How To Thaw a Frozen Ham? (4 most popular methods)

The delectable, old-fashioned flavor of ham makes it a popular option not just for the holidays, but also at any other time of year (you can say that again).


But what happens when you are ready for your yummy ham, but it’s been sitting in the freezer?


How to thaw a frozen ham?

Ham can be thawed in the refrigerator, cold water (in an airtight bag), or the microwave. Plan beforehand for safe, slow refrigerator thawing. 4 to 6 hours per pound.



After doing more investigation, I discovered additional facts that you should be aware of, so please continue reading…




In order to get the best results, defrost your frozen ham in the refrigerator overnight (four to six hours per pound).


As a result, if you have a five-pound ham, you should plan on letting it thaw in the refrigerator for at least one day. The good news is that thawing in the refrigerator does not have to take place right up to the time of cooking.


The refrigerator may be used to store an uncooked ham for an additional three to five days after it has been thawed in the freezer.



The quickest and most straightforward method is to fill your sink halfway with cold tap water until the water completely covers your ham.


But, before you put your ham in the water, check to see that the outside packing is not broken and is not leaking…

It is important not to be tempted to use hot water to speed up the thawing process since hot water may cause the exterior of the ham to heat up to a temperature at which hazardous germs are encouraged to thrive, which is not desirable.


Every 30 minutes, drain the water and replace it with fresh. It will take around 30 minutes per pound of ham to completely defrost. While this technique of thawing requires a little more care, it is much faster in terms of time.



While it is not as traditional, thawing your ham in a cooler offers the benefit of freeing up room in your refrigerator, which is likely already overcrowded.

In addition, make sure that your cooler is stored in a cold location, such as a garage or basement…


Check the temperature of the cooler’s inside on a regular basis and do not allow it to climb over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice packs should be placed around the ham if the temperature begins to increase.



Unless your ham is the quarter or miniature size, you may be able to defrost it in the microwave even if you neglected to use one of the procedures listed above.


FYI: Please use caution, since the ham will need to be cooked completely soon after it has been thawed…


Due to the fact that each microwave is different, you’ll also need to check your microwave’s handbook for the minutes per pound and the power level.

When defrosting your ham in the microwave, it’s quite simple to mistakenly “overcook” it, resulting in it becoming dry.



In order to ensure the safety of your ham, do not defrost it immediately on the counter at room temperature, in hot or warm water, or in the refrigerator.


FYI: By thawing your ham in this manner, you are giving hazardous germs the chance to develop on the surface of your ham.


You should also avoid leaving your ham to thaw in places like your garage, basement, vehicle, or outside on the porch, even if you believe it’s chilly enough there!

This is done for the sake of food safety and to guarantee that only the highest-quality ham is served on your table.



If you forget to take your ham out of the freezer before serving it, you may defrost it in a bowl of cold water instead. It is necessary for the water to be ice cold.


Warm or hot water will quickly get the temperature of the exterior of the ham up to 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) or higher before the interior of the ham has thawed, if you are using warm or hot water.


When the temperature rises over 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), bacterial growth is encouraged, and your family is at risk of contracting food poisoning.


Prepare the ham by wrapping it tightly in an airtight bag and putting it in a bowl of cold water to defrost. Depending on how long the meat has been exposed to the thawing water, it may absorb some of the water.


The flavor and texture of your ham will be altered as a result of this. Bacteria present in the water or in the kitchen might potentially contaminate the ham and make it unfit for consumption.

As soon as the ham has been properly wrapped, plug the sink and set the ham into the sink before filling the sink with cold water. Every 30 minutes, drain the sink and refill it with fresh water.


Related Questions:

Is it possible to defrost a ham at room temperature?

Never submerge or defrost a frozen ham in water. Under any of these methods, the ham’s outer layer may linger between bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140°F for too long.


How long should a ham be defrosted in the refrigerator?

Plan on thawing your ham in the refrigerator for one day for 5 pounds of meat if you decide to do it that way.

Is it possible to cook a frozen ham?

FYI: According to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, cooking a frozen ham is completely safe. It will only take roughly half as long to cook as a thawed ham to reach its maximum cooking potential. 


How long does it take to cook a frozen ham?

Generally, cook beef for 18 to 20 minutes per pound. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 140° for pre-cooked hams in their original packaging, 145° for raw ham, and 165° for leftover ham or re-packaged pork.


How long does it take to thaw a gammon joint in the microwave?

Microwave gammon for 15-45 minutes on defrost. Thicker or larger hams may take up to 45 minutes to defrost. Check the ham every 5-10 minutes to see if it’s softening up.


How long should a ham be left to defrost in cold water?

Microwave gammon for 15-45 minutes on defrost. Thicker or larger hams may take up to 45 minutes to defrost. Check the ham every 5-10 minutes to see if it’s softening up.

How To Thaw a Frozen Ham? (4 most popular methods)