Can You Cook a Frozen Ham Without Thawing It?
Don't sweat it if you forgot to pull your holiday ham out of the freezer, or it simply hasn't thawed as quickly as you expected. It's perfectly safe to cook a frozen ham. Just know that it takes about 50 percent longer to cook a fully-frozen ham. Here's everything you need to know to get good results.
Frozen Ham Cooking Instructions and Temps
Preheat your oven to 325 F. While you're waiting for the oven to come to temperature, place your ham in a roasting pan (Here are some things you can use if you don't have a roasting pan).
Then, add an inch of water to the bottom of the pan. The rack should hold your ham above the water.
Wrap the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil . This will help to lock the moisture in, so your ham doesn't dry out while it thaws and cooks. It'll also keep the outside of the ham from burning, while you wait for the inside of the ham to cook.
Then, place your ham in the oven, and cook it until its internal temperature meets or exceeds the following:
Cooked Ham (vacuum-packed at the plant) — 140 F
Cooked Ham (repackaged by you or someone else) — 165 F
Uncooked Ham (labeled fresh, cook-before-eating or uncured) — 145 F
Refer to the package that your ham came in to see which type of ham you bought, so you get the temperature right.
Frozen Ham Cooking Times
Trying to gauge how much longer it'll take to cook your frozen ham, so you know how soon you need to get it in the oven? Use this chart to look up the estimated cooking time.
|Type of Ham||Weight in lbs||Thawed: Minutes/lb||Frozen: Minutes/lb|
|Smoked Ham, cook-before-eating|
|Smoked Ham, cooked|
|Spiral cut, whole or half||7-9||10-18||15-27|
|Whole leg, bone-in||12-16||22-26||33-39|
|Whole leg, boneless||10-14||24-28||36-42|
Note: As mentioned, these cooking times are just estimates. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to determine when your ham is done.
How to Cook Smaller Portions of Frozen Ham
Have frozen bacon or a slice of frozen ham that you'd like to serve for dinner? You can use these tips to thaw your meat quickly, or pop it straight in the oven to thaw and cook.
*All recommendations are based on current USDA guidelines.
What to Do With Your Leftover Ham
When you get tired of eating ham sandwiches, just pop your ham back in the freezer to enjoy later. It's perfectly fine to refreeze meat. Here's the scoop on how long ham stays safe to eat in the freezer.
Be sure to hang on to the ham bone, too. It can be used to make soup, broth, and many other tasty recipes. If you're not up for making any of those things now, you can always freeze the ham bone for later. It can go right into the stockpot without thawing it first.