4 to 6 hours is the exact answer.

Ham is the back leg of a pig or hog that has been cooked or preserved by smoking or salting. The two legs account for almost 90% of the pig’s weight.

Thawing is the process of thawing up frozen food so that it can be eaten. It is required to thaw frozen food.

Thawing is the process of thawing up frozen food so that it can be eaten. It is vital to defrost food consciously; else, bacteria can grow on it.

Different varieties of food necessitate different thawing times as well as different procedures. There are three methods for thawing ham: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and so on.

Can I cook a frozen ham without first defrosting it?

Answer: Yes, as stated by the United States Department of Agriculture, you can cook frozen meat, including ham, in the oven without first defrosting it.

You will, however, need to allow for some more cooking time. Cooking a frozen ham takes about half the time of cooking a completely thawed ham.

Do you have to thaw a ham before cooking?

It is possible to cook ham without first thawing it. When starting with frozen meat, you will need to extend the cooking time.

Larger pieces, such as ham roasts, may need up to 1 1/2 times the cooking time of an unfrozen ham cut.

When should I take my ham out of the freezer?

Allow 4-5 hours of thawing for each pound of ham (up to 7 hours per pound if your ham is more than 10-11 pounds). A 10-pound ham will take 50-70 hours to thaw in the refrigerator or cooler or 2-3 days in the freezer.

How long does it take a ham to thaw?

There are three ways to thaw a ham: in the refrigerator, cooler, or in cold water.

The quickest method is to thaw a ham in the refrigerator, but it also takes the longest. A refrigerator set to 1 to 2 degrees Celsius can defrost the ham just enough for consumption without allowing bacteria to grow on it.

To reduce the chance of it contaminating other food products, place the ham in a container on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.

If a refrigerator is not convenient or available, the ham can be placed in a cooler, which should be positioned at a distance and set to a temperature of 35–40 degrees Fahrenheit or 1-4 degrees Celsius.

Through the use of ice packs, the cooler can be brought down to the temperature required for the ham.

Another method for thawing ham is to place it in cold water with an airtight or sealed packet to keep it from getting wet. The ham should be immersed in cold water at less than 4 degrees Celsius.

The meat should be completely packed, or else the water would ruin the texture and flavor of the ham. Every 30 minutes, the water should also be changed. Furthermore, ham thawed in cold water cannot be refrozen and must be used immediately.

There is yet another method of thawing in which the ham is placed inside a microwave. This approach is not suited for larger chunks of meat since, in the microwave, the exterior layer would cook before the internal layer, resulting in an inconsistent taste.

Thawing Method

Type of ThawingTemperature Needed
In Refrigerator1-2 Degree Celsius
In Cooler1-4 Degree Celsius
In Cold WaterBelow 4 Degree Celsius

Why does thawing a ham take 4 to 6 hours?

In general, the ham should be cooked only after it has been thawed, as thawing makes the meat simpler to eat and does not pose any health risks such as food poisoning.

Thawing ham takes so long because it must be defrosted slowly and at a temperature no greater than 4 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures increase the risk of bacteria forming on top of the food.

When thawing the ham in the refrigerator, the temperature should be around 1 to 2 degrees Celsius, and the ham should be placed inside a container to capture the water that will defrost, as well as on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator so that it does not harm the other food products in the fridge.

Similarly, the ham should be placed inside the cooler, positioned in a remote location so that the air does not immediately reach anyone. The cooler’s temperature should be between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius, and ice packs can be used to raise the temperature.

It would take a long time since the meat would defrost gradually rather than all at once.

Furthermore, if the ham is being thawed in cold water, the water temperature should be less than 4 degrees Celsius, as higher temperatures can risk bacteria growing on the ham and produce serious health problems such as food poisoning.

The ham should not be microwaved thawed for the same reason that quick thawing might create bacteria, and microwave thawing could result in the exterior layers of the meat being cooked while the internal layers stay frozen.

Here’s how to thaw frozen ham


1. In the refrigerator, thaw the ham

This is the safest method for thawing frozen ham, but it takes the longest. The temperature in your refrigerator (between 34-38 degrees F, or 1-3 degrees C) is warm enough to allow your ham to thaw but cold enough that any bacteria on your ham won’t wake up and start partying just yet.

The ham should be kept on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Place it in a pan with a lip to catch any drips that may occur during the thawing process.

(A baking sheet, such as this one, works great.) Alternatively, if your ham will fit in a smaller pan, use a 913 baking pan.) Keeping your ham in a container and on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator can reduce the possibility of cross-contamination with other foods in your refrigerator.

2. In a cooler, thaw the ham

If you don’t have enough room in your fridge, you can defrost your ham in a cooler! Put the ham in a cooler and place it somewhere out of the way (ideally somewhere that is a little cool).

Keep an eye on the temperature inside the cooler; if it rises to 40 degrees F or higher, add ice packs to keep it between 35 and 40 degrees F. (1-4 degrees C). I enjoy these drink coolers (I use them to defrost our turkeys). Styrofoam coolers also work well.

To monitor the temperature, insert the end of a probe thermometer right through the cooler’s side. Then set the alarm to notify you if the temperature rises above 40 degrees F, so you know when to bring out the ice packs!

Refrigerated thawed ham can be stored for 3-5 days before cooking. If you do not plan to prepare it within that time frame, it can be frozen.

3. In cold water, thaw ham

If you didn’t get your ham out of the freezer in time, you could thaw it in cold water. It is necessary for the water to be chilly.

If you use warm or hot water, the temperature of the ham’s outside will reach 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) or higher before the inside is thawed. Temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) promote bacterial growth and may expose your family to food illness.

To thaw a frozen ham in cold water, make sure it is well covered in an airtight bag. If the meat is exposed to thawing water, it may absorb part of it.

Your ham’s flavor and texture will be altered due to this. Bacteria from the water or the kitchen could infect the ham.

Once the ham has been firmly wrapped, plug the sink, set the ham inside, and fill the sink with cold water. Every 30 minutes, drain the sink and change the water.

After thawing in cold water, boil the ham right away. Ham that has been thawed in cold water should not be refrozen.

4. In the microwave, thaw the ham

In a pinch, you could thaw a frozen ham in the microwave. This approach is generally not recommended, especially for larger cuts of meat such as hams, turkeys, and roasts.

The outside of the meat will begin to cook before the inside has thawed, resulting in a piece of meat that is unevenly cooked. Parts of the dish may be overcooked and dry, while others may be perfectly cooked.

If you must use your microwave to thaw a ham, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the defrost settings. After thawing in the microwave, cook the ham right away. Ham that has been thawed in the microwave should not be refrozen.

What is the best way to thaw ham?

It’s so simple to thaw frozen ham that you won’t find an easier dish on this page! Simply place it in the fridge a few days before you intend to prepare it. Place a plate underneath the ham to catch any dripping juices.

How to quickly thaw a frozen ham

The ideal approach to utilize if you need to start cooking your frozen ham immediately is to use (number 2 from above).

  1. Fill a large, clean container (cooler or plastic tub) with chilly water, lay the ham in a large plastic bag with no holes, and slowly lower it into the cooler.
  2. Every half hour, change the water. Thaw the ham at a rate of 1 pound every 30 minutes.

How long does it take to defrost a frozen spiral ham?

Depending on the size, thawing a frozen spiral ham might take anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days. Remove the ham from the freezer at least three days before you intend to cook it.

How long does thawed ham last?

Thawed ham can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days before cooking. As a result, thaw it out before using it. After you’ve cooked it, it’ll keep for another 3-5 days.

How long can a ham stay in the fridge?

TypeRefrigerator (40 °F or below)
Fresh, uncured, cooked3 to 4 days
Cured, cook-before-eating, uncooked5 to 7 days or “use by” date
Fully cooked, vacuum-sealed at the plant, unopened2 weeks or “use by” date
Cooked, store-wrapped, whole1 week

Is it safe to keep a frozen ham out all night?

A frozen ham should never be thawed on the counter at room temperature or in hot water. The outer layer of the ham can remain between the bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140°F for far too long to be safe using either approach.

How long does it take to thaw a 10lb ham?

In the refrigerator, a 10lb ham will thaw in about 3 days. If you’re doing it in water, count on a half-hour each pound, which equals around 5 hours.

Is it OK to eat ham that has been frozen for two years?

That is purely a matter of opinion. Essentially, if the meat has been frozen at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be alright. However, freezer burn can occur, destroying the meat. Before cooking the meat, thoroughly inspect it for freezer burn.

How to determine whether frozen ham is safe

If you’ve noticed…

  • The flesh appears to be surrounded by ice crystals or frost.
  • Meat is quite pale in color and very dry.
  • The beef has been frozen for more than 6 months.
  • The package was filled with a lot of air.

How to thaw ham: tips and tricks

  • Plan ahead of time and place the ham in the refrigerator for about 3 days before you intend to use it.
  • Make SURE you place a dish or towel beneath to catch any dripping juices while it cools in the refrigerator.
  • If you need the ham immediately, use the cooler approach.
  • If you’re utilizing the cool water option, double bag it in an unscented waste bag to keep the water out.
  • For this chilly water to work, use a VERY CLEAN cooler, sink, or plastic tub.

How long does a ham take to cook?

Cook the ham according to the package instructions, but a decent rule of thumb is 18-25 minutes per pound, depending on the sort of ham you have.

What temperature do you cook ham?


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees C). …
  • In a roasting pan, press whole cloves into the top at 1 to 2-inch intervals. …
  • Bake for 4 1/2 to 5 hours in a preheated oven (about 22 minutes per pound) or until the ham’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (72 degrees C).


Ham is the leg portion of a pig or hog that accounts for around 90% of the animal’s weight. Thawing is primarily the process of warming or defrosting meat so that it is ready to consume.

Thawing frozen ham can be accomplished in three ways: in the refrigerator, cooler, or cold water.

The reason the ham takes so long to thaw is that it should defrost slowly and at a cold temperature; otherwise, higher temperatures can risk germs growing on the ham and result in potential health concerns such as food poisoning.