Slow Cooker Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham

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.

22 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham”

    1. 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!

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Shredded Ham | Camano Community

  2. 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.)

    1. 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.

  3. 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!

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

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. So glad I found your site! I’m new to slow cooking and like Davina I just wanted to make ham without all the brown sugar, pineapple, etc. I usually buy packaged ham products but when I saw a butt portion for $0.49/lb. I figured I’d give it a shot and since I have a vacuum sealer no problem storing leftovers. Thank you!

  9. Gabrielle – you are AWESOME. Stumbled across this recipe a couple of years ago and my family has loved it ever since. We use the leftover pork to make enchiladas and they are SO good. Shank ham is on sale this week at our grocery store here in North Texas and I just had to comment on this recipe and tell you thanks!!

  10. Made this today and it turned out great! Just fell apart. Thank you for this simple technique. So easy!! Made it in my Nesco :)

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