This Instant Pot Ham is my favorite of all time! A little smoky, a little sweet, brushed with a spiced honey glaze and served with an irresistible mustard sauce.
I recall one of my favorite meals growing up being sliced ham covered in canned pineapple rings and brown sugar. My mom would serve it with her famous Au gratin potatoes. I was in heaven.
Then in adulthood, I made the mistake of making a smoked holiday ham and it soon became a family favorite at big gatherings.
I say mistake because if you know me very well, you know I can’t stand lingering food smells. When you’re working with a smoker, you might as well accept that your hair is going to smell like meat for days and dayyyyyyzzzz.
Sure enough, the next holiday I was given the assignment of smoking the ham and I groaned at the thought of dealing with it all day long. Out of the corner of my eye, my Instant Pot beamed in all its rightful glory and “DING!” light bulb!
I rubbed the smoky, earthy spices all over the ham and tossed it into the pressure cooker really hoping I wasn’t going to mess this one up for all the smoked ham fans in my life.
Well, I’ll be dipped if it wasn’t just as good, dare I say, better than the smoked version I dreaded making so badly.
The dinner table was filled with ham praises, “mmmmm”s, “yummmm”s, and “Marci’s smoked ham is always the best”s.
Never again smoker! I will NEVER babysit you again!
Trust me trust me trust me, you are gonna want to try this ham! It’s juicy, tender, and bursting with smoky, spicy, sweet flavor.
Hoard those leftovers with your life too. I’ve got lots of ideas for those below.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT HAM WITH HONEY GLAZE AND PINEAPPLE
- It’s not the brown sugar bath of my youth, but with a heavy dose of spices, a drizzle of smokey honey glaze, and a side of fresh pineapple, you won’t miss that for a second.
- All the flavor of smoked ham, but your hair and clothes remain smelling clean and fresh.
- Sweet pineapple, smoky paprika, spicy mustard, and cayenne. Absolute part-ay in your mouth!
- So very simple! That special occasion ham will become an easy weeknight meal.
- The meat that pleases everyone! In my household, ham is the ONE meat that grownups and kids alike can agree on.
- Mustard Sauce to make you cry. Don’t even think about nixing it!
HOW TO MAKE EASY SMOKED HAM IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Mix up your dry rub and rub it all over a quartered ham (for max flavor, wrap in foil and let it hang out overnight in the fridge)
- Nestle ham into the pot with the spiced pineapple juice
- Cook for 35 minutes, prepare the glaze and mustard sauce while it cooks
- Let it rest for 10 minutes or so, slice
- Place in a 9 x 13 pan or on a platter, brush with the honey glaze
- Dredge with Mustard Sauce
It’s not often that I wax poetic for meat. I’d take a Blackberry Poached Pear salad over it any day, but this ham is somethin’ special for sure.
My brother’s jaw dropped when I told him how I made this. While he felt a bit betrayed at first, he is now forever grateful that we’re seein’ a lot more of this ham at family get-togethers.
I’ve tested it at least 10 times so you can live on the edge and make it without fear for your parties. I can’t wait for you to experience this one!
If you need a bit of ham schooling, keep reading. If you’re ready for ham heaven, jump on down to the recipe.
HOW LONG TO COOK A HAM IN THE INSTANT POT
This recipe uses a fully cooked ham, so basically, all we need to do is season it and give it a flavorful bath to warm up in and make it as juicy and tender as can be. For me, the sweet spot for this is 35 minutes, preferably with a full natural pressure release.
TYPE OF HAM TO USE / WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TYPES OF HAM!!!
Anyone else spend 15 minutes of their life at some point staring at the different kinds of ham and not having a clue what to get? Here is a basic run-down to help you get the best kind for your pressure cooker.
There are three main types of ham
- Cured Ham: meaning it’s been brined or cured with a dry rub. They are pink in color and are usually pre-cooked, but be sure and read the label to know for sure!
- Cured and Smoked Ham: Same as the cured ham, but it’s been smoked as well for additional flavor
- Fresh Ham: This uncooked ham looks similar to other pork items and needs to be cooked to the proper temperature before eating
I have never cooked a fresh ham so this recipe focuses on the precooked, cured, sometimes smoked, variety of ham, sometimes referred to as a “City Ham.”
When you go to a grocery store there will be the options of bone-in, boneless, sliced, and unsliced. For this Instant Pot Ham, avoid pre-sliced (AKA spiral sliced), it will end up dry. I prefer the football-shaped boneless ham so I can easily cut it into quarters and nestle it in the pot's juices. However, a bone-in has the bonus of extra flavor, plus you can use the bone later to flavor soup or broth.
For a 6 quart pot, 5-6 pounds is great. For an 8 quart pot, I’ve been able to fit an 8-pound ham.
All clear? Let me know in the comments below if you have any unanswered questions.
HOW TO USE LEFTOVER HAM
- On an Instant Pot Baked Potato topped with melted pepper jack cheese
- One of my favorite paninis: Crusty bread, ham, avocado slices, provolone cheese, and mustard sauce. Mmmmm.
- English muffin, slice of ham, tomato slices and an Instant Pot Poached Egg – best dinner ever!
- Healthy Instant Pot Egg Bite AKA Sous Vide Egg
BEST HOLIDAY DISHES FOR THE INSTANT POT
To round out your centerpiece ham
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Instant Pot Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread (it’s even speckled with red and green!)
- Instant Pot Ultimate Mashed Potatoes
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT HAMPrint
Instant Pot Ham
Not only is this the easiest ham I have ever prepared in my life, it's also the most tender and flavorful. Leftovers are out of this world!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
- Category: main meal
- Method: Pressure cooker
- Cuisine: American
For the Ham
- 5–6 pound ready to eat ham, cut in 4 pieces (AKA vacuum packed, boneless ham)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it)
For the Cooking Liquid
- 6 oz can pineapple juice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
For the Glaze
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- pinch of ground cloves
For the Mustard Sauce
- 3–4 tablespoons brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 tablespoon flour (I use white whole wheat flour)
- 1/4 cup dry mustard
- 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Cut ham into 4 equal pieces and place on top of a large piece of tinfoil. Combine spices in a bowl then rub them all over the ham. It will seem like a lot, but trust me, use all of the spice rub.
- Wrap ham up tightly in the tinfoil, adding another layer of foil if it's not completely covered. Set inside a larger dish and place in the refrigerator overnight. You can skip the overnight step, but it does infuse the ham with more flavor.
- When ready to cook the ham, add the cooking liquid ingredients to the pressure cooker pot and whisk to combine.
- Unwrap the ham from the foil and place the ham inside the pot, let it nestle down into the cooking liquid.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare the mustard sauce as instructed below (can be made a few days ahead of time).
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a natural release. This will help keep the ham moist and tender, but if in a hurry, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes followed by a quick release.
- Place ham on a cutting board and cut into desired size pieces. Place inside a 9×13 baking dish or on a serving platter and drizzle with the glaze.
- Serve hot or room temperature with a side of fresh pineapple slices or chunks and a bowl of Mustard Sauce for dipping or drizzling.
For the Mustard Sauce
- Prepare the Mustard Sauce by combining all of the ingredients except for the butter in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Add butter and stir until it's melted and well incorporated.
- The sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes 2 cups.
- Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. I like to freeze some in slices and some diced.
- Look for a football-shaped, fully cooked, boneless ham. Unsliced, bone-in ham will also work.
- The glaze is another delicious layer of flavor but the ham is still dynamite without it. Feel free to omit for an unsweetened version.