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Gammon Ham in Slow Cooker

Asked by dawnyb. Answered on 18th August 2012

Full question

Hi Nigella and Team, can I cook a piece of gammon ham in my slow cooker? If so, for how long? I'm thinking of cooking Nigella's Ham in Coca Cola this way.

Our answer

A gammon ham is a cured but uncooked ham, these are much more common in the UK than in the US. The ham is gently simmered for several hours to cook it through and a slow cooker or crock pot is usually good for this type of extended gentle cooking. Slow cookers vary se we suggest that you consult your handbook for guidance on cooking larger items, such as whole hams.

Make sure that the ham fits in the cooker and can be covered with the cola. The slow cooker should be preaheated for 5 to 10 minutes and the cola should be heated to simmering point before it is carefully added to the ham in the slow cooker as preheating the liquid will speed up the cooking process. It also helps if you can take the ham out of the refrigerator around an hour before cooking it.

The ham in Nigella's recipe (from How To Eat, and also see link below) is a boneless ham around 2kg/4 1/4 pounds. As a slow cooker uses very gentle heat it is likely that the ham will take longer to cook and we would estimate that the ham will take around 4 hours to cook, though if you have a high setting on your slow cooker then using this setting for the first hour and reducing the heat to low after that could bring the cooking time down to 3 1/2 hours. When it is fully cooked the ham should reach a temperature of 72c/160F when an instant read digital thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the ham. The ham can then be glazed in a conventional oven following the instructions in the recipe.

If the whole ham is already fully cooked then it can be reheated in a slow cooker. You can use a lot less liquid (around 250ml/1 cup) and it will probably take around 4 hours to heat through fully. It should reach an internal temperature of 60C/140F. Again, it can be glazed using the conventional method.

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