Can You Freeze Ham? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Ham? 

Yes, you can freeze ham, and they can last well for a couple of months in the freezer. You can freeze them cooked or uncooked. You could also freeze them as slices or big meaty portions. The key is to wrap them well and freeze them in Ziploc bags or freezer-safe containers. 

Here is the ultimate guide on how to freeze and store ham for the long term. 

These methods and tips have worked like a charm for me. 

So, let’s dive right into it. 

How to Freeze Ham?

How to Freeze Ham?

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

With some care and prep, you can have frozen ham slices on the ready in your freezer for a couple of months. 

Materials

  • Ham
  • Cling Wrap

Tools

  • Ziploc Bag

Instructions

    1. Separate and Wrap: Separate each slice of ham and wrap them up in some cling wrap. This makes it easier to separate them once they thaw.

    2. Pack and Seal: Pack the wrapped ham slices into a Ziploc bag and seal them in. Try and squeeze out all the extra air before you seal them.

    3. Label and Freeze: Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are good to go.

Freezing Ham Slices after Flash Freezing Them

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes

What you will need: 

  • Ham 
  • Baking Sheet 
  • Parchment Paper 
  • Ziploc Bag 

If you have a few slices of ham, this is a great way to store them if you are in a hurry and can’t wrap each piece. 

Lay Out

Line up the ham slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the ham slices don’t overlap too much and have enough space between them.

If all slices don’t fit on the sheet, you can add an extra layer on top, separated by a sheet of parchment paper.

Flash Freeze

Leave the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let it freeze solid.

Pack and Seal

transfer the frozen ham into a Ziploc bag and seal them in. Try to squeeze out all the excess air before you seal it.

Label and Freeze

On the bag, add a label with the best before date and then leave it in the freezer till you need it next.

Here is a cool video by “Coral” on YouTube to help you out with some meet freezing tips and a tutorial –

Freezing Uncooked Ham in Ziploc Bag

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes 

What you will need: 

  • Ham 
  • Cling Wrap 
  • Metal Foil (Optional) 
  • Ziploc Bag

If you are dealing with a ham hock or ham on the bone, you can try this simple method of freezing them.

Wrap the Ham

Using some cling wrap, cover the ham. You could add an optional layer of metal foil over it. But make sure to wrap it thoroughly leaving no part exposed to air. 

Bag and Seal

Transfer the wrapped ham into a Ziploc bag and seal them in, after making it as air-tight as possible. 

Label and Freeze

Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the ham. 

Freezing Cooked Ham 

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes 

What you will need: 

  • Cooked Ham 
  • Paper Towel
  • Cling Wrap 
  • Metal Foil 
  • Ziploc Bag 

Once you have cooked the ham, you can try using this method to freeze them for later.

Prep and Cool

Once the ham is cooked let it cool down to room temperature. Then using some paper towel, try and remove some of the excess moisture on it. 

Double Wrap

Lock in the moisture of the cooked ham by double wrapping the ham. First in some cling wrap and then a layer of metal foil. 

Bag and Seal

Transfer the wrapped ham into a Ziploc bag and seal it in. Squeeze out all the excess air before you seal the bag. 

Label and Freeze

Mark the best before date on the Ziploc bag, and you can leave it in the freezer for later.

Freezing Cooked Ham Slices or Small Portions 

Time Taken: 10 – 15 minutes 

What you will need: 

  • Cooked Ham 
  • Parchment Paper
  • Ziploc Bag 

If you have cooked the ham slices but don’t think you will eat them all up in one go later, you can freeze them as slices or small chunks.

Cool and Slice

Let the cooked ham cool down to room temperature first. Then using a sharp knife cut them into slightly thick slices. You could also cut them into chunks, but the slices thaw evenly. 

Wrap Them

Wrap each slice in parchment paper. This makes it easy to separate them later on. 

Pack and Seal

Pack them into Ziploc bags and seal them, after removing all the excess air inside. You could double bag the ham for good measure. 

Label and Freeze

After adding a label on the bag with the best before date, you can freeze it till you need it next. 

How Long Can You Freeze Ham? 

If you are freezing uncooked ham, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. If you are freezing cooked ham, they can last in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Uncooked ham lasts fresh for longer in the freezer.But keep in mind that the met is best used sooner rather than later.

The longer it freezes, the more it deteriorates in texture and quality. If the meat turns brown, green, or grey, it is a sign that the meat has been spoiled.

How to Store Frozen Ham? 

You can store frozen ham in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe air-tight container.

But irrespective of the container you use, it is important to keep the ham thoroughly covered from being exposed to air or freezer burns. If it is not wrapped properly, it can dry out easily and not be as appealing as before.

Ziploc bags are the better of the two options if you are running out of freezer space. It allows you to compactly store the frozen ham, be it slices or ham on the bone. 

How to Defrost Ham? 

The best way to defrost the ham is to leave the portion you need in the fridge to let it thaw gradually.

The time it will take to thaw will depend on how big a portion you plan to defrost. Large portions may need 2 to 3 days to fully thaw. 

If you are looking to defrost small portions, you could get it done faster by leaving it in a bowl of lukewarm water for an hour or so.

You could also choose to thaw it in the microwave if you are in a hurry, but make sure to use it up immediately.

Do not thaw the ham on the kitchen counter as it can increase the chances of bacterial build up and can be unsafe to eat.

Can You Refreeze Ham? 

Although you can refreeze ham safely, it is best advised not to. If you have defrosted the ham, cooked or uncooked, slowly in the fridge you can refreeze it within 2 to 3 days.

But if you have thawed it using any other method, you shouldn’t refreeze the ham.

To avoid having to refreeze or waste the ham, you can portion them beforehand into small quantities that you can easily consume in one sitting. 

Does Ham Freeze Well? 

Yes, ham freezes well, and uncooked ham freezes the best. It can last in the freezer for 6 months and maybe even 12 months.

Cooked ham, however, stays well in the freezer only for a couple of months. 

But as in the case of most frozen food, frozen ham deteriorates the longer it stays in the freezer. It loses its water content and dries out as it sits in the freezer for long. 

If done right and if it is used within a couple of months, the frozen ham will taste just as good as fresh ham.

FAQs

Can you freeze ham hocks? 

Yes, you can freeze ham hocks, and is a great way to extend its shelf-life. They can last well in the freezer for a couple of months.

You can use any of the methods listed above. Make sure to wrap it up thoroughly and freeze them in Ziploc bags. 

Bottom Line

I hope this article helped you make the most out of all the extra ham in your pantry. 

If you have any doubts or would like to share some freezing tips and tricks of your own, it would be lovely to hear from you. 

Feel free to share this article with your family and friends. 

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.

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