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Can You Freeze Guanciale?

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By Ross Young

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Guanciale is a salted pork delicacy that isn’t widely available outside of Italy. That being said, if you can get your hands on a cut of guanciale, you won’t be disappointed! Given that most people order guanciale in bulk online, you might be wondering how best to store it?

Can You Freeze Guanciale? Yes, you can freeze guanciale. It can be frozen for up to 6 months. To freeze guanciale, wrap it tightly in tin foil and place it in a freezer-safe container… However, you might be better off storing it in the fridge.

Does Guanciale Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Guanciale? No

How to Freeze Guanciale

Guanciale is a unique and delicious type of salted pork that is native to Italy. Although it’s best to enjoy guanciale fresh out of the pack, you can refrigerate or freeze it to preserve it for up to six months.

Helpfully, freezing guanciale isn’t difficult, as we explain below: 

  1. Wrap it
    Once you have opened your guanciale and removed it from its initial packaging, you will need to wrap it tightly. If you can vacuum pack it at home, this is your best method.

    However, double-wrapping it in tin foil will suffice as an alternative. Make sure the meat is tightly wrapped and there are no tears in the foil. 
  2. Place in a Container
    Add your double-wrapped guanciale to a freezer-safe container and attach its lid. 
  3. Label and Freeze
    Write today’s date and the use-by date on the lid and add the container to the freezer. Remember, you can freeze guanciale for around six months.

3 Tips for Freezing Guanciale

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing guanciale to have the best results:

Don’t bother Freezing It
This might sound counterintuitive, but the reality is that you don’t necessarily need to freeze guanciale to preserve it. While the producer will list storage instructions on the packaging, you will find that guanciale will be good in the fridge for up to six months due to the way it has been produced.

As such, you should only really consider freezing it as an alternative, as it won’t extend the life of your guanciale. 

Freeze It Whole
If you are planning to freeze guanciale, we would advise you to freeze it whole without slicing it. Equally, it’s best to freeze it in its original packaging, before you open it. This is because guanciale nearly always comes vacuum packed, which is the best way to preserve the meat in the long run.

Always Read the Instructions
Guanciale producers will always include storage instructions on the packaging. To ensure you don’t spoil the delicious meat, we would recommend reading the instructions carefully before opening it in the first instance, so you can be assured that your guanciale will be delicious when you come to enjoy it.

How Long Can You Freeze Guanciale?

You can freeze guanciale for around six months. Technically, you can freeze it for longer than this, but the longer you leave the meat in the freezer, the more likely it is to deteriorate in taste and texture.

Six months is sufficient time to use up your guanciale, even if you only plan to enjoy it once in a while.

After all, we would hate for you to be disappointed with this delicious Italian treat after going to the effort of ordering it in the first place!

You Can Freeze Guanciale for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Guanciale?

To defrost the guanciale, remove the meat from the freezer and place it in the fridge. Don’t unwrap it from the foil – you can just remove the box and place it straight in the fridge.

It’s best to do this the night before you plan to eat your guanciale, as this will ensure it has thawed thoroughly by the time you come to enjoy it.

You should never defrost guanciale – or any other meat for that matter – at room temperature, as it can spoil.

Can You Refreeze Guanciale?

No, you should only freeze guanciale once. This is primarily because freezing it multiple times will ruin its taste and texture.

You also need to be careful with how meat is stored from a safety perspective, so we would only freeze it once to prevent your guanciale from spoiling at room temperature.

Remember, you don’t actually need to freeze guanciale to preserve it for up to six months, so think twice about whether keeping it in the freezer is worthwhile in the first instance.

Does Guanciale Freeze Well?

Overall, guanciale freezes well. However, the best way to store it is in its initial vacuum-packed state in the fridge, as it doesn’t actually need to be frozen to extend its life.

If you do freeze it, make sure it’s double-wrapped in foil and stored in a freezer-safe container so the meat doesn’t spoil.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing guanciale or guanciale in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Pancetta?

Yes, you can freeze pancetta. Pancetta is often used in place of guanciale as it is far easier to get hold of versus guanciale unless you live close to an Italian delicatessen.

How Long Can You Keep Guanciale in the Fridge?

Guanciale can be stored in the fridge for around 6 months, as long as it is vacuum-packed and/or stored in an airtight container. This does mean that there is not much point in freezing it as it will last for the same time.

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