You’ve stocked up on lunch meat ham, or purchase a large whole ham. Now that friend think about, it’s a little too much. Just how long go ham jast?

Or you’ve to buy a cured ham the you need to chef at residence for a special occasion. ~ cooking, the meat turned out super tasty, but you’re quite sure girlfriend won’t be able to eat every one of it within a few days.

You are watching: How long does ham last in fridge

That made you begin thinking about freezing the leftovers, however you’re no sure exactly how well ham freezes.

Either way, this short article is because that you if you have any kind of questions or doubt regarding:

storageshelf lifeor going poor of ham

Below, us talk about deli meat ham, entirety ham, and also even touch top top canned ham. We’ve got you covered, no matter what’s her preference.

Whole ham

How to keep Ham

When it concerns storing ham, there are basically 2 options: the fridge and also the freezer.


I know there space some specialty commodities like nation ham the are periodically sold unrefrigerated and also keep fine at room temperature, however the vast majority of ham products require refrigeration.

No issue what kind of ham you’re handle with, if it’s cured or not, cooked or not, or sliced or not, the same couple of basic indict apply.

First and also foremost, keep the meat fine wrapped at all times. Packaged ham is normally vacuum sealed, or in ~ the an extremely least tightly sealed in a pack. And also even if friend buy sliced having lunch meat in ~ the deli counter, it generally comes correctly wrapped too.

Ham in a plastic resealable bag
Once you open the package, if you can’t seal it easily, consider carrying the ham in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Those keep the moisture and smell inside, and prevent the ham from choose up any smells native the fridge.

If no is an option, aluminum foil or plastic wrap can work too.


For the meat to last the longest, store it in the far edge of the fridge and return that there ideal after cut as lot as friend need.

Ham slices
When it concerns canned ham marketed unrefrigerated, room temperature is perfect fine because that it. A cool ar in a pantry or kitchen is perfect for storing the tins.

Once you open up the can, store any kind of leftovers in the fridge. Make certain they’re well covered, for this reason the odor won’t leak right into the totality fridge and the meat won’t dried out.

If possible, carry the leftover ham come a small airtight container or placed the tin in a freezer bag.

Just cooked ham, an alert how wet the still is

Can You freeze Ham?

If you desire to store your ham because that a lengthy period, freezing works really well (just together it does for pulled pork). Plus it needs very small extra work, so there space no forgiveness for no freezing ham.

If your ham requires any type of processing before eating (e.g., it’s uncooked and also requires cooking), take care of that prior to freezing.

This way, your thawed ham will be ready to eat, and also you won’t have to worry about anything later on. Plus freezing have the right to slightly transform the texture of the meat, therefore a frozen and thawed ham likely won’t rotate out as an excellent after cooking.

The next step is to think around the portions. If you have a whole huge ham ~ above hand, it’s far better to divide it right into a few smaller parts, so each one is sufficient for a couple of days. This way, girlfriend make certain it won’t go bad.


If you’re utilizing ham largely for her sandwiches, think about slicing it before freezing. This means it’s prepared to go right after defrosting. If you’ve bought a big batch that sliced ham in ~ the deli, divide it into several smaller ones too.

Squeeze out excess water from cooked ham. Otherwise, you’ll finish up with something prefer this after freezing.
When it comes to how to freeze ham, freezer bags usually work-related best, together they don’t take together much an are as containers.

If you intend to store the ham frozen for much longer than a few weeks, take into consideration wrapping the portion with aluminum foil prior to putting it into the bag. An extra class of protection against cold waiting is beneficial for lengthy freezing. If the ham is tho unopened, no need for added protection, together the initial packaging will do simply fine.

In short, every you should do is to protect the ham native the cold temperature and drying out, and also that’s about it.

As usual, thaw that overnight in the fridge.

Thawing frozen ham: placed it this way in the fridge, and also it’ll thaw overnight

How lengthy Does Ham Last

The warehouse time is slightly different for each type of ham, relying on how it was prepared. But because those periods are rather similar, i won’t cover them one by one and also instead talk around general guidelines.

If the ham is vacuum sealed, it typically retains high quality for about 2 weeks. And pretty much constantly comes v a use-by date on the label. While the ham need to keep unopened for a few days past that date, that’s around it.


There are exceptions to the 2 mainly rule, like, e.g., Prosciutto that often lasts because that over 2 months, however there are just a pair of them.

Once you open the package, or if the ham comes opened (e.g., sliced at the deli counter), it lasts around 3 come 5 days. Same thing for thawed meat.

When it concerns canned ham, that comes through a best-by date, and can easily retain quality for a couple of weeks previous that date. As soon as you open up the tin, eat the ham in ~ 3 to 5 days.

Ham (vacuum-sealed, unopened)Use-by + 2 – 4 days
Ham (opened)3 – 5 days
Ham (thawed)3 – 5 days
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)Best-by + 1 month
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, opened)3 – 5 days
Please note that all the periods over are estimates only.

How come Tell If Ham has Gone Bad

First off, check the dates. If you keep fresh ham way past the day on the label or it’s opened up for a lengthy time, just throw it out. Yes, even if it appears perfectly fine.

Then it’s time to check the top quality of the meat. If it’s slimy or started transforming gray, throw it out. Very same thing if it has occurred an off odor.

If you notice that the smell of the ham isn’t rather right, also if ever before so slightly, it’s past its prime, and you have to discard it.

Last but not least, if the taste is off, throw it out.

See more: How Do You Say Good Morning In Polish /Some Useful Expressions

Slicing ham

About The Author

Marcin Skrzypiec
Marcin is the guy behind After writing an ext than 300 articles on food storage, shelf life, and also spoilage, he"s learned a point or two on the topic.