Great for your Christmas or New Year table, and also perfect for a Sunday roast all year round, slow cooker gammon glazed with maple syrup is so easy to make and bound to be a hit with your family.
The maple syrup makes the gammon or ham just taste sublime, with that sweet but mellow flavour.
This gammon is cooked in apple juice then glazed with maple syrup and roasted briefly in the oven to give this marvellous result.
What is gammon?
If you are not from the UK where gammon is a common cut of meat, then gammon is an uncooked piece of pork hind leg, cured like bacon, which in Britain we buy uncooked from the supermarket, either as smoked or unsmoked gammon.
Gammon is a typical basis for a roast dinner as well as being enjoyed at Christmas often on Boxing Day.
Gammon as a word is related to the Spanish jámon or French jambon (ham), so often in the UK too we call this a ham, or Christmas ham.
We cook it either in the slow cooker or by baking in the oven to make ham. So gammon could be called a fresh ham, as you need to cook it before eating it, as it is raw.
In the USA where you cannot normally buy gammon in stores, you could achieve similar results by baking a ham joint.
It may be quite similar to an uncooked city ham or ‘smoked ham, shank portion’ you would buy in the USA for example.
Smoked or unsmoked gammon
I prefer to use unsmoked gammon for baked glazed ham as smoked gammon can be pretty salty.
It is typical to soak or boil gammon before cooking to remove some of the salt. I find that choosing unsmoked usually makes this not necessary.
Simple to make
No slaving over a hot oven for hours or checking water levels in a pan required here. Just put the gammon in your slow cooker with some apple juice or stock and off you go!
Over the holiday period you can simply pop the gammon in the crockpot and do something else, a spot of present wrapping, writing Christmas cards, visiting friends.
You can even cook this overnight if you are short on oven space for your festive dishes.
Just half an hour in a hot oven at the end and you will have a golden gammon joint which is so tender inside from slow cooking in apple juice. It will be perfect as your Christmas or Boxing Day ham for your Christmas buffets!
Step by step
1. Put your gammon joint in your slow cooker with 200 ml apple juice and cook for 5 hours on high or 8 on low – based on a 2 kg joint. Check out the cooking times for different weights below.
2. After cooking, check the joint is fully cooked either using a food thermometer or by checking it is tender in the centre with a knife and the juices run clear. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (fan).
3. Transfer the gammon to a roasting pan, remove the string if it is covered in string, and using a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern.
4. Drizzle over approx 50 ml of maple syrup.
5. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden. Half way through the cooking time, baste the joint with the juices from the base of the tray, it works really well if you use a pastry brush to make sure the maple syrup coats the fat fully. Once cooked, transfer to a board ready to serve. Allow to rest for ten minutes before carving.
Whatever size ham you are making, here are the times you will need to cook it in your slow cooker. If cooking a really big ham for a family get together, make sure it will fit in your slow cooker first!
For a 750 g to 1 kg joint of gammon:
6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high
For a 2 kg joint of gammon:
8-10 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high
For a 3 kg joint of gammon (or bigger):
10-12 hours on low or 6-7 on high
Checking your gammon is cooked
Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat at the deepest point has reached 71 degrees C.
Check the meat is tender, has a cooked texture, no red remains (gammon will often look pink) and slices easily.
If you don’t have maple syrup then you could also drizzle honey over your ham before cooking in the oven, it works just as well. Runny honey is best.
Golden syrup, treacle or brown sugar work well too.
- honey and mustard – the classic combination works really well on gammon too. Mix honey and mustard in a small bowl then brush it over the gammon.
- after scoring the diamond pattern on the fat, stud it with cloves (just push them in!) for a Christmas gammon
- jam (such as apricot) and orange marmalade glazes are another way to add festive sweetness
More slow cooker Christmas recipes
If you are looking for Christmas recipes for your slow cooker you are in the right place!
- slow cooker turkey crown
- slow cooker leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic
- slow cooker beef brisket
- slow cooker roast parsnips
- slow cooker red cabbage
- slow cooker mincemeat pudding
- slow cooker cranberry and vanilla steamed pudding
- slow cooker Christmas cake
- slow cooker fudge with lots of varieties to try
Make sure you also check out my Christmas slow cooker roundup full of edible gifts, sweet treats, Christmas dinner recipes and more, all made in your slow cooker!
More Sunday roasts
For some more delicious roast ideas, take a look at these from fellow food bloggers:
- Tandoori leg of lamb from Kavey Eats
- Spring roast of Scotch beef with wild garlic pesto crust from Foodie Quine
- Pork roast with apples and cider gravy from Supper in the Suburbs
- Herby slow roast chicken from Gingey Bites
- Stuffed turkey breasts in blankets from Fab Food 4 All
For all of my slow cooker roast recipes make sure you take a look at my guide to making a roast dinner in your slow cooker.
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Pin my slow cooker gammon for later!
Slow Cooker Gammon with Maple Glaze
- 2 kg approx joint of unsmoked gammon (ham) serves approx 6-8 people with leftovers as ham
- 300 ml clear apple juice
- 50 ml amber pure maple syrup
- Place the gammon in the slow cooker, pour the apple juice in the bottom, replace the lid, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours.
- About half an hour from the end, preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
- When the cooking time has passed, carefully use two forks to remove the gammon from the slow cooker and place it in a baking tray. If the gammon has string on it, remove it now.
- Pat dry the fat on top of the gammon using kitchen roll, then score it in a diamond pattern using a sharp knife.
- Pour the maple syrup on top of the gammon.
- Place the gammon on the baking tray in the oven and cook for half an hour, until golden. Baste occasionally with the cooking juices and maple syrup during cooking.
- Remove from the oven, leave to rest for at least ten minutes (if you try to cut it straightaway it may shred rather than carve as it is so soft), and then carve.
Post originally published January 03 2016. Republished with new images December 18 2018 and updated with new photos again in December 2020.