Whether sending a store-bought or homemade ham to friends and loved ones for the Holidays, proper packaging and the right choice of shipping methods are key factors for safe and on time delivery. Here are some important tips on how to pack and ship ham to ensure that it arrives in good condition and ready to be enjoyed and appreciated:
Before freezing the ham, weigh it to have an idea on how much dry ice to purchase. A 5-lb. meat needs 18 lbs. of dry ice for a two-day trip. Make the necessary adjustments depending on your ham’s weight and order the amount of dry ice you will need.
On shipping day, wrap the frozen ham in two or more layers of plastic wrap, and then wrap it with several layers of brown packing paper. Secure the paper with packing tape.
Take the dry ice blocks and wrap with several layers of newspaper. Place them in the bottom of a Styrofoam cooler with a lid. The cooler should be large enough to accommodate the ham and the dry ice.
Place the wrapped ham on top of the dry ice. Fill empty space in the cooler with crumpled newspaper or bubble wrap. The ham should not move around when the container is shaken.
Close the cooler and secure the lid with packing tape.
Place the cooler in a sturdy cardboard box that is slightly larger than the cooler. Fill empty space between the cooler and the shipping box with packing peanuts, newspaper or air bags to prevent movement or shifting.
Close the box and seal with packing tape. Reinforce the bottom and the corners well by applying extra tape.
Address the package and attach labels such as “Perishable.” Make sure to use indelible ink or a permanent marker on the address and labels or stick clear tape on top of them to protect them from the elements.
Take your package to the U.S. Post Office or a package shipping service that has expedited delivery. Tell the clerk that the box contains dry ice and complete any forms required for such shipments. Pack and ship ham early so it will arrive in time for the Holidays.