You’ve stocked increase on having lunch meat ham, or to buy a huge whole ham. Currently that girlfriend think about, it’s a little too much. Exactly how long does ham jast?

Or you’ve to buy a cured ham the you require to chef at home for a one-of-a-kind occasion. ~ cooking, the meat turned out super tasty, however you’re quite sure girlfriend won’t have the ability to eat all of it within a few days.

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That made you begin thinking around freezing the leftovers, however you’re no sure just how well ham freezes.

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

storageshelf lifeor going poor of ham

Below, us talk about deli meat ham, whole ham, and also even touch upon canned ham. We’ve got you covered, no matter what’s her preference.

Whole ham

How to store Ham

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


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

No matter what type of ham you’re dealing with, if it’s cured or not, cook or not, or sliced or not, the same few basic accuse apply.

First and foremost, keep the meat fine wrapped at every times. Packaged ham is generally vacuum sealed, or in ~ the very least strict sealed in a pack. And also even if friend buy sliced having lunch meat in ~ the deli counter, it commonly comes effectively wrapped too.

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

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


For the meat to critical the longest, store it in the far edge of the fridge and return that there right after cutting as lot as girlfriend need.

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

Once you open the can, store any kind of leftovers in the fridge. Make sure they’re fine 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 little airtight container or placed the tin in a freezer bag.

Just cook ham, an alert how wet that still is

Can You frozen Ham?

If you desire to save your ham because that a prolonged period, freezing works really well (just together it does for pulled pork). Plus it calls for very tiny extra work, so there space no forgiveness for not freezing ham.

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

This way, her thawed ham will be ready to eat, and also you won’t need to worry around anything later on. To add freezing have the right to slightly alter the structure of the meat, for this reason a frozen and thawed ham likely won’t revolve out as an excellent after cooking.

The next step is to think about the portions. If you have a whole large ham top top hand, it’s much better to division it right into a couple of smaller parts, so each one is enough for a couple of days. This way, you make sure it won’t go bad.


If you’re using ham mainly for her sandwiches, consider slicing it before freezing. This method it’s ready to go appropriate after defrosting. If you’ve bought a huge batch that sliced ham at the deli, division it into several smaller sized ones too.

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

If you suppose to keep the ham frozen for longer than a couple of weeks, consider wrapping the part with aluminum foil before putting it into the bag. An extra layer of protection versus cold wait is helpful for an extensive freezing. If the ham is quiet unopened, no require for added protection, together the initial packaging will certainly do simply fine.

In short, all you need to do is to defend the ham from the cold temperature and drying out, and also that’s around it.

As usual, thaw that 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 different for each type of ham, depending upon how it to be prepared. But because those periods are fairly similar, i won’t cover castle one by one and instead talk about general guidelines.

If the ham is vacuum sealed, it commonly retains top quality for around 2 weeks. And also pretty much always comes with a use-by date on the label. When the ham must keep unopened because that a few days previous that date, that’s about it.


There are exceptions come the 2 weeks rule, like, e.g., Prosciutto that regularly lasts for over 2 months, yet 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), it lasts about 3 to 5 days. Exact same thing because that thawed meat.

When it comes to canned ham, the comes with a best-by date, and can easily retain top quality for a few weeks past that date. When you open the tin, eat the ham within 3 to 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 estimates only.

How come Tell If Ham has actually Gone Bad

First off, check the dates. If you keep fresh ham method past the date on the brand or it’s opened up for a long time, simply throw it out. Yes, even if it appears perfectly fine.

Then it’s time to examine the quality of the meat. If it’s slimy or started turning gray, litter it out. Very same thing if the has developed an off odor.

If you an alert that the smell of the ham isn’t fairly right, also if ever so slightly, it’s past its prime, and you need to discard it.

Last yet not least, if the taste is off, throw it out.

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Slicing ham

About The Author

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