Cooked or smoked ham can be stored in a freezer for up to two months, but you can only keep it in the fridge for three to five days. You'll therefore need to eat the ham quickly or freeze it to prevent the meat from going rancid. If improperly stored, however, freezing ham can ruin it as quickly as leaving it in the fridge. The key is to keep it as tightly packed as possible.
Cut or divide the ham into the size portions that you wish to thaw and use each time. Once thawed, cook or heat the ham and use it immediately. Never refreeze meat that has already been frozen and thawed out.
Wrap the cooked or smoked ham in cling film or aluminium foil. This protects the ham from unwanted freezer smells or tastes. Place the wrapped ham inside a large plastic zipping freezer bag to keep burn-causing air from penetrating the wrap. Using a permanent marker, write the contents and date on the bag to make sure you consume it within the proper time frame.
Place the bagged meat inside the freezer. Don't place other objects on top of it until it is frozen.
Store cooked ham in the freezer for a maximum of one to two months. Meat quality, texture and flavour is sacrificed after two months.
Thaw the ham in the fridge or keep it inside the bag and thaw it in the sink. You may need to reheat the ham to bring back the cooked texture and to cover any taste acquired through freezing. Frozen ham may appear slick and watery once thawed. If this is the case, simply rinse it with water and pat the meat dry.
Things you need
- Cling film or foil
- Plastic freezer zipping bag