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How to preserve Jamón/ham?

vacuum packed

Otros idiomas: Español

There are many decisive factors to take into account in order to preserve Spanish Jamón/ham in the best way and keep it in perfect condition, so that its organoleptic characteristics remain intact throughout the consumption process. For this reason, in this post we will explain the keys to enjoying the authentic flavor of Jamón from the first slice to the last.

Everything you need to know about preserving Jamón.

When we talk about the preservation of Jamón, we must bear in mind what format we are talking about. It is not the same if you buy the whole piece (bone-in) as if you buy sliced ham. What should you do in each case?

If you buy a whole Jamón (bone-in)… how should you store and consume it?

Jamón, being a cured food product, is easy to preserve. Even so, some basic measures must be taken into account in order to preserve its aroma and flavor throughout the consumption process.

Whatever the type of Jamón, Gran Reserva or de campo Ibérico, you should keep the whole piece in a cool, dry place, preferably in a ham stand. Keep in mind that the Jamón leg you have purchased has been sold at the optimum moment for consumption, so we recommend that you do not wait to eat it.

Once you cut open the piece of Jamón, you should be aware that it should be consumed within approximately 21 days. The number of days may vary according to the exact weight of each leg. In this way, you will ensure that it maintains 100% of its flavor, quality and properties. In summer, if you live in a place where the temperature rises exponentially, you should consume it in less than 16 days.

Jamón de Campo Ibérico sin Pezuña
Our Jamón de Campo Ibérico

Remember that for a Jamón to always be at its optimum point of consumption, slices should be cut every day, thus maintaining its organoleptic characteristics intact. Also, keep in mind that you should cut only what you are going to consume, do not cut excessively and store it in the refrigerator, as this ham will lose some of its qualities. One of the most outstanding advantages of buying the whole jamón is to enjoy the intense flavor of each slice right after the slicing experience. The immediacy of its consumption means that when we take the slice to our mouth, it is an explosion of flavor on our palate and we can notice all the nuances, aroma and texture of the Jamón.

Another key point is to place a cotton cloth (of course clean and lint-free) over the Jamón each time you finish slicing. This should be a lint-free cloth. This prevents the ham from coming into contact with light and air. A classic mistake is to place the leftover ham fat – the fat you remove when opening the ham – on top of the ham to cover it, acting as a cloth. In this case, the fat would infiltrate and alter the ham’s authentic flavor. Another solution, which we use in our store, is to place a transparent film over the ham, which preserves its appearance very well without altering its flavor. All this is well explained in video below.

If you buy sliced Iberian Jamón… how should you store and consume it?

Buying sliced ham is one of the best ways to keep it in good condition for a longer period of time, but to do so properly, it is essential to know how to preserve sliced ham, whether it is Gran Reserva or de Campo Ibérico. At Enrique Tomás, as the ham masters we are, we want to make sure that when you eat Jamón you enjoy the experience that this entails, and so we tell you how to preserve it correctly. To preserve sliced Jamón in the best possible way, it is not necessary to keep it in the refrigerator. All you need to do is keep it in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry, for example. The perfect temperature is a maximum of 15 degrees ºC or 59 ºF.

“The consumption time of sliced ham increases thanks to vacuum packaging”.

The purpose of vacuum-packaging a food product, whatever it may be, is to delay its shelf life, since, by extracting all the air from the packaging, the product is preserved longer. In the case of Jamón, it should be borne in mind that when it is packaged using this process, its meat darkens, but when it is opened and comes into contact with oxygen again, it will recover its usual color.

When you open a package of sliced ham, let it breathe and do not eat it immediately. You will know that the Jamón is ready when you see that the slices separate from each other without any effort. This is the perfect moment when the product has regained all its nuances of flavor, texture and aroma.

Each sliced cured meat can be consumed up to 90 days after being cut, that is, once you buy it, you can keep it unopen at home for up to three months without having to start it. But, once you do, it is important that you follow our recommendations: if you open a sachet and do not finish it, you should store it in the refrigerator properly covered. Do not cover it with aluminum foil, but with cling film. The vacuum process has already been broken, so it is advisable to eat the Jamón as soon as possible. When you take it out of the refrigerator, we recommend waiting an hour before eating it, until it is at room temperature, and then when you can easily separate the slices it will be ready to eat.

In this video you will find a summary of how to preserve a Jamón, either the whole piece or the sliced Jamón

In short, the great advantage of ordering it sliced is that you can consume it as you need it and over a period of three months or more, but if you are impatient and like to enjoy the authentic flavor of the Jamón immediately, the whole piece is for you. Remember that if you buy it bone-in, it is recommended to consume it in about three weeks. Whatever format you choose, in the Enrique Tomás online store you will find the best quality. Enjoy the experience of eating Jamón at any time!

How to preserve Spanish Jamón/ham
Article Name
How to preserve Spanish Jamón/ham
There are many decisive factors to take into account in order to preserve ham in the best possible way and keep it in perfect condition, so that its organoleptic characteristics remain intact throughout the consumption process.
Publisher Name
Enrique Tomás
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Otros idiomas: Español


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