Heating Ham Slices in the Pressure Cooker

It’s amazing how heating spiral Honey Baked 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 for Easter with fresh rolls in the background.

We love Honey Baked Ham. It’s a spiral sliced ham with a crunchy sweet glaze available only at the Honey Baked store. I’ve actually waited in line during the holidays for over an hour just to buy a Honey Baked Ham.

The Honey Baked Ham is pre-cooked and is supposed to be served at room temperature. 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. So I’ve often resorted to heating the ham in the oven. Unfortunately, baking it often dries out the ham.

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, robust ham every time.   

That’s when I turned to my Instant Pot. Its the perfect steamy environment to evenly heat a precooked Honey Baked ham to just the right temperature for serving. The ham is moist, tender, and far from the dried-out dish I used to get! 

I’m sure you’ll never return to the oven method of reheating ham once you’ve made Instant Pot ham. In fact, you might even start enjoying spiral ham all year long!

Whole spiral ham in a white serving dish in front of a small Instant Pot where it was heated for easter dinner.

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.

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

Honey Baked Ham comes with a honey glaze packet. You don’t need to add it, but if you like a soft, sweet glaze on your holiday ham, I recommend adding it to the ham before you wrap it in tin foil. This way, the glaze gets gooey and melted while the ham warms. 

And if your ham didn’t come with a tasty glaze, try this copycat Honebaked ham glaze recipe

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.

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. Seal the lid and select High Pressure and 12 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, perform a 10-minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick pressure release.

When the pressure valve drops, carefully open the lid, remove the ham and enjoy perfectly warm slices. 

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

What Kind of Ham Can I Heat in the Instant Pot?

This recipe is for pre-cooked spiral cut ham. I use it for my family’s favorite Honey Baked Ham, however, any ham that’s sliced and precooked will warm beautifully in an Instant Pot. 

In fact, most hams that you can buy in the grocery store are precooked. It’s uncommon to find fresh (uncooked) hams. 

Precooked hams have generally been cured in a flavorful rub or brine. This imparts their signature sweet and salty flavor. Some have also been smoked. 

Fresh ham, on the other hand, is a cut of meat from the hind legs that, like a roast, must be cooked before serving. The Kitchn has a helpful article about all the varieties of ham available. 

If you aren’t cooking a sliced ham, here is a great guide for cooking times for other hams.

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

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

A Tip About Heating Boneless Sliced Ham in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

When heating a boneless sliced ham, the top and bottom slices get hot before the middle. If the entire ham isn’t warm enough after the natural pressure release, simply take out the top and bottom slices to enjoy first. 

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. 

Overhead of a white dish for Easter 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. 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. 

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

Overhead of a white plate filled for Easter with spiral ham slices, crisp asparagus and crispy potato gratin on a white marble background with a white striped cloth napkin.

What to Serve with Warm Instant Pot Ham

Because this recipe is so quick and simple, the fun part is getting to make delicious side dishes to serve with your ham slices. 

If your ham had a bone, use it to make Pressure Cooker Baked Beans the next day!

Sliced Ham in the Pressure Cooker

Sliced Ham in the Pressure Cooker

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.

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


  • 4 pounds pre-cooked sliced ham
  • 1 cups water


  1. Wrap the ham tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil (make sure it will fit in your pressure cooker). Pour water into the pressure cooking pot and place the rack in the bottom of the pot. Put the wrapped ham in a sling and carefully lower it onto the rack.
  2. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 12 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and finish with a quick pressure release. When valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  3. Remove ham from the aluminum foil, cut the slices away from the bone and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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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