|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 9 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 10g||12%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This popular American dish seems like an odd combination of ingredients, but the sweet cola and tangy mustard add a beautiful outer crust to a fully cooked ham, making this dish an irresistible main that will favorably surprise your guests' palates. Before starting, make sure the ham you buy will fit comfortably in your slow cooker.
A USDA-inspected fully cooked ham, like the one we use in the recipe, can be eaten without heating, but heating improves the flavor and texture. If your ham is not labeled "fully cooked," make sure it reaches the minimum safe temperature of 145 F when measuring with a food thermometer. A fully cooked ham is done when it reaches a temperature of 140 F. If your ham is not pre-cooked, the minimum safe temperature is 145 F.
If you have a ham larger than 5 lbs., cook for 1 hour on HIGH, then 8 to 10 hours on LOW.
See the tips and variations below for ideas and flavor variations, including a whole menu to serve along with this amazing sweet-savory ham.
"The ham cooks up with an almost molasses-like flavor thanks to the cola and brown sugar in the glaze. The glaze isn't sticky, so it seeps into the meat rather than simply coating it. This is an incredibly simple and easy recipe for a classic sweet-salty ham. I served it with biscuits and mustard."—Danielle Centoni
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard, or 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cola carbonated beverage
1 (4- to 5-pound) fully cooked bone-in ham, or 1 (3 to 5 pound) fully cooked boneless ham
Whole cloves, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and mustard. Stir to blend thoroughly.
Moisten mixture with just enough cola to make a smooth paste. Reserve remaining cola and set mustard-sugar paste aside.
Score the ham with a sharp knife using shallow slashes to form a diamond pattern.
Rub ham with mustard-sugar paste mixture. If desired, insert a whole clove in the center of each diamond pattern.
Place ham in slow cooker and add remaining cola.
Cover the pot and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Turn slow cooker to LOW and continue cooking ham for about 7 to 9 hours. Use an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham, not touching bone or fat, to ensure the ham has reached the safe temperature – 140 F for fully cooked, and 145 F if not pre-cooked.
Baste ham with juices it has yielded about one hour before it's done.
Remove from crockpot and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Cola Ham Menu
This sweet-savory ham is a great holiday main dish. Here are a few suggestions for side dishes that pair well with these flavors:
- Starches: An earthy Wild Mushroom Pilaf complements the sweet notes of the ham, as does a Baked Rice with Spinach. For more traditional side dishes with a twist, try Mashed Potatoes and Rutabagas, or this Irish Mashed Potatoes With Cabbage.
- Vegetables: Make Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and add a sweet tangy note to your table. Try Braised Leeks and Carrots, or a creamy side of Spinach.
- Sauces: A classic Raisin Sauce is a great addition to this ham, as is a Honey-Mustard Sauce.
For a beautiful table, serve some Lard Biscuits and Compound Butter.
Try our pineapple-topped cola ham:
- Add 2 tablespoons of fresh citrus juice to the sugar-mustard paste, plus 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Rub the ham with the paste and cook it in the crockpot as directed.
- About an hour before the ham is done, place several pineapple slices over the surface of the ham, securing them with toothpicks.
- For a decorative presentation, stick a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice with more toothpicks.