Slow Cooker Pulled Ham and Honey Mustard Sauce: Easy to Serve

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Sneak Peek: Slow-Cooker Pulled Ham served with a Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce is a make-ahead shredded ham that’s gentle on the pocketbook, easy to serve, and fun to eat.

SLOW-COOKER PULLED HAM with rolls, ready-to-servePin

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Often, when I come across cooked ham in a sandwich, I notice slivers of fat dangling from the sides that seem to require trimming. Yet, I shy away from doing so while dining, as it feels somewhat improper.

With this pulled ham recipe, the task of removing fat is taken care of in advance. This eliminates the need to dissect large pieces, search for the leanest slice, or sidestep the overly dry sections (not that I’d actually do that, of course. 😉).

Six Reasons Why You Will Love Serving This Ham Recipe

  1. All of the work can be done ahead of time. Buy an unsliced, bone-in ham or a smoked, shank ham. Cook it a day or two ahead of time in your slow cooker with water and cider vinegar. After cooling the ham a bit, shred it with two forks, your fingers, or a food processor (using the bread kneading blade). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Pulled ham (or gammon) requires no attention for the last hour before serving. When ready to serve, pop the shredded ham into the oven (or back into the slow cooker), layered with brown sugar and mustard. The subtle vinegar flavor left behind from the long cooking time combined with the sugar/mustard treatment results in an irresistibly tender and piquant meat entree.
  3. The extended water and vinegar bath helps to neutralize the salt. Ham can be pretty salty, but sitting in the slow cooker all day helps to melt it.
  4. Use the cheapest ham you can find. It doesn’t really matter.
  5. As you shred the ham to prepare it for serving, pulling out any fatty pieces is easy. Honestly, dissecting the fat from the meat can be slightly tedious. But since you can do it ahead of time, it’s forgivable. Exam gloves are helpful.
  6. Easier to serve and eat than a whole ham. It’s easy for kids to eat this ham since no fat needs to be trimmed off, and the shreds are already bite-sized. Or, stuff some into homemade or store-bought slider buns with pulled ham for an easy-to-eat miniature sandwich.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“We have packages of this in the freezer all the time. I freeze the sauce in small jelly jars & just spoon some out to thaw a few minutes before we plan to eat.” –MARY

Recipe Inspiration

I am smitten with this simple and inexpensive way to prepare shredded ham I first saw here. Mel cooked hers on the stove. But since I’m a slow cooker girl, this is my version.

Slow cooker ham on a serving platePin

How To Make Slow-Cooker Pulled Ham

whole ham in the crock potPin
Cook ham in a slow cooker with vinegar, water, brown sugar, and prepared mustard. A cooking bag makes clean-up easier. It’s ok to cut ham to make it fit.
shredding cooked ham with a forkPin
Shred ham after it’s cooked.
cooked ham ready to store in the fridgePin
Place ham in a casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate until a couple of hours before you want to serve.
mustard and brown sugar saucePin
A few hours before serving ham, combine the brown sugar and mustard.
pouring sauce over hamPin
Pour the mustard and brown sugar mixture over the shredded ham.
Covering ham with foil before reheatingPin
Cover the ham with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 1 hour or back in the slow cooker for 2-3 hours.

I prefer this ham with no additional condiments. But if you are a mustard lover, you might appreciate an extra dose of mustard flavor from the Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce pictured below. All this plate needs is some pickles on the side.

Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce pouring over pulled ham slidersPin

Incidentally, grilled meats such as ribs or chicken benefit from the same treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does shredded ham need to be cooked?

No. Since it is already cooked, it only needs to be warmed if you want to serve it hot.

How do you shred a cooked ham? Can I do it with a food processor?

Do it with a fork, your fingers, or a food processor using the dough blade. Another easy way to shred ham is in a stand mixer. Use the flat beater attachment. Add chunks of ham to the bowl, select a medium-low speed, and turn the mixer on. After about 30 seconds (depending on how much meat is in the bowl), you will have shredded meat.

What else can I do with leftover shredded ham?

Use it in soup, ham salad, fried rice, and casseroles.

Parting Thoughts: Speaking of homemade rolls, the bread you see in the picture of ham sandwiches above is my best clone of Sweet Hawaiian Bread. You can make these rolls with your bread machine.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Yield: 16 servings

Slow-Cooker Pulled Ham Recipe

Make-ahead ham that’s gentle on the pocketbook and fun to eat.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 32 votes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 12 hours
Total time: 12 hours 30 minutes


Preparing the ham

  • 7-10 pound (3175 g) bone-in, unsliced, smoked, shank ham
  • 2 cups (454 g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 g) prepared mustard or Dijon

Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 slice bacon diced
  • ¾ cup (39 g) frozen chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup (227 g) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (84 g) honey
  • ¾ cup (186 g) prepared yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup ( 60 g) brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Place 7-10 pound (3175 g) bone-in, unsliced, smoked, shank ham into a large slow cooker large enough to still get the lid on. You may have to chop off a piece to accomplish this. No harm. Lay the cut-off piece beside the ham in the cooker.
  • Pour 2 cups (454 g) apple cider vinegar over the ham, then fill a slow cooker with water to barely cover the ham.
  • Cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
  • Remove ham from water–discard water. When cool enough to handle, pull the ham off the bone. (Save the bone for your next pot of beans.) Use 2 forks or gloved hands to shred ham. You can refrigerate at this point or proceed if serving immediately.
  • In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar and ¼ cup (60 g) prepared mustard (prepared yellow mustard or Dijon–your preference) and stir to make a paste.
  • Layer half of the ham into a 9 x 9-inch or similar casserole dish.
  • Spread half of the brown sugar and mustard paste over the first layer of ham. Then add the remaining ham, followed by the remaining brown sugar paste.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350˚F (180˚C) or until heated throughout.
  • If preferred, place the ham back into the empty slow cooker layered with the brown-sugar and mustard paste and cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce:

  • Fry 1 slice bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp. Scoop the bacon out of the pan leaving drippings behind, and drain on a paper towel.
  • Sauté ¾ cup (39 g) frozen chopped onion and 1 garlic clove for 2-3 minutes in drippings until soft.
  • Add 1 cup (227 g) apple cider vinegar,¼ cup (84 g) honey, ¾ cup (186 g) prepared yellow mustard, ¼ cup ( 60 g) brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and the crispy bacon bits. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Refrigerate leftovers


This ham freezes well. I love to portion it into small individual packages that I can nuke and add to my salad or make into a quick sandwich. Try it in a baked potato or sweet potato, or add it to a chicken barbecue pizza. How about some ham and cheese quesadillas? 
The Nutritionals include the mustard barbecue sauce.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sarah Netherton says:

    I used to make a ham like this, but have recently had trouble finding a smoked ham that is smoked but also raw and uncooked. Is the ham shank you use for this recipe a fully cooked smoked ham or an uncooked raw smoked ham?

    1. Hi Sarah,

      It’s great to hear from you. I use a cheap, fully cooked ham (usually bought at Aldi). I cook it in the slow cooker to make the meat fall-off-the-bone tender and to neutralize all the salt.

  2. Jack Tanksley says:

    5 stars
    Just as good as expected!

    1. Thank you for the five-star rating, Jack. So happy you liked the ham.

  3. 5 stars
    This looks SOOOOOO good; I’m giving it five stars before I even try it because I know, coming from your kitchen, it will be spectacular. Thank you, Paula, for all your wonderful recipes.

    1. Hi Shawna,
      How kind of you to say that! I hope you like the ham after you try it. Thank you for writing.

  4. Gina Gary says:

    What brand of ham do you recommend? I’m in the Dallas area also.

    1. Gina, When I do the pulled ham, I go for the cheapest—think Aldi. It doesn’t matter if there’s a lot of fat because you’ll be pulling all that out after a trip through the slow cooker.

  5. 5 stars
    We have packages of this in the freezer all the time. I freeze the sauce in small jelly jars & just spoon some out to thaw a few minutes before we plan to eat.

  6. Yes, I am looking forward to that bread recipe also. Yummy!! What a great idea for the ham. I must try!! Looks so good!!

  7. This looks divine! And easy, so what’s not to like? You seem to always be able to pull a rabbit from your hat, Paula. Easy, tasty, convenient, it doesn’t get any better than that. My husband cannot eat nitrates, so this would be a great solution for an Easter ham. Oh, and I am really looking forward to that clone of sweet Hawaiian bread.