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Slow-Cooker BBQ Ham Sandwiches

Friends love these barbecue sandwiches and often ask me to make them. We double the crowd-pleasing recipe and serve them at potlucks. —Dana Knox, Butler, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke, optional
  • 3 pounds thinly sliced deli ham
  • 16 kaiser or ciabatta rolls, split
  • Sliced pepperoncini, optional


  • In a large saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients; if desired, stir in liquid smoke. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place ham in a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Add sauce; stir gently to combine. Cook, covered, on low 2-3 hours or until heated through. Serve on rolls. Top with pepperoncini if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich: 348 calories, 4g fat (0 saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 1744mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 21g protein.

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  • jzibrida
    Jan 28, 2021

    I cut this recipe in half for 2 of us. This sauce is very pleasant. I did cut waaaay back on the lemon juice. I used just a splash. I would have never thought of using up deli ham this way. A very nice sandwich on a Hawaiian roll. I must add that the following week, I had 4 cooked smoked polish that needed to be used. I cut them in 3/4" rounds, made this sauce decreasing the lemon juice again, and put the sausage and sauce in my crock pot. I plated the sausage rounds and put a toothpick in each. What a wonderful appetizer. The sauce is very versatile.

  • ChrisD1717
    Apr 15, 2019

    This was soooo delicious. I halved the recipe for my brother and myself and it still made plenty. I topped mine with Swiss and dill pickle. Next big family function this is going on the menu. I'm sure it will be a hit. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Jogeng09
    Mar 19, 2017

    I would rate this 3 stars at best, but I 'm giving it 4 since my husband liked it more than I did. I was looking for a recipe for Sloppy Joes, and this caught my eye because it was a little different from the usual. I didn't need 16 servings so I cut the recipe down to 1/3 and that was enough for 6 sandwiches. I didn't like the lemon flavor in the sauce and will omit the lemon juice if I make this again. Also, we both thought this would be better with some chopped-up leftover ham instead of the deli ham slices. But I like the idea of this; it's worth trying again with some tweaks.

  • danielleylee
    Jun 28, 2015

    I made this for lunch today for the guys (my husband and dad) while they worked on the pickup truck. It was very easy recipe. I like that the sauce is semi-homemade, my dad was not sure if he had ever had anything like it before and my mom wasn't sure he would like it but I think he ate two or three sandwiches. So we have a winner. It has a good kick to it. We live in Western PA as well and are used to Isaly's but this recipe is nice for a change (more flavorful than Isaly's.

  • havingfunwithmyfamily
    Feb 28, 2015

    I wish I had seen the review from SWillard before making this. I did not really pay attention to the instructions on making the sliced ham very thin. I love chipped ham sandwiches, and I am looking forward to trying Pittsburgh's famous chipped ham sandwiches at home. The sauce is on the sweet side, but when you realize what the sandwich is modeled after, then it makes more sense. Either way, I really enjoyed this dinner. My kitchen smelled amazing all day, and my husband loved them. I topped my sandwich with coleslaw. Delicious.

  • Angel182009
    Feb 15, 2015

    I love how this recipe was made in the slow cooker but I did not like the flavors of the seasonings together. Next time I think it would be easier to add a bottle of barbecue sauce and mix it all together.

  • SWillard
    Jan 16, 2015

    I do not even have to try this recipe to give it a high rating!! Anyone who grew up or lives in Western PA probably has made some version of this. The gold standard for ham was always Isaly's chipped ham. Through many years of trial and error, I have found that Hormel low sodium chopped ham is a very good substitute. Get it sliced very thin, but not shaved. Our family recipe now resides with me in VT and 2 of my cousins - one in PA and the other in Seattle WA!!Go Steelers!