This super-easy Air Fryer Ham is sure to become a family favorite! Boneless ham is basted with a savory-sweet brown sugar and pineapple glaze, and then air-fried until warm, golden, and perfect. Great for the holidays, or anytime!
An Easy Glazed Ham Recipe
Mouth definitely watering from those photos. Hope it’s not just me. ;-)
When cool weather comes around, it’s hard for me not to start thinking ahead to the holidays! How about you? I know a lot of people are pretty strict about not rushing into the season, but as a food-lovin’ foodie, my mouth starts watering for all the holiday favorites well in advance!
With Thanksgiving approaching, naturally I’m thinking about turkey recipes… but besides the bird, I have to say I’m a big fan of serving ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas (and any special occasion, really)! It’s just so easy. And flavorful. And festive! Plus, for those who don’t really love turkey, it can be a welcome addition to the table.
But to be honest, ham is really good anytime. It goes with everything, and makes a nice change from chicken and beef during the week. The problem is, most of us don’t want to bring home an enormous bone-in beauty and let it slowly bake on the regular. Right?
Enter this easy recipe for air-fried ham! That’s right—air fried! Your air fryer isn’t just perfect for making wings, or egg rolls, or other crispy little bites. It can also make a small ham just dandy, and in only about 40 minutes. But just in case you don’t have an air fryer, I also have an easy Crockpot Ham recipe!
Looking for more holiday recipes you can make in your air fryer? Don’t miss my easy Air Fryer Turkey Breast!
To make the ham nice and shiny and sweet, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients for making a glaze. You can tweak the glaze to add your own favorite ingredients, too! (For the recipe card with specific amounts and complete instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this post.)
- Butter: A couple of tablespoons of real butter adds shine and flavor to the sweet glaze.
- Brown Sugar: Light or dark brown sugar is fine. Just make sure to pack it down when you measure it.
- Pineapple: I use canned crushed pineapple with the juices, which makes this a super easy recipe!
- Ginger: Freshly grated ginger takes this easy dish up to a whole new level!
- Soy Sauce: To get a touch of umami saltiness, we’ll add a splash of soy sauce. (Tamari is a good option too, and coconut aminos also work well!)
- Ham: The main thing to remember is to get a ham that actually fits in your air fryer! For me, a 3 – 4 pound ham fits just fine.
- Garnish: A couple of pineapple rings are a nice optional garnish.
What are the different types of ham?
Basically, the two types of ham you can make in an air fryer are city hams, or country hams. City hams are what you typically think of when you imagine a classic holiday ham. They’re easy to find in supermarkets, and are sold ready to eat, although most people bake them first. That’s the kind of ham I used here, and I went with a small boneless version. City hams are moist, tender, and super easy to make.
The other option is country ham. Unlike wet-cured city ham, country ham is dry-cured and aged before being sold. These are much less common to see in grocery stores. A full-size country ham is usually quite large, and has to be soaked to remove some of the heavy salt content before cooking and eating. A whole country ham will definitely not fit in the air fryer. However, if you’re determined to have country ham, look for a small, boneless country ham. These are usually soaked, rinsed, and pre-cooked before being sold, so you don’t have to worry about that part! Plus they’re little enough to fit in the air fryer!
How to Bake Ham in the Air Fryer
This process is so easy, you guys. One important thing to remember, though, is that you’re going to be unfolding and folding the foil several times, as well as lifting it and lowering it. So you may want to double-layer the foil to avoid possible tears and spilling!
Make the Glaze. To make the sweet and sticky glaze, combine the butter, brown sugar, crushed pineapple (with juices!), grated ginger, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time so that it doesn’t scorch. Remove the glaze from the heat, and set it aside.
Score the Ham. Make diagonal slices into the ham, about one inch deep. Cut parallel lines one inch cuts across the top of the ham at an angle, half an inch apart. Then turn the ham and make parallel cuts in the opposite direction. You should end up with diamond-shaped lines across the top of the entire ham.
Make a Foil Container for the Ham. Place the ham, cut side up, in the middle of a long sheet of foil. Fold the sides of the foil up and around the ham to make a “bowl.” Place the whole thing in the air fryer basket.
Glaze the Ham and Seal the Foil. Brush half of the hot glaze over the ham. Make sure it gets into the diagonal slices you made. Fold the edges of the foil all the way over the ham, crimping or double-folding to seal up the top.
Air Fry the Ham. Set the air fryer to 300°F, and let the ham cook for 20 minutes or so. Then take out the air fryer basket carefully, and open the foil package. Brush the remaining glaze over the ham. Reseal the foil, and place back in the air fryer. Cook for an additional 20 minutes at 300°F.
Optional: Brown the Top. To crisp the top of the ham a bit, just open the foil and fold it back to expose the top of the ham to the heat. Air-fry at 350° for a few minutes.
Serve. Remove the ham carefully from the air fryer basket. Place it on a serving platter. If you’re using pineapple rings on top of the ham, arrange them on top first, and then gently pour the remaining sauce over before serving.
How long do I cook ham in the air fryer?
This recipe is for fully-cooked ham, so you really only have to air-fry it until it’s warm all the way through and the glaze has had a chance to flavor the meat. I find that about 8 – 10 minutes per pound at 300°F works well! But you can also check the ham sooner and/or leave it in a little longer.
The time doesn’t have to be exact, since the ham is already cooked. Also, each type and size of air fryer cooks a little bit differently, so it’s good to check and check again until the ham is done to your liking.
Tips for Success
So that’s it! I’m sure you are going to love how easy and tasty it is to bake a ham in your air fryer. But before you get started, let me just share a few more tips for making this recipe:
- Add Spices: For even more holiday vibes, spike this recipe with some ground cinnamon, or insert whole cloves into each diamond that you score on the top of the ham. Pretty and yummy!
- Each Ham is Different: If you are cooking a flatter, thinner piece of ham, keep in mind that it will cook through faster than one that is thicker. If the ham is large, you may need to cut it into two pieces to fit it into the air fryer.
- Let It Rest: As with any roasted or baked meat, I think this ham is best if you let it rest before serving. The result will be more tender and juicy! 10 minutes or so is fine.
To serve ham, I like to make either a simple meal with a couple of easy sides, or a holiday feast with all the trimmings! These are some of my favorite recipes that work for either option.
- Mac and Cheese: Warm cheesy macaroni is so satisfying! Try this easy Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe you make on the stove—it only takes 15 minutes, but it has all the gooey cheese factor of a slow-baked mac and cheese casserole!
- Green Bean Casserole: Another comforting classic, my version of Green Bean Casserole is made 100% from scratch. It’s easy to do, but if you’re low on time, steamed and buttered green beans are another perfect veggie option.
- Cheesy Potato Casserole: Potatoes and ham always go well together and this classic recipe for Cheesy Potato Casserole would go great with this sweet pineapple ham. No matter what you call them (they are commonly called Funeral Potatoes in some part of the US!), everyone always goes back for seconds!
Recipes for Leftover Ham
I can hear you thinking, “Ham sounds great. But what will I do with the leftovers?” Because even a four pound ham is… well… four pounds. You might not finish it all the first day, or even the second! But that’s okay, because leftover ham is perfect for making tons of delicious meals. These recipes work perfectly!
- Baked Mustard Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Rosemary Ham and Bean Soup
- Creamy Ham Casserole
- Breakfast Casserole with Ham
You get the idea! And you don’t even have to make a full “recipe.” You can also just toss some leftover ham into a sandwich, salad, a saucepan of simmering veggies, or a skillet with some fried eggs!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftover ham in the fridge, seal it into food storage bags and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- To store leftover ham in the freezer, pop it into freezer bags, press out all the air before sealing, and mark it with the date. It will stay good for 1 or 2 months.
- Reheat ham any way you like! In a skillet, in the oven, or even back in the air fryer. Just heat it until it’s hot all the way through.
Air Fryer Ham
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup crushed pineapple with juices
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3-4 lb ham, it needs to fit in your air fryer
- 2 pineapple rings, optional
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, crushed pineapple with juices, ginger, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
- Make 1-inch deep cuts across the top of the ham at an angle, ½ inch apart. Turn the ham and make cuts in the opposite direction to make diamond-shaped cuts across the ham.
- Cut a long piece of foil, and place the ham in the middle. Pull and fold the sides of the foil up around the ham to make a “bowl.” Place in the air fryer basket.
- Brush half of the hot glaze over the ham, making sure it gets into the slices you made. Fold the edges of the foil all the way over the ham, sealing it inside the foil.
- Set the air fryer for 300°F. Cook the ham for 20 minutes. Remove the air fryer basket, and open the foil package.
- Brush the remaining half of the glaze over the ham. Reseal the foil, and place back in the air fryer. Cook for an additional 20 minutes at 300°F.
- Optional step: Open the foil, and fold back. Air-fry at 350°F to give a little crisp to the top of the ham.
- Remove the ham carefully from the air fryer basket. Place on a serving platter. Arrange pineapple rings on top of the ham (if using). Pour the remaining glaze over the ham and pineapple rings before serving.
More Holiday Recipes
- Easy Bisquick Sausage Balls
- Best Homemade Stuffing Recipe
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- Best Jiffy Corn Casserole
- How To Cook A Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey
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