Crockpot Cola Ham

Crockpot Cola Ham sliced on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 9 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
295 Calories
10g Fat
10g Carbs
42g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 1849mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 664mg 14%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Slow Cooker Cola Ham with Glaze/Tester Image

"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

A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crockpot Cola Ham ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and mustard. Stir to blend thoroughly.

    Sugar and mustard in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Moisten mixture with just enough cola to make a smooth paste. Reserve remaining cola and set mustard-sugar paste aside.

    Mustard, cola, and brown sugar mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Score the ham with a sharp knife using shallow slashes to form a diamond pattern.

    Ham on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Rub ham with mustard-sugar paste mixture. If desired, insert a whole clove in the center of each diamond pattern.

    Ham with mustard-sugar paste mixture and whole cloves in the center of each diamond patterns of the ham on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Place ham in slow cooker and add remaining cola.

    Ham in a slow cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. 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.

    Ham in a slow cooker with a thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Baste ham with juices it has yielded about one hour before it's done.

    Ham in a slow cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Remove from crockpot and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

    Crockpot Cola Ham on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

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:

For a beautiful table, serve some Lard Biscuits and Compound Butter.

Tropical Ham

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.