How to Reheat Ham in Microwave

It’s very common to have some ham leftover after a festive dinner, whether you smoke it, honey-bake it, slice it, or roast it. And while you can eat ham cold straight from the refrigerator for up to 5 days after cooking it, sometimes we just crave smoking hot ham to have as a delicious snack or meal. 

And that’s where the problem lies. If you don’t do it right, the microwaved ham doesn’t taste as good as when it was fresh. And not to mention, it can dry out.

Luckily, reheating ham in the microwave without changing its flavor or texture is easy. Here’s how you should go about it. 

Can you reheat ham in the microwave?

Yes, you can definitely reheat ham in the microwave. Just make sure the internal temperature reaches up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit so that it is safe to consume.

Many people are wary of microwaving cold ham because of how easy it is to dry it out. However, it is very safe, quick, and easy to microwave; you just need to know how to handle pre-cooked ham.

To safely reheat the ham, make sure you set the microwave on medium power. And nuke the slices in 30-second increments until each side is well-heated.   

How to reheat ham in the microwave

To reheat ham in the microwave, first, line up a layer of a couple of slices and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Put a damp paper towel over the plate so that the slices don’t dry out. Set the microwave to reheat (or medium heat) and nuke the ham in 30-second intervals until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To get started, take 1 or 2 slices and put them in a row. Make sure they don’t overlap and that there’s sufficient space between the slices so that they heat evenly. To get the best results, I recommend that you heat only 1 slice at a time. Apart from a microwave-safe plate, you can use a microwave-safe container (plastic or glass) or a paper plate.

Put a damp paper towel on the ham to prevent it from drying. To dampen the paper towel, you can shake wet hands over it or use a spray bottle. If you’re using a microwave-safe container with sides, you can put a tablespoon of water inside it instead of using a towel. You can also use plastic wrap, but remember that it can melt and leech harmful chemicals. Make sure never to use tin or aluminum in the microwave.

Nuke the ham in 30-second intervals and make sure you flip the slice after each interval. Use a fork or tongs to flip the slice instead of using your hands since it might be hot. Continue with the process until the ham is warm enough.

Once you see smoke coming out of the ham and you think it’s hot enough, take it out from the microwave and carefully remove the towel or plastic wrap. Since the dish might be very hot, it’s better to use a dry tea towel or oven mitts. If you put some water in the container before microwaving, make sure you don’t touch it when you take out the ham. The water on the plate will most likely be very hot. 

Is it safe to reheat ham in the microwave?

Yes, it is very safe to reheat ham in the microwave. You just need to make sure that the ham is properly stored and cooked and reheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are two ways to safely reheat ham in the microwave.

You can reheat cooked ham on high for 30 seconds on each side. Make sure you get rid of the charred areas and the excess fat from the surface of the ham before microwaving it. Otherwise, these areas can become rubbery and tough.

Alternatively, you can set your microwave on 50% power or the reheat setting and microwave each side for a minute. Using the reheat setting allows you to control the moisture and texture of the ham while heating it up without drying. 

How long should you reheat ham in the microwave? 

The time for which you should reheat ham in the microwave depends on the thickness of the ham, the number of slices, and the microwave wattage. However, in general, it should take around 2 minutes to reheat 2 slices of leftover ham on the reheat setting.

Cooked ham must be reheated to the right internal temperature so that it is safe to consume and there are no life-threatening foodborne bacteria. But the length of time will vary from microwave to microwave. 

For example, if you have half a kilogram of ham, it will take up to 5 minutes on medium power to reheat. Meanwhile, if you have around 1/4th of a kilogram, the same microwave might take around 2 minutes. But these time limits can exceed if you have thick ham slices.   

To cut down the total reheating time and make sure the slices heat up thoroughly, use slices that are no thicker than 0.5” and only microwave 2 slices at a time to avoid overcrowding the dish.

Keep checking the temperature in between different intervals by touching the slices or eating a small chunk. Stop microwaving when the slices are thoroughly heated.

Just make sure you don’t microwave the ham for very long otherwise it will become tough and rubbery.

Tips to reheat ham in the microwave

Reheating ham in the microwave is easier, quicker, and less hassle-free than reheating ham on a stove or in the oven. But it is equally easy to dry it out. To prevent that from happening, here are some tips to remember:

  • Never microwave the ham at high power for more than 30 seconds, otherwise, the surface of the slice will burn and quickly dry out.
  • Make sure you store leftover harm in an airtight container. This will help preserve the moisture in the slices, which means they won’t dry out when you reheat them in the microwave.
  • If you’re microwaving pre-cooked ham, you don’t need to microwave for very long. You just need to nuke it long enough for it to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never leave the ham unattended while it’s in the microwave. If you see signs of overcooking, stop nuking it. Instead, let it sit in the closed microwave for a minute and allow the carryover heat to warm up the slice.   
  • It’s better to microwave very thin slices. So if possible, cut small portions of the ham so that it heats up evenly. 
  • Ideally, you should only reheat 1 slice in one go. But if you opt for microwaving more than 2-3 slices, then make sure they don’t overlap each other. Instead, place them in a single layer so that they heat equally. 
  • Use a lid or microwave cover to trap the steam. This will help cook the ham quicker and more evenly. Alternatively, you can use microwave-safe plastic wrap, a tablespoon of water in the container, or a damp paper towel.
  • Once the ham is fully reheated, carefully take it out of the microwave and serve it with your favorite side!

The Bottom Line

You now know how to reheat ham in the microwave. As you can see, it’s not tricky at all; you just need to be careful of the time so that you don’t dry it out. But since the time will vary based on the thickness of the slices and the wattage of the microwave, you will have to experiment a bit to find the right time. 

If done correctly, you can reheat ham in the microwave without it drying out or turning rubbery. And once it’s hot enough, pair it up with your favorite sautéed vegetables, and enjoy! 

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