Spiral Cut Ham Air Fryer Recipe: The Perfect Way To Achieve A Juicy And Flavorful Delight

spiral cut ham air fryer recipe

When it comes to indulging in a succulent slice of ham, the spiral-cut variety always takes the cake. The intricate cuts not only enhance the presentation but also allow for even cooking and effortless serving. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, using an air fryer to prepare your spiral-cut ham brings forth a whole new level of convenience and taste. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the delightful realm of spiral-cut ham cooked to perfection in an air fryer. We’ll explore the scientific aspects behind achieving the juiciest and most flavorful results and guide you through the culinary intricacies of selecting, cleaning, and preparing your ham. Prepare to embark on this mouthwatering journey, filled with informative tips, variations, doneness checks, and a delectable recipe!

The Science Behind Cooking Spiral-Cut Ham in an Air Fryer

Before jumping into the nitty-gritty of preparing the ultimate spiral-cut ham using an air fryer, it’s important to understand the science behind this delectable cooking method. An air fryer operates by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy exterior while retaining moisture within. When it comes to spiral-cut ham, this cooking technique works wonders in maintaining the tenderness and juiciness of the meat, resulting in a true culinary masterpiece.

The spiral-cut style allows for even heat distribution during cooking, ensuring that each slice receives the same level of heat. Additionally, the cuts allow for the flavors to intermingle and penetrate the meat, further enhancing the taste profile of the ham. These scientifically-proven advantages make an air fryer the ideal appliance to showcase the beauty and flavors of a spiral-cut ham.

Selecting the Perfect Spiral-Cut Ham

To achieve the best possible results, start your culinary journey by selecting a high-quality spiral-cut ham. Here are a few key factors to consider when making your selection:

  1. Quality: Choose a ham that is fresh, well-marbled, and labeled as "spiral-cut." Opting for a premium cut ensures optimal flavor and texture.

  2. Size: Depending on the number of guests you are serving, select a ham size that caters to the occasion. The general rule is to estimate about 8 ounces per person when buying a bone-in spiral-cut ham.

  3. Source: Look for hams sourced from reputable farms or suppliers, ensuring ethical practices and high standards of animal welfare.

Cleaning and Preparing Your Spiral-Cut Ham

spiral cut ham

Once you’ve acquired the perfect spiral-cut ham, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Follow these steps to ensure your ham is ready to shine:

  1. Thawing: If your ham is frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours before cooking. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the ham’s texture and flavor.

  2. Rinsing: Before cooking, it’s essential to rinse the ham under cold water to remove any excess brine or packaging juices. Thoroughly pat it dry using paper towels.

  3. Glazing: While spiral-cut hams are often pre-glazed, you can add your personal touch by applying your preferred glaze. This step amplifies the flavors and caramelizes beautifully during cooking. Refer to the recipe section below for some delicious glaze variations.

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Tips for Cooking Spiral-Cut Ham in an Air Fryer

spiral cut ham

Achieving the perfect result when cooking spiral-cut ham in your air fryer requires some culinary finesse. Consider the following tips to elevate your cooking skills and guarantee a delightful outcome:

  1. Preheating: Allow your air fryer to preheat for a few minutes before placing the ham inside. This ensures even cooking and aids in achieving a crispy exterior.

  2. Placement: It’s crucial to position your spiral-cut ham flat side down in the air fryer basket, ensuring the cuts face upward. This allows for optimal air circulation and even browning during the cooking process.

  3. Basting: Periodically basting your ham with its natural juices or glaze during the cooking process enhances flavor and maintains moisture.

  4. Temperature Monitoring: Utilize a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your ham throughout the cooking time. Aim for a temperature of 140°F (60°C) as the ham’s internal temperature, ensuring optimal doneness without drying it out.

Recipe: Spiral-Cut Ham Perfected in the Air Fryer

close up view of air fried spiral cut ham

Now that we’ve covered the foundational aspects of cooking spiral-cut ham in an air fryer, let’s dive into a delectable recipe that will leave your taste buds craving for more!


  • 1 spiral-cut ham, approximately 8 pounds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for about 5 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon. Mix until well blended to create the glaze.

  3. Place the spiral-cut ham flat side down in the air fryer basket, ensuring the cuts face upward.

  4. Generously brush the glaze mixture over the ham, ensuring all slices are coated with the flavorful mixture.

  5. Cook the ham in the air fryer for approximately 15 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature periodically and ensure it reaches 140°F (60°C).

  6. Baste the ham with its natural juices or additional glaze every 20-30 minutes to maintain moisture and enhance flavor.

  7. Once the ham reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the air fryer.

  8. Allow the ham to rest for approximately 10-15 minutes before serving. This resting period helps to seal in the juices and facilitates easier carving.

  9. Serve the spiral-cut ham alongside your favorite sides and enjoy a truly mouthwatering experience!

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Variations for a Personal Touch

close up view of air fried spiral cut ham

While the above recipe brings forth a tantalizing ham, feel free to explore various glaze options and flavor combinations to cater to your preferences. Here are a few alternative glazes to consider:

  • Maple and Orange Zest: Combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, the zest of one orange, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and a pinch of ground cloves. Brush this glaze over the ham for a citrusy and sweet twist.

  • Pineapple and Teriyaki: Mix 1/4 cup of pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. Drizzle this glaze over the ham to infuse it with a tropical flair.

  • Apricot and Rosemary: Blend 1/2 cup of apricot preserves, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a pinch of black pepper. Slather this glaze over the ham for a delightful combination of fruity and herbal flavors.

Feel free to experiment with different glazes and ingredients to make each spiral-cut ham a unique centerpiece, perfectly tailored to your taste preferences.

Doneness Checks: Ensuring Perfection

To guarantee your spiral-cut ham is cooked to perfection, utilize the following doneness checks:

  1. Internal Temperature: Regularly check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer, aiming for 140°F (60°C) for optimal tenderness and flavor.

  2. Juices: Pierce the ham with a fork and observe the color of the juices. If they run clear, the ham is done cooking. However, if the juices appear pink or cloudy, continue cooking until they turn clear.


Cooking spiral-cut ham in an air fryer opens up a whole new world of culinary possibilities. The combination of even heat distribution, enticing flavors, and convenience makes this pairing irresistible. By understanding the science behind the cooking technique, selecting the perfect ham, mastering the cleaning and preparation process, and utilizing the provided recipe and variations, you are now equipped to create a juicy and flavorful delight that will impress family and friends alike. Embrace the adventure, trust your cooking instincts, and let your air fryer unlock the true potential of spiral-cut ham – a culinary masterpiece that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression!

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  • FAQS On Spiral Cut Ham Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Spiral Cut Ham?

    A spiral cut ham is a pre-cooked ham that has been sliced in a spiral pattern, making it easy to serve and enjoy.

    Can I Cook A Spiral Cut Ham In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can cook a spiral cut ham in an air fryer. It is a great way to achieve a crispy crust on the ham while keeping the inside juicy and flavorful.

    What Ingredients Do I Need For A Spiral Cut Ham Air Fryer Recipe?

    You will need a spiral cut ham, honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and ground cinnamon.

    How Long Do I Cook A Spiral Cut Ham In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time of a spiral cut ham in an air fryer will depend on its size. As a general rule, you can cook a 3-pound ham for about 25-30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.

    Should I Cover The Ham While Cooking In An Air Fryer?

    No, you do not need to cover the ham while cooking in an air fryer. The hot air circulating in the fryer will cook the ham evenly and create a caramelized crust.

    Can I Glaze The Ham While Cooking In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can glaze the ham while it cooks in an air fryer. It is recommended to brush the glaze on the ham during the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent burning.

    How Do I Serve A Spiral Cut Ham That Has Been Cooked In An Air Fryer?

    After the ham is cooked, let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve it with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad.