Tasty as a joint of meat, chopped up and used in soups and stews or even sliced for sandwiches, gammon is one of those meats that can be used in a multitude of ways and it always tastes beautiful!
People often wonder, can you freeze gammon?
Yes, you can freeze gammon. Gammon can be frozen for around 4 months. You can freeze it either cooked, uncooked or sliced.
Does Gammon Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Gammon? No
How To Freeze Gammon
You can freeze gammon either uncooked or cooked, and the methods are similar, but we will go over them in more detail.
How to Freeze Uncooked Gammon
You do need to be careful when handling raw meats, especially pork. These meats contain many bacteria that can transfer to your hands and other surfaces without cooking.
So, make sure you wash your hands well after handling raw meat.
Prepare your gammon for freezing. You need to freeze it as soon as you buy it to keep as much freshness locked in as possible. Wrap the meat well in cling film. Add three to four layers. This will help protect you and the gammon from the freezer.
- Bag Up
Prepare a freezer bag by labelling it with the date and contents. Pop the wrapped gammon into the back and seal the bag tightly. You want to ensure no air can get to the gammon.
Put the bagged and wrapped gammon in the freezer.
How to Freeze Cooked Gammon
If you have leftover cooked gammon then this is the approach you’ll want to take:
Make sure your gammon is completely cooled all the way through before freezing. If you have cooked a whole gammon joint, this could take several hours.
Prepare your gammon to be frozen. You can either freeze it whole, chopped or sliced. If you are freezing it whole you need to make sure that you will want to use the whole gammon joint in one go because you can’t refreeze it once it has been thawed out.
Wrap your gammon in cling film. At least two to three layers. You need to keep the meat protected from the air. If you have chosen to freeze the gammon in slices, you may need to add a sheet of parchment paper between each slice to stop it from sticking together.
Prepare a freezer bag by labelling it with the date and pop the gammon into it.
Seal tightly and freeze.
How to Freeze Sliced Gammon
You can freeze sliced gammon! It takes a little more prep work because if you aren’t careful, you can end up with all the slices of gammon sticking together.
- Cool and Slice
Allow the gammon to cool completely. Then slice into fairly thick slices. It will freeze a little better if the slices are thick rather than thin. Thin slices could become brittle in the freezer.
- Prepare Baking Paper
Cut some parchment paper into squares that are a little larger than the slices of gammon.
Layer the gammon with the parchment paper so that each layer of gammon has a piece of parchment between it. This is what stops the gammon slices from sticking together.
- Bag Up
Pop the layers of gammon into a freezer bag.
- Seal and Freeze
Squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag tightly. Write the date on the bag and pop it into the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Gammon
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing gammon to have the best results:
Consider Your Portions
When freezing anything, you need to consider what portions you will need in future. Once you know what size portions you will want, you’ll know how to freeze gammon.
Wrap and Protect
As is often the case, it is very important gammon is wrapped in cling film and protected from the air. This will prevent any drastic textural changes from occurring.
Use Baking Paper
If freezing slices, use sheets of baking paper to separate each piece of gammon. Once frozen, they shouldn’t stick together, making it far easier to grab a slice or two at a time.
How Long Can You Freeze Gammon?
How long you can freeze gammon will depend on whether or not the gammon has been kept sealed and airtight and also whether it is uncooked or cooked.
Uncooked gammon needs to be used within about three to four months. If your gammon is cooked, it will last a little longer, and you can keep it in the freezer for about six months.
You Can Freeze Gammon for Around 4 Months
How Do You Defrost Gammon?
You do need to defrost your gammon before cooking. This isn’t a type of meat we would recommend cooking from frozen. To do this, the best method is to pop the gammon into the fridge until it has thawed out.
How long it will take to defrost will depend on the gammon. A whole gammon could take a couple of days, depending on the size of the gammon joint.
Slices of gammon should be a little quicker, but it still could take a couple of hours to thaw out completely.
Pork can retain quite a lot of moisture when defrosted, so you may need to pat the gammon dry with a clean tea towel or some kitchen paper before using it.
Can You Refreeze Gammon?
Pork meats are one of the meats you need to be very careful with when it comes to using and freezing. It contains bacteria that can make you sick.
Luckily cooking it well should destroy enough of this and you won’t get sick, but it does pay to be careful when preparing and cooking this meat.
This is why we wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze any pork or gammon. The risks are too big, and it wouldn’t be great for the meat either. The texture and taste would also degrade.
Does Gammon Freeze Well?
As long as you are careful and keep it frozen until you need to use it, gammon does freeze very well. As long as you have kept the meat airtight, you shouldn’t even notice much difference between fresh gammon and frozen!
If you’ve still got questions about freezing gammon or gammon in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Glazed Gammon?
Can You Freeze Gammon Steaks?
Ham, egg and chips anyone? The good news is that you can freeze gammon steaks quite easily. Just wrap each steak in a sheet of cling film and then store it in a thick freezer bag. That’s all there is to it!