Deli meats are truly gifts from the heavens when you are short on time and need a quick meal or snack. With deli meats like salami, you can make a cheese board quickly or make a charcuterie tray for company that has popped in.
What’s also good about this is that you can make a variety of meals such as sandwiches or pasta entrees such as spaghetti or carbonara recipes that use salami. It's great to have on hand at a moment's notice, so it makes sense to keep it handy. Salami contains a fair amount of preservatives, but even hardy salami won't last forever, so why not freeze salami?
What Are the Types of Salami?
From some of our kitchen heroes over at Cook's Illustrated, there are three main types of common salami: Hard Salami, Soppresata, and Genoa. All are "made from a mixture of raw ground meat, salt, and seasonings, which is stuffed into a casing and left to ferment and dry until cured."
Can You Freeze Salami
Is it OK to freeze cold cuts? The answer to this question is a big yes. One of the things I truly appreciate about salami is that it can last longer than most deli meats out there.
Wrapped well to avoid dryness and excess moisture, salami, whether whole or sliced, usually lasts six months in the freezer and as many as six weeks (unopened) in the refrigerator. If it discolors or smells "off" dispose of it. Opened packages of dry or hard salami allow bacteria to settle in, so avoid eating opened salami after a week in the fridge
The best way to freeze salami is to double-wrap it to keep it from drying out: Keep sliced salami flat in its original packaging (usually with butcher/wax paper and a plastic baggie) and then place into another freezer-seal baggie with the air pressed out. A vacuum sealer works well and keeps food fresher in the freezer if you find that you are trying to save a lot of ingredients, meats, and processed foods for later.
While freezing salami works well to extend availability, the texture may change slightly. Because freezing changes the texture, you definitely shouldn't re-freeze meat. So separate your salami into portions of a few slices in each double-wrapped bag so you don't have to thaw the whole package out at once.
Is Pepperoni Salami?
Yes, pepperoni is a type of salami that is often made from a mixture of pork and beef. The curing agent and paprika add to pepperoni's distinct red color.
Opt to thaw it already in the fridge. Meanwhile, if you have salami that is either dried or unopened/unsliced, it is usually okay to just store it in the pantry. But usually only for around six weeks.
Don’t forget to keep it in the fridge after those weeks to elongate its life. If your salami is strong-smelling, you may want to just keep it out on the counter at room temp, loosely covered, for no more than five days.
How to Package Salami Before Putting in the Fridge
Your salami needs to breathe, but not dry out. This is why you see hanging racks of salami in many butchers and delicatessens.
To keep it from drying out, it's best to wrap salami in butcher paper or wax paper, and less preferable to use a plastic bag or container. You may want to try vacuum sealing since this makes sure that there will be no air left inside the plastic bag or freezer bag.
How to Thaw Salami Before Cooking
When defrosting salami, it is best to do it slowly in the refrigerator, overnight if necessary. This should be done to assure that your salami will have less chance of developing organisms that can cause a food-borne illness.
You can thaw deli meats out in your microwave if you watch it closely. Microwaves cook quickly. You may also opt to dip the wrapped package into cold water if you need it to thaw fast. Just remember to not re-freeze thawed salami.
If you want to try and further its life, opt to vacuum seal the meat. In this case, the salami meat may even last up to about three weeks.
How long can salami sit out?
Hard salami is fairly shelf-stable, so it can sit, wrapped in butcher or wax paper indefinitely, as long as it is kept fully covered, away from excess moisture. It can dry out quickly, and sometimes a roll of salami will "sweat" but it doesn't affect the flavor or quality.
Can you freeze salami – all things you need to know. Important and helpful #cooking tips.
How to Freeze Salami
Divide your salami slices into different portions. This will usually depend on how much you use per serving for a particular dish. For example, if you use three salami slices per sandwich, then that’s how you should divide them.
Prep some parchment sheets that are the same size of the bag that you will use for your salami.
Organize the slices of salami by laying them all down together in a side by side position. Do this on a single paper parchment and make sure there is slightly overlapping each other.
Slide the parchment into a freezer bag. Press it thoroughly to ensure that no air will be left inside.
In conclusion, the answer is yes, you can put it in the freezer, but the texture may change. Salami is also shelf-stable because of the nitrates, curing agents and preservatives, so you can leave it out on your counter loosely covered too. But it is best if you just place it in the fridge if you are concerned about freshness.
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