You’ve stocked up on having lunch meat ham, or purchase a huge whole ham. Currently that you think about, it’s a bit too much. Exactly how long does ham jast?

Or you’ve bought a cured ham that you require to cook at house for a distinct occasion. After cooking, the meat turned out super tasty, yet you’re fairly sure friend won’t have the ability to eat all of it in ~ a few days.

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That make you start thinking about freezing the leftovers, but you’re not sure how well ham freezes.

Either way, this post is because that you if girlfriend have any questions or doubts regarding:

storageshelf lifeor going poor of ham

Below, us talk around deli meat ham, entirety ham, and also even touch top top canned ham. We’ve got you covered, no issue what’s your preference.

Whole ham

How to save Ham

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


I understand there room some specialty assets like country ham the are occasionally sold unrefrigerated and keep well at room temperature, however the vast bulk of ham commodities require refrigeration.

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

First and also foremost, keep the meat well wrapped at all times. Packaged ham is usually vacuum sealed, or at the very least strictly sealed in a pack. And also even if friend buy sliced lunch meat in ~ the deli counter, it commonly comes properly wrapped too.

Ham in a plastic resealable bag
Once you open the package, if you can’t seal the easily, consider transferring the ham in one airtight container or a freezer bag. Those save the moisture and smell inside, and prevent the ham from picking up any smells native the fridge.

If no is one option, aluminum foil or plastic wrap can work too.


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

Ham slices
When it pertains to canned ham offered unrefrigerated, room temperature is perfect fine for it. A cool location 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 sure they’re well covered, so the odor won’t leak into the totality fridge and also the meat won’t dried out.

If possible, deliver the leftover ham come a small airtight container or put the believe in a freezer bag.

Just cooked ham, notification how wet that still is

Can You freeze Ham?

If you want to store your ham for a prolonged period, freezing functions really well (just together it does because that pulled pork). Add to it needs very small extra work, for this reason there room no sorry for not freezing ham.

If her ham requires any processing prior to eating (e.g., it’s uncooked and requires cooking), take treatment of that prior to freezing.

This way, her thawed ham will be all set to eat, and you won’t have to worry around anything later on. Plus freezing have the right to slightly change the texture of the meat, for this reason a frozen and thawed ham likely won’t turn out as good after cooking.

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


If you’re utilizing ham largely for your sandwiches, take into consideration slicing it before freezing. This means it’s all set to go best after defrosting. If you’ve bought a huge batch of sliced ham in ~ the deli, divide it into several smaller ones too.

Squeeze the end excess water from cooked ham. Otherwise, you’ll end up through something prefer this ~ freezing.When it concerns how to freeze ham, freezer bags usually work best, as they don’t take together much space as containers.


If you’re using bags, remember come squeeze out as lot air before fastening the seal.

If you suppose to save the ham frozen for much longer than a couple of weeks, think about wrapping the portion with aluminum foil before putting it into the bag. An extra great of protection against cold wait is beneficial for an extensive freezing. If the ham is quiet unopened, no need for additional protection, together the initial packaging will do just fine.

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

As usual, thaw the overnight in the fridge.

Thawing frozen ham: placed it this means in the fridge, and it’ll thaw overnight

How lengthy Does Ham Last

The storage time is slightly various for each form of ham, depending upon how it was prepared. But due to the fact that those durations are rather similar, i won’t cover castle one by one and instead talk around general guidelines.

If the ham is vacuum sealed, it normally retains top quality for around 2 weeks. And pretty much always comes with a use-by day on the label. When the ham have to keep unopened for a couple of days previous that date, that’s about it.


There are exceptions to the 2 weeks rule, like, e.g., Prosciutto that frequently lasts because that over 2 months, however there are just a pair of them.

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

When it comes to canned ham, it comes through a best-by date, and can conveniently retain high quality for a few weeks previous that date. When you open up the tin, eat the ham within 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.

Ham slices on bread

How come Tell If Ham has actually Gone Bad

First off, check the dates. If you store fresh ham method past the day on the brand 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 inspect the top quality of the meat. If it’s slimy or started transforming gray, throw it out. Same thing if it has arisen an off odor.

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If you notice that the odor of the ham isn’t fairly right, even if ever before so slightly, it’s previous its prime, and also you must discard it.