How Long Is Ham Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 to 7 days

Meat is still loved by people all over the world. There are many types of meat in the world, which can be bought from stores and cooked into many things delicious. From dishes made during holidays and celebrations to eating ham sandwiches for meals, ham can be used in many recipes. Ham can be bought from stores mostly because it is a quite tedious process to cut, store and prepare them. Ham is available cooked, uncooked, precooked, cured, packed, and sealed.

Ham is the hind leg of a hog, and there are many ways to cook them. They are available bone-in and bone out and there are many ways to prepare them properly. When ham must be stored, it must be prepared or cured properly so that it doesn’t go bad sooner than it should. Just like every other meat in the world, even ham has an expiry date. When meat goes bad and they are eaten, there can be severe consequences like food poisoning and any sort of foodborne illness.

According to health advisors and facts, it has been noticed that ham lasts for a week or two when stored right.

How Long Is Ham Good For?

TypeTime
Store-bought1 to 2 weeks
Cooked2 to 4 days
Uncooked3 to 5 days

When one has a large enough oven or pan to roast the ham, it can be cooked very easily. Hams are usually slow-roasted, and ham is not usually cooked from scratch by households. They are mostly cured or precooked, and that will certainly affect how the ham tastes and the steps that are involved in preparing a ham include curing, aging, and smoking them.

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Hams can be cured by injecting a brine of salt, sodium nitrate, sugar, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, water, sodium nitrate, and even flavorings. The ham will be cooked until it reaches the internal temperature of about 150 Fahrenheit, and the reason they are cured with chemicals and brine is that when cooked, this will kill any sort of bacteria left there. This process will turn a fresh ham into cured hams and they are available in markets and delis as baked hams.

When the ham is salted extensively salted and seasoned, aged ham is formed. These hams are hung in a well-ventilated room, at a precise humidity and temperature, and they will be put to age for over one to five years in that room. A hard crust develops, which will induce flavors into the ham, and after they are aged completely, the mold is scraped off and they are washed and dried before packing. Aged hams are usually called country ham in America, prosciutti di parma in Italian, and Jamon Serrano in Spanish.

Why Is Ham Good For That Long?

The USDA has all the information about how long leftover hams, cooked or uncooked, precooked, hams last and can be eaten safely. Usually, hams are stored in a refrigerator or freezers. Fresh uncured, cooked ham can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days, and even for 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Cured and cooked ham can last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator and 1 to 2 months in the freezer.

Leftover hams and spiral hams can be stored for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, while they can be stored in the freezer for about 2 months. Cooked, country hams can last in the fridge for about 7 days, and even for a month in the freezer. When hams are stored properly if cooked, they can be eaten for a while, and if uncooked, they can be stored well and cooked when preferred.

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Conclusion

Hams can be used in recipes of pasta, sandwiches, noodles, ham pockets, salads, soups, frittatas, waffles, and much more. There are many more delicious recipes that ham can be used for and for that, cooked or not, cured or not, sliced or not, processed or not, the ham must be stored properly, by wrapping them. Ham must be kept well wrapped at all times.

Ham can be put into a freezer bag or airtight container so that it can be stored properly.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214289416300564
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0309174095000380
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