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Old 10-28-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Duarte, CA
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Default Frozen Ham - 6 months - Good?

I cut up and froze several pounds of ham straight from the store in early May and last used the remaining portions in July.. under normal circumstances, is it still reasonable to expect it to be edible right now?


Edit: There are no strange smells but I'm still wondering.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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As long as you properly wrapped it.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: In a State In My Own Mind!
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If there isn't any freezer burn it will be just fine. I buy extra turkeys right after Christmas to have in July/Aug. never a problem if wrapped correctly.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:29 PM
Status: "Happy Chris Day" (set 1 day ago)
 
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Its fine. It's Ham.

Becarful how you heat it though being in a frostless freezer that long can really dry out cured meats especially as the poster above stated it wasn't wrapped properly for long term storage. Just in a Ziplock freezer bag isnt long term storage prep(3+ months) BTW.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:00 PM
Status: "Give just a little of yourself to others." (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
I cut up and froze several pounds of ham straight from the store in early May and last used the remaining portions in July.. under normal circumstances, is it still reasonable to expect it to be edible right now?


Edit: There are no strange smells but I'm still wondering.
It will be fine, I took out the remainder of the spiral ham we had for easter, just last week and finished it this morning. It might not have had as much flavor but it was still very good and certainly eadibal.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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It should be good for a year, barring freezer burn or a power outage.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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It's fine.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Default Frozen foods can be kept indefinitely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
I cut up and froze several pounds of ham straight from the store in early May and last used the remaining portions in July.. under normal circumstances, is it still reasonable to expect it to be edible right now?
Define edible... do you mean will it be safe, or do you mean will it be tasty?

According to the Feds, well wrapped food kept at 0 F or lower can be kept safely for an indefinite period of time. So even a ten-year old ham would be safe to eat.

It's the "tasty" part that is more fragile and less predictable. The "freezer storage" charts* you see are for quality. Ham is generally best if used within 2 months, with some loss of flavor and texture after that. You did the right thing, checking for off odors while it was cooking.

The three biggest things that affect the taste and quality of frozen food kept long-term are drying out, acquiring off odors, and going through multiple mini freeze/thaw cycles.

Drying out, also called "freezer burn" is prevented by proper wrapping, such as a sealed vacuum bag with moisture barriers. If it develops, the best thing to do is to cut off the dried out portions.

Off odors too, are kept away by good wrapping, but also by keeping stinky foods out of the refrigerator, since the same air is circulated throughout the whole refrigerator in many models.

Freezer chests are much better for long-term storage than in-refrigerator units because they don't go through mini-thaws when you open the freezer and let the cold air out, followed by mini-freezes. Those cycles cause ice-crystal formation which adversely affects the texture.


*Here's the USDA fact sheet about frozen foods, with the food storage chart at the end. Remember, this is in reference to best quality, not safety. If kept below 0 F, food can be safely kept indefinitely:

Freezing and Food Safety
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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It's edible, though the flavor and texture may have broken down some. It'd suggest using it in bean soup or stew recipie.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:33 AM
 
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Ham stays better longer frozen than other meat, due to high water content. Should be fine for soup.
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