Jamon is a pretty rare delicacy, and that is why people often have questions on how to store jamon properly. Does jamon need to be refrigerated? Can you freeze jamon? How long does jamon last? There are also a lot of myths concerning Iberico and Serrani ham. Read on to find out the real truth on how to store jamon.
Store vacuum-packed Serrano ham in the fridge at a temperature of 2°C-5°C. Do not put Serrano in the freezer as the low temperature will destroy the taste. Bone-in Serrano ham should be stored in a cool, ventilated dark, dry place at a temperature of 15°C-20°C, covering the sliced area with a plastic wrap.
How to Store Serrano Ham? Jamon Storing Myths
Jamon Serrano in unopened sealed containers can last in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. It is recommended to eat opened Serrano jamon within two weeks. The shelf life of bone-in Serrano jamon is one year according to Tienda.
Storage conditions for Serrano ham:
- A dry ventilated room with a constant temperature of 15-20 °C.
- Place the ham in a stand or hang it on a hook. The product should not touch walls and shelves.
- Brush it with melted lard. The thicker the layer, the longer the shelf life. Lard can be replaced with odorless olive oil.
- Grease or oil the cut edge just as thickly and cover with a clean cotton cloth. Instead of a towel, you can use lard-soaked parchment, but never foil or film.
- Keep the ham as far away as possible from heat sources (heaters, direct sunlight): this will preserve the taste, smell and texture of the ham.
- Avoid drying out: do not take long breaks between cuts. The cut leg can be consumed within 4 months, keeping the cut fresh.
If mold appears on the outside of the piece, do not rush to get upset and throw away the expensive delicacy. The formation of such a plaque is considered the norm. Wipe the outside with a cloth dipped in olive oil. Then cut off the skin before use so that there is no bitterness.
Long-term storage is bad for the Serrano ham. However, you can stretch the eating of jerky meat. Jamon in unopened sealed containers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. However, it is recommended to eat opened Serrano within two weeks. The main thing is to follow the rules for storing dry-cured meat.
After opening the jamon package or cutting a leg of meat, eat the product as soon as possible. Follow these guidelines on how to store Serrano ham:
- Vacuum-packed Serrano ham: After opening the vacuum package, wrap the jamon in clean parchment oiled with olive oil. Protect the product from contact with air. Store meat as it is in the refrigerator.
- Bone-in Serrano ham: Cover the leg with a cotton towel. Store jamon hanging or on a stand. The storage location must be dry and at a temperature of +15°C.
- Sliced Serrano ham: Cover uneaten slices of jamon with parchment paper. Place the rest of the meat in the refrigerator.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t store jamon close to other foods. Meat quickly absorbs odors, losing its aromatic and taste characteristics.
Does Serrano ham need to be refrigerated? Vacuum-packed Serrano ham should be kept in the fridge at a temperature of 2°C-5°C, while bone-in Serrano is better stored at room temperature (+15°-+20°C) in a well-ventilated, dry and dark place. Before serving vacuum-packed Serrano, take it out from the fridge and let it warm up.
Can you freeze sliced Serrano ham? You must never freeze sliced Serrano or Iberico ham, as low temperatures will destroy the taste of meat, making the texture chewy and hard and killing all the useful properties of the delicacy. Serrano ham’s optimal storage temperature is 15-22°C and air humidity of 65%.
Serrano ham does go bad if it is improperly stored (in direct sunlight, not in a cool, dark, ventilated place). How to tell if Serrano ham is bad? You can tell that Serrano ham is bad if it has a foul smell and a thick layer of white/green/blue mold on the surface, and a bitter taste.
Mold sometimes appears on the opened jamon. This does not mean that the meat has gone bad. The presence of the fungus indicates the naturalness of the product. If the meat is moldy, wipe it off with a cotton cloth soaked in olive oil. The jamon is ready to be consumed again.
Storing Serrano Ham — 7 Myths Busted
Myth 1. Jamon, like any raw meat, is stored in a refrigerator at a temperature of 0 to 5°C.
Jamon does not require any special conditions for storing. A stable room temperature (+15°C—+18°C), away from direct sunlight, with good ventilation, will be sufficient for jamon. Ideally, bone-in jamon should be stored upright or fixed on a jamon stand (jamonière).
Myth 2. It is best to eat a whole leg of jamon whole at a time.
Of course, we can offer to drink wine or 5 packs of activated carbon for each kilogram eaten as a gift. Jamon, though, can be eaten within 4 months after you started slicing the meat. Naturally, jamon meat belongs to the raw type, and, like any live product, it tends to oxidize. This you need to cover the sliced jamon area with:
- lard / raw meat;
- a clean cotton towel;
- grease the cut with olive oil,
- parchment paper dipped in olive oil.
Myth 3. Sliced jamon can be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
Firstly, nothing can be stored in a plastic bag at all, as it was invented for transportation. Secondly, a plastic bag will destroy the taste and smell of the ham, making it go bad very quickly.
You can try parchment paper and foil (in this case, do not allow the foil to come into contact with the ham), but this storage cannot be called durable. And yet, after the refrigerator, the ham’s taste can be restored a little if you let it stand for half an hour at room temperature.
Myth 4. Jamon can be frozen.
You can freeze dumplings, dumplings, fruits and berries (delicious in winter), find something else and freeze it, but please do not freeze $100 delicacies. Low temperatures will destroy the soft, juicy texture of jamon and its unique creamy taste.
Myth 5. Jamon is stored in a vacuum at room temperature.
Wrong. Sliced jamon in a vacuum package can be stored for 1 year in the refrigerator at a temperature of 0 to 5°C until depressurization. Try to buy as much as you are ready to eat in one go.
Myth 6. Mold on jamon means that jamon has gone bad.
Mold on the ham is really the result of the interaction of air and bacteria. If the mold layer is thin, wipe this mold with a clean damp towel dipped in olive oil, cut off the skin and eat the middle. If the mold layer is thick and the meat tastes bitter, jamon has gone bad and needs to be thrown away.
Myth 7. To transport the ham, you can wrap it in plastic wrap.
Yes, you can only if the transportation does not exceed a day. Parchment paper or cotton stocking is best. From practice, it is also better to cover Spanish ham with foil.