for optimal cooking: Now, place the ham on a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold the sides of the foil up in a bowl-like shape around it. You can carefully separate slices of spiral-cut ham, so your glaze can infuse more effectively. Then pour or paint the glaze over your ham and securely wrap your dish in foil.
  3. Pressure cook your ham: After placing your ham on the trivet, secure the foil sling around your ham and seal the pot. Select ‘Manual High Pressure’ and set the time for 15 minutes.
  4. Release pressure: After the cook time has elapsed in your Instant Pot, you can let the pressure release naturally for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully turn the valve to manually release the rest of the pressure.
  5. Let cool, add additional glaze and serve: Carefully remove your cooked ham from the pot and reheat your remaining glaze to add an extra flavorful touch. Finally, slice your honey baked ham and serve it as the perfect holiday centerpiece.

For more delicious ways to serve ham this holiday season, check out our recipes for broccoli, cauliflower and ham au gratin and ham, fig jam and cheddar cheese open-faced sandwiches. No matter what ham recipe you choose to follow, you’ll want to use top-tier pork products for the most nutritious and appetizing results. Find high-quality ham from Hatfield® in a supermarket or grocery store near you using our store locator.

A honey baked ham is sliced and sits on a table Making your honey baked ham

Tips and other helpful considerations

Cooking time by weight
It’s important to keep in mind that the Instant Pot cook time for your boneless, spiral ham is subject to change depending on weight. After checking the weight of your ham, here’s a quick guide to follow for the correct cooking times:

  • 5-pound ham: 9 minutes.
  • 6-pound ham: 11 minutes.
  • 7-pound ham: 13 minutes.
  • 8-pound ham: 15 minutes.

Despite the weight of your ham, it’s recommended to allow a 10 to 15-minute natural pressure release afterward. As for the size of your Instant Pot, a 6-qt. pot can cook a spiral ham up to about 6.5 pounds. For an 8-qt. Instant Pot, you can size up slightly to a 7-8 pound ham.

Storing, freezing and reheating leftover ham
When it comes to holiday meals with friends and family, you’re often cooking large portions of food. That means you’ll likely have plenty of leftover ham to enjoy in the coming days, but it’s critical to store, freeze and reheat your dish correctly to make it last as long as possible.

  • Storing: Wrap your leftover Instant Pot ham tightly in foil and place it in your fridge. This will ensure your ham is good to eat for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Properly wrap your leftover ham or place it in an airtight container and put it in a frost-free freezer. Your frozen ham will last for up to 2 months without a loss of flavor. While it is still safe to consume frozen ham after this time, it’s likely to have developed freezer burn which causes the meat to dry out at the edges.
  • Reheating: To properly reheat your honey baked ham in the oven, while ensuring it doesn’t dry out, preheat the oven to low heat. Next, line a baking plate and wrap your ham with aluminum foil. Add a tablespoon of water to the bottom of the rimmed baking plate and heat your ham. Note: for every pound of ham, your time to warm will increase by 10 minutes.

Other tips to keep in mind

  • You can use bone-in or boneless spiral sliced ham for this recipe. However, a boneless option is typically easier for cutting and serving ham slices. With Hatfield®, all ham products are boneless so you can choose high-quality products that are easy to serve.
  • Consider a Sweet Brown Sugar Ham from Hatfield® to simplify the process and guarantee your meal is full of flavor.
  • If you don’t like honey, you can modify the recipe using maple syrup. A maple glazed him is likely to be just as much of a hit with your loved ones.
  • Make sure you seal your ham well before cooking — to ensure it retains its full flavor and reduces the possibility of your meal burning.

Improving your mealtime with products from Hatfield

The holidays are almost here and this year, preparing a delicious dinner for your friends, family and houseguests can be stress-free with a simple Instant Pot ham recipe. If classic honey baked ham isn’t what you’re looking for, take a look at some of our other favorite pork recipes for the Instant Pot.

For any pork recipe you create this fall and winter season, you’re likely in pursuit of top-tier ingredients to provide your loved ones with a meal that’s both flavorful and nutritional. For high-quality, great-tasting pork products from a company dedicated to animal care and sustainability, Hatfield®can help.

If you’re ready to take your ham recipes to the next level this holiday season, use our store locator to find your favorite Hatfield® products in a supermarket or grocery store near you.