Slow Cooker Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham

March 31, 2014

Slow Cooker Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham  |  Design Mom

By Gabrielle. Images by Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.

Are you ready for the easiest slow cooker recipe ever? You only need two ingredients for this ultra-simple recipe, but don’t underestimate how amazing it is. This is something our family loves, loves, loves. We learned this recipe from our friend, Emily, when we were brand new newlyweds (that seems like ages ago!), and it is so good and reliable, that the recipe has since been adopted by dozens of friends and by pretty much every one of my siblings. It’s also become part of our holiday tradition — we make it every Christmas Eve.

Slow Cooker Recipe: Super Easy Shredded Ham  |  Design Mom   #crockpot

The bonus is that it’s the recipe that keeps on giving. The first night, you might serve this yummy slow cooker shredded ham as a main course, with a side of yams or carrots. The next day, it’s the perfect lunch served on bagels with cream cheese. Put the rest in the freezer, and pull it out the following week for creamy pesto, ham, and pasta. And you get all of that from one bone-in ham plus a little bit of water and a day of slow cooking!

It’s delicious in every season, and we make it throughout the year. Friends, I’m so happy to share this recipe with you! I hope you’ll love it as much as our family does. If you make it, I’d love to hear what you think!

Slow Cooker Recipe: Super Easy Shredded Ham  |  Design Mom   #crockpot

Let’s be honest, this is hardly a recipe at all. It can be described more as “simple instructions”. As I said above, it’s probably the easiest slow cooker meal ever. You’ll need:

One ham
Enough water to come up 1-inch in the slow cooker

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until it shreds easily with a fork.

That’s it!

Slow Cooker Recipe: Super Easy Shredded Ham  |  Design Mom   #crockpot

- You’re basically looking for the most inexpensive cut of bone-in ham you can find. It doesn’t even need to be sliced. It will be labeled Shank Portion or Butt Portion, and will be quite big. We usually by one that looks like this. The long, slow cooking time will make it incredibly tender and juicy.

- Even though you start with just an inch of water, the pot will fill with liquid as the day progresses. If the liquid level isn’t increasing — or if it’s decreasing, that means the pot is too hot. Add more water and turn down the heat.

- Get a really big ham if you’ll be feeding a crowd. This is a popular recipe and you’ll be amazed how quickly it disappears! But consider the size of your slow cooker. We definitely bought hams too big for ours before.

- You’ll know the ham is done, when it falls apart in shreds with a fork.

- To keep the ham from drying out when you serve it, save some of the cooking liquid and pour it over the top.

- This recipe can also be done in a big pot on the stove top. If I put the ham in by 10:00 AM, it will be ready for dinner around 6:00 PM.

Slow Cooker Recipe: Super Easy Shredded Ham  |  Design Mom   #crockpot

- Serving suggestions: I mentioned as a main course, on a bagel with cream cheese, or with pasta above, but it’s also wonderful as a breakfast meat (like inside an omelet), on a sandwich, or served with any complimentary vegetable as a main course.

P.S. — Find more slow cooker recipes your family will love here.

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Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham | Camano Community
April 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emme March 31, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Yum! I’m always looking for an easy, tasty recipe!


2 Angela DeMuro March 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Perfect! I have never thought of cooking a ham in a slow cooker! Thank you!!!!


3 Amy March 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I am totally making this this week!


4 Sarah March 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Yay! Thanks and by the way I LOVE this feature!!


5 Sarah April 1, 2014 at 6:05 am

Do I submerge ham in water? Or is the 1 inch of water just to fill the bottom of the crock?


6 Design Mom April 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

Don’t submerge the ham. Just place it in the pot and add water till the water level reaches approx one inch from bottom. As you check on the ham, you’ll notice the pot is filling with liquid on its own!


7 Jana April 2, 2014 at 6:40 am

Are the hams you have used already cooked/smoked hams? It seems most hams I buy are precooked and I usually just warm them up. I’m afraid of this drying out with so much cooking time. Can you clarify the type of ham you start with – specifically whether or not it is precooked. (It looks from the image you provided that it was pre-smoked.)


8 Design Mom April 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi Jana. I buy the shank portion or butt portion ham that I linked to in the picture. I believe they are pre-cooked. It’s true that sort of ham can be heated and sliced, or even served cold, but slow-cooking it gives it a shredded meat texture that’s different from sliced ham.

If you add the inch of water to start, and follow the directions, the crockpot will actually fill with liquid on its own. It doesn’t dry out unless the heat is too high.

If I’m cooking it on the stovetop, I’ll add about 2 inches of water, heat it to boiling, then turn it down to a simmer (low), put the lid on and leave it alone till dinner time. If I do check on it, I’ll see the pot filling with liquid from the ham. Once in awhile, if I haven’t turned the heat down enough, I’ll smell something burning and realize the water has dried up.


9 Jana December 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for your response to my earlier question. I’m excited to give this cooking style a try this Christmas Eve!!!


10 Sharon April 2, 2014 at 10:34 pm

A riff on the same thing.. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.. 2 lbs pork butt, one can of root beer, one jar of your favorite bbq sauce. Put pork in crockpot, pour root beer over it. When it’s about an hour from done, pour your desired amount of bbq sauce over, shred, and cook for a bit longer. It’s really amazing!


11 Crystal April 4, 2015 at 12:49 am

Was wondering if it matters if the ham is an” already cooked” ham, or if it’s a “cook before eating ” ham?


12 Crystal April 4, 2015 at 12:53 am

Sorry, after reading the other comments I answered my own question…lol Cant wait to try for Easter dinner!


13 sue October 24, 2015 at 7:06 pm

If you choose to cook a ham in a new wave pressure cooker be careful not to over cook, they will dry out My husband way over cooked the one he tried in it. Still made a great potatoe and ham cassarole though!


14 Davina Mather October 4, 2016 at 8:45 am

having trawled the internet to find a recipe for ham, I found myself getting very gloomy with all the sugary, overly complicated recipes, thankfully I found your post and tomorrow we will be eating ham your way, thanks for the simple recipe.


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