If you are thawing food, then it’s because you plan to cook it, and one common food people do this with is meat.
Sometimes, however, you may take out the meat from the freezer before deciding you do not want to cook it.
You have no choice but to then put it back into the freezer. Also goes after it has been cooked.
It is important to be aware refreezing meat comes with some caveats, and things must be considered before refreezing it.
One meat people do this with is ham, and in this article, we will find out if you really can refreeze ham and how to do so safely.
Is It Possible to Refreeze Ham?
We will tell you it is entirely possible to refreeze ham. This applies to not only raw ham that has been thawed first but also cooked ham that has been thawed as well.
Below we’ll go into the details surrounding refreezing cooked ham as well as refreezing raw ham.
Refreezing Cooked Ham
When it comes to refreezing cooked ham, you need to consider a few things when engaging in this process. If the ham has been left on the counter for more than two hours, then it needs to be thrown away.
You should never defrost ham on the counter because of a pesky thing called bacteria.
Once the ham is in the fridge, it can last about 3 to 5 days, so you have some time to do something with it. However, keep in mind that if you want to refreeze it, it should be done within two days.
If you leave it in there longer, then you’ll have to eat it… as long as it’s not more than five days.
Following these rules is pretty easy to do. Ham is a delicious food, so please follow them if you want to enjoy that delicious slice of ham. This is especially true if it’s around holiday times.
Refreezing Raw Ham
For refreezing raw ham, you’ll find that the rules are the same. The ham can keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days, though if you plan to refreeze it, this usually needs to be done in two days or so.
If you want to cook it, you can take the entire five days to make your decision.
Unfortunately, bacteria are also something you need to contend with. We know it’s a pain, but you must be aware of its existence.
To avoid bacteria growing on your ham, never leave it out on the counter for more than 2 hours. Defrosting it on there is a huge no-no, so please don’t even consider it.
As we said, there isn’t any difference between refreezing raw ham and cooked ham. The only difference we can even think of is that one only has to be reheated while the other needs to be cooked once it has thawed for the second time.
How to Safely Thaw Ham
We found three different methods to thaw the ham, and some ways are better than others. These methods include:
- Thawing the ham in the fridge is the best way to defrost it. What you do is put it in the fridge and then leave it there to defrost. Depending on how big the ham is, it can take up to a day or two. If you want it to take less time, make sure you cut the ham before putting it in the freezer.
- Another great method of thawing ham is the cold water technique. You take the ham out of the fridge and then put it in a bowl with cold water. What you need to do is change the water every 30 minutes until the ham has fully defrosted. This is a much quicker method than the fridge method.
- Finally, the last way to defrost a ham is by putting it in the microwave. All you have to dois press the defrost button and leave it in until it’s done. This method comes with some risks because bacteria can form. If you choose this method, use it on smaller pieces of ham rather than large ones.
It’s best to only use the microwave method if you are short on time. Hey, better safe than sorry!
How to Safely Freeze Ham
Like with the methods that exist to safely thaw him, there are ways to safely freeze your ham as well. They include:
- Once you have made sure that the meat has been properly handled, you can start getting ready to put it inside your freezer. Wrap it in some plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper. Then put it in a zip-lock bag or some kind of similar brand and get all the air out of it to avoid freezer burn. If you end up having a freezer burn on your meat, it’s not the worst thing to ever happen, but it’s best to try to avoid it if you can because it does ruin parts of the meat.
- Please make sure you always put the date you freeze and/or refreeze on the packaging. You do this because you will know when it was put in the freezer and not risk eating it after it has gone bad or something. Still, always do the sniff test and give it a once over before consuming. You know, just to be on the safe side.
And there you go, all you ham lovers out there! In the article, we showed you that it is very possible to refreeze ham that has been cooked.
The same goes for thawed and raw ham that went through a similar process.
Another thing we felt we had to mention was some rules you need to follow due to keeping the food safe for consumption.
It will not take long for you to get used to following these rules. Eventually, they will become second nature to you, and then you can focus on how delicious the food is. That’s the best part!