My Slow Cooker Gammon recipe is the easiest way to cook your gammon joint! Just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep for super tasty ham! Glaze your ham before serving and enjoy over Christmas.
Serve with my Braised Red Cabbage!
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In collaboration with Thermapen.
Can you believe that up until a few years ago I had never cooked gammon? I didn’t grow up having ham at Christmas time so the idea was a bit foreign to me until I finally decided to give it a go last year.
After enjoying the ham on Boxing Day and the leftovers for many days after, I was hooked! It really is an easy way to create something that looks stunning on a festive table and will happily feed a crowd.
I was put off by the idea of a pot boiling on the stove for hours on the busiest cooking day of the year. Enter… Slow Cooker Gammon, a.k.a Slow Cooker Ham.
Gammon vs Ham
What is the difference between gammon and ham? Gammon is a cured joint (smoked or unsmoked) from the back leg of the pork.
Gammon is raw and needs to be cooked before serving whereas ham is ready to eat. Once gammon is cooked it becomes ham!
Here’s what you will need
Gammon joint – I usually go for unsmoked but you can pick a smoked one if preferred. This crockpot ham recipe uses boneless gammon joint – try to pick the best quality free range pork you can afford.
Braising liquid – you can simply cook your gammon in water but you can add more flavour if you use apple juice, cider, ginger ale or cola. I will leave this up to you – take a look at the recipe notes for various options.
Aromatics – adding onion, carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns will further enhance the flavour of the ham. The ham stock can be used in soups or stews afterwards if you like but test it first to make sure it is not super salty.
How long should I cook a ham in the slow cooker?
The beauty of slow cooker gammon is that you can set it to cook and then forget it for several hours while you get on with Christmas prep – I always leave gift wrapping to the last minute…
Cook on the SLOW setting for 6-8 hours or on the HIGH setting for 4-5 hours.
Glazing your ham
As for glazing the ham, the choices are endless. Honey and brown sugar are a classic option, but any sweet/ tangy /spicy combo usually works a treat – anything from mango and chilli to lime and sherry.
I chose apricot, brown sugar, mustard and a splash of brandy to create a simple glaze that balances the salty ham with sweetness and makes it a real Christmas centrepiece with glorious shine. Stud your ham with cloves for a pretty presentation.
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER GAMMON
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
TIP: If you are concerned about the ham being too salty then put in a large pot and cover with cold water. Soak for 30 minutes- 1 hour, changing the water three to four times.
Place the gammon, in the slow cooker (my favourite is the Morphy Richards Sear Stew 6.5L) and position the carrots and onions around it. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns.
Pour in the liquids, cover and cook for 5-6 hours on HIGH setting or 7-8 on LOW setting (check ham internal temperature with an instant read cooking thermometer for the optimum cooking time).
Remove the ham from the slow cooker and set aside to cool. Discard the solids and save the braising liquid to use in soups if you like.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and set the gammon on a rack set over a roasting pan. You might need to scrunch a bit of foil to position under the joint so that it sits level on the rack.
Carefully remove the rind from the gammon joint (see photo below), leaving a thin layer of the fat intact. Lightly score the fat in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut too deeply.
Mix the glaze ingredients together and warm briefly in the microwave or a saucepan. Brush the ham liberally with the glaze.
Roast in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes, basting with the glaze every 10 minutes.
Cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Transfer to a large platter and carve. Serve hot or cold.
Use up any leftovers and the tasty ham stock in my Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup!
Instant Pot Gammon
Need some ham in a hurry? If you haven’t got time to cook the gammon in your slow cooker then you can easily turn this recipe into Instant Pot Ham!
Pressure cooking is faster and just as fuss-free. As a general rule you will need to cook your gammon on High Pressure for 15 minutes per 450g (one pound) and allow for natural release.
My 1,8kg (4 pound) joint needed one hour to cook but the cooker still needs to come to pressure first. Add the NPR and you have an overall cooking time of approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Remember not to overfill your Instant Pot – only add enough liquid so that is no more than ⅔ full.
How To Tell If Gammon Is Cooked
When it comes to meat and poultry, like the Christmas turkey for instance, I rely heavily on my trusty Thermapen to cook to perfection and leave the guess-work behind.
Thermapen gives accurate temperature reading in just three seconds and the backlit display my kitchen. Check your gammon is cooked by inserting the thermometer probe into the thickest part until it reads 62 °C (145 °F).
The ham should be easy to pierce with a knife (or the probe) and you should be able to pull the knife out without struggling.
Use your leftovers
Leftover ham is fantastic in pasta dishes – use it in my easy Carbonara recipe or in place of bacon in Chicken Pasta Bake and Crack Chicken Soup. You can of course use it in sandwiches together with my Easy No Knead Bread or Sourdough.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Slow Cooker Gammon
- 2 kg (4 pounds) boneless gammon joint unsmoked or smoked
- 2 onions roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 480 ml (2 cups) ginger ale or use cider / Cola / Dr Pepper
- 960 ml (4 cups) apple juice or as much as needed to cover the joint
For the glaze
- 6 tbsp smooth apricot jam or honey
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp grainy mustard or Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp brandy rum / whisky or leave out
- Place the gammon joint in the slow cooker and position the carrots and onions around it. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Pour in the liquids, cover and cook for 5-6 hours on high setting or 7-8 on low setting.
- Remove the ham from the slow cooker and set aside to cool. Discard the solids and save the braising liquid to use in soups if you like (have a taste before using as it may be quite salty).
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and set a rack over a roasting pan. Scruch up some foil to make sure the ham sits level on the rack (if needed).
- Carefully remove the rind from the gammon joint, leaving a small layer of the fat intact. Lightly score the fat in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut too deeply.
- Mix the glaze ingredients together and warm briefly in the microwave or a saucepan. Brush the ham liberally with the glaze.
- Roast in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes, basting with the glaze every 10 minutes, until the ham is golden brown.
- Cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Transfer to a large platter and carve. Serve hot or cold.