Honey baked ham is a holiday favorite, especially for people who like to spend less time in the kitchen to enjoy more family time! One of the things that make honey baked ham such a great dish is the fact that it’s easier to make than most holiday dishes and it still can provide the same type of satisfaction that other more elaborate recipes offer. There is even a legendary company, founded in 1957, that is famous for selling them in many shapes, including their patented spiral-sliced! However, as it usually happens on dates such as Christmas or Easter, people tend to make more than what they’re able to eat in one sitting and, in some instances, in many sittings! If that’s your scenario, or you simply decided to bake weekly provisions of it, you may probably be thinking these questions. Can you freeze honey baked ham? How long does honey baked ham last in the fridge?
You definitely can, and if you want to keep it for more than 10 days, you should! The process to freeze the ham correctly is the usual you would apply to other types of meat,
You begin by wrapping the leftovers or slices in plastic wrap (and if you want extra protection from freezer burns, aluminum foil) or placing them in an airtight container and seal them. Try to break down the ham into individual, single-serving portions, so that you don’t have to struggle when thawing what you need to consume on a given day. Make sure that your freezer is set to 0º F or lower. Also, if possible, stack them with enough space so that the cold air circulates the packages for best results.
Ham is particularly freezer-friendly, meaning that, provided it was stored correctly, you should not perceive any particular difference after freezing. It still has a lifespan, though, so you should be alert for any sign of spoilage.
You can safely refreeze honey baked ham thawed in the fridge and that hasn’t been exposed to bacteria at room temperature for more than 1 or 2 hours. If reheated or thawed in the microwave, then it’s better to consume it as soon as possible and not refreeze it, as it’s very easy for it to catch bacteria and lead to food poisoning.
In the refrigerator, it’s safe for consumption within 7 to 10 days after cooking. If the ham was bought pre-cooked, 4 to 5 days after first opening the package.
In its frozen state, it can endure from 42 to 45 days at a temperature of 0º F or lower. If pre-cooked, you should try not to leave it for more than 4 weeks in the freezer after the first serving, though it could theoretically last longer than that.
The safest way to thaw it is by placing it in the fridge and wait approximately 24 hours. There’s the option of submerging it in cold water using a leak-proof bag or package, making sure to change the water every 30 or so minutes until the defrosting is complete.
If you don’t want to go through all the thawing process and you want an easy way to simply bake it and serve, you can preheat your oven to 325ª F. Then, grab a roasting pan, a foil roasting pan, or a casserole dish and fill it with 1″ of water; place the ham on the pan or dish and shove it gently into the oven. It should be able to achieve a minimum temperature of 165ª to ensure that the bacteria remaining in the ham is killed. The estimated cooking time depends on the weight, but you should calculate around 20 minutes/lb.
The drippings that accumulate in the pan eventually turn into ham broth that can later be used for other dishes such as soups or sauces. Also, don’t forget that you can also do wonders with the ham bone, like a leftover hambone soup or a delicious plate of red beans and rice!