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How to Cook a Frozen Ham

Updated February 21, 2017

If a sudden power outage has rendered your freezer useless, there's no need to despair if you find yourself with a frozen ham that needs to be cooked on the fly. Perhaps a large ham is taking up too much room in your freezer, and you want to free up the space. Or, you're living a hostess's nightmare -- you forgot to thaw the main course. Regardless of the reason, cooking a frozen ham is a relatively simple task. Before you know it, you will be sinking your teeth into a juicy, glazed slice of cooked ham.

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  1. Fill sink with cold tap water so that the water completely submerses the ham.

  2. Put ham in the cold water to defrost, keeping the wrapping on the ham so it does not contaminate the water. A small ham requires two to three hours to thaw, and a larger ham requires 30 minutes per pound.

  3. Remove ham from water bath when it is completely thawed and remove packaging.

  4. Preheat oven to 163 degrees Celsius and line roasting pan with aluminium foil.

  5. Place ham in pan, with the fat side up. Leave the ham uncovered.

  6. Cook ham in oven for 20 minutes to 30 minutes per pound of meat.

  7. Apply glaze during the last 30 minutes of baking.

  8. Remove the cooked ham from oven, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  9. Tip

    Unlike turkey or chicken, hams should not be basted with their own fluid. This fluid is often too salty and will wash away any glaze on the ham. Sanitise all of the surfaces and utensils used in the thawing process.


    Never thaw ham or other meat using hot water because it facilitates the growth of bacteria.

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Things You'll Need

  • Aluminium foil
  • Roasting pan
  • Glaze

About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.

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