Freezing Ham Balls for Delicious Meals Any Time

Ham balls are a classic comfort food with their savory slightly sweet flavor. They make a great appetizer or meal, but it can be hard to finish an entire batch before they go bad. Freezing ham balls is an easy solution so you can enjoy them whenever the craving strikes!

In this complete guide, we’ll cover proper methods for freezing ham balls, storage advice, thawing techniques, and recipe ideas, so you can have delicious ham balls ready in your freezer.

Benefits of Freezing Ham Balls

Freezing ham balls provides several advantages:

  • Lets you make a large batch and save extras for later
  • Allows you to prep ham balls ahead for busy nights
  • Keeps ham balls fresh for up to 4 months
  • Provides a quick protein option from the freezer
  • Frees up fridge space from storing leftovers
  • Reduces food waste from uneaten ham balls

With some advance preparation, you can enjoy ham balls even months after initially making them!

How to Freeze Ham Balls

Follow these simple steps for freezing ham balls successfully

1. Prepare Ham Ball Mixture

Make the ham ball mixture according to your favorite recipe. For best results, undercook them slightly before freezing.

2. Shape Into Balls

Use your hands to shape the ham mixture into compact balls, about 1-2 inches in diameter.

3. Arrange on Baking Sheet

Place ham balls in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet Avoid overcrowding them

4. Flash Freeze

Put baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour until ham balls are firm.

5. Transfer to Freezer Bags

Once flash frozen, transfer ham balls to resealable freezer bags or airtight containers. Remove excess air.

6. Freeze for Up to 4 Months

Store frozen ham balls in the coldest part of your freezer. They will keep for 3-4 months.

Tips for Freezing Ham Balls

Follow these tips for best results freezing ham balls:

  • Freeze ham balls as soon as possible after shaping to maximize freshness.

  • Work quickly when flash freezing to prevent meat from thawing.

  • Use freezer-safe packaging and remove air to prevent freezer burn.

  • Label bags with contents and freeze date for easy identification.

  • Place ham balls in a single layer when freezing to keep them from sticking together.

  • Avoid freezing more than what you will use within 4 months.

How to Thaw Ham Balls

To safely thaw frozen ham balls:

  • Place frozen ham balls in the refrigerator overnight.

  • Microwave ham balls on defrost setting if in a rush.

  • Alternatively, run cold water over bagged ham balls for faster thawing.

  • Cook ham balls immediately after thawing for food safety.

  • Do not thaw ham balls at room temperature or in hot water.

Thawed ham balls will be slightly less firm than fresh, but still delicious!

Cooking Previously Frozen Ham Balls

To cook thawed frozen ham balls:

  • Let ham balls come completely to room temperature after thawing.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange ham balls in a baking dish.

  • Brush ham balls with sauce, barbecue glaze or brown gravy.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and glaze is bubbly.

  • Internal temperature should reach 165°F on a meat thermometer.

  • Broil 2-3 minutes to caramelize glaze if desired.

Frozen ham balls may take slightly longer to cook than fresh, but handle gently when reheating.

Serving Ideas for Frozen Ham Balls

Beyond enjoying ham balls on their own, here are some delicious ideas for serving frozen ham balls:

  • Ham ball sliders on buns with cheese and condiments

  • Baked ham ball casserole with pasta and veggies

  • Ham balls in soup or chili for heartiness

  • Ham ball pizza with cheese, sauce and your favorite toppings

  • Ham ball hash with potatoes, peppers, onions and eggs

  • Ham ball salad on greens with vinaigrette dressing

  • Ham balls with redeye gravy over mashed potatoes or biscuits

With a batch of frozen ham balls in your freezer, quick and tasty meals are never more than a short thaw away!

Top Ham Ball Freezer Tips

Follow these final tips for ham ball freezing success:

  • Use ground ham vs ground pork for authentic flavor. Pulse cubed ham in a food processor to make your own.

  • Mix in graham cracker crumbs to help retain moisture when freezing.

  • Undercook ham balls slightly before freezing so they don’t dry out when reheated.

  • Let ham balls cool completely before freezing to prevent freezer burn.

  • Thaw ham balls properly in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Avoid refreezing ham balls more than once for food safety.

Now that you know how to freeze ham balls like a pro, you can enjoy this comforting classic any night of the week. Just thaw, glaze, bake and serve for an easy appetizer or meal.

Ham Balls

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