Ham is a slice of sustainable meat you find in the refrigerator of most households. Therefore, you’re saddled with preserving it for a very long time. freezing is the best way to preserve this meat. However, can you refreeze ham after thawing?
You could refreeze your ham in about two to three days after removing it from the freezer. According to food specialists and the US food regulation unit (FDA), ham thawed using the refrigerator can only be frozen again after four days.
If the ham was thawed using the natural method of putting it out in the open or using the oven to heat, you should consume it immediately. Read more on if you can refreeze thawed ham and how to do it properly.
The explanation behind eating an oven or naturally thawed ham is that the temperature at which the ham has been heated leaves room for bacteria to infest the food.
Having known this, let’s explore the different knowledge on how you can freeze, thawing, and cook your delicious and tasty ham.
Can You Refreeze Ham?
Yes, you can. Ham, both cooked and uncooked, will still retain its freshness after thawing. Consequently, you can refreeze ham meat. Freezing ham is the best way to preserve pork meat.
Moreover, the meat, if thawed properly, still maintains a level of freshness. However, leaving thawed ham at room temperature for too long can affect refreezing texture and taste of the ham. It is best to thaw, take the portion needed and refreeze immediately.
SEE: Exciting Recipes to Make With Pulled Pork Leftovers
You Refreeze Cooked Ham?
So many ham lovers do not know that they can freeze their cooked ham. Interestingly, no matter the condition of the ham in terms of size you can freeze it. To start with, have in mind the presliced portion of your ham can be frozen.
It lends to humans a beneficial way of saving excess ham. Similarly, it aids in quick defrosting when the time comes. Making it easy for you to decide to make that your sumptuous dish at breakfast
After cooking your ham, the next step to freezing it is to allow it cool for some time. Waiting long hours in the process of cooling paves way for harmful bacteria to penetrate the food. Do not wait for more than an hour.
Hey not too fast, we have to dry the ham. You should dry your ham with paper towels no matter how tedious it might seem. The demerits of not drying your ham will lead to the weakening of your ham caused by ice crystals generated by moisture not dried up.
Now you can get your storage bags set and handy. Portion your hams in sets as this is the only step to assure yourself lasting food.
The storage bag to use is the vacuum-sealed freezer bag. It is perfect for preventing air from gaining entrance into your prepared ham. Air can be good and the same bad when it is too much for a food item as it is bound to change color, and taste.
The freezing preparation is not complete if you haven’t labeled your item. Labelings help you keep track of your ham; the date and time you stored it. Once this is done, place them in the freezer cooling at about 18 degrees.
SEE: Reasons Why You Should Never Refreeze Pork Again
Can You Refreeze Store-Bought Ham Slices?
Some stores make ham slices available for buyers; if you get one from one of these stores you should not worry about looking for a sealed bag to preserve them in the freezer. Store-bought sliced hams come in protected foils that can be refrigerated.
Try this, if you are keen on making it last longer: follow the process I exposed above on how to preserve cooked ham.
Whenever you need to thaw the store-bought ham, defrost it properly. If you are abiding by the refrigerator method of defrosting, you must do so at temperatures degrees of 5 to 8.
How to Freeze Joints of Cooked Ham
Now we move on to how you can freeze the joints of cooked ham. A hack and method that you can employ if you seek to make your ham last longer. Cooking the joints of the ham is the first step toward this objective. Every joint of the ham must simmer in water and heat for about 2 and a half hours.
For bigger joints, they must stay in heat for 5 hours. You shouldn’t be shocked by the long time required to boil a ham. Different foods have respective durations for them to reach consumable levels. One major reason why you should learn the simple cooking timing for your food.
A thermometer will save you the stress of knowing if you are using the right heat temperature so as not to spend long hours. When you are done with heating, repeat the steps I gave you to freeze your cooked ham (from drying with paper towels to packaging it into vacuum-sealed freezer bags. Avoid using cellophane; you will end up exposing your ham to air.
Steps to Freeze Smaller Portions of Ham
Smaller portions of ham are easier to consume quickly because it saves you the extra stress of cutting the ham into the size you want to defrost and eat. Follow these steps on how you can freeze smaller portions of ham.
- Use your kitchen knife and cut your desired size of the ham.
- Place the ham in a container to cool out.
- When you are sure this is done, slice the ham gently into smaller individual-sized portions.
- Put each of the sliced portions into a sealed bag or vacuum freezer bag if available.
- Finally, label the bags with the correct date and time. Then place it in the freezer.
SEE: Can You Freeze Oysters?
How to Know Ham Is Bad
When food is in the process of spoiling, they leave plenty of signs that cannot be hidden. Changes in color and smell are the most visible signs to determine if a food is spoilt or not.
Some individuals are fond of tasting a portion of food to confirm if it is spoilt or not. It is the wrong method of detection due to the dangers of eating poison. Never try to taste food that seems bad. Rather trash when you notice these signs.
The first sign of spoilage is the presence of ice crystals on your ham. Ice crystals are a result of excess moisture that remains on the surface due to poor or no drying. Take note of air pockets on the storage bag. If there are, it means oxidation has taken place and such ham will be prone to freezer burn and quick spoilage.
Another sign to look out for is the color of the ham. If the ham shows a deeper grey; be aware that your ham has gone rogue and must be trashed. The last thing to note about ham spoilage is that you are advised not to freeze or refreeze your ham after 4 months. When it spends more than 16 weeks it begins to go sour and in that instance, you have to trash it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to thaw your ham?
There are ways to thaw your ham. It could be through your cooler, the fridge, water, and a microwave.
Can you refreeze other foods like your ham?
Yes, you can. However, some foods do not require refreezing. Those foods include; cooked proteins like rotisserie chicken, ice cream, juice concentrates, and raw proteins like shrimp and meat.
How long does a leftover ham last?
Whenever you have leftover ham, ensure you do not leave it for four days stretch. This is why refreezing is an option because it is possible to do so.
How long can you freeze and refreeze ham?
You can freeze and refreeze your ham for a maximum of 3 months and 2 months respectively.
- Uncured or uncooked ham can be frozen for 6 months
- Uncured and cooked goes for 4 months
- Canned opened ham can be frozen for 1 to 2 months, and
- Cooked sliced ham also goes for 1 to 2 months.
With all I have shared in this post, you should not doubt the possibility of refreezing your ham. Ham is delicious and they are cured so it could last even longer than pork. Here lies the idea of refreezing it because they are not prone to quick spoilage, unlike other foods.
Thanks for reading.
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