You want to bake a ham, but it is frozen. What do you do? You might be wondering if you can still cook the ham and how to get it done quickly so that it will not dry out.
In this post, you’ll find some short but informative answers to all your questions on how to bake a frozen ham!
Should you thaw a frozen ham before baking?
Cooking frozen ham is perfectly safe as long as you give the meat a little more time to cook. In general, it takes 50% more time to cook frozen ham than it would for a ham that has been thawed. For example, if it took 30 minutes to cook the ham, you should give it 50% of that time which would make the total cooking time while frozen about 45 minutes.
When should you defrost a ham?
Plan on 4-6 hours for each pound of ham and can take up to 7 hours for a ham that is over 10 pounds. For instance, a 10-pound ham will take about 50-70 hours to defrost completely, or 2-3 days in the refrigerator or in a cooler. So you should thaw your ham based on the weight a few hours before the time you plan to cook it.
If you wanted to cook 8 pounds of ham for dinner then you would have to let it thaw for 32-48 hours before it’s time to make it. Or let it sit in the refrigerator for 3 days before the day you plan to start cooking it.
How do you defrost a ham quickly?
You can thaw a ham quicker if you put it in water. It will take 30 minutes for each pound of the ham to thaw, so if you have a 10-pound ham it will take 3 hours instead of 70 hours. You need to use a leak-proof bag like a zip-top bag and change the water every 30 minutes.
By changing the water every 30 minutes, you will keep the water temperature low enough so it thaws quickly.
How long does it take to thaw out a 12-pound ham?
To thaw out 12 pounds of ham would take about 84 hours or about 6 hours if you thaw it by submerging the ham in water. Be careful with leaving the ham out for long periods of time though as the meat might spoil. I’ll go over it more below:
Can you leave a frozen ham out all night?
No, you should never leave a frozen ham out all night to thaw on a counter. If you do, it will spoil because the outermost layer will be at the temperature where bacteria breed 40-140°F. You could get sick if you eat it later.
Instead of leaving the ham out all night, you should put it in the refrigerator to thaw a few days prior to when you need it to cook. This way you won’t need to worry about getting sick from eating spoilt meat. Or you could use the submerging method as given above.
Can you put frozen ham in the oven?
In your oven, you can cook all kinds of food, even a frozen ham. Turn the oven to 325° F and put the ham in a roasting pan with an inch of water on the bottom. Cook for 25-30 minutes for each pound of frozen ham.
So if you are cooking 5 pounds of frozen ham it would take about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
How long can a thawed ham stay in the fridge?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that if you thawed the ham in the refrigerator, it should be safe to eat for up to 3-5 additional days before cooking. If you decide not to cook the ham, you could still safely refreeze the ham within this 3-5 day period without it going bad.
However, the pre-thawed storage time of the ham will be reduced by a few days to a few months. So instead of the ham being able to stay frozen for 12 months without going bad, it might now have a lifespan of say 10-11 months.
How long can cured ham sit out?
Cured ham should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. If it is left out at a temperature above 40°F, you risk the meat going bad. However, cured ham can be left to sit in a refrigerator for several days without going bad as long as the temperature is below 40°F.
Can you eat a ham that has been frozen for 1 year?
Yes, frozen ham can remain safe to eat indefinitely, so it will still be safe to eat for 1 year of being frozen. But after that, the quality may go down.
Can you eat a ham that has been frozen for 2 years?
Yes, frozen ham is safe to eat even after two years of being frozen. They are safe as long as they don’t have freezer burn or if they have not been thawed more than once in the last two years.
Can you eat a ham that has been frozen for 3 years?
Yes, you can certainly eat ham that has been frozen for three years. Just remember that it shouldn’t be thawed during those 3 years. Otherwise, the meat might be spoilt or the quality of the meat will suffer greatly.
Can I leave a cooked ham in the oven overnight?
No, you shouldn’t leave cooked ham in the oven overnight because it will be at temperatures that can allow bacteria to be bred in the ham. So once the ham is cooked and served you should store it in the refrigerator so it won’t spoil.
How long can you keep a fully cooked ham frozen?
If the ham is cooked you can keep it frozen for 1-2 months without having to worry about it going bad.
How do you know if a frozen ham is bad?
Several factors can tell you if your frozen ham has gone bad. If the meat looks dull and slimy or smells sour, it should not be eaten. You can also check for color changes in the meat to know whether a frozen ham is safe to eat or not. Frozen ham will have a grey-ish color.