How Long Can You Keep Leftover Ham In The Fridge?

Easter Sunday has come and gone, and with it, perhaps, more than a few servings of ham. Whether your ham of choice is glazed with apple cider and mustard, sliced and served with an herby creme fraiche, or even a basic spiral-cut nabbed from the grocery store at the last minute, you wouldn't be alone if you consumed some over the holidays: As explained by Eat This, Not That!, while lamb is the meat of choice on many Easter tables around the world, due to the meat's connection with the biblical Passover story, Americans have tended to consume pork — ham, that is — on the holiday instead, due to the meat's ubiquity on American shores.

According to Martha Stewart, most consumers opt to buy fully cooked ham or country ham, both of which are cured in either a wet or dry salt brine before being smoked; country ham goes in to be aged, too. Since ham is already preserved by the time you get your hands on it, it's a meat that holds up better to refrigeration than some, but if you have some extra slices kicking around in the fridge, you'll want to know exactly what their expected shelf life is.

Most types of ham last for about 5 days in the fridge

If you're wondering if you can wait another few days to put together that ham sandwich or eggy ham strata, take note: According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the ham you enjoyed on Easter Sunday might have another two to three days of shelf life. The outlet notes that both cured and fully cooked spiral hams that have been opened and cooked at home will stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days afterwards, while country ham will last for up to a week. If you chose to cook a fresh, uncured ham — basically just a large portion of pork leg which has not been brined or smoked, according to Martha Stewart — the USDA advises that it will last only three to four days in the fridge.

If you won't be eating up those ham leftovers in the next day or so, transfer them to the freezer to get a longer shelf life out of them. The USDA states that cured and fully cooked hams that have been opened and cooked will last one to two months in the freezer; Country ham should be used within a month of freezing. Fresh, uncured cooked ham has a longer freezer life of three to four months. As noted by the USDA, frozen ham remains food-safe practically forever; it's only the taste and texture that start to degrade over time.