You head to the deli counter, get carried away and order far more meat than you’ll ever be able to eat over the next week or so. So, what exactly do you do with all those extra slices?
Can You Freeze Deli Meat?
Yes, you can freeze deli meat for up to 2 months. Wrap it first in a layer of baking paper, then in a layer of cling film. Label the cling film with the correct date and place the parcel into the freezer.
Does Deli Meat Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Deli Meat? No
How to Freeze Deli Meat
Freezing deli meat isn’t as simple as throwing loose slices into the freezer. Follow our simple steps to ensure that you get the best results possible:
- Wrap in Baking Paper: Firstly, wrap the deli meat loosely in a sheet of baking paper. It doesn’t need to be firmly clinging to the deli meat. It just needs to keep it all covered.
- Wrap Again in Cling Film: Next, wrap the baking paper layer in a second layer of cling film. Seal this layer tight, ensuring no gaps where air could seep in.
- Label: Using a marker, you should be able to write directly on the cling film. Include the contents (which you can no longer see) along with the date, so you know when it needs to be used up.
- Freeze: Finally, pop the wrapped parcel into the freezer for around 2 months.
If you want to be able to grab a few slices at a time. You can also place sheets of baking paper between each couple of slices. This way, they won’t freeze together and you can easily retrieve a few slices at a time.
3 Tips for Freezing Deli Meat
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing deli meat to have the best results:
Check the Seal
If air and moisture can get into your deli meat then you’ll have major issues with freezer burn, ruining the texture of the meat. This is why checking the seal is vital. if you’re not 100% sure it’s airtight then wrap it in an additional layer of cling film.
Beware of Freezer Smells
Deli meat can be quite punchy in flavour and odour – especially those flavoured with herbs and spices such as chilli and fennel. Not only should you keep it wrapped but you need to also keep it away from daily-based products which can absorb these smells.
Store Away from Raw Meat
Since deli meat is pre-cooked, make sure to store it away from any raw meat in your freezer. Often people make the mistake of placing cooked and cured meat with raw meat.
How Long Can You Freeze Deli Meat?
Deli meat can be frozen for up to 2 months.
After those 2 months have elapsed, the meat will still be safe to eat, but it will also have reduced in quality quite drastically. It will begin to dry out and the flavour of the meat will mellow.
Once opened, deli meat will last for up to 5 days in the freezer. It should be kept in a resealable sandwich bag or covered plate.
How Do You Defrost Deli Meat?
The best way to defrost deli meat is to unwrap it and transfer it to the fridge. Once there, any ice will thaw, but the meat itself will still be kept at perfectly safe temperatures, ready for you to eat.
It’s not a good idea to thaw it out at room temperature where harmful bacteria are likely to form, unfortunately.
Can You Refreeze Deli Meat?
No, you cannot refreeze deli meat.
Generally speaking, we don’t recommend refreezing any meat since those items are a little more dangerous to refreeze. When thawed, bacterial growth can occur, and reintroducing that to your freezer would lead to dangerous cross-contamination.
Does Deli Meat Freeze Well?
Yes, we would argue that deli meat does freeze well.
To ensure that deli meat does get frozen well, you might consider adding it to an airtight container as well as a tight clingfilm wrapping – this will prevent frost from gaining access to the meat greatly.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing deli meat or deli meat in general, then these may help:
Yes, vacuum sealing is a great way to keep the air away from meat in the freezer so deli meat stored in this way will freeze for 4 to 6 months.
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