6 tips for storing and making the most of your NZ Christmas ham

Storing ham properly is important to ensure it stays fresh, retains its flavour and is safe to eat. Here are some top tips for storing your NZ ham this festive season:

1. Keep your ham in its original plastic packaging until you are ready to either glaze or consume it (Christmas hams are already cooked so don’t necessarily need to be baked but of course glazing it does make it extra yummy!).

2. If you are glazing your ham, for longevity it’s a good idea to do this as close to Christmas Day as possible. However generally speaking a glazed ham stored correctly can survive in the fridge for between one to two weeks (always be guided by the use by date).

3. Once you have glazed your ham or removed it from the packaging, keep it in a ham-bag or wrap it in a damp tea-towel before placing in the fridge. Wash the bag, or tea-towel every few days with a splash of vinegar in the water. Dry and use again.

4. Store your ham in the fridge on the bottom shelf (or vegetable drawer) where the temperature is coldest and most stable.

5. After Christmas if you have eaten all the ham leftovers you can manage, you might like to freeze it. Whole hams will last in the freezer for up to three months, while sliced or cubed for up to one month. Note: the freezing and defrosting process can affect the texture of the ham so just bear in mind that the quality might not be quite the same.

6. When you’re ready to use the ham from the freezer, thaw it in the fridge for at least 48 hours, rather than leaving it out at room temperature.

To summarise, storing ham properly is key to maintaining freshness, flavour and ensuring it is safe to eat. Follow the steps above and you’re all set for a ham-tastic Christmas!