Do you ever find yourself in need of an easy meal but forgot to thaw something? What about when unexpected guests show up? If you have an Instant Pot and make a point of keeping a small ham in the freezer, you’re in business. That’s right. You can cook a frozen ham in the Instant Pot!
How to cook a frozen ham in the Instant Pot
I’ve told the story of my Aunt Hazel’s hospitality here before:
No matter how many people showed up at her house, she was always able to feed them. It was probably not going to be anything fancy but no one left her house hungry. One of her secrets was that she always seemed to have a small ham in her refrigerator. She would heat up the ham, open a can or two of baked beans and mix up some coleslaw. Along with a pitcher of sweet tea, dinner was served!
I don’t have anything like the amount of drop-in company that she did but I still like to be prepared. And of course, there are always those nights when you need an easy meal with minimal prep time.
That’s one reason I love my Instant Pot. I can pull a frozen ham from the freezer, put it in the Instant Pot with just three ingredients and with almost no effort, have dinner on the table.
- 1 small frozen ham
- 1 can of crushed pineapple (16 ounces)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Place frozen ham on trivet in Instant Pot.
- Pour crushed pineapple over ham.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Drizzle with maple syrup.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot with vent closed.
- Cook for 35 minutes (Manual button) and allow pressure to release on its own.
- To thicken juices remove ham and trivet.
- Set Instant Pot on sauté setting.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth.
- Stir into liquid in pot.
- Bring to a boil and stir until thickened.
- Pour over ham slices on plate or over rice.
I can usually pick up a small, sliced ham at Aldi for just a few dollars. I try to always keep at least one in my freezer. I also usually keep a can or two of crushed pineapple in the pantry but you could certainly skip that and just add some type of liquid (chicken or vegetable broth would work well).
I love the pre-sliced hams because it makes this meal even easier. No need to dirty a cutting board in order to slice it up.
Ham goes really well with baked beans and coleslaw like my Aunt Hazel so often served, but you could certainly serve it with different side dishes. Some possibilities include applesauce, macaroni and cheese, steamed frozen peas, tossed green salad, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes or rice.
The night I took these photos I happened to have fresh corn on the cob and a baguette on hand. Yum!
You’re likely to have a lot of the pineapple liquid/sauce leftover. You can refrigerate it then use it to make homemade sweet and sour sauce a night or two later. One of these days I’ll share a more exact “recipe” but basically you add more brown sugar, a splash of vinegar, a little soy sauce, some ground ginger and a bit of garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Mix a tablespoon or so of cornstarch in a little cold water until smooth then add to the boiling mixture. Cook until thickened. This is really good over fried rice or with homemade egg rolls.
Do you have a go-to meal for unexpected guests or an easy meal for busy nights? I’m always on the lookout for more ideas so leave me a comment with your favorite.
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This post is linked up at Miz Helen’s “Full Plate Thursday”. Check it out!