Hams like to sweat, so it’s important to not wrap hams firmly in plastic or foil to allow a level of circulation. For ham slices, take an airtight container and place a paper towel or sheet of wax paper on the bottom. Place the ham into the lined container and top with another paper towel or sheet of wax paper. Swap the papers when damp and the ham will last three to five days.
For whole, bone-in hams, place the entire dish in a ham bag or cover with a thin dish rag. Both should be soaked in water with two tablespoons of white vinegar to preserve freshness, though it’s obviously ideal to cut the ham into smaller pieces and store using the methods above.
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The first thing you need to do is cut your ham into smaller pieces. Breaking down a ham will allow the meat to freeze easier and prevent the production of freezer burn. Place the pieces into a freezer bag and rid the bag of any excess air. Some experts recommend sucking the air out with a straw before sealing. This will ensure that it’s as close to vacuum-packed as possible. Since the ham is cooked, you should consume it within two months of freezing.
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Frozen ham, especially one that’s been cut into smaller pieces, can be easily thawed in the microwave. To speed up the process, the bag of meat can also be placed in a bowl of room-temperature water.
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Next: How to Freeze Pork Chops
How to Freeze Pork Chops
Pork chops can stay in their original packaging, but must be overwrapped with air-tight plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper. Place the wrapped the chops in a freezer bag for another layer of protection against freezer burn. They will generally be safe to cook within four to six months.
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Next: How to Store Pork Chops
How to Store Pork Chops
Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for up to three days. Like loins and other cuts of meat, ensure that the pork is wrapped tightly in its original packaging and either freeze or cook immediately upon opening.
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Award-winning chef Katie Button of Asheville, N.C.‘s Cúrate tapas bar knows and loves Spanish food, but wasn’t a big fan of the cheap, rubbery cheese usually found in this classic kid-friendly dish in the country. She stuffs the pork chops with nutty Manchego (kids who can handle cheddar should have no complaints), sweet and mild piquillo peppers (which you can leave out if need be), and thinly sliced ham. The panko crust crisps up in the hot oil and the cheese melts while the meat stays tender, for a weeknight meal you and your kids will love—but you can definitely serve it to dinner guests too.
Notes: If you prefer chicken, replace the pork chops with boneless, skinless breasts. Serve with our Spanishy Couscous Salad, and simple steamed, sauteed, or roasted vegetables, or even a green salad, on the side.