The Best Pineapple Ham Air Fryer Recipe

Are you in the mood for a mouthwatering, succulent dish that will instantly transport you to a tropical paradise? Look no further than this astonishingly delicious pineapple ham recipe made in an air fryer! Bursting with flavors and cooked to perfection, this dish is an absolute showstopper for any occasion. In this comprehensive article, we will dive deep into every aspect of this recipe, from food science to culinary details, providing you with all the essential knowledge you need to create a remarkable pineapple ham in your air fryer.

1. Food Science – Understanding the Ingredients


At the heart of this recipe lies the tropical and juicy pineapple. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, this fruit is not only delicious but also exceptionally healthy. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps tenderize the ham and contributes to its unique flavor profile. Additionally, pineapple’s natural sweetness complements the savory nature of the ham, creating a perfect balance of tastes.


When it comes to selecting the right ham, there are several options available. You can choose between fully cooked or partially cooked ham, and boneless or bone-in ham. For this recipe, a fully cooked boneless ham is recommended as it cooks more evenly in the air fryer. Look for a ham that is of high quality, preferably with minimal added sodium or preservatives.

2. Culinary Details – Flavor Profiles and Pairings

Sweet and Savory Combination

The marriage of sweetness from the pineapple and the savory flavors of the ham is truly extraordinary. The pineapple’s natural sugars caramelize, intensifying the overall taste, while the saltiness of the ham perfectly complements it. This combination creates a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

Complementary Ingredients

To enhance the flavors further, you can include additional ingredients such as brown sugar, mustard, and honey. These ingredients create a glaze that coats the ham and pineapple, adding another layer of complexity and sweetness to the dish. The glaze caramelizes during cooking, resulting in a beautiful golden finish.

3. Selection and Cleaning

Choosing Fresh Pineapple

When selecting a pineapple, look for fruits that have a golden color, are firm to the touch, and have a sweet aroma. Avoid pineapples with soft spots, mold, or an overpowering smell. To prepare the pineapple, remove the top leaves, slice off the top and bottom, and carefully cut off the outer skin. Then, halve the pineapple lengthwise and remove the core before slicing it into rings.

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Preparing the Ham

Before cooking, ensure that the ham is fully thawed. If it comes with a rind, score it in a diamond pattern to allow the glaze to penetrate the meat more effectively. Pat the ham dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, as this will help the glaze adhere better during cooking.

Cleaning the Air Fryer

Maintaining cleanliness is crucial to ensure the longevity of your air fryer and the quality of your dish. After each use, allow the air fryer to cool down, then detach any removable components and wash them with warm, soapy water. Wipe down the interior of the air fryer with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any residue. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

4. Preparation and Pro Tips

Preheating the Air Fryer

To achieve optimal results, preheating the air fryer is essential. Set the air fryer to the desired temperature and let it heat up for a couple of minutes before placing the ham inside. This ensures even cooking and a perfectly caramelized glaze.

Glazing the Ham

To prepare the glaze, combine brown sugar, mustard, honey, and any other desired ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well combined and brush the mixture generously over the surface of the ham. For extra flavor, consider adding a touch of cinnamon or cloves to the glaze.

Pineapple Placement

Strategically arranging the pineapple rings on the ham will not only enhance the aesthetics of the dish but also allow the flavors to meld together more effectively. Press the pineapple rings gently into the glaze, ensuring they adhere to the ham.

5. Achieving Perfect Doneness – Tips and Techniques

Temperature and Timing

When cooking ham in the air fryer, it is crucial to monitor both the temperature and cooking time. Set the air fryer to a temperature of 325°F (163°C) and cook the ham for approximately 12-15 minutes per pound. However, always refer to the specific instructions provided with your air fryer, as cooking times may vary. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140°F (60°C).

Basting and Flipping

During the cooking process, baste the ham with the glaze every 15-20 minutes to accentuate the flavors and maintain moisture. Additionally, consider flipping the ham halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.

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6. Recipe – Pineapple Ham Air Fryer


  • 1 fully cooked boneless ham (approximately 5 pounds)
  • 1 medium-sized pineapple
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Optional: Pinch of cinnamon or cloves for spice


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 325°F (163°C).
  2. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, Dijon mustard, honey, and any additional spices if desired. Mix well.
  3. Score the ham’s rind in a diamond pattern.
  4. Pat the ham dry with paper towels.
  5. Generously brush the glaze mixture over the ham, ensuring all sides are coated.
  6. Carefully arrange the pineapple rings on top of the ham, pressing them into the glaze.
  7. Place the ham in the preheated air fryer and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C).
  8. Baste the ham with the glaze every 15-20 minutes during cooking.
  9. Optional: Flip the ham halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
  10. Once cooked, remove the ham from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy the tropical flavors of your pineapple ham!

7. Variations and Additional Ideas

Spicy Pineapple Glaze

For those who enjoy a touch of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the glaze mixture. This will give your pineapple ham an exciting kick without overpowering the other flavors.

Grilled Pineapple Flavor

To enhance the smoky flavor of the ham, consider grilling the pineapple rings before placing them on top. This adds an additional layer of complexity and texture to the dish.

Hawaiian Pizza Twist

If you love the combination of ham and pineapple on pizza, why not sprinkle some grated mozzarella cheese over the ham during the cooking process? The cheese will melt and create a deliciously gooey topping reminiscent of a Hawaiian pizza.

8. Conclusion

Congratulations! You are now armed with all the knowledge needed to create a phenomenal pineapple ham recipe in your air fryer. We explored the science behind the ingredients, culinary details, cleaning tips, and preparation techniques to ensure your dish turns out perfectly every time. Remember to select the right ham, prepare the pineapple with care, and glaze generously. With a little patience and attention to detail, your pineapple ham will be a truly tropical delight for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

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  • FAQS On Pineapple Ham Air Fryer Recipe

    What Are The Ingredients Needed For A Pineapple Ham Air Fryer Recipe?

    To make a delicious pineapple ham in the air fryer, you will need sliced ham, pineapple rings, brown sugar, and any additional seasonings of your choice such as black pepper or paprika.

    Can I Use Fresh Pineapple Instead Of Canned Pineapple For This Recipe?

    Yes, you can absolutely use fresh pineapple instead of canned pineapple for this recipe. Simply slice the fresh pineapple into rings and use them in the same way as canned pineapple.

    How Long Should I Cook The Pineapple Ham In The Air Fryer?

    Depending on the thickness of your ham slices, you should cook the pineapple ham in the air fryer for about 8-10 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway through.

    Can I Add Other Toppings Or Glazes To The Pineapple Ham?

    Yes, feel free to get creative with your pineapple ham by adding additional toppings such as maraschino cherries, cloves, or a homemade glaze made from honey and mustard.

    What Is The Best Way To Serve Pineapple Ham From The Air Fryer?

    You can serve the pineapple ham as a main dish alongside your favorite sides, or you can cut it into smaller pieces and serve it as an appetizer or party snack.

    Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time And Reheat It In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can prepare the pineapple ham ahead of time and reheat it in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes until heated through.

    Are There Any Variations To This Recipe That I Can Try?

    Absolutely! You can experiment with different glazes, seasonings, and even types of ham to create your own unique twist on the classic pineapple ham in the air fryer.