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How to preserve sliced Spanish ham

How to preserve sliced Spanish ham

- Categories : 【Blog Jamón Pasión】

Sliced Spanish ham and vacuum packaged in sachets is a format that is becoming more and more popular. Thanks to online ham shops, the offer is much wider and you don't have to limit yourself to the usual brands offered by supermarkets, which, on the other hand, are highly industrialised products.

Unless there is a shop specialising in Iberian hams or Serrano hams in your area, where they will have a variety of products, of all categories and from all production areas, it is not going to be easy to find a place where there is a wide variety of hams, limited to only a few brands and medium quality products. You won't have that problem in an online ham shop that offers you products directly from the different producers' factories.

Advantages and disadvantages of sliced ham

The most obvious advantages of buying sliced Iberian ham, either by machine or with a knife by a professional ham cutter, are convenience, space saving and conservation.

You can't call it a disadvantage but, obviously, the price of sliced and packaged ham is much higher than a whole leg of ham.

Cutting the ham yourself directly is part of the process of the gastronomic experience, which is why we often prefer to keep it in the ham holder and cut it little by little, even if we destroy the cured ham. In this way, you get the ham at its peak directly. The sliced and packaged ham, as it must be stored in the fridge, you need to take it out 30 minutes before eating it, and with the rush we are in nowadays, perhaps for many this can be a great inconvenience.

Space-saving and convenient

A whole leg of Spanish ham can measure, especially in the case of Iberian acorn-fed hams, which are the longest, almost 1 metre, around 90cm; add the ham holder and you lose a good amount of useful space.
Leaving aside the skill that each person has with the ham knife to get the most out of a leg of ham, opening a packet of sliced Serrano ham, in which all the slices are already the perfect size, is ideal.

It is also a great advantage to be able to put an envelope in your bag to take with you to work or to a dinner party with friends or family.

The perfect cut

There are only two ways of slicing an Iberian or Serrano ham:

  •     Machine slicing, where the ham is previously boned and the inedible peripheral fat (the most superficial and darkest in colour) is removed and introduced into a slicing machine.
  •     Knife slicing. Here the work of a professional with a very defined profile, the master slicer, is essential.

In machine slicing, the slices are usually longer and thinner and are used more for sandwiches, and traditional knife slicing is for tapa-sized slices, just the right size to be eaten as an appetizer in one bite.


Another advantage to take into account is the quantity of Serrano or Iberian ham that you have to buy.  By having the option of being able to buy ham cut in packets, you can opt for a few packets and not have to choose a 5kg shoulder or an 8kg ham.

Storage of sliced Spanish ham

Although a whole, uncut ham comes with a best-before date of between 8 months and 1 year, as it is very difficult for it to deteriorate if you follow certain conservation guidelines, once it has been started, if it is not consumed daily, the cut part of the ham dries out and hardens. It has always been said that the best way to preserve a good ham is to cut a little every day.

The advantage of ham in packets is that the ham will always be at its best, as they are vacuum-packed in a protective atmosphere; however, once opened, the packet should be sealed tightly with cling film and consumed within a few days. The best-before date, as long as the sachets have not been opened, is usually at least 6 months.

Heat causes the sachets to lose their vacuum, so it is advisable to always keep them refrigerated and take them out at room temperature 30 minutes before consumption.

Where to buy sliced Spanish cured ham?

In any supermarket in Spain you will find sliced Serrano and Iberian ham, even Iberian shoulder ham in packets, but in most places, unless it is a shop specialising in hams, they are going to be standard brands, from large manufacturers where the product is sliced in series and spends too much time in the shop windows.

The advantage of buying sliced Iberian ham at Jamón Pasión is that we guarantee that the ham is freshly sliced, and with the added bonus that the hams are produced by family businesses, where the product is treated with the greatest care and sent directly from the factory, where they are kept in the best conditions of conservation.

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