How to Heat Ham in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

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It’s amazing how heating spiral-cut ham in the pressure cooker keeps the meat so moist and flavorful! No more dried-out reheated ham on your table with this Instant Pot ham recipe that’s perfect for holiday meals from Easter to Christmas. 

45 degree overhead of warmed spiral ham slices served with crisp green asparagus and mashed potatoes made in the pressure cooker on a white plate with fresh rolls in the background.

I love to serve a nice ham for special occasions, but Honey Baked Ham is a must-have for my family at Easter.

My family also loves ham served hot, but oven-heated ham can end up dry and unappealing. That’s where the Instant Pot comes in!

For food safety purposes, use an instant-read thermometer to verify your reheated ham is at least 145°F in the thickest part after cooking. 

The steamy environment inside your pressure cooker is PERFECT to heat a precooked ham so it’s just the right temperature for serving! And it’s always tender and juicy ham I’m proud to serve.

I’ve never cooked it another way ever since!

Update: This is how my family always heats ham for holiday meals! It’s also featured in our Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook. I’ve updated this post with helpful photos and tips so you and your family can always enjoy moist, delicious ham every time.   

A spiral cut ham on a platter placed in front of an Instant Pot.

What Kind of Ham Do I Need?

You can use ANY precooked spiral cut ham!

My family’s favorite is Honey Baked Ham! It’s a precooked, spiral sliced ham with a crunchy sweet glaze. (It’s a splurge, but it’s absolutely worth it. Around the holidays the Honey Baked Ham lines can get over an hour or more.)

However, you can use your Instant Pot to heat any precooked, sliced ham—glazed or unglazed, bone-in or boneless.

📝 Most hams that you can buy in grocery stores are precooked. They’re generally cured or brined. It’s much less common to find uncooked hams, labeled “fresh ham.”

Need more info on which kind of ham to buy?
Have a fresh ham and want to know how long to cook it?

The Honey Baked Ham is precooked and is supposed to be served at room temperature.

(For the record, they say it will only take 30 minutes for the ham to come to room temperature on the counter. I don’t know whose counter they’ve been using, but my ham has never come to room temperature in 30 minutes…)

Ham wrapped in aluminum foil to be heated in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker on a marble counter with a white cloth in the background.

How to Heat Precooked Ham Slices in an Instant Pot

This ham recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

In fact, you can use this Instant Pot method to heat most precooked meats, including pastrami, and turkey. 

The great part about Instant Pot ham is how incredibly simple it is to reheat the meat. 

If you choose to glaze your ham, I recommend adding it to the ham before you wrap it in tin foil. (This way, the glaze gets gooey and melted right against the meat while the ham warms.) 

Tip: If your ham didn’t come with a tasty glaze, try this copycat Honey Baked ham glaze recipe

Overhead of spiral ham wrapped in aluminum foil inside an instant pot with a tin foil sling.

Wrapping the ham tightly in tin foil seals all of the moisture inside to keep the ham from drying out as it warms. 

Next, set up the pressure cooker pot with a low rack and 1 cup of water in the bottom. Use a foil sling to gently lower the ham onto the rack.

Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, so the meat stays juicy. Then unwrap the ham and test to ensure it is warmed to your desired temperature.

Close up on spiral cut warmed honey baked ham in tin foil from the Instant Pot.

Heating Boneless Sliced Ham

If you’re making a boneless sliced ham, you can follow this same procedure.

After cooking, note that the top and bottom slices will get hot before the middle slices. If you wish to serve everything at once, after the initial cook time, move the middle slices to the top and bottom of the stack and return to the pressure cooker. Cook at High Pressure for a few minutes more. 

However, I often find that I have enough ham warmed to serve each family member a slice, so I’ll take out the top and bottom slices to enjoy first, then return just the middle to pressure cook so it’s ready when people want seconds. 😊 

Overhead of a white dish with crisped potato gratin, two slices of pink Easter ham, and fresh asparagus spears with more ham and fresh dinner rolls in the background.

What Size Pressure Cooker Do I Need to Heat Ham?

You can use any size pressure cooker that your ham will fit inside!

I usually cut a large ham into several pieces, removing the bone. Then I use my 8-quart pressure cooker. 

If you have an especially large spiral ham or a smaller Instant Pot / pressure cooker, you can always cut off slices of ham and warm them in batches. 

If you’re not going to finish your entire spiral ham, you can cut off what you’d like and save the rest in the freezer for another meal. 

Overhead of a white plate filled with spiral ham slices, crisp asparagus, and crispy potato gratin

What to Serve with Warm Instant Pot Ham

Because this recipe is so quick and simple, you can have fun making delicious side dishes to serve with your ham slices. Here are some of our favorites:

💡 If your ham has a bone, save it to make Pressure Cooker Baked Beans or Instant Pot 15 Ham and Bean Soup the next day!

45 degree overhead of a plate filled with two large slices of Easter ham defrosted in the instant pot / pressure cooker, along with crisp asparagus, potato gratin and fresh rolls.

Sliced Ham in the Pressure Cooker

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Bring a spiral ham to life in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker to enjoy warm, tender and sweet ham for Easter dinner with your favorite sides.


  • 4 pounds precooked sliced ham
  • 1 cup water


  1. Check to make sure your ham will fit in your pressure cooker, and cut down if needed. Wrap the ham tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. Pour water into the pressure cooking pot, and place the rack in the bottom. Center the wrapped ham on a sling and carefully lower it onto the rack.
  3. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 12 minutes cook time.
  4. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  5. Remove the ham from the aluminum foil and test to ensure it has reached your desired temperature. If not, rewrap the ham and cook at High Pressure for a few minutes more.
  6. Cut the slices away from the bone and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 2217mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 50g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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A picture collage including and Instant Pot and spiral ham on a white platter.
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originally published April 9, 2020 — last updated December 22, 2021
Categories: Pork