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How To Reheat Ham Slices – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

If you’ve got a few slices of ham leftover, you may be wondering what’s the best way to reheat them and restore their former glory.

I tested five different methods to answer this (critical) question.

Keep reading to get the low-down on how to reheat your ham so it stays succulent and moist. Just like day 1.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

A note on my experiment

I had a whole ham hanging out in the freezer begging to be used – so I grabbed it and left it in the fridge overnight to thaw out.

The next day, I tested reheating it:

  • In the oven (great for large quantities)
  • In the microwave (OK for a quick lunch or snack)
  • In a skillet (great flavor and texture)
  • In a steamer (fast and produces moist meat)
  • In an air fryer (quick but be careful not to overheat)

The oven was the slowest method, but it produced great overall results, and it was consistent.

My favorite method was the skillet, but it requires more work than other options. 

Note: I always advise slicing your ham before reheating it. It will reheat quicker, so there’s less risk of it drying out.

Reheating ham slices in the oven

Take the ham out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while the oven is preheating to 300°F (150°C). Drizzle a few tablespoons of stock or gravy over the ham before wrapping it in foil. Put the ham straight on a wire rack in the oven and heat for around 10-15 minutes.

How to reheat ham slices in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C).
  2. Allow the meat to come to room temperature if you have the time.
  3. Drizzle a few tablespoons of liquid (stock or gravy) over the ham.
  4. Wrap the ham slices in aluminum foil.
  5. Place the package of ham on a wire rack in the middle of the oven. 
  6. Heat the ham for approximately 10-15 minutes. Timings will vary depending on how much ham you have and how thick the slices are.

I like using a wire rack because it means the meat can heat evenly from all sides.

If you prefer, you can place your ham slices in a baking dish and cover it tightly with foil to trap the steam. 

Don’t skimp on the extra liquid you add to the foil parcel. This is what keeps the meat moist.

My verdict

The oven was slower than the other methods, but it’s great when you have lots of meat to reheat. You also get that mouth-watering ‘just-baked meat’ smell in your house.

I recommend using several foil packages for larger quantities to speed up the reheating process.

Reheating ham slices in the microwave

Place your ham slices on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle a few tablespoons of stock or leftover gravy over them. Cover the ham with a damp paper towel to prevent it from drying out. Microwave the slices at 50% power in 30-second intervals until heated through.

How to reheat ham slices in the microwave:

  1. Cut the ham into thinnish slices (if not already sliced).
  2. Drizzle a few tablespoons of stock or leftover gravy over the ham.
  3. Cover with a damp paper towel to prevent the ham from drying out.
  4. Heat the ham at 50% power in 30-second intervals until heated through.
  5. Remove from the microwave and allow it to rest for a minute before serving.

The microwave isn’t suitable for heating more than 2-3 slices at a time. Trying to speed things up and doing more at one time will lead to uneven heating.

If you don’t have a damp paper towel, you can use a lid or plastic wrap to retain the moisture.

My verdict

There’s always a risk of dry meat when you use the microwave. But as long as you’re careful and follow the steps, it’ll be fine.

The microwave is perfect when you’re in a hurry. But if you have more time, go for a different method.

Reheating ham slices in a skillet

Heat some oil or butter in a skillet on medium to low heat and add the sliced ham. Spoon a few tablespoons of leftover juices or stock over the ham and heat each side for 1-2 minutes. Place a lid on the pan to keep the moisture locked in.

I went a little overboard on the stock here – oops!

How to reheat ham slices in a skillet:

  1. Heat a little oil or butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the ham and drizzle some leftover juices or stock over the slices. Cover the pan with a lid (or some foil if you don’t have a lid).
  3. Heat on one side for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Flip the slices over and heat the other side for a further 1-2 minutes.
  5. Repeat the process until the slices are heated.

The extra juices you add to the pan create steam which helps heat the meat and keep it moist.

If you don’t have any stock/gravy/juices, you can use water. 

I use a low heat because I don’t want to cook the meat any further, but if you want to get a seared effect on the outside of the ham, use a higher heat. 

My verdict

I really liked this method.

The ham developed a nice flavor and was still nice and juicy. The only downside is the cleaning up you have to do afterward. 

Reheating ham slices in a steamer

Set up the steamer and fill it with stock or water. While waiting for it to reach boiling point, cut the ham into slices and arrange them in the steamer basket. Once the water is boiling, cover the steamer with a lid and steam for 2-4 minutes. 

How to reheat ham slices in a steamer:

  1. Set up your steamer and fill it with stock (or water). Bring the stock to a boil.
  2. Arrange the ham slices in the steamer basket.
  3. Cover the steamer with a lid and heat the ham for 2-4 minutes.

If you don’t have a steamer, you can easily make one yourself with a pot, a colander, and a lid.

It’s best to keep to single layers of slices while steaming. This ensures that the meat heats evenly in the minimum amount of time.

My verdict

I really liked this method, but only for plain ham. It was pretty fast, and the meat stayed moist, which is just what you want.

WARNING! This is not a good method for reheating glazed ham. As the glaze heats up, it will start to drip off.

Reheating ham slices in an air fryer

Set the air fryer to 300°F (150°C). Cut the ham into slices, drizzle a little stock or water over it and wrap the whole lot in aluminum foil. Place the package into the air fryer and heat the ham for around 5 minutes. Check that the internal temperature is 140°F (60°C) before serving.

How to reheat ham slices in an air fryer:

  1. Set the air fryer to 300°F (149°C).
  2. Drizzle a little stock or water over your ham and wrap it in aluminum foil.
  3. Place the ham into the air fryer and heat it for around 5 minutes.

It is important that you use the foil to stop the meat from drying out. The air fryer can be harsh on exposed meat and dry the edges out very quickly.

I also found that ham reheats better if it’s thinly sliced rather than cut into thick wedges.

My verdict

I essentially treated the air fryer like a mini oven, so in that sense, it’s great because it’s faster. 

But you mustn’t forget about the meat, or it will be very dry.

How to store ham

It’s best to store ham whole because slices tend to dry out quicker, but don’t worry if you’ve already sliced it. Tightly wrap the ham in plastic wrap or foil before putting it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure the ham isn’t left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

After two hours, you risk harmful bacteria taking over. 

Tightly wrapping the ham protects it from air exposure which would dry it out.

Can you freeze ham?

Yes, you can freeze ham for up to 6 months. You can freeze whole or sliced ham. Whole ham is better if you plan on keeping it frozen for more than 3 months, but slices are more convenient to thaw and use. To keep your ham as fresh as possible, make sure it’s wrapped up well before you put it in the freezer.

How to freeze ham slices:

  1. Cool your ham to room temperature, making sure it’s not left out for more than 2 hours. 
  2. Layer slices of ham between pieces of parchment or waxed paper.
  3. Tightly wrap the sliced ham in plastic wrap or foil, preferably both. Use a double layer to provide extra protection against freezer burn.
  4. Freeze the ham and use it within 3 months for best quality, but it will remain safe to eat beyond this.

To speed up the cooling process, you can submerge the ham in a pot of cold water. 

The parchment paper will make it easier to take out individual slices later on without having to defrost all of it.

Top tip: if you have a vacuum sealer, this will extend the life of your ham by up to 3 times!

To freeze a whole ham, simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil using a double layer to provide extra protection. Make sure the wrapping is completely flat against all of the meat’s surface. 

How to thaw and reheat frozen ham slices

When you wish to defrost your ham, place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw ham slices by placing them in cold water in an airtight bag. The water helps to speed up the thawing process.

You can also microwave ham slices on defrost mode.

Once thawed, it is important that you reheat the meat immediately and don’t leave it out at room temperature for any length of time. That is a sure way for bacteria to start growing on the meat.

How To Reheat Ham Slices

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover sliced ham.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: ham slices, reheat sliced ham
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 163kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion ham sliced
  • 1 portion stock or gravy, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Allow the meat to come to room temperature if you have the time.
  • Drizzle a few tablespoons of liquid (stock or gravy) over the ham.
  • Wrap the ham slices in aluminum foil.
  • Place the package of ham on a wire rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Heat the ham for approximately 10-15 minutes. Timings will vary depending on how much ham you have and how thick the slices are.

Notes

I like using a wire rack because it means the meat can heat evenly from all sides.
If you prefer, you can place your ham slices in a baking dish and cover it tightly with foil to trap the steam.
Don’t skimp on the extra liquid you add to the foil parcel. This is what keeps the meat moist.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 163kcal

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