Juicy slices of ham cooked in a roaster is an easy way to make feeding a crowd at the holidays easier.
Whether you make a spiral sliced ham, boneless ham or half a ham with the bone-in we have the tips to help make the center piece of your meal successful!
Cooking Ham In A Roaster
Cooking ham in a roaster oven saves space in your regular oven and can be done anywhere there’s electricity.
Using an electric roaster and the proper cooking times and temperatures creates a quality product. Guests will never know whether you used a roaster or traditional oven.
Cook your ham low and slow with your favorite glaze or with some pineapple juice and pop in an electric roaster. The smoked flavor of ham is excellent on its own, but you can always add a Root Beer Glaze or other spices like cloves if you like.
What’s Needed To Make Ham In A Roaster Oven?
- An 18 or 20 Quart Roaster Oven will hold one or two of most hams. A larger model is fine too.
- The Wire Insert that comes with the roaster or a couple meat forks that can be inserted in the ham to remove it from the roaster.
- Silicone Finger Mitts or a couple other thick and moisture resistant hot pads help hold the wire insert to remove the ham.
- A large Cutting Board to carve the ham.
- Electric Knife or large carving knife.
- Pineapple Juice & Sprite to cook the ham in and a little extra to lay the ham in to keep warm while serving
What Temperature To Cook Ham In A Roaster?
We typically cook ham at 275℉ to in an electric roaster with some juice in the roaster pan. This is similar to using a slow cooker on the high setting.
Most ham is pre-cooked, but always read the package to be sure. When ham is pre-cooked it can be eaten cold or warm. Insert a digital thermometer in the center of the ham without touching the bone. 120℉ is the typical internal temperature for a pre-cooked ham.
How Many People Does 1 Pound Feed?
We estimate that 1 pound of ham will feed 3 to 4 people.
This assumes purchasing a bone-in ham, so the entire cut that includes the bone and trimmings will not be edible.
A crowd of big eaters may eat 1/3 of a pound per person where a group with small kids may average 5 to 7 people per pound.
How To Cook Ham in a Roaster
Begin by taking a picture of the tag on the ham that says how many pounds it is along with any cooking or glazing instructions.
Put a thick coat of non-stick cooking spray on the insert pan.
Add the wire insert and be sure that it is open to help remove the ham once it is cooked.
Unwrap the ham by cutting the wrapping off as the ham is in the roaster. This is a good step to ask for help if someone is available. It is also fine to cut open on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer into the roaster.
Add the pineapple juice and soda pop to the pan to add a little bit of sweet liquid.
Cover the roaster and turn to 275℉. Cook for 12 minutes per pound.
Any type of ham can be cooked in a roaster. The pictures shown are from two different experiments with bone-in ham and spiral sliced ham.
Since roasters vary GREATLY in how quickly they cook check the internal temperature after cooking for 12 minutes per pound.
The ham may be done at this point, or it may need to cook longer. I have one Hamilton Beach roaster that cooks hot and fast and another that cooks much lower and takes more time.
Continue to cook at 20 – 30 minute intervals checking the internal temp until it reaches 120℉.
If using a glaze use that recipe or the recipe on the glaze packet that often comes with spiral hams.
Once the ham is warmed through remove from the roaster and allow to rest for 15 – 20 minutes before carving and serving. Enjoy!
Does Ham Need to Be Wrapped in Foil?
The purpose of wrapping ham in foil is to hold it together so the slices don’t fall apart and dry out.
During testing I did not wrap my bone-in or spiral sliced ham in foil.
The bone-in ham cooks juicy and delicious.
Layers of the spiral sliced ham fell forward slowly and dried out. So, wrapping TIGHTLY in foil to prevent layers from coming apart.
Make a plan to be able to remove the foil safely after cooking and before carving.
Spiral Ham in a Roaster
The key to making the best spiral ham is keeping the slices held tightly together during the cooking process.
If the slices on the front fall apart as they warm up and cook they will dry out and be more likely to burn before the back section that isn’t fully sliced is able to be warmed through.
Best Ham to Cook
We like a whole or half bone-in ham to create the juiciest most flavorful meat.
Cooking with the bone adds flavor and means there is some fat, but not too much in the meat.
Since the meat has not been pre-sliced it will stay in one piece and cook evenly without drying out.
Cooking Two Hams At Once
If two hams fit in the roaster just increase cooking time to 15 to 20 minutes per pound of the biggest ham.
Leave a space in the center of the hams to allow heat to flow evenly around all sides of the ham. Rotate the hams after one and a half to two hours to help cook more evenly.
Only cook hams of a similar type and weight together in a large roaster for the most even cooking time and best results.
Know that there will be more variability in the cooking time, so start a bit earlier if this is your first time making a ham in the roaster.
Slice the ham when ready and lay in a crock pot in 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and set to keep warm until ready to serve.
Reheating Ham In A Roaster
Many roasters get really hot around the edges and corners. If using a roaster to reheat slices of ham plan to stir or rotate the pieces often to help evenly distribute the heat and prevent burning.
Try to use a low heat with some pineapple juice and keep an eye on the meat. Rotate every 45 – 60 minutes for best results.
Recipe Tips & Tricks:
- Any type of ham can be cooked in an electric roaster.
- Set the packaged ham in the roaster RIGHT AWAY after purchasing to ensure that it will fit with the lid tightly secured. Don’t wait to see if the ham fits the day that you want to cook it.
- Ensure that the lid fits securely on the roaster and does not touch the top of the ham. If it does touch that portion of the ham is more likely to burn. If the lid doesn’t close properly then steam will escape and change the cooking time.
- Plan for some variability in cooking time as roasters vary greatly.
- Avoid lifting the lid for the first hour and a half of cooking. Steam and heat is lost every time the lid is opened. Remember “if you’re looking you’re not cooking.”
- Have a plan to keep the ham warm on a very low setting before serving.
More Big Batch Recipe Ideas:
Pasta Salad For A Crowd – Uses colorful pasta with chopped veggies and Italian dressing to make a great side dish.
Macaroni Salad For A Crowd – Is another economical option for big groups that’s always popular.
Ham In A Roaster
- 10 pound ham bone-in or spiral
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup Sprite or other soda
- Generously coat a roaster with non-stick cooking spray. Put wire insert in the bottom of the roaster leaning the sides up on the edge of the roaster.
- Unwrap ham over the roaster and set on the insert.
- Pour pineapple juice and pop into the pan.
- Set the electric roaster on 275℉ and cook for 12 to 15 minutes per pound.
- If using a 10 pound ham, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature after 120 minutes. Read the package to ensure the ham is pre-cooked and warm to 120℉ then slice and serve.
- If the ham is ready early wrap in foil and turn the roaster to keep warm. Or slice and keep sliced ham in a crock pot on low in a thin layer of pineapple juice until ready to serve.
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