January 28, 2020
Can You Freeze Pepperoni? Find Out and More!
Curious if you can freeze pepperoni? Stick around as we share if you can and what to do…
Having an easily accessible and ready-to-use meat option like pepperoni in your kitchen is one of the best things a home chef can enjoy. This not only means that you do not have to go on a quick grocery run, it also gives you the luxury of whipping up a quick snack.
So, you might want to have raw and deli meats in your kitchen for emergency snacking.
Your freezer can help you maintain a stock of different meats. However, while raw meats can benefit from being frozen, you might be hesitant to store deli meats in the freezer.
One popular cold cut is pepperoni. Because it comes in a stick, you might have some leftovers you want to use in the future.
If you are curious whether or not you can store pepperoni in the freezer, here’s what you need to know:
What is Pepperoni?
Pepperoni is a type of cold cut that is made of by mixing pork and beef and forming it into a sausage. It is made by adding salt and nitrate to the sausage, then placing it in cold storage, usually the refrigerator.
Afterward, it is air-dried to achieve the texture and flavor you are familiar with.
While many mistake pepperoni as a purely Italian cold cut, it is actually an Italian American alternative to the Italian cold cut, salami.
It is often used as a sandwich filling and pizza topping along with herbs like marjoram. It is also used in other recipes such as pasta and pies.
Can You Freeze Pepperoni?
The simple answer is yes, you can freeze this sausage. Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of many food items including raw meats and cold cuts.
Remember that pepperoni is made by salting and air drying. This means that it already has natural preservatives. Freezing only enhances the preservation of your meat.
When not frozen, you can rely on the package’s best before date.
However, freezing can allow you to use the meat even past the best before date. Just make sure that the ingredient is still safe for use.
Not sure what to do?
How to Freeze Pepperoni
Here’s what you should remember when freezing pepperoni:
Slice and divide in batches
Aside from worrying about reducing the quality of the meat, many people hesitate to store the sausage in the freezer because it can take up so much space.
This will happen if you choose to freeze the remaining pepperoni stick. To use your freezer’s space more efficiently, you might want to slice the stick.
By slicing the meat, you will have it in an easy-to-store form. It is better to divide it into batches so you can store small packages instead of one big one.
This also allows you to portion your usage. This way, you do not have to thaw out the whole thing when you intend to use just a small portion of the meat.
Place it in a sealed container
So, you have sliced and divided the stick into batches. You might be wondering what container will best preserve the quality of the meat.
The best way to do this is to use sealable containers.
This can come in the form of airtight food packs and boxes. If you do not have these in your kitchen, you can also use reusable and resealable plastic bags such as Ziplocs.
This will prevent moisture from coming in contact with your stick, allowing you to preserve the meat for a longer time.
Label the package
While the meat itself contains preservatives and the method of storage enhances preservation, it is always better to monitor the sausage from time to time.
So, make sure to label the package with two dates: the date when you opened the packaging and the best before date.
This can be necessary if the storage method fails. This can occur when the freezer is not cold enough to freeze the meat, making the sausage vulnerable to spoiling and expiration.
Watch out for signs of spoilage
This is important because while you have taken measures to further extend the shelf life of the product, bacteria could have come in contact with the meat prior to freezing.
This can cause the stick to go bad even if it is frozen. Moreover, if you have been storing the stick for a very long time, it can degrade in quality and inevitably become spoiled.
So, it is important to always check on the pepperoni.
To do this, just use your senses. If it has a different color compared to its original appearance, then it is likely spoiled. Aside from discoloration, you will also notice a change in smell.
A rotten or sour smell indicates spoilage. Moreover, a slimy and sticky texture is a sign that the meat is no longer good for consumption.
Now that you know that you can freeze pepperoni and how to do it… you’ll be able to save this yummy ingredient for later use.
By freezing your pepperoni stick, you are guaranteed to have this cold cut when you need to prepare a quick batch of personal pizzas or sandwiches. It can also come in handy for wine and cheese sessions.
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