This blog post is sponsored by Dearborn Sausage Company.
Is there anything the Instant Pot can't do?
Turn a frozen chicken into soup. Check
Make yogurt. Check
Pop popcorn - with the right lid. Check
Cook a ham......
That is the one we are going to look at today - I think you know what the answer is going to be.
Why Would You Want to Cook Ham in an Instant Pot?
So our answer to our first question of the day is yes, of course you can cook a ham in an Instant Pot. That leads into our next question, why would you want to?
Time. You want your ham to be done fast. Whether it's Christmas or Easter, you got hungry guests awaiting. Cooking the ham in an Instant Pot or any pressure cooker for that matter will save you on time. Your guests' bellies will be fuller, faster.
Does It Work to Cook Ham in an Instant Pot?
Here is the thing with ham - it's already cooked. So the goal is to completely re-heat the meat all the way to the center while at the same time keeping the meat from dying out. So we aren't worried about eating raw meat here. That gives us an advantage and a reason why the Instant Pot is a good option.
How Do You Fit a Ham in an Instant Pot?
The biggest challenge of all for doing a ham in an Instant Pot is getting the ham to fit. They are all different sizes of Instant Pots. the bigger you got the easier it's going to be. The largest size Instant Pot is the 8 quart model. I have a 6 quart.
Sure you could trim the ham to fit your Instant Pot perfectly, but who wants to do that. There are a couple things you could do to make sure you get the right fit. You can take just the pot to the store with you. Most of us probably wouldn't have the forethought to do it. Or maybe we are scared of looking like some kind of a weirdo.
What I did was I called my wife who was at home and had her measure our Instant Pot. I then borrowed a ruler from the school supply section of the grocery store and measure the hams until I found one that I knew would fit. Yeah that was pretty nerdy.
First off, I have much love for Dearborn Hams because they are a Michigan company and I am life long Michigander! Dearborn has been in business for over 70 years - three generations of making quality meats. - you gotta try their hot dogs by the way.
Dearborn's Blue Box Spiral Ham is known throughout Michigan and beyond. No holiday around here goes on without them. The ham is smoked for up to 24 hours. That equals great flavor.
Dearborn has several other ham offerings as well including the semi boneless ham that I made in the Instant Pot for this very blog post.
How Long Does It Takes to Cook Ham in an Instant Pot?
The answer is going to depend on the size of your ham. Let me share with you my experience.
A 7.45 pound ham is what I started with. My research showed that other people were cooking their ham for as low as 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. I decided to try it right in the middle at 15 minutes. I was happy with the result. Perfectly hot throughout.
Keep in mind the size of your ham is going to change the cooking time. 2 ½ minutes per pound is a good estimate that I feel safe with recommending. It still can vary based on the shape of your ham as well as the bone (or lack there of) in your ham. My ham was semi-boneless. It only had one circular shaped bone running through it.
If you are not confident that the ham is fully re-heated in the middle you could always use a thermometer to check. You just need to hit 140 degrees for the ham to be hot enough.
To give yourself a leg up (get it ham is made from the leg of a pig!) you should set the ham out before cooking. Getting the ham to room temperature is great way to make sure the ham will be re-heated all the way to the center.
Ham has plenty of salt in it so you don't need to worry it's going to spoil or that your going to get sick. I am only talking about an hour or so here.
How Do You Flavor a Ham in an Instant Pot?
Pretty much anyway you normally would flavor your ham would work in the Instant Pot. Your going to want to have some liquid. You want the liquid to have some flavor. Just old plain water is going to do anything for your ham.
Potential liquid choices include pineapple juice, root beer, cola. Dr. Pepper, ginger ale, chicken stock, ham stock just to name some options. When I made mine I choose to use pineapple juice. You could also use a a can of sliced pineapple with the juice. I have made ham in the past with a root beer glaze.
Does Ham Taste Good in an Instant Pot?
This might be the most important question of them all. Does the ham taste good? Sure we want to re-heat it fast but we want it to taste good as well, we got an audience to impress, right?
I can confirm that yes you can produce a flavorful ham in the Instant Pot. The best part of the ham was the flavorful liquid that was left with at the bottom. You can use it as a dipping sauce, or hit the saute button on your Instant Pot and let it reduce a bit to get a flavorful glaze you can brush on.
Is It Better to Cook a Ham in the Instant Pot than the Oven?
I was happy with the carmelization of the outside of the ham. However if you want it more crisp your going to need to throw it in a really hot oven for just a short bit. You want really hot because you need to do this fast so you don't dry out your meat. I would say at least 400 degrees.
You could even consider turning on the broiler but watch it really closely and if you have a sweet glaze on the outside it could burn really fast. Use caution.
Does Instant Pot Ham Come Out Moist?
Flavor. Check. Speed. Check. What about the texture? Is the ham moist? Oh yeah it was moist. Not dry whatsoever.
Overall I was satisfied with how my ham turned out. I would do it again for sure. If you give it a try, please share your experience with us in the lovely comment section below.
- Place in the Instant Pot. Pour the pineapple juice on top.
- Add the brown sugar and ground cloves directly to the ham.
- Set to the sealing. Cook high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Let natural release
- Remove ham from Instant Pot. Cover with foil and let sit for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- Optional - pour the remaining liquid into a bowl for dipping, or hit the saute button and reduce to make a glaze.
Instant Pot on Instagram
Want to see what I am cooking up in my Instant Pot? Make sure to follow me on Instagram. Are you trying this recipe? Make sure to tag us (@eatlikenooneelse) with a photo of your ham. It would bring much delight to our hearts!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. These are products and services I recommend because I use or trust them. Cookies will be used to track the affiliate links you click.