Have you ever wondered if you can you freeze ham? Well the simple answer is YES! You can absolutely freeze ham. This week one of my readers wrote to me asking this exact question. I’ve copied her email below and written up a bit of an overview about how to freeze ham and how long ham will last in the freezer which I thought might be helpful for others :)
This is probably a strange question but I was reading your article on freezable sandwich fillings and I was wondering, can I freeze ham? I know you said you can freeze a ham sandwich but can you freeze sliced ham or freeze ham on the bone?
Can You Freeze Ham?
Yes! You can most definitely freeze all different types of ham. It’s possible to freeze sliced ham, smoked ham, ham off the bone, cooked ham and more. You can even freeze a Christmas ham (whole leg of ham) as long as you follow the right procedure. I’ve included information on how to freeze ham further down the page.
So, to answer your question Anne…
- Can you freeze sliced ham? Yes and this is great if you want it in individual portions
- Can you freeze ham on the bone/Can you freeze a leg of ham? Yes. If it is already well packaged you can store it directly in the freezer without any further preparation.
- Can you freeze cooked ham? Yes, I only ever have cooked ham in the house and it freezes really well.
- Can you freeze Christmas ham? Yes… Christmas ham is the best!!
- Can you freeze smoked ham? Yep, it’s the same as cooked ham.
- Can you freeze deli ham? Yes although I do find it can go a little watery. Thicker slices are better.
A Guide On How To Freeze Ham
Ham can freeze really well if you prepare and store it properly. Here is everything you need to know about how to freeze ham so it defrosts well and tastes good.
What you’ll need
- Freezer bags or vacuum sealed bags (aluminium foil is also useful for freezing ham on the bone)
- Sharp knife (if you’re slicing ham and freezing in portions)
- Permanent marker
How To Freeze Sliced Ham
Freezing sliced ham is convenient and easy. It’s a great way to avoid waste and if done properly ham defrosts just as fresh as when it was frozen. When freezing sliced or deli ham, choose thicker slices as these defrost best.
- Use your sharp knife to slice ham to desired thickness (if required).
- Allow to cool completely in the fridge if using freshly cooked ham.
- Divide ham into portions. Generally a handful or so is a good guide.
- Place each portion into freezer bags (or zip lock bags work well too). Be sure to squeeze out all excess air.
- Flatten bags so they stack easily in the freezer.
- Label each bag using the permanent marker including what’s inside and the date it was frozen.
How To Freeze Ham On The Bone
If your ham is whole and already vacuumed packed then you can place it whole in the freezer. If not, follow this process.
- Allow ham to cool completely in the fridge if freshly cooked.
- Dry the ham with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Place ham into a freezer bag, making sure to remove all moisture.
- Wrap in aluminium foil to protect further.
- Wrap in another plastic bag.
- Label the bag using the permanent marker with what is inside as well as the date it was frozen.
Note: If you don’t have a freezer bag big enough to fit your ham you can use plastic “cling wrap” followed by aluminium foil. The important thing is that all the meat it completely covered and the final package is totally air tight.
How Long Can You Freeze Ham For?
Naturally, the next question that comes to mind is how long can you freeze ham for before it goes bad? The length of time ham will keep in the freezer depends on whether you are freezing ham on the bone or sliced ham. Generally ham on the bone will keep longer and freeze better than sliced ham but I’ve included some guidelines below.
As a guide, sliced ham will keep for up to a month in the freezer. Ham on the bone will keep a lot longer, generally 4 months if well sealed. Remember that ham on the bone will need to be defrosted in one lot where as sliced ham can be defrosted in smaller parts if you’ve frozen it in portions.
How Do You Defrost Ham From The Freezer?
Always defrost ham (or any meats) slowly in the fridge. Never leave them out on a bench or submerge in water. Defrosting ham in the microwave is not usually effective as it tends to partially cook. Remember to keep the ham well sealed when defrosting.