How to Thaw Frozen Ham?

How to Thaw Frozen Ham

How to Thaw Frozen Ham? Most people associate ham with the popular holiday meal that is only served between November and December, and then again at Easter. But if you’re savvy and store up on hams while they’re on sale, you can enjoy a great feast any time of year.

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Carving a roasted ham is something spectacular and not to be missed, whether for a holiday celebration or simply another mid-week meal for the family.

How to Thaw Frozen Ham
How to Thaw Frozen Ham

A roasted ham, whether bone-in or spiral-cut, is always a show-stopping centerpiece, no matter the season. Most hams are refrigerated and not frozen, but if you’re savvy and buy a couple during the “off season” to save money for the holidays, you’re in luck since hams freeze and thaw quite well.

How do you defrost frozen ham? Frozen ham may be thawed in a variety of methods, including refrigerating it, soaking it in cold water, or defrosting it in the microwave.

Ham is always a welcome addition to the dinner table, whether honey-glazed, studded with pineapple and cherries, or simply roasted. Hams, like turkeys, are large chunks of meat that can take some time to thaw securely and efficiently.

Because the average ham weighs between 8 and 10 pounds, it takes up less room in your fridge or sink (depending on which defrosting option you choose.)

When Thawing Frozen Ham, Follow These Food Safety Tips

As usual, safe food handling practices must be followed, especially when working with ready-to-eat meals. Because most hams are pre-cooked, it is critical to ensure that safe food handling protocols are followed.

How to Thaw Frozen Ham

As a result, following the proper methods for defrosting a frozen ham is crucial, with specific emphasis given to maintaining the correct temperature during the thawing process and avoiding cross-contamination.

Frozen Ham Thawing Options

Because of its bulk, frozen ham might be scary to defrost. Fortunately, there are numerous excellent techniques for properly thawing a frozen ham.

Option 1 – Refrigerated Thawing of Frozen Ham (4-6 hours)

The best way to defrost a frozen ham is to just place it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Keep the frozen ham in its original packing and set it on a big plate, dish, or pan on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Thawing timeframes for frozen hams range from 4-6 hours per pound in general.

This method takes the longest, but it assures that the ham is secure and ready to cook when you need it because you prepared ahead of time. Keeping the ham on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator reduces the possibility of cross-contamination.

Option #1.5 – Thawing Frozen Ham in the Refrigerator (4-6 hours)

If your ham is too large to fit in the refrigerator and you have allowed enough time for it to thaw properly, a large cooler is an excellent alternative to the first technique.

Place your ham in a big clean cooler, still in its original packing. Fill one-third of the cooler with ice to keep it chilly, then store it somewhere cool. Insert a probe thermometer into the ham to carefully watch the temperature over time, adding more ice if it hits 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Option #2 – Submerge Frozen Ham in Water to Thaw (30-150 minutes)

Submerging a frozen ham in water is the next best method for defrosting it. This approach is faster than the first, although it takes a little more attention. If you forget to take the ham out of the freezer in time, thawing it in water is the next best choice for thawing a frozen ham.

When thawing a frozen ham in cold water, make sure it’s in a water-tight bag or its original container. When exposed to water, the flesh absorbs part of it, resulting in a chewy texture.

Place the ham in a big container filled with cold tap water. Don’t be tempted to use warm or hot water in the hopes of thawing the ham faster. This will merely heat up the ham’s exterior layer and promote hazardous bacterial development.

Every 30 minutes, check on the ham’s progress while renewing the water to keep it at a safe temperature. The time it takes to finish depends largely on the weight of the ham, but it is normally around 20-30 minutes per pound. Be aware that you cannot refreeze the ham once it has fully defrosted, so cook or serve it shortly after thawing.

Thawing Frozen Ham in the Microwave is Option #3. (30-40 minutes)

While thawing anything in the microwave, especially bigger slices of meat, is never ideal, it is still a realistic but last-resort alternative for thawing frozen ham.

This approach is totally contingent on the ham actually fitting inside the microwave, therefore it is simply not viable for medium-to-large hams, so refer to Option #1 or #2.

This is the quickest choice, but it is by no means the best. Given its size, there’s a good potential you’ll mistakenly cook the meat during the thawing procedure, which will make the ham taste a little off. However, if you’re in a hurry, this is a reasonable way for rapidly defrosting a frozen ham.

While defrost and power settings vary considerably across machines, thoroughly defrosting should take between 30 and 45 minutes. Check the ham for doneness every 5 to 10 minutes. To be certain, cut into the ham. If the knife glides easily through the ham, it is properly thawed.

Make careful to cook the ham as soon as it has thawed. This is especially crucial when thawing frozen ham in the microwave since the ham may have slightly cooked throughout the procedure. You cannot refreeze a ham that has been thawed in the microwave.


  • Ham is a fantastic and delicious choice for a variety of occasions, not just holidays.
  • Frozen ham provides all of the advantages of fresh ham but may be eaten whenever you desire.
  • The best method for defrosting a frozen ham takes the most time but yields the greatest results.
  • If the ham is too large to fit in the refrigerator, thawing it in a cooler is a viable option.
  • If you’re short on time, immersing frozen ham in water is a considerably faster choice.
  • Defrosting in the microwave is a last resort option in a situation and if you have a tiny enough ham.

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