Can you freeze meat products? Delicatessen are cured cuts of meat that are often used in cooking or as a filling for sandwiches. They come in a variety of flavors, including meat for lunch, cold cuts, and ham.
Because these products have gone through a curing process, they keep well in the refrigerator for about a week. However, curing does not always prevent spoilage, which is why you should freeze deli meats for future use. This is especially true if you no longer want to use the excess cured meats that are kept in the fridge for a long time.
As with any type of food, freezing deli meat can affect the texture and flavor of the meat. This is especially true if the cold cuts have been improperly frozen and thawed. When done properly, freezing charcuterie is one of the best ways to preserve charcuterie. If thawed properly, the flavor and texture will remain the same.
Properly frozen, dry, cured meat kept for 4 to 6 months. On the other hand, sliced sausages can be frozen for up to 2 months. We advise against storing the sausages for long periods of time.
Dry, cured meats store well in the freezer because these products contain very little moisture. The same does not apply to sliced sausages. The taste and texture change when sausages are stored in the freezer for months.
How to freeze meat
Before we begin the steps on how to freeze meat products, let’s discuss the different types of meat products. This way you will learn what steps you need to take to preserve these products the right way!
types of cured meats
There are two types of cured meats, cured dry meat and sliced pre-cooked meat. Meat that is high in fat and lean can be successfully frozen if properly packaged prior to freezing.
For larger cuts of meat – such as salami – it is best to transfer the product to an airtight container before placing it in the freezer. You want to make sure the product is completely covered to avoid freeze burns or moisture loss.
The key to properly freezing cured meats is the packaging. You want to create a tight seal so the moisture can’t seep into the meat. Exposing the meat to a low-humidity environment results in moisture loss, which changes the texture and flavor of the meat.
Read Also: Can you freeze mayonnaise?
Freezing unopened or pre-packaged deli meats
If you freeze unopened, pre-packaged sausage products, do not transfer the product to another container. Just stick the whole thing in the freezer and it will keep well as the packaging is vacuum sealed.
Freezing sliced or cooked leftover meat
For leftover sliced or cooked deli meats, place the meat in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Cover the container, write the storage dates and stick in the freezer.
Freezing larger cuts of delicatessen meat
For larger cuts of cured or sliced deli meat, you will need to use several layers of aluminum foil or cling film to wrap and cover any exposed portions of the meat. Then transfer the product to a large container or freezer safe plastic bag before sealing in the freezer.
How do you thaw and reheat frozen deli meat?
Thawing the frozen sausage products is just as important as packaging the products long before freezing.
Thawing the deli meat
The key to this is to thaw the charcuterie slowly, so don’t let a plate thaw at room temperature. Instead, move the frozen cured meats from the freezer to the fridge. Allow the meat to thaw for several hours to overnight until the meat is completely thawed.
Reheating the deli meat
After defrosting the sausages, you can start heating them up. To do this, you can use the microwave or a plastic bag for cooking. To reheat sausages in a plastic bag, boil about 3 to 4 cups of water in a saucepan and place slices of sausage in the plastic bag.
Seal the bag and immerse in boiling water for five minutes. Once cooked, remove the sausages from the plastic bag and serve.
Can you freeze meat products? Yes you can, but there are certain steps you need to take to prevent moisture loss, loss of flavor and bacterial growth. A few thoughts to think about: Never eat thawed sausage products without reheating them or you could get food poisoning. Also, you should never freeze thawed sausage products. We hope this guide has been helpful to you!