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How To Cook A Picnic Ham In A Crock Pot How To Cook A Picnic Ham In A Crock Pot

Outdoor Entertaining

How To Cook A Picnic Ham In A Crock Pot

Written by: James Anderson

Learn how to cook a delicious picnic ham in a crock pot for your outdoor entertaining needs. Enjoy a hassle-free and tasty meal!

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Planning a picnic or outdoor gathering is a delightful way to savor the great outdoors with family and friends. One of the quintessential dishes for a perfect picnic is a succulent picnic ham, slow-cooked to perfection in a crock pot. This article will guide you through the process of selecting the ideal picnic ham, preparing it with flavorful seasonings, and cooking it to tender, juicy perfection in a crock pot. Whether you're hosting a leisurely weekend picnic at the park or a lively outdoor barbecue in your backyard, a picnic ham cooked in a crock pot is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

As we delve into the art of preparing a picnic ham in a crock pot, we'll explore the nuances of choosing the right cut of ham, infusing it with delectable flavors, and achieving that melt-in-your-mouth texture. The slow-cooking process in a crock pot allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become incredibly tender, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all. So, grab your apron and let's embark on a culinary adventure that will elevate your outdoor entertaining to new heights.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose a well-marbled, bone-in picnic ham for outdoor gatherings. Prepare it with flavorful seasonings, cook it low and slow in a crock pot, and serve with creative accompaniments for a crowd-pleasing dining experience.
  • Cooking a picnic ham in a crock pot is a labor of love that elevates outdoor entertaining. The slow-cooking process infuses the meat with irresistible flavors, creating a memorable and satisfying dining experience for all.

Choosing the Right Picnic Ham

When it comes to selecting a picnic ham for your outdoor gathering, it’s essential to choose a cut that promises both flavor and tenderness. A picnic ham, also known as a pork shoulder picnic, is a flavorful and economical choice for feeding a group of hungry picnickers. Here are a few key factors to consider when choosing the perfect picnic ham:

  • Cut of Meat: Opt for a well-marbled picnic ham that consists of the lower portion of the pork shoulder. This cut typically includes a portion of the bone, which adds depth of flavor during the cooking process.
  • Size: Consider the number of guests you plan to serve and select a picnic ham that can comfortably provide ample servings for everyone. A general rule of thumb is to estimate about ½ pound of ham per person.
  • Quality: Look for a picnic ham with a generous layer of fat, as this will contribute to the succulence and flavor of the meat during the slow-cooking process.
  • Bone-In vs. Boneless: While both bone-in and boneless picnic hams yield delicious results, a bone-in ham tends to impart richer flavors to the surrounding meat, making it a popular choice for slow cooking.

Whether you visit your local butcher or peruse the meat section of your grocery store, take the time to select a picnic ham that meets your preferences for marbling, size, and overall quality. By choosing a well-suited picnic ham, you set the stage for a delectable culinary centerpiece that will be the highlight of your outdoor gathering.

Preparing the Picnic Ham

Before the picnic ham undergoes the slow-cooking magic of the crock pot, it’s essential to prepare the meat with a tantalizing blend of seasonings and aromatics. This step ensures that the ham becomes infused with irresistible flavors, resulting in a dish that is both aromatic and mouthwatering. Here’s how to prepare the picnic ham for its flavorful journey:

  • Trimming and Scoring: Begin by trimming any excess skin and fat from the surface of the picnic ham. Then, use a sharp knife to score the remaining fat in a crisscross pattern. This allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat and the fat to render during cooking, enhancing the overall flavor and texture.
  • Seasoning Blend: Create a seasoning blend using a combination of aromatic spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and a touch of brown sugar for a hint of sweetness. Rub the seasoning blend generously over the entire surface of the picnic ham, ensuring that it adheres to the scored areas.
  • Aromatics: Enhance the flavor profile by layering aromatic elements such as sliced onions, garlic cloves, and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme around the picnic ham in the crock pot. These aromatic additions infuse the meat with depth and complexity as they release their flavors during the slow-cooking process.
  • Liquid Base: Introduce a flavorful liquid base to the crock pot, such as chicken broth or apple juice, to provide moisture and enhance the overall taste of the picnic ham. The liquid base also contributes to creating a delectable sauce as the ham cooks, adding to the dish’s appeal.

By meticulously preparing the picnic ham with a tantalizing blend of seasonings, aromatics, and a flavorful liquid base, you set the stage for a culinary masterpiece that will captivate the senses and leave your guests eagerly anticipating the main course.

For a delicious picnic ham in a crock pot, place the ham in the pot, add 1 cup of water or broth, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add your favorite seasonings for extra flavor!

Cooking the Picnic Ham in a Crock Pot

Once the picnic ham is meticulously prepared and infused with a symphony of flavors, it’s time to embark on the slow-cooking journey that will transform the meat into a tender, succulent masterpiece. The crock pot, with its gentle and consistent heat, is the perfect vessel for coaxing out the rich, savory flavors of the picnic ham. Here’s how to achieve culinary perfection as you cook the picnic ham in a crock pot:

  • Setting the Stage: Place the seasoned and prepared picnic ham in the crock pot, nestling it amidst the aromatic elements and the flavorful liquid base. Ensure that the ham is positioned in a way that allows it to cook evenly and absorb the surrounding flavors.
  • Low and Slow: Opt for the low-heat setting on the crock pot, allowing the picnic ham to undergo a leisurely cooking process that spans several hours. This gentle approach ensures that the meat becomes tender and imbued with the essence of the seasonings and aromatics.
  • Basting and Turning: Periodically baste the picnic ham with the savory liquid that accumulates in the crock pot, ensuring that the meat remains moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. If possible, gently turn the ham halfway through the cooking time to promote even distribution of the juices and flavors.
  • Monitoring Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the picnic ham, ensuring that it reaches a safe and succulent level of doneness. The ideal internal temperature for fully cooked picnic ham is 145°F (63°C).

As the picnic ham undergoes the slow-cooking alchemy in the crock pot, the tantalizing aromas that waft through your kitchen will undoubtedly whet the appetites of your guests, setting the stage for a memorable outdoor dining experience.

Serving the Picnic Ham

As the slow-cooked picnic ham reaches its pinnacle of succulence and flavor, it’s time to present this culinary masterpiece to your eager guests. Serving the picnic ham with finesse and creativity elevates the outdoor dining experience, ensuring that it becomes a memorable and satisfying affair for all. Here’s how to serve the picnic ham in a manner that accentuates its delectable qualities:

  • Carving and Presentation: Carefully transfer the cooked picnic ham to a cutting board and allow it to rest for a few minutes to retain its juices. With a sharp carving knife, skillfully slice the ham against the grain to achieve tender, uniform cuts that showcase the meat’s succulence.
  • Accompaniments: Complement the picnic ham with an array of delectable accompaniments, such as tangy mustard, sweet and spicy chutneys, or a luscious fruit compote. These accompaniments provide a delightful contrast to the rich flavors of the ham, adding depth and variety to each bite.
  • Side Dishes: Pair the picnic ham with an assortment of enticing side dishes, such as buttery mashed potatoes, vibrant seasonal salads, or buttered corn on the cob. The interplay of flavors and textures between the ham and its accompaniments creates a harmonious and satisfying dining experience.
  • Artful Presentation: Arrange the carved picnic ham on a platter adorned with fresh herbs and citrus slices, creating an inviting visual display that enhances the overall dining experience. A thoughtfully presented dish is not only visually appealing but also entices the senses, setting the stage for a delightful meal.

By approaching the serving of the picnic ham with attention to detail and creativity, you transform a delicious dish into a captivating centerpiece that anchors your outdoor gathering in a feast of flavors and conviviality.


Preparing a picnic ham in a crock pot is a labor of love that culminates in a culinary triumph, elevating your outdoor entertaining to new heights. From the careful selection of the perfect picnic ham to the meticulous preparation and the slow-cooking process that infuses the meat with irresistible flavors, every step contributes to a dining experience that is as memorable as it is satisfying.

As you savor the tender, succulent slices of picnic ham, surrounded by the laughter and camaraderie of your guests, you’ll find that the effort and attention to detail have yielded a dish that transcends mere sustenance. The flavors that unfold with each bite and the warmth of shared moments underscore the essence of outdoor entertaining—an experience that nourishes not only the body but also the spirit.

So, whether you’re basking in the sun at a picturesque park or reveling in the conviviality of your backyard, the picnic ham cooked in a crock pot serves as a testament to the joy of al fresco dining. It’s a reminder that the simplest of gatherings can be transformed into cherished memories through the magic of good food and great company.

As you embark on your next outdoor entertaining venture, armed with the knowledge and expertise to prepare a tantalizing picnic ham in a crock pot, may your gatherings be filled with laughter, delectable aromas, and the shared delight of a meal lovingly prepared and savored.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Cook A Picnic Ham In A Crock Pot

Can I use a picnic ham for sandwiches?

Yes, you can definitely use a picnic ham for sandwiches! It’s a great option for picnics and outdoor gatherings. Just slice it up and put it between two pieces of bread for a delicious and easy meal.
What are some seasoning options for cooking a picnic ham in a crock pot?

You can season your picnic ham with a variety of options such as brown sugar, honey, mustard, cloves, or even pineapple juice for a sweet and tangy flavor. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different seasonings to find your favorite combination!
How long does it take to cook a picnic ham in a crock pot?

Cooking a picnic ham in a crock pot typically takes around 6-8 hours on low heat, or 3-4 hours on high heat. It’s important to make sure the internal temperature of the ham reaches 145°F to ensure it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.
Can I add vegetables to the crock pot with the picnic ham?

Absolutely! Adding vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions to the crock pot with the picnic ham can infuse them with delicious flavor. Just make sure to cut the vegetables into large chunks so they don’t get too mushy during the long cooking process.
What are some side dishes that pair well with a picnic ham?

There are plenty of side dishes that pair perfectly with a picnic ham, such as macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, or a fresh green salad. These sides complement the savory flavors of the ham and make for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

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