You’ve stocked up on having lunch meat ham, or to buy a huge whole ham. Currently that friend think about, it’s a little too much. How long walk ham jast?

Or you’ve bought a cured ham that you require to cook at house for a unique occasion. ~ cooking, the meat turned the end super tasty, however you’re quite sure you won’t be able to eat every one of it in ~ a few days.

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That do you start thinking around freezing the leftovers, yet you’re no sure how well ham freezes.

Either way, this short article is for you if friend have any questions or doubts regarding:

storageshelf lifeor going poor of ham

Below, we talk around deli meat ham, whole ham, and even touch ~ above canned ham. We’ve obtained you covered, no issue what’s your preference.

Whole ham

How to keep Ham

When it involves storing ham, there are basically two options: the fridge and the freezer.


I recognize there are some specialty assets like country ham that are occasionally sold unrefrigerated and also keep well at room temperature, yet the vast majority of ham assets require refrigeration.

No issue what form of ham you’re handle with, if it’s cured or not, cooked or not, or sliced or not, the same couple of basic accuse apply.

First and foremost, keep the meat fine wrapped at all times. Packaged ham is normally vacuum sealed, or at the really least strictly sealed in a pack. And even if you buy sliced having lunch meat at the deli counter, it generally comes effectively wrapped too.

Ham in a plastic resealable bag
Once you open the package, if you can’t seal that easily, consider delivering the ham in one airtight container or a freezer bag. Those store the moisture and also smell inside, and prevent the ham from choose up any kind of smells native the fridge.

If neither is an option, aluminum silver paper or plastic wrap deserve to work too.


For the meat to last the longest, store it in the far corner of the fridge and also return the there ideal after cut as much as girlfriend need.

Ham slices
When it concerns canned ham marketed unrefrigerated, room temperature is perfectly fine because that it. A cool place in a pantry or kitchen is perfect because that storing the tins.

Once you open the can, store any kind of leftovers in the fridge. Make certain they’re well covered, so the smell won’t leak into the whole fridge and the meat won’t dried out.

If possible, deliver the leftover ham to a tiny airtight container or placed the believe in a freezer bag.

Just cooking ham, notice how wet that still is

Can You freeze Ham?

If you desire to keep your ham because that a prolonged period, freezing works really well (just together it does because that pulled pork). Add to it needs very tiny extra work, for this reason there are no sorry for no freezing ham.

If your ham requires any kind of processing before eating (e.g., it’s uncooked and requires cooking), take treatment of that before freezing.

This way, your thawed ham will certainly be prepared to eat, and you won’t need to worry about anything later on. Add to freezing deserve to slightly alter the texture of the meat, so a frozen and thawed ham likely won’t turn out as good after cooking.

The next step is to think around the portions. If you have actually a whole large ham ~ above hand, it’s far better to division it into a few smaller parts, so each one is sufficient for a couple of days. This way, girlfriend make sure it won’t go bad.


If you’re making use of ham mainly for her sandwiches, think about slicing it prior to freezing. This way it’s prepared to go ideal after defrosting. If you’ve purchase a huge batch the sliced ham in ~ the deli, division it into several smaller ones too.

Squeeze out excess water from cooked ham. Otherwise, you’ll end up with something prefer this after freezing.
When it involves how to freeze ham, freezer bags usually work best, together they don’t take together much an are as containers.

If you expect to save the ham frozen for much longer than a few weeks, take into consideration wrapping the part with aluminum foil before putting it into the bag. An extra layer of protection versus cold wait is useful for lengthy freezing. If the ham is quiet unopened, no need for additional protection, together the initial packaging will do just fine.

In short, all you must do is to protect the ham indigenous the cold temperature and also drying out, and also that’s around it.

As usual, thaw the overnight in the fridge.

Thawing frozen ham: put it this way in the fridge, and it’ll thaw overnight

How long Does Ham Last

The warehouse time is slightly different for each kind of ham, depending upon how it to be prepared. But due to the fact that those periods are fairly similar, ns won’t cover lock one by one and instead talk about general guidelines.

If the ham is vacuum sealed, it typically retains high quality for around 2 weeks. And pretty much always comes through a use-by day on the label. If the ham should keep unopened because that a few days previous that date, that’s around it.


There room exceptions to the 2 mainly rule, like, e.g., Prosciutto that regularly lasts because that over 2 months, however there are only a pair of them.

Once you open up the package, or if the ham comes opened (e.g., sliced in ~ the deli counter), that lasts about 3 come 5 days. Very same thing for thawed meat.

When it involves canned ham, that comes through a best-by date, and can conveniently retain high quality for a couple of weeks previous that date. Once you open up the tin, eat the ham in ~ 3 come 5 days.

Ham (vacuum-sealed, unopened)Use-by + 2 – 4 days
Ham (opened)3 – 5 days
Ham (thawed)3 – 5 days
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)Best-by + 1 month
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, opened)3 – 5 days
Please note that all the periods above are approximates only.

How to Tell If Ham has actually Gone Bad

First off, check the dates. If you store fresh ham way past the day on the label or it’s opened up for a lengthy time, simply throw that out. Yes, also if it seems perfectly fine.

Then it’s time to check the top quality of the meat. If it’s slimy or started transforming gray, litter it out. Exact same thing if it has developed an off odor.

If you an alert that the odor of the ham isn’t rather right, even if ever so slightly, it’s past its prime, and also you have to discard it.

Last but not least, if the taste is off, litter it out.

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Slicing ham

About The Author

Marcin Skrzypiec
Marcin is the guy behind After writing more than 300 write-ups on food storage, shelf life, and also spoilage, he"s learned a point or 2 on the topic.