It’s one of New York’s favourite sandwich fillings for a reason! Pastrami is a delicious meat often found at deli counters. Although it has similarities to corned beef, pastrami is processed in its own way. But, is there a way to keep it stored at home?
Can You Freeze Pastrami?
Yes, you can freeze pastrami for up to 3 months. Typically, the longer pastrami is frozen, the drier it becomes, so keep this in mind when storing it. You can combat some of this by ensuring it is wrapped tightly and kept airtight.
Does Pastrami Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Pastrami? No
How to Freeze Pastrami
You can freeze pastrami whether it has been cut or if it is uncut. Here are some simple instructions for successfully freezing pastrami you have cooked yourself:
If hot, let the pastrami cool to room temperature before wrapping it and putting it in the freezer. This can be done on a kitchen airing rack. Do not leave the pastrami longer than necessary, as it will start to go bad.
It is best to make sure your food is covered or wrapped when freezing, and pastrami is no different. If your pastrami is pre-packaged, it can go straight in the freezer. Otherwise, wrap it securely in plastic to ensure freshness. Double-wrapping with plastic film or aluminium foil generally works.
- Place in a Container
Storing your pastrami in an airtight container, such as a properly sealed Tupperware box or a fastened freezer bag, ensures the meat remains as fresh and flavoursome as possible.
- Label and Freeze
It’s easy to forget when you put your pastrami in the freezer, so attaching a dated sticker on the outside of the wrapping means you know when is best to use your pastrami. Once labelled, place it in the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Pastrami
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing pastrami to have the best results:
Don’t Keep it in the Fridge Too Long
When you have bought your pastrami; you should place it straight in the fridge. It is recommended that if you are going to then freeze the pastrami, do so within 1-3 days of refrigeration.
This preserves the meat and avoids the slime that appears when meat is going bad. Meat should never be left out at room temperature beyond 2 hours.
Remove Excess Air
Tightly wrapping the pastrami will maintain a lot of the flavour and keeps the meat from drying out quicker. Compress your freezer bag or whatever container you have the pastrami in before freezing for the best results.
Portion It Out Before Freezing
This is done because you might only want to eat a small amount and will not have to defrost all of it at once. However, some prefer to freeze their pastrami uncut because it is less likely to dry out, although this could mean needing to defrost it in its entirety.
How Long Can You Freeze Pastrami?
It is usually fine to freeze pastrami for around 2-3 months.
Bear in mind that the pastrami loses its quality the longer it is frozen. This is because the longer the meat is frozen, the more it dries out, so it would therefore lose flavour and texture.
Freezing for longer periods risks freezer burn to meat, which affects the quality of your pastrami.
However, freezing it is an easy way to preserve pastrami if you won’t be consuming it straight away. The sooner you can put the pastrami in the freezer after purchasing it, the better.
You Can Freeze Pastrami for up to 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Pastrami?
It is essential to defrost pastrami before cooking it for safety reasons. Pastrami should not be thawed quickly, so defrost the pastrami in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking.
Consider keeping the meat wrapped in the plastic film during thawing.
Consume the pastrami within five days of thawing for best results. Make sure the pastrami is completely thawed out before cooking – it is not safe to cook frozen pastrami, so thawing it out thoroughly ensures an edible meal.
Can You Refreeze Pastrami?
It is generally not recommended to freeze pastrami again after already thawing it. Certain bacteria can be transferred to the meat when refrozen, which is why only freezing it and thawing it once is suggested.
This is why it is best to separate your pastrami into smaller portions before freezing, as you will then be able to defrost only what you need at any given time.
Does Pastrami Freeze Well?
Yes, cut or uncut pastrami does tend to freeze well. With the proper wrapping and sealing, pastrami can be frozen and unfrozen while maintaining a lot of its original flavour and texture.
Storage in a freezer is a great way to preserve pastrami, whether it has just been bought or you have some leftover.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing pastrami or pastrami in general, then these may help:
Yes! You can freeze pastrami from the deli as this is likely to be some of the freshest pastrami you can buy. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Pastrami meat that has been freshly sliced will only last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. If you’re going to eat it up in the period then this is the best way to store it. However, to prolong its shelf life you’ll need to freeze it.
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