Can You Refreeze a Thawed Ham? (Is It Safe)

Can You Refreeze a Thawed Ham

Many people will find themselves in the situation of having a thawed ham.

They may be wondering if it is safe to refreeze it.

So, can you refreeze a thawed ham? Yes, you can refreeze a thawed ham and it is safe as long as it is thawed in the refrigerator and not on the countertop.

The only thing to keep in mind is that refrozen ham may not taste as good after being defrosted and refrozen again because it has already been frozen once.

But other than taste issues, the ham remains safe to eat.

How to refreeze a thawed ham?

Before refreezing thawed ham, make sure that it is thawed in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.

This is because thawing at higher temperatures may compromise the safety of the ham.

This is mainly due to bacterial growth that happens rapidly at room temperature.

Refreezing a thawed ham is actually not that different from refreezing other foods.

To refreeze a thawed ham, simply place unopened packs of ham in the freezer.

You can refreeze it on its original package or in another suitable packaging material according to your preference.

Freezer packaging can also extend the shelf life of the refrozen ham.

Some refreezing instructions may say that you should first fully cook the ham, cool it down thoroughly, and then refreeze it.

I suggest that you consider the instructions that come with the product to ensure the safety of the ham.

How long can you refreeze a thawed ham?

You can refreeze a thawed ham as many times as you want for up to one month if it remains unopened.

Once it has been opened, refreezing would be recommended only once. 

This is because refrozen ham may have compromised texture or taste from the refreezing process.

Tips for refreezing a thawed ham

Here are some simple tips to refreeze a thawed ham:

  1. Do not refreeze cooked ham.
  2. Wrap the refrozen ham with foil to keep its color and flavor. 
  3. If refreezing turns the ham soggy, bake or broil it to make it crispy again.

What refreezing temperature is recommended for refreezing a thawed ham?

Generally, the refreezing process requires temperatures lower than that of freezing.

This is to reduce any alteration in quality, taste, or texture of refrozen food.

The refreezing temperature of refrozen ham should be 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

This refreezing temperature is recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A refreezing chart can also be used as a refreezing guide for refrozen ham and other refrigerated food items.

How long can you keep a thawed ham in the fridge?

If refreezing a thawed ham is not possible due to lack of time, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 2 days.

The refrozen ham should remain unopened.

Make sure to place it in airtight packaging so that no contaminated air enters your food storage area.

This way, you may refreeze it at a later time.

Can you eat a ham that has been frozen for 1 year?

According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a ham that has been frozen for 1 year is still safe to eat.

However, the quality may deteriorate and you may not get the same taste and texture as fresh ham.

Thaw frozen ham in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature.

Doing this will prevent bacterial growth thus keeping the ham safe during the refreezing process.

Can you refreeze a refrozen ham?

You can refreeze refrozen ham in the same manner as already-frozen food.

As long as it is unopened, refreezing will not affect its safety.

However, refreezing may affect its taste and texture. This is the reason why many people don’t like refreezing thawed frozen goods.

Reusing packaging materials is also recommended to further extend refreezing life of a refrozen ham.

How to reheat refrozen ham?

The refrozen ham can be reheated using the same method as any frozen food.

Just make sure to thaw it first before heat up and cooking.

You may wrap it in aluminum foil for extra protection.

This way, the refrozen ham will keep its moisture and flavor.

It is best to refreeze ham instead of cooking it first and then refreezing it.

This is because refreezing retains its safety while cooking first may compromise the quality, taste, or texture of the refrozen food.

Should refrozen ham be refried?

If refreezing a thawed ham does not work, refrying is the next best alternative to maintain its taste and texture.

Frying may add flavor or give crispness to refreeze meat such as refried ham and refried bacon.

But you must heat them slowly over a low fire.

Final Thoughts

The refreezing of a thawed ham is safe but it eventually affects its overall quality.

The taste and texture may suffer if the thawed ham is refrozen for a considerable amount of time.

Hence refreezing a refrozen ham is not always recommended.

But if you really want to try this route, make sure that you take all the safety tips into consideration.

I hope this post somehow helps you refreeze your thawed ham.

For more tips on freezing foods, feel free to visit my guide here.


US Department of Agriculture