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How to cook ham in a pressure cooker

Updated April 17, 2017

Pressure cookers can be a boon for busy families. Pressure cookers can cook food up to 70 per cent faster than a regular kitchen oven or stove. By using a pressure cooker you could have a complete healthy meal ready faster than you can get a pizza delivered.

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  1. Brown the ham. To brown, pour the cooking oil into the frying pan on high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat down to medium high. Place the ham in the pan and sear it for two to three minutes on each side.

  2. Place the ham in the pressure cooker fat side up.

  3. Pour your chosen liquid over the ham.

  4. Lock the cooker's lid. Directions for locking the lid are specific to individual pressure cookers. Read your pressure cooker's users guide for directions on how to lock the cooker's lid.

  5. Place the pressure cooker on an oven burner set to low. Allow the pressure to slowly rise to the pressure setting recommend in the user's guide for cooking fresh ham. Turn the burner setting to high.

  6. Cook the ham. A 1.4 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb) ham should be cooked for 35 to 45 minutes.

  7. Use the quick release button on your pressure cooker to release the steam in your cooker. You will not be able to open your pressure cooker until the steam has been released. Once the steam is released, remove the pressure cooker from the burner.

  8. Remove the ham from the pressure cooker. Your ham is now ready to serve. Unlike oven-baked meats, it doesn't need any resting time.

  9. Tip

    You can add seasonings to your ham when you add the liquid. Sliced onions, chopped garlic cloves, diced celery or carrots are good additions to savoury liquids. Adding 1/8- to 1/4-teaspoon of cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg or allspice will provide a depth of flavour when used with sweet liquids.


    Pressure cookers never should be filled beyond the 2/3 mark.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1.4 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb) fresh ham shank
  • Frying pan
  • 59 ml (1/4 cup) cooking oil
  • 593 ml (2 1/2 cups) of liquid: water, juice, broth, wine, tinned soup or even soda
  • Pressure cooker
  • Instant-read thermometer

About the Author

Carol Taber

Based in North Carolina, Carol Taber has been writing since 2008. Her work is published on her blog, A Second Cup, and on various other websites. She is currently a features writer for The Wake Weekly and holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from the University of New York at Buffalo.

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