Here's How Long A Baked Ham Will Last

Because many of us are used to seeing ham as a cured meat out of a deli packet, it might be difficult to imagine seeing ham as something that isn't a semi-permanent resident in our fridges, the way its more processed siblings might be.

There are many different ways to sell a ham. Hams can be lightly smoked and/or boiled. They can even be aged for anywhere between a few weeks to years. But if you pick up a ham from the butcher's to cook, you'd be picking up hams that are either fresh or cured with salt, sugar, and flavor, and as such, you really ought to be treating these hams like you would fresh pork or other types of meat. As such, Kitchen Parade recommends that smoked hams be cooked within a day or two after they are bought. Southern Living suggests that leftover ham should be consumed within five days, or they can be frozen for up to six weeks before it can be thawed in the fridge and eaten in within two days. 

How long a ham lasts can also depend on how you store it

Unfortunately, guidelines are just that, they aren't set in stone, and they offer a general overview of how long your ham will keep if it is stored properly — which means a ham can go off if you don't pay attention. Still Tasty says there are ways to ensure that your ham doesn't surprise you by going off before you think it is meant to, and this includes making sure that your ham is stored in airtight containers, or wrapped tightly, either with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Before you serve your Easter ham for dinner on a weeknight, give your ham a once over. If it smells bad, or looks slimy and gray instead of pink, chances are its time to discard that leftover. LEAFtv also recommends you look out for moldy spots, because molds can create a poisonous compound. If you do happen to catch a glimpse of any peach fuzz on your ham, discard it properly by wrapping it tightly and disposing of it outside.