Freezing Whole Boneless Ham

Updated on December 30, 2017
M.6. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
9 answers

Ugh, the last thing I want to think about is MORE ham! (I served ham for all 3 Christmas parties this month). However, our "local" store is selling whole smoked fully cooked boneless hams for SUPER cheap. These are the hams that you don't have to heat first - you can if you want, but you don't have to. I hate to pass up due to the price, but I'd have to freeze it. I normally don't worry about freezing anything, but the water content on these is pretty high if I remember right, and I wonder if they don't freeze as well as other meats? Plus, I'd have to cut it down into smaller pieces before freezing since there is only 3 of us at home now . . . not sure if cutting it will make it even worse.

Thoughts?

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

I did this just after Thanksgiving when Aldi was slashing all spiral-sliced hams about 50%. I got a bunch of those gallon freezer bags and put 2 slices of ham in each. Whenever I know I won't feel like cooking, have a late night, or have plans to go out and know I will be home late, I take the freezer bag the night before, put it in the fridge to thaw, and then I just have to worry about getting a side ready when the time comes to eat (I don't like my ham to be warm or hot, so I eat it as-is, without putting it in the microwave). A bag of frozen veggies or a salad does the job, and it's a 5 minute meal. My mom has been doing this for years, it's an inexpensive, quick way to get a meal ready, as a whole ham costs about $10 and can end up being used for 8 meals or more.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Seems like freezing it in smaller portions would work pretty well. I like to use ham in soups, quiches/omelets, pasta carbonara and fried rice. I actually buy those small ham steak packages when they're on sale just for this purpose (and I don't need to freeze them because the best by date is usually several weeks to a few months away.)

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

Ham freezes very well. A lot of the tips out on the internet are bizarrely inaccurate with regards to how long you can have a ham frozen, but I suspect they take user error into account. A well packaged ham that is allowed to thaw gradually could have been be frozen for a year or more and you'd never know it.

When I pick up a ham that I'm not going to use right away it goes straight into the chest freezer as-is. If you're going to open the original packaging to cut it up, the key is to have zero air in the new packages. If you portion with regular freezer bags, you won't be airtight and you will need to use the ham in a month or two, or risk freezer burn. If you have a vacuum sealer, it will be fine in a deep freezer for much longer.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a deal.

If you won't be using it within the next 3 months? There is no sense in buying it, in my opinion.

You CAN cut it up for lunch meat slices, scrambled egg pieces, etc. but that's a lot of work as well.

Why not just pass on this "sale" right now?

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

There should be no problem with freezing it. Just freeze in portions that you can use once thawed and you will have ham for a while. That actually is a great idea. I will have to see if there are any on sale around here. We eat a LOT of ham!

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

i've never had a problem freezing meats. I use the Food Saver. I have meats that were on sale, and I put them in portions that "fit" my family, write on the bag what it is and the date and rotate my stock.

I think I'd be about HAMMED out...personally. :)

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P.K.

answers from New York on

I freeze them all the time. Never cut one up, but I don't see where it would be a problem. I get them when there is a good sale too

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Have their meat department slice them up for you.

Or heat them up, THEN slice them up, put slices in freezer ziplock baggies with some of the "juice" in the pan. That puts the moisture back in the meat. Do this while they're still warm and put the slightly warm meat in the freezer laying flat, one on top of the other, and let them freeze. They'll stay flat and the juice will stay on the meat that whole time they're frozen.

To thaw out. Tear the bag into shreds...lol. I actually split the side seam and slide the hunk of frozen stuff onto a plate to microwave on 40%-50% for a minute at a time. Then pull the meat apart until it's all thawed.

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