How Long Will a Costco Ham Last? The Complete Guide

As a Costco fan, I love picking up their delicious Kirkland Signature spiral hams around the holidays. But I always have questions about how long they will actually last and the best way to store them. I want to make sure I get the most out of my Costco ham purchase!

So I did some research and asked the experts to find out everything you need to know about how long a Costco ham will last. Keep reading for a complete guide to maximizing the shelf life and freshness of your Costco spiral ham.

Overview: How Long Does a Costco Ham Last?

According to the Costco website and packaging, an unopened Kirkland Signature spiral sliced ham has a shelf life of about 2 months from the packaged date. Once opened, it should be consumed within 7-10 days

However, proper storage is key to maximizing how long your ham will last. With the right refrigeration and freezing methods, you can keep a Costco ham fresh for longer than the timeframes mentioned above.

Here’s a quick overview of how long a Costco ham will last in different conditions:

  • Unopened: Up to 2 months past the packaged date
  • Refrigerated after opening: 5-7 days
  • Frozen after opening: Up to 3 months
  • Thawed after freezing: 3-5 days

The exact shelf life depends on factors like how it was stored and at what temperatures. Read on for more details!

Buying and Freezing an Unopened Costco Ham

When you first buy your beautiful spiral sliced ham from Costco you’ll notice it has a use-by or sell-by date printed on the packaging. This date tells you how long the ham will stay fresh if it remains unopened and properly refrigerated.

For a Kirkland Signature ham, this use-by timeframe is typically about 2 months from when it was packaged So you can buy your holiday ham well in advance and keep it sealed in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it

If you don’t think you’ll use the ham within 2 months, you can safely freeze it as soon as you bring it home. An unopened, unused Costco ham can be frozen for up to 3 months without losing quality.

To freeze a whole ham, leave it tightly wrapped in the original mesh netting and packaging. Place the entire ham package into a freezer bag or wrap with another layer of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

Pro Tip: Label the freezer bag or wrapping with the date you froze it so you know when to use it by.

Thawing a Frozen Costco Ham

When you’re ready to use your frozen Costco ham, thaw it safely in the refrigerator. This may take 24-48 hours for a large ham, so plan ahead!

You can also submerge the ham still sealed in packaging under cold running water to thaw it more quickly. Change the water every 30 minutes until the ham is thawed.

Avoid thawing at room temperature or in hot water, as this allows bacteria to grow. Cook immediately if thawing in the microwave.

Once thawed, use within the recommended 3-5 days for optimal freshness and flavor. You can refreeze if needed, but quality may decline after multiple freezes.

Refrigerating an Opened or Cooked Costco Ham

According to the product labels and food safety recommendations, an opened, sliced Costco ham will last 5-7 days refrigerated.

To maximize freshness during this timeframe:

  • Tightly wrap cut ham slices or pieces in plastic wrap or foil. This prevents drying out.

  • Store opened ham on a plate or in a container near the back of the fridge, where temperatures are coldest.

  • Use within 3 days for peak flavor and texture.

  • Cooked hams also last about 5-7 days refrigerated. Wrap tightly and store near back of fridge.

Pro Tip: Add a slice or two of bread to the container with refrigerated ham. The bread will help absorb excess moisture, keeping the ham from getting soggy.

Freezing Leftover Cooked Costco Ham

Got leftovers after serving that delicious Costco spiral ham? Extend the leftovers’ shelf life by freezing them.

Here are some tips for freezing already cooked ham:

  • Let cooked ham cool completely before freezing, about 1 hour. This prevents excess moisture from freezing into ice crystals.

  • Tightly wrap slices or pieces of ham in plastic wrap, foil, or place in freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air.

  • Portion ham into meal-sized amounts so you can thaw only what you need later.

  • Label bags or containers with contents and freeze-by date (about 1-2 months).

  • For best quality, use frozen cooked ham within 2 months.

Thaw frozen cooked ham overnight in the fridge or under cold running water. Use within 3-5 days for optimum taste and texture.

How to Know if Your Costco Ham Has Gone Bad

Wondering how to tell if your Costco spiral ham has gone past its prime? Watch for these signs of spoilage:

  • Slimy texture – Ham should be firm and sliceable. Discard if sticky, slimy or mushy.

  • Yellowish color – Fresh ham is pink. Yellow or greenish tints indicate spoilage.

  • Off odors – Refrigerated ham smells mildly smoky or salty. Discard if odor is sour, ammonia-like or unpleasant.

  • Mold growth – Toss ham at first signs of fuzzy mold. Don’t try to cut it off.

  • Expiration dates – Observe Costco’s 7-10 day recommendation for opened ham. Discard expired sealed ham.

When in doubt, remember the old adage: “When in doubt, throw it out!” Don’t risk eating spoiled ham.

Storing Different Types of Costco Hams

Costco offers a few varieties of pre-cooked hams, like their popular Kirkland spiral hams as well as Honeybaked hams. Here are some specifics on storing different types:

Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham

  • Unopened shelf life: 2 months from packaged date
  • Opened fridge life: 5-7 days
  • Frozen storage: Up to 3 months

This applies to Costco’s boneless spiral sliced city hams, brown sugar spiral hams, and other Kirkland branded hams. Follow the same storage times and methods.

Honeybaked Ham

  • Unopened shelf life: 7-10 days from purchase date
  • Opened fridge life: 7-10 days
  • Frozen storage: 1-2 months

Honeybaked hams tend to have a shorter shelf life since they are coated in a sweet glaze. Follow the pack date and consume quicker for best flavor.

Country Ham

  • Unopened shelf life: 2 weeks from purchase date
  • Opened fridge life: 3-5 days
  • Frozen storage: 1 month

Salt-cured country hams last for shorter periods. Refrigerate opened packs for no more than 5 days and freeze for only 1 month maximum.

Keeping Your Costco Ham Fresh

Now that you know all about how long Costco hams last, here are some extra tips for preserving freshness:

  • Store ham in original packaging until ready to use. The mesh wrapping allows airflow to the meat surfaces.

  • Keep refrigerated ham tightly wrapped and towards the back of the fridge where air circulation is best.

  • Use freezer-safe materials like plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

  • Portion cooked ham into meal sizes so you only thaw what you need.

  • Label everything with dates and contents! This prevents wasting ham that goes bad before use.

  • Observe food safety guidelines and discard ham that is past recommended timeframes.

With proper refrigeration and freezing techniques, you can enjoy every slice of your Costco spiral ham! Just follow the storage times outlined here and your ham will stay fresh and delicious long after the holidays are over.

Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham (Costco Food Review)


How long does Costco ham last in the fridge?

Once opened, use within 3 – 5 days.

Is a 2 year old frozen ham still good?

An uncooked, cut country ham can be refrigerated for two to three months or frozen for one month. A cooked Country Ham should be refrigerated for seven days and or frozen for one month. Freezer storage time is for quality only. Frozen hams remain safe indefinitely.

How long can a precooked ham stay in the refrigerator?

How Long Does Ham Keep In The Fridge? If you have a whole ham, it can last in the fridge for up to seventy-five days. If you have a half ham, it will last for about sixty days. Ham that has been precooked or spiral cut will last for about one week.

How long does vacuum-sealed ham last in the fridge? provides several guidelines for safe ham storage depending on which type of product you have on hand: A full, vacuum-sealed ham: Two weeks. Slices, half or spiral cut: Three to five days. Luncheon meat: Three to five days upon being opened.

Which Costco Ham is best?

The Costco Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham is hands down the best ham I’ve had. Sean (my husband) usually isn’t a fan of ham, but always goes back for seconds when we have this. The ham is lean without much fat and has a nice subtle smoked hickory flavor. The finished Spiral Sliced Ham – cooked and glazed.

How much is a pound of spiral ham at Costco?

Costco sells Spiral Ham for $2.29 per pound. These prices are current as of October 2023 and lower than the March 2023 price of $3.89 per pound. What Are the Ingredients In Kirkland Master Carve Ham?

Does Costco sell boneless half Ham?

Yes, Costco carries two different half hams, which can rotate and alternate throughout the year/season. They offer a Kirkland Signature Master Carve Half Ham and a Sunnyvalley Boneless Half Smoked Ham. Expect to pay around $3.50 per pound for them. How do you cook the boneless half ham at Costco?

How much does a ham cost at Costco?

In fall 2023 it’s now $8.99 per kilogram. This ham fed the four of us for Easter with a ton of leftovers for soup, quiche and sandwiches. Costco Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham nutrition facts. Nutritionally, this is high in fat and salt.

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