Ham has always been my all-time favorite, and that is the reason why I can barely stand the sight of any of it going to waste. I am certain that there is someone else out there who shares the same sentiments as me.
You can buy ham in many forms. The forms could either be the uncured, raw, fully cooked or packaged ham. The most common question most ham lovers ask is, ‘can you freeze ham?’ Read on and get to learn the bare facts.
What is The Possibility of Freezing Ham?
The simple answer is that you can freeze ham, in whichever form. The only one that you cannot freeze is canned ham which has not yet been opened. Once you open up the can and some of the ham remains, you can comfortably freeze it after removing it from the can.
You only need to wrap it tightly and perfectly if you really want to preserve its taste and color. Here is a video that you can watch to help you know how to package and freeze your ham appropriately.
For How Long Can You Freeze Ham?
Normally, the longer you keep your meat frozen, the more its quality depreciates. This is the same case with ham. You should strive as much as you can to keep the ham frozen for the shortest time possible. This will enable you to enjoy a high-quality ham that is very nutritious.
The ideal duration of time to which you can keep your ham in a freezer without it losing its quality, color, and nutrients is 2 months for the cooked ham. For raw ham, it is 6 months.
Keeping your ham in a frozen state for several years is not wrong, but you should be ready to eat ham which will have extremely degraded in quality.
The Step-By-Step Procedure Of Freezing Ham
- One sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Freezer bags
- A permanent marker pen
Step 1: Chop Your Ham Into Smaller Pieces.
The pieces can be either dices or slices. Small pieces are ideal since they will allow your ham to freeze uniformly and at the same time minimize on crystal formation within the meat when it is stored as a whole. This way, it will neither get freezer burned nor too tough for cooking.
Step 2: Place Your Ham Inside The Freezer Bags.
The best way is to get just enough meat for one serving in each freezer bag. This helps in avoiding the probability of having to refreeze the meat after you have thawed it for a meal. Refreezing will cause your meat to toughen up.
Let out all the air from the freezing bags before you seal them. Presence of air, especially Oxygen makes the bacteria more active. This will make the bacteria to get in the meat and cause freezer burns on the ham.
To vacuum the freezer bags, a food vacuuming machine is necessary. If you don’t have the machine, you can use a straw to suck out air from the bag then seal it very fast after retrieving the straw.
Step 3: Label All The Freezer Bags
Make sure that you label all the freezer bags by stating the dates when the food was bagged as well as the use by date.
This reduces the chances of food poisoning since you will always be aware of the date when the meat ceases to be good for consumption.
The Thawing Process
When the big day comes, and you now want to make a meal out of your frozen ham, remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge to allow the thawing process to take place. Place it on a plate to avoid creating a nasty mess in your refrigerator.
You can also choose to thaw your ham by immersing it in water. Do not remove the covering on its outside, whether it is plastic or aluminum. If you had frozen your ham in the right way, there is no cause for worry since it will still be in good condition with its quality, color and taste not compromised.
- If you plan to keep your ham in a frozen state, make sure that you wrap it quite well.
- The longest time you can freeze cooked ham is 2 months. For the uncooked ham, you can freeze it for a little longer, up to a period of 6 months.
- When you purpose to cook your ham, thaw it in the fridge, having placed it on a plate due to the moisture that will be produced.
- Vacuum packing ham for freezing is better compared to simply wrapping it.
- For easier and faster thawing of your ham, make sure that you thaw it in water at room temperature as compared to using a microwave.
Go Ahead And Freeze Your ham
Can you freeze ham? Yes, you can. I am certain that this answer has left very many people feeling jubilant. You can now preserve your ham from last night’s Thanksgiving dinner to eat at a later date instead of watching it go to waste.
You can also store your uncooked ham for as long as 6 months until it’s time for you to prepare a ham delicacy for your children when they come home for the holidays. Be kind and caring enough to share this article with other interested persons and let them learn the good news.
Feel free to leave any comment on the article regarding any issues of importance and also, do not fail to give it a thumbs up if you found it educative and interesting. If anything was not clear, you could always ask, and I will be glad to offer assistance where I can.