How to Defrost a Spiral Ham?

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Defrost your spiral ham properly before cooking.
Defrost your spiral ham properly before cooking. (Image: Ham slice on plate image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)

Freezing your spiral ham will keep it fresh for up to one year, but to prepare it safely, you need to know how to defrost it to prevent bacteria from growing in the ham. Spiral hams and half hams require a lengthy thaw in the refrigerator because of their size, but you can shorten the defrost time from days to hours using a cold-water bath. Because a spiral sliced ham has already been cooked, once it's defrosted you only need to reheat it in an oven instead of baking it from scratch.

Things You'll Need

  • Frozen spiral sliced ham
  • Resealable bag
  • Baking pan
  • Meat thermometer

Seal the spiral ham in a resealable bag and place it in a baking pan in the refrigerator for five to seven hours per pound to thaw.

Alternatively, submerge the sealed ham into a sink full of cold water for 30 minutes per pound. Change the water in the sink after every 30 minutes.

Cook the thawed spiral ham immediately by reheating it for 10 minutes per pound at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only use cold water in the water method because hot or warm water encourages the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning.

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