Spiral ham is a popular main course for Easter dinner and Christmas dinner or any special occasion. It pairs perfectly with your favorite holiday side dishes. Spiral-sliced ham is precooked so all you have to do is heat and serve. Since no one wants dry ham, learn how to heat a precooked spiral ham that's juicy and flavorful.
Spiral ham is the perfect meat for holidays. It's precooked so it's pretty much hands-off once it goes into the oven. That means you will spend less time in the kitchen and you will have more time to spend with friends and family. A juicy ham is great for special occasions and my family requests this ham recipe for Sunday dinners too. It's a big cut of meat so it's also a great way to have lots of leftovers during the week.
Ham is flavorful, tender and juicy, but can be prone to drying out. With this recipe and cooking method, you'll learn how to heat a precooked ham perfectly. Say goodbye to dry, chewy ham! The pineapple and ginger ale create a sweet moist environment so you can enjoy succulent ham with all of your favorite holiday side dishes.
- Ham – Select a 6-8 pound bone-in spiral cut ham from your grocery store. For a small ham dinner, you can also get a half ham. Be sure to select a ham that is precooked.
- Canned Pineapple – Crushed pineapple works really well. You can run pineapple chunks through a food processor if you don't have crushed pineapple on hand. Make sure to only used canned pineapple as fresh pineapple could break down the ham too much and make it mushy.
- Ginger Ale – The soda adds a slight ginger flavor and a sweetness to the ham.
See recipe card for quantities.
What is a Spiral Ham
A spiral-cut ham is a whole ham that has been cut into slices with a special machine. The ham slices are fairly thin and even but allow the ham to maintain its shape for serving. This fully cooked ham may be bone-in or boneless. I prefer a bone in ham as a boneless ham will dry out much quicker. Sometimes precooked hams are also called city hams. Many spiral hams also come with small sauce packets which is a sweet glaze to brush on the ham at the end of cooking.
How to Heat a Precooked Spiral Ham
- Place the pre-cooked ham cut side down into a shallow roasting pan and add the crushed pineapple and ginger ale.
2. Cover the ham with foil and bake in a 325 degrees F preheated oven for 13-16 minutes per pound or until the ham reaches 140 degreed F.
3. Remove the foil and add the glaze packet if desired. Cook uncovered for 15 more minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, slice, serve and enjoy.
Hint: If using the glaze packet that came with the ham, follow the instructions to make the glaze and add it with a pastry brush during the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Cook In The Crockpot - Place the ham in a slow cooker along with the crushed pineapple and ginger ale. Cover and cook on the lowest setting. for 3-4 hours or until the temperature of the meat reaches and internal temperature 140 degrees F.
- Use The Glaze Packet - Brush the ham with the included glaze packet during the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can also discard the packet and make a homemade brown sugar glaze.
- Use Juice – Replace the crushed pineapple with pineapple juice, apple juice or orange juice.
- Add Mustard for a Tasty Glaze– Slather the top of the ham with dijon mustard or yellow mustard.
Tips for Carving a Spiral Ham
The beauty of a glazed spiral ham is that thin, perfect slices have already been cut. Carving the ham is as simple as using a meat carving knife to cut of desired portions. Lay the ham on its side and cut as close as you can to the bone. Be sure to save the bone for soup or broth later on.
A large baking dish or roasting pan is ideal for cooking your delcious spiral ham. Look for one with tall side that will allow for more of the pineapple juice and ginger ale to come up the side of the ham.
You can also use heavyweight disposable roasting pans. When using disposable pans, I prefer to place them on a baking sheet just in case any liquid sneaks out.
Covering the ham with heavy-duty aluminum foil keeps the ham moist and can even decrease the cooking time. Heavy duty foil holds up better than thinner aluminum foil.
Leftover spiral ham can be stored in an airtight container or large freezer bag in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftovers can also be frozen in freezer bags for up to 6 months. For easy use, cube leftovers and freeze them in 1-cup portions.
Leftover ham can be used in soups, salads, sandwiches and a variety of recipes. The leftover ham bone is good for soups and adds so much flavor. My son loves when I add a few slices of holiday ham to his grilled cheese sandwich. It makes it so much more special.
You might also enjoy these tasty leftover ham recipes:
- Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich
- Tortellini Alla Panna with Ham and Peas
- Mom's Ham Salad
Spiral Ham Cooking Tips
- Select a bone-in spiral ham for juicier meat.
- Cooking low and slow is the key.
- Wrap tightly in foil until the last few minutes of the cooking time.
- If adding a glaze, add it 15 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Save the bone to use in soup or broth.
Precooked spiral ham is safe to eat cold although I prefer to heat it up first. It is also great to serve at room temperature after it has been heated up.
The size of spiral hams can vary slightly but most precooked hams are between 6 and 11 pounds each. You can also buy a half ham which is smaller. They will need to be heated for 13-16 minutes per pound in a 325 degrees F oven. To avoid drying out the ham, check with a meat thermometer and heat to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F at the thickest portion of the ham.
Spiral ham is precut and may or may not have a bone. Whole hams are not sliced and typically include a bone. Whole hams are less prone to drying out but can be difficult to slice for serving.
Assuming you will be serving the ham along with several sides, you should plan on at least ½ pound (8 ounces) per person.
Ham pairs well especially well with air fryer red potatoes, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and green vegetables like Air Fryer Broccoli or Parmesan Crusted Asparagus. To make a complete holiday meal, serve with Mac and Cheese or Cranberry Pecan Salad with Blue Cheese. You can also check out my list of 21 Side Dishes for Pork Chops that also pair beautifully with glazed ham.
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Pineapple Glazed Spiral Ham
- 1 6-8 pound spiral ham (bone- in)
- 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
- 1 cup gingerale
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham in a large roasting pan, cut size down.
- Spread pineapple all over the ham then pour gingerale over it. Loosely cover the ham with aluminum foil and bake for 13-16 minutes per pound or until the ham reaches 140 degrees using an instant read meat thermometer.
- Remove foil and glaze ham with packet glaze if desired. Place back in the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes or until outside of ham is brown.
- Remove from oven, slice and enjoy!
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