You’ve stocked up on lunch meat ham, or bought a big whole ham. Currently that you think about, it’s a little bit too much. Exactly how long walk ham jast?

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

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That make you start thinking around freezing the leftovers, but you’re no sure just how well ham freezes.

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

storageshelf lifeor going bad of ham

Below, us talk around deli meat ham, totality ham, and also even touch ~ above canned ham. We’ve obtained you covered, no matter what’s your preference.

Whole ham

How to keep Ham

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


I know there room some specialty assets like nation ham the are periodically sold unrefrigerated and keep fine 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, cooking or not, or sliced or not, the same couple of basic guidelines apply.

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

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

If neither is an option, aluminum foil or plastic wrap can work too.


For the meat to last the longest, keep it in the far edge of the fridge and also return the there right after cut as lot as friend need.

Ham slices
When it involves canned ham marketed unrefrigerated, room temperature is perfectly fine for it. A cool location in a pantry or kitchen is perfect for storing the tins.

Once you open the can, store any type of leftovers in the fridge. Make sure they’re fine covered, therefore the smell won’t leak right into the entirety fridge and the meat won’t dried out.

If possible, transfer the leftover ham come a little airtight container or placed the tin in a freezer bag.

Just cooking ham, notice how wet the still is

Can You freeze Ham?

If you desire to keep your ham because that a prolonged period, freezing functions really well (just as it does for pulled pork). Add to it needs very tiny extra work, for this reason there are no forgiveness for not freezing ham.

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

This way, your thawed ham will certainly be ready to eat, and also you won’t need to worry around anything later on on. Add to freezing can slightly transform the texture of the meat, for this reason a frozen and thawed ham likely won’t revolve out as great after cooking.

The following step is come think about the portions. If you have actually a whole huge ham ~ above hand, it’s much better to division it into a couple of smaller parts, so every one is sufficient for a few days. This way, girlfriend make certain it won’t go bad.


If you’re making use of ham greatly for her sandwiches, take into consideration slicing it prior to freezing. This method it’s ready to go best after defrosting. If you’ve purchase a large batch the sliced ham in ~ the deli, division it right into several smaller sized ones too.

Squeeze the end excess water indigenous cooked ham. Otherwise, you’ll finish up v something like this ~ freezing.When it pertains to how to frozen ham, freezer bags usually job-related best, as they don’t take as much an are as containers.


If you’re making use of bags, remember to squeeze out as lot air before fastening the seal.

If you expect to keep the ham frozen for longer than a few weeks, take into consideration wrapping the part with aluminum foil prior to putting it into the bag. An extra great of protection against cold air is advantageous for an extensive freezing. If the ham is quiet unopened, no need for extr protection, as the original packaging will certainly do just fine.

In short, every you must do is to defend the ham from the cold temperature and also drying out, and that’s about it.

As usual, thaw the overnight in the fridge.

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

How long Does Ham Last

The warehouse time is slightly various for each type of ham, depending on how it was prepared. But because those periods are quite similar, ns won’t cover them one by one and also instead talk about general guidelines.

If the ham is vacuum sealed, it generally retains high quality for around 2 weeks. And pretty much always comes with a use-by day on the label. If the ham need to keep unopened because that a few days past that date, that’s about it.


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

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

When it involves canned ham, that comes with a best-by date, and also can conveniently retain high quality for a few weeks past that date. When you open 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 keep in mind that all the periods over are approximates only.

Ham slices on bread

How to Tell If Ham has actually Gone Bad

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

Then it’s time to inspect the high quality of the meat. If it’s slimy or started transforming gray, litter it out. Very same thing if that has emerged an off odor.

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If you notification 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.