Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

This tender smoked picnic ham from the slow cooker, glazed with lingonberry sauce and finished in the oven is an easy holiday recipe.

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Total time: 4 hrs 40 mins


2 small onions, peeled and halved

10 black peppercorns

2 whole star anise

2 bay leaves

big pinch of ground cloves

1 (6-7 pound) smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham)

2 cups water

1 cup apple cider

For the glaze:
1/4 cup lingonberry jam (often labeled as wild natural lingonberries – but you can tell it’s jam by looking)

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Place the onion halves in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, cut side down. Scatter peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, and ground cloves around them. Using them as a stand, set the pork shoulder on top of the onions, skin side facing up. Pour the apple cider and water over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours (until ham registers at least 160° F in center.
  2. When ham is done, preheat oven to 425° F.
  3. Thoroughly line a 9″x13″ baking dish with heavy duty foil (or a couple of layers of regular foil). Carefully lift the ham out of the slow cooker and set carefully into the pan.
  4. Use a sharp knife and some tongs to remove the skin and all but a thin layer of fat. Use a knife to score the fat (diamonds, squares, lines – whatever you like).
  5. Stir all of the glaze ingredients together until well combined, then spread the glaze over the scored fat and slide into preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove ham from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.


Save the bone for making ham stock or soup. If you like, you can use the ham cooking liquid in soup if you don’t mind a bit of sweetness (from the apple cider) and spice.