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Can You Freeze Prosciutto?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Prosciutto is one of the most popular meats to come out of Italy. It is full of saltiness which means just a slice or two can often be enough. So, what do you do with the rest before it goes off?

Can You Freeze Prosciutto?

Yes, you can freeze prosciutto for up to 3 months. Wrap portions of the prosciutto in a loose layer of baking paper, then wrap that parcel in a tighter layer of cling film, label it with the correct date and contents then freeze.

Does Prosciutto Freeze Well? Sometimes

Can You Refreeze Prosciutto? No

How to Freeze Prosciutto

If you don’t freeze prosciutto in the right way, it will dry out and lose its salty flavour. This is why it’s a must that you follow this method for freezing it:

  1. Portion Out: Consider how much prosciutto you usually consume in each serving and portion it out into that number of pieces. It’s no good freezing 6 slices together if you only ever use 2, as you cannot refreeze it.
  2. Wrap in Baking Paper: Wrapping your meat in a loose layer of baking paper allows for some level of air to flow around the baking paper. In turn, this ensures that any frost or ice that forms will not form directly against the meat.
  3. Wrap in Cling Film: The cling film layer serves to prevent any further moisture from getting into the parcel with the prosciutto. Instead, it allows for the prosciutto to remain pretty dry. This dryness prevents the flavour from seeping out of the meat.
  4. Freeze: Once wrapped, write a clear label on each package and then pop them in the freezer. You could optionally pop all the packages into a freezer bag if you have lots of them so they’re kept in one place.

3 Tips for Freezing Prosciutto

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

Consider Double Layerings
Since prosciutto is delicate in both flavour and texture, we suggest double wrapping the meat with cling film or a freezer bag – this keeps the meat away from any moisture in the freezer

Remove the Original Packaging
When you first buy deli meat, it may be a bit tempting to store it in the original packaging. Most packages have some form of resealable edge, which can tempt you into being a little lazy. However, these tend not to have a tight seal. The exception is if the meat has been vacuum-packed.

Label Clearly
Once wrapped and frozen, it can be hard to tell prosciutto apart from other sliced meats such as bacon, pancetta or bresaola. This is why including a clear, legible label is a must.

How Long Can You Freeze Prosciutto?

You can freeze prosciutto for around 3 months before any level of damage is likely to occur to the prosciutto itself.

The reason for this is that the meat is very high in fat and protein, so any water within it is unlikely to cause any level of damage that you might notice.

How Long Does Prosciutto Last in the Fridge?

Whole pieces of prosciutto that are vacuum-packed will actually keep for around 6 to 8 months in the fridge. Sliced pieces, however, will only keep for a week or so.

How Do You Defrost Prosciutto?

The best way to defrost prosciutto is to use your fridge. Place the parcel into your fridge overnight, and the ice will thaw.

The benefit of using your fridge is that once it’s thawed, the meat will then be stored at a safe temperature. We would not recommend thawing prosciutto at room temperature – even if you’re in a rush!

Can You Refreeze Prosciutto?

No, you cannot refreeze prosciutto.

The reason for this is the same as the reason that you cannot refreeze any meat – they are much riskier than other foods to harbour bacterial growth, which could lead to food poisoning.

Does Prosciutto Freeze Well?

To some degree, yes, prosciutto does freeze well. The overall flavour and texture tend to be well-maintained.

However, the downside is that you can certainly tell the difference between fresh and frozen prosciutto. Frozen prosciutto won’t be anywhere near as tender and flavourful as fresh. If you have frozen prosciutto, it is a good idea to use it in a cooked dish.

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

Can You Freeze Prosciutto in the Packet?

If the packet is unopened and has formed a tight seal, then you can freeze it in the packet. Bear in mind that, once thawed, you will need to consume the whole packet as it cannot be refrozen.

Can You Freeze Cooked Prosciutto?

Yes, cooked prosciutto can be frozen for around 3 months. You may find it becomes chewier and tough once frozen and thawed, however.

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