Deli meats, like salami, come in handy when you’re short on time and need to make a quick meal. But can you freeze this versatile and delicious food in the freezer?
You can freeze salami if you want to extend its shelf life significantly. If you use the correct method to freeze deli meat, both cut and whole salami will last up to six months in the freezer.
Here, I’ll discuss how to freeze salami, explain how long it will last in the freezer, and share everything else you need to know about freezing salami. So, let’s jump into it.
Easy Method to Freeze Salami
Salami is made from a mixture of raw ground meat, salt, and seasonings filled inside a sausage casing. Then, the whole thing is left to air-dry and ferment until cured.
There are three main types of this processed deli meat, including Soppressata, genoa, and hard salami. You can use the steps listed below to properly freeze any of these types.
Step 1: Slice Salami
While you can store unopened salami with sealed packaging in the freezer, it’s advisable to slice it into portion sizes that you normally use for different dishes.
This way, you’ll only need to remove the number of portions that your recipe calls for. It’ll keep you from defrosting the entire salami log or going through the hassle of cutting frozen salami.
Step 2: Package Salami
The freezing process can dry out salami by drawing out the excess moisture. That’s why it’s important to wrap salami portions using aluminum foil or plastic wrap to make them airtight. You can also use butcher or wax paper for the same purpose.
Important Note: If you want to freeze whole salami, keep it in its original packaging and wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Make sure that you make the entire log airtight before placing it in the freezer bag.
Step 3: Add Salami to Freezer Bags
After wrapping salami portions, add them to resealable freezer bags. Make sure that you squeeze out excess air from each freezer bag before sealing it.
If you have more storage space in your freezer, you can place freezer bags in an airtight container as well to ensure extra protection.
If your freezer bags have excess air and the wrapping isn’t airtight, the salami will form small ice crystals. It’s called freezer burn, and it will change the taste and quality of salami for the worse.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
It’s important to label each plastic bag with the current date before placing it in the freezer. It’ll allow you to use your frozen salami before it goes bad. After labeling freezer bags, place them in your freezer.
You can use the same method to freeze cold cuts, luncheon meats, cured meats, and deli meats.
How to Thaw Salami
The best way to thaw deli meats is to place them in the refrigerator overnight. It will minimize the multiplying process of bacteria, which can lead to food-borne illnesses.
You can also use the microwave or cold water if you’re in a hurry and need to thaw frozen salami quickly. But you’ll need to make sure that you don’t refreeze the salami thawed using any of these methods.
Frozen and thawed salami can be added to all the recipes calling for salami, like stews, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizzas, and so on.
How Long Does Salami Last?
If you place unsliced and unopened salami in the refrigerator, it’ll stay fresh for up to three months. Whereas opened and sliced leftover salami can last for about a week in the fridge.
If you want to increase the shelf life of salami (both unopened and opened), you can store it in your freezer. It’ll stay edible for up to six months.
Keep in mind that the texture and taste of the deli meat will start to degrade after three months. Therefore, ideally, you should use frozen salami within three months to enjoy maximum freshness.
How to Tell If Frozen Salami Has Gone Bad
Just like most foods, frozen salami can also go bad and become inedible. In addition, it can be a little trickier to know when it happens. The most effective way to determine if your salami has become inedible is to inspect its appearance.
If the salami doesn’t have a fresh red color and has turned grayish or brownish, consider throwing it in the trash. You can also use your sense of smell for the same purpose as spoiled salami usually smells of rotten eggs.
When to Avoid Freezing Salami
There are a couple of instances when it’s best to avoid freezing your salami. Firstly, you should never freeze salami that has gone bad.
Secondly, if the salami has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit), it’s not safe for freezing.
Is Pepperoni a Type of Salami?
You can say that pepperoni is the American variant of salami, but the two are slightly different from each other. Pepperoni is made from a combination of pork and beef stuffed inside a sausage casing, and it offers a spicier taste.
It contains chili pepper and paprika that dominate its taste. It also feels drier than traditional salami and has a smoky flavor (that salami doesn’t always offer). Whereas salami is made of different raw ground meats. It offers a savory, hot, sweet, and herby taste and comes with a harder texture than pepperoni.
Can You Freeze Salami – Final Words
Salami in its sealed form is a shelf-stable food that can stay fresh for up to three months in the refrigerator. If you have sliced or opened the sealed salami log or want to extend the shelf life of an unopened one, you can store it in the freezer.
Ensure you follow the salami freezing method discussed in this guide carefully to achieve the best results. Don’t forget to inspect the frozen salami before using it and throw it in the trash if it has gone bad.