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Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham

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Looking for an easy and delicious holiday entree? You’re going to love this Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham!

If you like serving ham for the holidays, here’s another recipe you can try, Ham with Pineapple and Cherries.

a collage of ham, mashed potatoes and pineapple chunks on a blue plate with title text reading Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham

Ham is the star attraction of many traditional family holidays. Who doesn’t love a delicious double smoked ham? Before my Instant Pot, I used to love to make this brown sugar ham in my slow cooker.

Now that my slow cooker has been stored in hard-to-get-to back corner of a corner cabinet to make room for my Instant Pot on the kitchen counter, I decided it was time to convert this recipe. The Instant Pot doesn’t do EVERYTHING well, but this Brown Sugar Ham is a stand out success.

This recipe for Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham is everything a recipe should be – easy, no exotic ingredients you’ll have to hunt for, super flavorful, and a crowd-pleaser. I hope you enjoy it!

If you want to know what to do with the bone after the ham is served, here’s a recipe for Instant Pot Ham Bone Broth. If you have any leftover ham, you can use it in this Ham Tetrazzini recipe.


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How to Make Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham

It almost feels like cheating when creating a culinary masterpiece is so incredibly easy. But hey, no one needs to know, right?

Step 1 – Put the Ham in the Pot

Unlike most other meat recipes, there’s no searing in this step because you’re starting with a pre-cooked spiral ham. You literally just have to place the ham inside the pot on top of the trivet that came with your pot.

ham in an instant pot

Step 2 – Add the Other Ingredients

Seriously, it almost feels ridiculous to break this recipe into steps. There are only 2 other ingredients – brown sugar and a can of pineapple pieces.

Pour the brown sugar evenly over the ham.

brown sugar on top of a ham in an instant pot on a white counter

Next, pour the juice from the pineapple pieces over the brown sugar.

pineapple juice and brown sugar on top of a ham in an instant pot on a white counter

Then, pour in the pineapple pieces all around the top of the brown sugar.

pineapple pieces, juice and brown sugar on top of a ham in an instant pot on a white counter

Step 3 – Pressure Cook

Now you just need to secure the lid and cook for 15 minutes on the meat setting. I like my ham crisper so I cook it for 20 minutes. You can also achieve a crisper crust by cooking for 15 and putting under a broiler afterwards for 2 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally.

pineapple pieces, juice, ham in an instant pot on a white counter

Your Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham is ready to serve!

ham, mashed potatoes and pineapple chunks on a blue plate on a red and white checkered cloth

Ready to make this Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham? Here’s the recipe card with the exact measurements.


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📋 Recipe

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham

Corinne Schmitt
A sweet and savory ham that is super simple to make.
4.57 from 53 votes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 18
Calories 1219 kcal


  • 1 large spiral-cut ham pre-cooked
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks or tidbits WITH juice


  • Place the spiral ham in the Instant Pot on top of trivet – you may need to cut a small portion off in order for it to fit.
  • Evenly disperse the brown sugar over the ham, and then pour the pineapple overtop.
  • Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on the meat setting for 15 minutes, 20 if you like crisper ham.*
  • Natural release.
  • Serve with the juices – you can puree the pineapple for a delicious pineapple chutney-style preserve.


Calories: 1219kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 96gFat: 75gSaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 276mgSodium: 5286mgPotassium: 1320mgSugar: 36gCalcium: 62mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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32 thoughts on “Instant Pot Brown Sugar Ham”

  1. I’m going to do this but do not have my trivet anymore. Any suggestions or can I use this recipe without the trivet?

    • You can use a bakeware sling or steamer basket instead of a trivet.

  2. won’t you get a burn signal on your IP because of all of the brown sugar and pineapple juice.

  3. Is the ham placed directly into the pot or does it need to be sitting on the trivet?

    • Thanks for asking! I should have specified in the recipe (correcting that now) — it’s best to use the trivet.

  4. New instant pot user. Followed your recipe. Ham turned out amazing! I appreciate your willingness to share with the rest of us.

  5. Im new to using a Instant Pot and just finish making this. I used meat/ stew setting and it just boiled It never had any pressure. Next time should I just use pressure cook high?

    • The meat/stew setting is a high pressure setting. If it never came to pressure it likely wasn’t sealed properly. It’s possible the valve wasn’t turned all the way to sealing. If it was, the lid may not have sealed completely. If you notice a similar problem in the future, just gently push down on the lid to force the seal. I sometimes have to do this with mine, especially if I’ve just replaced the sealing ring after cleaning.

  6. My ham is only 2.20lbs (cooking for just my husband and me). How long should I cook? Another site suggested 2 1/2 minutes per pound?

    • I haven’t experimented with a ham that small, but 2 1/2 minutes per pound does match what I did here. The ham I used in this recipe was 6 pounds at 15 minutes. Since the ham is pre-cooked the cook time is really just to heat it through and melt the glaze ingredients (which actually occurs mostly in the pressure-building stage) so I’d think the total time if you set your timer for a 5-6 minute cook would be sufficient.

  7. I have a 8 quart instant pot, will it be ok to put a little over 10 pound ham in it or would it need to be smaller? Could you pl,ease email me the answer as soon as possibile since I would like to try out my new instant pot my fiance’ bought me for Christmas but gave it to me early so I can use it for our Christams dinner.

    • I’ll email you the response but wanted to post it here in too in case others have the same question. The largest ham I’ve been able to fit in my 8-quart is an 8-pound ham. Generally, any larger than that, they are too wide to fit inside.

  8. 5 stars
    I have a 6 pound Boar’s Head sliced raw ham and want to cook it on my 6 qt. Insta Pot which I will be using for the first time. How long do I have to cook it and how much water I have to use? I will be using the sweet Boars Head glaze.

  9. What if you don’t care for pineapple? Will water work? Does the meat taste all pineappelly?

    • Hi Bobbie, you can definitely swap water for the pineapple juice. No, the pineapple flavor doesn’t overwhelm the ham. It just adds some sweetness and a little tartness. You’ll have plenty of sweet from the brown sugar though so if you don’t like pineapple, the dish won’t suffer from omitting it.

  10. What range of size of ham would you recommend for a 6 qt. pressure cooker? I don’t want to purchase one that’s too big. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    can spiral ham be sustitude by canned cooked ham?

    • Since canned ham isn’t actually a single piece (it’s usually scraps of meat pressed together and infused with lots of salt and water), the outcome would be VERY different. I wouldn’t recommend using it in this recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    I have a large instapot & want to cook 2 hams (big family) Do you think 15 minutes should be okay for both of them?? I don’t want the ham to get crispy because my father has a hard time chewing it. Thanks so much for the recipe…I’ve made it 4 times now & it has been perfect every time. Can’t believe I used to dig out the nesco & cook for hours!

    • Since it’s a precooked ham, I think 15 minutes would be fine. The pot will take longer to come to pressure since it will be more full, and thus, the overall cooking time will be longer. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for your comment!

  13. My hand is 11 pounds does that make a difference in how long it needs to be cooked for? Also no water is needed?

    • Hi James, sorry I’m just seeing this. I spent all Easter Sunday with family and wasn’t online. This response might be too late for you as a result, but I’ll answer anyway just in case. Since the recipe calls for a pre-cooked spiral ham, the size of the ham shouldn’t make a difference because the slices will allow for even heating. The juice from the pineapple slices should be enough liquid to allow it to come to pressure and the brown sugar melts to create the glaze.

  14. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow night, love that it’s so easy! So, my guess is that the ham is already thawed? My ham is currently frozen but I plan to have it thawed prior to cooking.

    • Yes, mine was thawed. From frozen would take longer but if it’s pre-cooked would probably still work. I’d set the time for 35 minutes if frozen.

    • I have both a 6 quart and an 8 quart Instant Pot. For most of my recipes, I use the smaller pot since that’s the one most people have. 🙂


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