If your local grocery store sells ham, the first question that comes to mind is probably whether you can freeze ham. Buying in bulk when on sale is one of the easiest ways to save money, and freezing is the most popular way of preserving food.
Luckily, ham freezes really well. If you do it right, you’ll have fresh ham for your sandwich filling whenever you need it for a long time. In this article, we’ll go over different ways to freeze and thaw ham. Interested? Continue reading.
How do you freeze sliced ham?
This quick and easy method is perfect for cooked ham. If your ham is uncooked and you want to freeze it in slices, cook it first. It is the best method when you need the ham sliced for your meals (sandwiches, etc.).
- Preparation. If you’ve just cooked the ham, give it some time to cool. An hour or so on the counter should do the trick. Wipe away excess moisture with paper towels.
- Cut. Use a sharp knife and use thicker slices than usual. They freeze and thaw a little better. Plus, you’ll have more ham on your sandwiches, which is always a plus. Again, if there is moisture, remove it with paper towels.
- portioning. If you have a large batch of ham to freeze, divide the slices into several portions. A single serving should contain enough ham for you and your family for a day or two.
- Packaging. Transfer the slices to freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. If you prepared a freezer bag of ham, you can put them all in another freezer bag to hold all the ham together. If necessary, label the bags with the name and the date.
- Throw it in the freezer.
How do you freeze whole ham?
Whether it’s cooked or uncooked, or maybe even a large piece of leftover ham, this method works great in all of these cases. In addition, this method requires practically no effort. Here’s how to do it:
- Preparation. If you cooked the ham yourself, pat dry the excess moisture with paper towels. You will thaw the whole piece of ham that you have frozen. If the ham is too big, cut it into smaller pieces that will fit in your freezer.
- Packaging. If the ham is in its original packaging, leave it as is. If not, transfer to freezer bags, or use aluminum foil if the bags are too small. Leave as little air in the bag as possible. If you plan to freeze the ham for a longer period of time (over 3 months), consider adding another protective layer, such as another freezer bag or a layer of aluminum foil. Label with name and date if required.
- Place the ham in the freezer.
Read Also: Can you freeze liver?
How do you defrost frozen ham?
- Overnight in the fridge. Put the bag of frozen ham in the fridge in the evening, it will be thawed and ready to use in the morning. Be sure to put the freezer bag on a plate so you don’t have to clean out the fridge in the morning.
- On the counter. If you’ve frozen sliced ham and want to use all the slices right away, counter thawing is one option. Remove the slices from the freezer bag, place them on a plate and let them sit at room temperature for 15 to 60 minutes (depending on how many slices you defrost). Use the ham immediately. Please note that many people are opposed to room temperature thawing (possible bacterial growth etc) so this is not the safest method.
- cold bath. Requires more effort than counter thawing, but it’s the safest and even faster. Prepare a pot of cold water and throw in the bag of ham. The ham should defrost easily in 10 to 40 minutes, depending on the quantity. Be careful not to let the water get into the bag.
- Throw it in frozen. If you’re using the ham in a cookware, you can just toss it in frozen and you’re done. Remember to increase the cooking time to allow for thawing of the ham.
Can you freeze ham slices?
In any case. Freezing sliced ham is one of the best ways to freeze ham because it thaws relatively quickly and is ready to go on a sandwich.
Can you freeze ham sandwiches?
The best answer to this question is: It depends on other ingredients in the sandwiches. If it’s just bread, butter, and ham, it should freeze well. In short, there’s a whole host of sandwich fillings that freeze well, and there’s an equally large list of fillings that don’t freeze. Check out this handy guide from Keep Calm Get Organized on freezer-friendly sandwich fillings.
Can you freeze ham salad?
There is no easy answer to this question. Of course, you can put a container of ham salad in the freezer and it will be safe there. The real question is, do you want to eat this salad once it’s thawed? If you set out in search of the answer to this question, you will find that there are as many opinions on this question as there are people.
For some, the frozen and thawed ham salad is safe to eat. Nothing great, but if you stir in some salad dressing after defrosting, it looks quite edible and is good to eat. Others complain that the veggies get watery and the mayo comes off, so the salad doesn’t taste good after thawing. My suggestion is this: freeze a small batch of ham salad, add a spoonful of salad dressing after thawing, and see if freezing ham salad works for you. If this is not the case, you can always freeze the ham and, if necessary, prepare a fresh salad with this ham.