How Long Does Ham Stock Last in the Fridge?

Ham stock is a delicious way to add flavor to soups stews, beans, greens, and more. Simmering ham bones meat, and aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery produces a rich, savory broth perfect for cooking or sipping.

But like any perishable food, ham stock won’t last forever. So how long does ham stock really last in the fridge before it goes bad?

Factors That Determine Ham Stock Shelf Life

Several factors influence how long ham stock will keep in the refrigerator

Ingredients Used

  • Meat vs bones: Stock made with just ham bones will keep longer than stock made with ham meat attached. Meat spoils faster.

  • Aromatics: Onions, garlic, celery, and carrots add great flavor but shorten shelf life. Keep it simple for longer-lasting stock.

  • Salt content: Salt preserves, so heavily salted stock keeps longer. But too much salt ruins the flavor.

Storage Container

  • Material: Glass and ceramic containers are best. Plastic can stain and absorb odors. Metal can corrode.

  • Air exposure: An airtight container prevents oxygen from speeding spoilage.

  • Size: Smaller containers chill stock faster, slowing bacteria growth.


  • Refrigeration: Keep stock chilled at 40°F or below. The colder, the better.

  • Freezing: Freezing stops food spoilage in its tracks. Thawed stock keeps for 1-2 more days.

  • Reheating: Boiling stock kills bacteria and extends shelf life. Reheat every 3-5 days.

Signs of Spoilage

  • Appearance: Cloudiness, sediments, sliminess signal spoilage. Discard if mold appears.

  • Texture: Increased viscosity or gelatinous blobs mean stock is past its prime.

  • Smell: Rancid, sour, or rotten odors mean toss the stock.

  • Taste: Sour, unpleasant flavors are a red flag. When in doubt, throw it out.

How Long Does Ham Stock Last in the Fridge?

With proper storage and handling, homemade ham stock stays safe and delicious for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.

Here are more specifics based on ingredients and preparation:

  • Plain ham bone stock lasts 5-7 days.

  • Stock made with ham meat lasts 3-5 days. Use meat within 1-2 days.

  • Adding vegetables and aromatics shortens shelf life to 3-5 days.

  • Heavily salted stock keeps for 5-7 days.

  • Chilled stock in airtight, small containers keeps for 5-7 days.

  • Stock frozen after cooking lasts 6 months in the freezer.

  • Thawed stock should be used within 1-2 days.

  • Stock boiled every 3-5 days lasts 5-7 days.

Always rely on your senses, not the calendar, to determine if stock has spoiled. The nose knows! Discard immediately at the first whiff of anything “off”.

Extending Ham Stock Refrigerator Life

Want your ham stock to stay tasty for even longer? Here are tips to maximize shelf life:

  • Start with good bones from uncured, unsmoked ham. Avoid pre-salted or pre-smoked ham hocks which may contain preservatives.

  • Simmer bones for 8-12 hours to extract the most gelatin, minerals, and flavor. Strain well.

  • Add antibacterial ingredients like garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, and black pepper. But don’t overdo it.

  • Mix in a little vinegar or lemon juice to help draw out gelatin from bones.

  • Avoid using ham meat, onions, carrots and celery which shorten shelf life.

  • Chill stock quickly before refrigerating. Divide into small containers for faster cooling.

  • Keep refrigerated at 34-40°F. Consider keeping stock on a tray in the coldest part of the fridge.

  • Freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins for convenient single-use portions.

  • Reheat gently until steaming before each use. Never reuse stock from the fridge.

  • If reheating the whole batch, bring just to a boil then cool and refrigerate immediately.

With proper handling, ham stock easily lasts a full week in the fridge without sacrificing safety or taste. And the freezer extends shelf life for 6 months or longer. Now go make a batch! Your future soups, stews, beans and pot likker will thank you.

How long can a thawed cooked ham stay in the fridge?


How long can you keep homemade stock in the fridge?

Chicken broth can be refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen (for best quality) for 2-3 months.

How long is a hambone good in the refrigerator?

Keep the Ham Refrigerated The cooked ham will keep safely for three to four days in a sealed container, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines for meat leftovers. Within those few days, cut the remaining ham from the bone. Cook with it or freeze the ham separately for later use.

What to do with the liquid from cooking a ham?

Ham stocks generally go well with pulses and the stock could be used to make a black bean soup, a lentil soup such as the Yellow Split Peas and Frankfurter Soup (from Feast) or the Chick Pea and Pasta Soup (from How To Eat).

How long can fish stock last in the fridge?

Fresh fish stock will last for three to four days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can freeze fish stock by placing it in freezer bags or an airtight container. We prefer freezer bags as they take up less space. Fish stock will last frozen for up to two months.

How long can a ham last in the fridge?

To extend the shelf life of the ham, you can also freeze it for up to 6 months. Sliced ham can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. If the ham is opened, it should be consumed within 3-5 days. To keep the ham fresh for a longer period, you can also freeze it for up to 2 months. Cooked ham can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Can ham be eaten after 10 days in the fridge?

According to culinary experts, ham should not be eaten after 10 days if it’s in the fridge. David Murray, head chef and owner of Crumb with three locations in New Jersey, states that a fresh, fully cooked ham is good for three to five days as long as it’s wrapped and refrigerated.

Can cured ham be stored in a refrigerator?

For refrigerated storage, cured Ham, Cook-Before-Eating can be consumed within 3 to 5 days after cooking. For extended storage, freezing is advisable. In the freezer, it retains its quality for 1 to 2 months. (Note: The passage mentions that freezing is advisable for extended storage, but it does not specify that uncooked ham cannot be refrigerated. Therefore, the passage does not need to be changed to answer the question.)

How long does a sliced ham last?

Sliced ham can remain edible for three to five days when refrigerated properly at a temperature of 40°F or below. This is the optimal temperature for preventing the growth of bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses. Eat the sliced ham within the first three days of refrigeration to ensure maximum freshness.

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