Can You Freeze Kentucky Legend Ham? Everything You Need To Know

As a ham enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to make my Kentucky Legend ham last longer Nothing beats the savory, smoky flavor of this premium cooked ham, and I like to buy it in bulk to save money. But with just my partner and me at home, we can’t always polish off a whole ham before it goes bad in the fridge.

So I did some digging to find out if you can freeze Kentucky Legend ham to extend its shelf life. The short answer is yes you absolutely can freeze this type of ham!

Properly frozen, Kentucky Legend ham will keep for up to 1 year in the freezer. This makes it easy to stock up on sale prices and always have your favorite ham on hand for recipes, sandwiches, and charcuterie boards.

In this article, I’ll share everything I’ve learned about freezing Kentucky Legend ham. You’ll find tips on:

  • How long it lasts in the fridge vs. freezer
  • How to store it for optimal freshness
  • Safe thawing methods
  • The best ways to use frozen ham

I’ve also included some of my favorite creative recipes that let you get the most out of your frozen Kentucky Legend ham Let’s get started!

How Long Does Kentucky Legend Ham Last?

Before we get into freezing, it’s helpful to understand how long Kentucky Legend ham lasts in the fridge.

An unopened package will stay fresh for 5-7 days from the printed “sell by” date.

Once you open the package, you have just 3-5 days to eat the ham before it goes bad.

That’s not much time if you’ve bought a large ham!

Freezing is the best way to drastically extend the shelf life. Here’s how long Kentucky Legend ham lasts in the freezer:

  • Unopened package: 4-6 months
  • Opened package: 1-2 months

As long as you wrap and freeze the ham properly, it will last for months in the freezer without losing quality.

Let’s look at the best practices for freezing.

How To Freeze Kentucky Legend Ham

Freezing ham is simple, but there are a few steps you need to follow to lock in freshness and prevent freezer burn:

1. Allow ham to cool

  • Ham should be completely cooled before freezing, so it doesn’t raise the temperature of the freezer.

2. Wrap tightly

  • Wrap ham tightly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper. This prevents icy crystals from forming and drying out the meat.

3. Portion ham

  • Cut ham into smaller portions or slices before freezing. This allows you to thaw only what you need at a time.

4. Place in airtight packaging

  • Put wrapped ham portions into airtight freezer bags or containers. Squeeze out excess air.

5. Label and date

  • Write the date on bags or containers so you know how long the ham has been frozen.

6. Freeze below 0°F

  • Store ham at 0°F or below. Consistent freezing temp preserves quality.

Follow those steps, and your Kentucky Legend ham can stay deliciously frozen for up to one year!

Now let’s go over the safest ways to thaw frozen ham.

Thawing Kentucky Legend Ham

I like the convenience of being able to grab frozen ham from the freezer. But you have to use care when thawing to avoid bacteria growth.

Here are the DOs and DON’Ts of thawing frozen ham:


  • Thaw ham in the refrigerator over 24 hours. This is the safest method.
  • Submerge tightly wrapped ham in cold water. Change water every 30 mins.
  • Use the defrost setting on the microwave if the ham is in a microwave-safe container.


  • Leave ham at room temp to thaw over 2 hours.
  • Thaw in hot water which can cause bacteria growth.
  • Microwave ham without a container allowing edges to cook.

The thawed ham can keep for another 3-5 days in the fridge before you cook it.

Okay, now for my favorite part – enjoying that delicious frozen Kentucky Legend ham!

Creative Ways To Use Frozen Kentucky Legend Ham

Once I realized how easy it was to freeze ham, a whole world of recipes opened up to me. Here are some of my favorite ways to use frozen Kentucky Legend ham:

Breakfast Recipes

  • Ham and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches – Just grill frozen ham along with an egg and cheese on an English muffin.

  • Ham, Spinach and Feta Quiche – Thaw ham overnight to mix into a savory crustless quiche.

  • Ham and Cheese Strata – Layer frozen ham, bread cubes, cheese, and egg mixture and let sit overnight before baking.


  • Ham and Potato Soup – Dice frozen ham and simmer it in a creamy soup with potatoes and vegetables.

  • Ham and Bean Soup – Use frozen ham pieces in this cozy soup loaded with beans and seasonings.

  • Ham and Corn Chowder – For a heartier chowder, add frozen ham chunks, corn, and potatoes.

Main Dishes

  • Ham Fried Rice – Transform leftover rice into fried rice with frozen diced ham, egg, peas, and soy sauce.

  • Ham and Pineapple Pizza – Top pizza dough with tomato sauce, ham chunks, pineapple, and mozzarella.

  • Ham and Scalloped Potatoes – Make this classic comfort food casserole with frozen sliced ham layered with cheesy potatoes.


  • Ham Roll-Ups – Roll up frozen sliced ham and cheese for an easy high-protein snack.

  • Ham and Cream Cheese Pinwheels – Spread cream cheese on tortillas, top with frozen ham and roll up for bite-sized treats.

  • Ham Quesadillas – Fill tortillas with shredded frozen ham, cheese, and peppers for a savory warm snack.

As you can see, frozen ham stays incredibly versatile. It takes recipes from breakfast to dinner to appetizers to the next level with its signature smoky, salty flavor.

Storing Thawed Kentucky Legend Ham

Once thawed, Kentucky Legend ham has a refrigerator shelf life of 3-5 days. Make sure to seal it tightly and store on a lower shelf away from fresh produce, which emits ethylene and can cause spoilage.

You can also safely refreeze thawed ham if you won’t use it in time. Refreezing won’t harm the texture, but it can impact moisture content slightly.

To refreeze, just rewrap ham tightly in freezer-safe packaging and label with the new freeze date. Thawed ham that’s been refrozen has a shorter freezer life of just 1-2 months.

Is Freezing Ham Worth It?

In my opinion, yes – freezing Kentucky Legend ham is absolutely worth it! The ability to buy ham in bulk, freeze portions, and enjoy it for up to a year is a game-changer.

Here are some of the biggest benefits I’ve found from freezing ham:

  • Saves money by allowing me to stock up on sales and buy larger sizes. A whole spiral cut ham can cost nearly 50% less per pound compared to buying packs of deli ham.

  • Reduces waste since I can freeze leftovers or portions I know I can’t eat in time. Freezing gives me versatility.

  • Makes meal planning easier with frozen prepped ham ready to use in recipes. I can pull ham from the freezer whenever inspiration for breakfast, lunch, or dinner strikes!

  • Allows me to enjoy ham’s flavor year-round. Ham freezes incredibly well compared to other meats, keeping its texture and taste.

Freezing requires some planning, but the time I save shopping and cooking makes it worthwhile. With proper storage methods, Kentucky Legend ham retains its premium quality when frozen. I now always keep bags of frozen ham ready for recipes and charcuterie boards!

Kentucky Legend: Home for the Holidays


How long will Kentucky Legend ham last in the refrigerator?

Good for up to a week in the fridge or two months in the freezer, it also has a relatively long shelf-life. On the other hand, you can “right-size” your ham for the number of folks you’ll be serving. Kentucky Legend hams are available in multiple sizes, including Petite Wholes, Halves and Quarter Sliced.

Is it OK to freeze a precooked ham?

You can freeze delicious ham and it’ll last for weeks before you need to use it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that fully cooked frozen ham is safe to eat for up to one to two months. If you find yourself with leftover ham, freezing it for future use is both easy and convenient.

Can you freeze a ham in the original packaging?

It is safe to freeze meat or poultry directly in its original packaging, however this type of wrap is permeable to air and quality may diminish over time. For prolonged storage, overwrap these packages as you would any food for long-term storage.

Is a Kentucky legend ham a real ham?

Kentucky Legend® hams were first made a long time ago. Back then, our hams were hand-selected, hand trimmed, cured with only the finest natural ingredients and slowly cooked in their own natural juices, nothing added.

Should you Thaw a Kentucky legend Ham?

Well, we’ll be honest: there’s no worse feeling than preheating your oven only to realize your Kentucky Legend ham is still completely frozen! Don’t jeopardize a legendary family meal. Check out our advice below on the best thawing methods as well as some options for when you’re in a pinch.

Can Ham be frozen?

Make sure the ham is cooled and dry (to prevent ice crystals). Wrap in plastic wrap or a freezer bag and then tightly cover with foil. Place wrapped ham in another freezer bag or freezer-friendly glass storage container. This will help prevent freezer burn. The higher the quality of ham, the better it freezes.

Can you freeze a ham without water?

Hams without water will maintain the original texture better after thawing. Freezing ham with more water can produce ice crystals. This creates a more lacy texture in the ham when thawed. How Long Does Ham Last in the Freezer?

How do you freeze a ham?

If the ham has a bone, use a knife to cut all the meat off the bone into 8-ounce pieces, if possible (that’s what most recipes call for). If you’re freezing spiral cut ham, make 8-ounce stacks of slices. Wrap the ham in plastic wrap and transfer it to an airtight bag. Tightly wrap each chunk or a stack of slices in plastic wrap.

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