Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart tender and deliciously sweet!

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If you’re looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

I can almost guarantee that everyone at you’re gathering will be amazed and it’s the perfect equivalent to the beloved holiday ham tradition.

You can say that this Instant Pot Ham is the modern version of a holiday classic- whatever you call it, just don’t pass it over!

But, be aware, everyone will want the recipe afterward! So be sure that you save this link to your favorites so that you can share it!

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

If you’re from the south, or just anything like me, ham is a good meal for any time of year! We love taking a ham and boiling it down till it just falls to pieces.

And not in that tough, dry, bleh- kind of way. In the most tender, juicy, and delicious kind of way. You know what I mean!

Ham is so good for a main meat dish, adding it to beans, stews, soups, sandwiches! Options are endless when you’ve got something this delicious!

Don’t get me wrong, a spiral ham is pretty good too. But in our family, it’s all about maw-maw’s boiled ham and we can’t get enough of it.

I’ve adapted this pressure cooker ham recipe from my grandmother’s original boiled ham recipe, so you know it’s gonna be good!

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

This recipe is so simple that it’s pretty much foolproof. You throw everything into the magic pot and then let it do all the work.

Honestly, I can’t believe that I fit a 7lb ham and all the “juices” into my pressure cooker. But I did and it turned out amazing.

We often use the term “pressure cooker” when referring to our recipes. Feel free to call this the “Instant Pot Ham” if that better fits your fancy.

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

The key to perfection lies in getting the juice-seasoning-meat ratio just right and I think we’ve done that.

But, I usually let you be the judge of our recipes. This means that you’ll need to come back and tell us just what you thought about it!

Between the emails and the consistent views that we get on this recipe, you need to know that this pressure cooker ham recipe is going to knock your socks off.

We needed to include that warning…. just in case. 🙂

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

Even though your family is going to think you’re some type of kitchen ninja, I can promise that the recipe is 100% EASY- PEASY.

In your pressure cooker, combine the apple juice, coke (optional), sugar, and all seasoning. Mix well.

Place the LARGE BONE-IN SMOKED HAM into the pressure cooker with the smaller end facing upwards. That helps the fat cap to drain and your help stay moist all over.

Close and lock the lid, cook for 45-60 minutes on HI pressure.

Look, I know that seems like a lot for a ham that is already cooked (smoked). But trust me on this one.

Your ham is going to be the talk of the evening.

So why the difference in cook times? Hams come in a variety of sizes. For a smaller ham, cook on the lower side. A larger, cook towards the longer side.

If your ham doesn’t come out juicy enough, or fall apart tender, feel free to add a little more cook time.

15 minute intervals with a natural release is perfect for monitoring.

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

You’ve got a lot in this pot, so you’ll want to let the pressure cooker do its thing and allow it to perform a natural release. If not, you’ll have a sweet mess all over your kitchen.

A tasty mess, but none the less, a mess.

Before the ham cools, I like to begin removing it from the bone and placing it back into juices so that every piece has some of the syrupy liquid on it.

I’m literally drooling right now. 

To serve, remove it from the juices but reserve some as “gravy”.

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

For storing, I like to save some of the juices to let the ham marinade in an airtight container.

If you have leftovers and want to freeze, make sure you reserve some of the drippings for that too! You’ll want it during defrosting so that you don’t have dry ham.

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After listening to our readers, we tested this recipe again, and again, to see if we could recreate the “dry” effect that our readers were experiencing. And, unfortunately, we did.

We have edited the recipe to reflect our findings and we suggest a shorter cook time for hams that are smaller (closer to 5 pounds) and a longer cook time for larger than 6 pounds.

Pressure Cooker Ham that is fall apart Tender and so sweet: The Fervent Mama - If you're looking to change up your Holiday Dinner Menu Plan this year, think twice about the spiral ham and go ahead and make this Pressure Cooker Ham!

Pressure Cooker Ham

Yield: 10+ Servings
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

This ham is perfect for any time of year! Use it as a meat dish, in soups, stews or beans! It makes the best ham sammies too! 

Ingredients

  • 1 5-7 lb ham, smoked
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup coca-cola, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. In your pressure cooker, mix all wet and dry ingredients.
  2. Add whole ham to the pot. Open end down, pointed end upwards.
  3. Close and lock lid. Cook on HI Pressure for 60 minutes for larger hams and 45 minutes for smaller ones.
  4. Turn off the pot and let it perform a natural release. A Quick release may cause juice to spew from the spout. 
  5. If your ham is not "fall apart tender", continue cooking in 15-minute increments with a natural release.
  6. Take the ham out of the pot to remove from bone and then return to the juices to continue marinading. You can serve at any time. 
  7. Enjoy!

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37 Comments

  1. I cooked an 11 lb ham in my instant pot, with about a quart of water in the bottom below the rack. I didn’t add any extra salt. It turned out very salty and the meat is brown. It didn’t boil dry so it wasn’t burned . I set the timer to 25 minutes , but it was tough, so I put it to cook for another 15 minutes. Is there anything I can do to make the meat edible?

  2. Teresa Boehm says:

    We don’t like sweet meat. Do I need to use a liquid if my ham is frozen?

  3. charles agnes says:

    I used this recipe recently for a 7.5#, bone-in smoked ham. It was the “shank” end of the ham. To make it fit in the pressure cooker, I had to cut a portion of the meaty side of the ham off. I then cut that piece in half and stuffed in down in along side of the main portion of the ham in the pressure cooker. I used plain apple juice and brown sugar, along with the salt and pepper , onion powder and chopped garlic. Nothing else. I set the pressure cooker to 60 mins. on high and let it go. After the natural release of pressure (add another 25 mins.), this ham came out falling off the bone and was SO tender and moist. All I had to do was to gently cut it into smaller pieces to serve. Honestly, I will never do a holiday ham ANY other way from now on! It was THAT good. My family raved on and on about it. : ). I come from a family that was in the meat processing business for 3 decades, processing pork products, so I know about what a perfectly cooked ham should taste like. And this was it. Thank You for the great recipe!

    1. Can this be done with a spiral sliced ham? Trying to find the right size ham is going to be a challenge here.

  4. Meredith Gylnn says:

    Do still cook a full 60 minutes for a pre-cooked, smoked ham?

  5. Brooke I’d love to know your Grandmother’s recipe for a boiled ham. My Granny use to make what we call here in the south Ham n Rice. It’s the ham and rice in it but unfortunately none of her children know or remember how she actually made it. It was one of my favorite dishes she made and I’ve tried to make it but it never has that right taste.

  6. Hello! So I have a (fresh) frozen, uncured, unsmoked ham from a hog we slaughtered a while ago. I NEED to get this sucker out of my freezer to make some room. Can I make something like this recipe with all of its flavor without it being smoked?

    1. Me too Lindsey. I want to cook the same thing in mine and am looking for suggestions. Please let me know if you found a recipe.

  7. I bought a smoked 10# sliced bone in ham on Saturday (10/25?) which I will now make in my instant pot. However have no Coke (darn) or apple juice. Can anyone suggest substitute?

    1. Jackie Buday says:

      I’m afraid this didn’t turn out well at all. I even did the amended recipe and it turned my ham into beef jerky. While the flavor was good, it truly had the texture of beef jerky. 🙁

    2. Hello. I have a Farberware 7 in 1 pressure cooker. How do I set it on Hi pressure?

      1. Brooke Poston says:

        I do too, Brenda! Farberware is auto set to HI pressure unless you use Saute, Soup, or Steam settings. 🙂

  8. Karen Hughes says:

    Am I able to cook it frozen. My ham is smoked and 6.5 pounds. I would love to cook it tonight yet but could wait until tomorrow I guess. I am new to the pressure cooker with our ninja foodie.

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi, Karen! You can definitely cook the ham from frozen as long as it fits in your pot. I would take the liquid down a bit because the excess water from the ham (being frozen) may be an issue. Other than that, I would try a regular cook time and then cook in extra 30-minute increments if it isn’t tender enough.

  9. I am about to give this recipe a try with a solidly frozen ham, so I think I am going to go ahead with the 90 minutes. When you say cook it on high, does that mean I change my Instant Pot 8 quart from “normal” to high?

  10. What pressure cooker do you have? I have to buy one.

  11. Brooke Poston says:

    After listening to our readers, we tested this recipe again, and again, to see if we could recreate the “dry” effect that our readers were experiencing. And, unfortunately, we did. We have edited the recipe to reflect our findings, please refer to it for more information!

  12. Rachel Green says:

    Hi Ellen, just discovered you! I’m sure I’ll be cooking a ham in my IP in the near future, thanks to this recipe. Did you do this 7 lb ham in a 6qt or an 8qt.? I have both. Also, I like to bake ham to fall-apart-tender perfection. You mentioned letting it go 90 minutes to achieve that. Some of the commenters have mentioned “way over cooked” / “dry” / and someone compared it to jerk. One comment said a 10 lb ham for 75″ was too long. I’m just trying to figure out how to judge.

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi, Rachel!

      We tested this recipe again and again and have found that our readers are right! Cooking the ham for 90 hours made it fall apart, but also made it a little dry. So, after testing some more, we found the happy medium at about 60 minutes for a larger sized ham.

      1. How long should I cook a 4# ham? Use the same amount of liquids?
        How long should I cook a 4# ham and how much do I use liquid?

  13. Ham Ham… have an instant pot
    Love it ! Now I’m in charge of the HAM
    .. ?… Brown sugar.. piñapple .. try explaining the need to coke .. to a 10’yr isn’t ez
    So going to try it with the ham on thanksgiving
    Any last minutes trips

  14. josephine lencoski says:

    was told 40 mins for a 10 lb half ham,,is that right…””i”” want to slice it

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      A 10 lb ham? Mine was about 6lbs and I was really pushing the limit with all of the ingredients- I’m not sure it would fit. However, I chose 90 minutes because the ham just falls apart. Yet, cook times can all be adjusted to fit your needs. Because it’s smoked, it’s already cooked, you just need to decide how tender you prefer. You can always start with 40 minutes and then do it in 15 minute increments to your liking!

  15. Bill Winebrunner says:

    3rd time using a pressure cooker. First time doing a ham. Followed the recipe cooking a 10 lb ham in an 8 qt pot for 75 min. Flavor was ok but the ham was way over cooked. Next time I am going to try 45 min. time cycle. May also try a spiral ham next time

    1. Bill, I did an 8lb. bone-in ham in my 10Qt. PC yesterday. 20 minutes, perfection!!

      1. Am I reading that correctly? 20 minutes for a 10lb. bone-in ham?

  16. Just want to say this was a hit this Easter for dinner. We bought 1/2 pig and had two boneless smoked hams (7lbs) I used one at Christmastime and cooked it in the pressure cooker the traditional way Myself and my two daughters could not eat it. The men ate part of it. I then used the last one on this recipe and I can say without a doubt, I will never cook it any other way. We are doing Keto and I could not keep 100% to the plan, but used Monk Fruit for the brown sugar. I would love to find something to use instead of Apple juice, but not if I have to sacrifice the flavor. Just hope that most of the apple juice “sugar” stayed in the pan. LOL. EVERYONE loved it. Grandson begged for the leftovers to take back to the dorm when he goes back to school. As boneless (and time limit) I only cooked 60 mins. It was perfect. thanks for this recipe.

  17. Brooke-I recently purchased a butchered pig but these hams are not smoked.
    What changes do you recommend for this recipe?
    Thanks!
    Sue

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Sue, I really wish I could help but I’ve honestly never cooked a fresh ham using this method, or in my pressure cooker. If it were me, I would try using this same method, and if it wasn’t tender or cooked through up the time in 30-minute increments with a quick pressure release. If you do, I’d love to hear the results!

  18. Do you use Butt or Shank cut ham?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hey there, Bruce! I’ve used a variety of bone-in ham cuts for this recipe, so it’s really up to you!

  19. Brian Knoche says:

    Very good, moist and tender, great flavor.

  20. I used a 5 lb boneless smoked ham. 90 min under high pressure turned out to be waaaaaay too long. I almost threw it out, but I had 6 hungry boys waiting & nothing else to feed them. The flavor was spot on. The ham was almost jerky. I will use this recipe again but I will cut cook time down to 30 min or less.

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Kristin! We haven’t tried this recipe on a boneless ham. They are prepared differently, so I could see where the 90 minutes would be too long. I’m glad you liked the flavor though!

  21. Is this recipe for a cooked or uncooked smoked ham?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Doj! Sorry for the “slow” response, we were out of town this weekend. A smoked ham is considered a cooked piece of meat, so yes, this is for a cooked smoked ham.

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