I spend an incredibly large amount of time planning for, shopping for, and actually making packed lunches for my family. Fresh deli meat is a big part of that process and it typically means a run to the grocery store every couple of days. This can become a real nuisance not to mention sometimes just not feasible.
So, to be sure that my family is happy at lunchtime and I am free from frequent store runs, I will freeze the deli meat. This also comes in handy when I come across a sale on deli meat as this is typically a fairly pricey product.
Can You Freeze Deli Meat?
Deli meats can be frozen and though it is not usually recommended since freezing can affect the texture and flavor, if you do it properly it is a safe way to preserve the meat if you do not finish it by the best before date. It is also great to have sliced pepperoni and salami on hand for a make your own pizza night with the family.
How To Freeze Deli Meat
You can freeze any deli meat as long as you package it properly and do not store it for too long. The meat can be frozen pre-sliced or you can freeze larger pieces of sausage or dry cured meats.
In order to keep your deli meat fresh you need to make sure it is wrapped well in several layers of wrap. Any exposure to air will cause the meat to lose moisture and become dry and discolored. To avoid moisture loss, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or use vacuum seal bags if you can. If you buy deli meat that is already vacuum sealed and you have not opened the package, you can freeze the whole package.
Do not freeze your deli meat for more than a couple of months. If you are freezing a dry cured meat you can probably safely eat it after three months as it is already lower in moisture content.
When you are ready to use the meat you want to thaw it slowly in the fridge. There will be less chance of the meat becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. You can also thaw frozen deli meats in the microwave or by placing it in cold water but if you use that method, you will want to use the meat up immediately. If you defrost it in the fridge it will be good for 3-5 days. If they are vacuum sealed they will last longer and it is safe to use them for up to three weeks.