I bought a whole holiday ham for the New Year celebration. They’re already pre-cooked, and all I have to do is reheat it when I want to grab some for lunch. I find this very convenient, but can I freeze it to make it last longer? If I can, how long does it take before it goes bad?
The holidays do bring a lot of food – and leftovers – and cooked ham is definitely one of them. The good thing is there are a lot of recipes you can do with ham.
You can freeze cooked ham for longer storage. Freezing would affect the quality and texture of your ham but if wrapped and stored well, you will get something almost like the original. It could last for 1 to 2 months in the freezer with proper storage.
Can You Freeze Ham?
Store-wrapped cooked, whole ham can last for as long as 1 to 2 months in the freezer. Refrigerating it would only make it last for 7 days.
Fresh, cooked ham last longer when frozen – it could last for 3 to 4 months with the right storage – but refrigerating it would only make it last for 3 to 4 days.
Frozen ham is safe to eat and freezing it is advisable for longer storage, but the longer you store it, the more its quality and taste diminishes.
Freezing your cooked ham would cause it to lose color and would produce a sour smell because of its salt content.
Using air tight containers and labeling them with the indicated expiry date would be an ideal way to keep your ham in the best possible quality.
Defrosted ham can be cooked in several ways, and if you are on the go, you could just pop it in the microwave for heating.
How to Freeze Ham?
Freezing ham is not difficult to do and a lot of people do it on a regular basis. What you need to remember is to wrap the ham well. Here are some steps you could do:
- If you only want to use a few pieces of ham for your meal, it would be best to store the ham in slices.
- Split your ham into the desired amount and wrap them in aluminum foil or air tight freezer bags. Make sure to seal them well.
- Label the packed ham before throwing it into the freezer.
- A similar process is done for freezing whole ham, what you need to keep in mind is that you have to wrap the ham well.
- When thawing, put the ham in a leak-proof bag and dip in cold water. You can also thaw it in the fridge, but make sure to put a plate under it as the ham releases its moisture.
How To Use Up Extra/Leftover Ham?
Ham is a delicious and versatile meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. But what do you do when you have extra ham? Here are five delicious ways to use up your leftover ham:
- Make ham and cheese sliders – Ham and cheese sliders are a quick and easy way to use up leftover ham. Just add some sliced ham and cheese to slider buns, and you’ve got a delicious meal or snack.
- Ham and egg breakfast burritos – Breakfast burritos are a great way to start your day, and they’re even better when you add in some leftover ham. Just add scrambled eggs, diced ham, and your favorite toppings to a tortilla, and you’re good to go.
- Ham and bean soup – This hearty soup is a great way to use up leftover ham. Just add some ham, beans, and vegetables to a pot of broth, and you’ll have a delicious and filling meal in no time.
- Ham salad – Ham salad is a great way to use up small pieces of leftover ham. Just add diced ham, mayonnaise, and your favorite spices and herbs to a bowl, and you’ve got a tasty sandwich filling or dip.
- Ham and pineapple pizza – This unique pizza combination is surprisingly delicious. Just add some cubed ham and pineapple chunks to your favorite pizza dough or sauce, and you’ll have a tasty and unique pizza that everyone will love.
So there you have it – five delicious ways to use up your leftover ham. Next time you find yourself with extra ham, try one of these recipes and enjoy!
This ham and bean soup is perfect for the cold winter season. All you need are a few ingredients, and of course, your ham!
Your family would love this ham and cheese penne, and it’s a perfect way to use up that leftover holiday ham:
This quick and easy cheesy recipe would make a great snack that kids could take to school. Find it here:
Can you freeze ham? Yes, you can! Freezing ham is a good way to preserve it for about 4-6 months. Before wrapping the ham in a freezer bag, remove any excess fat from its surface and discard it. You want to prevent rancidity while preserving quality so make sure there isn’t too much fat present. Don’t forget to label your freezer bag with today’s date so that you know how long it has been frozen. Transfer the wrapped and labeled freezer bag of ham to the freezer. If you want to reheat your frozen ham, follow these steps: preheat the oven at 350°F or 177°C during thawing if desired, leave meat uncovered while defrosting, cook it for 30-40 minutes per pound, and make sure it is thoroughly cooked before consuming.
I would love to hear about your experience with freezing ham. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below!