Can You Freeze Pepperoni: Your Guide on Its Proper Storage
Pepperoni is one of the most popular when it comes to deli meats. It is a staple ingredient in pizza. Beyond the latter, however, you can use it in more ways than one, such as for sandwich, salad, stuffing, quesadillas, and baked potatoes, among others. With this, there is no wonder why a lot of people have pepperoni at home.
While pepperoni can be savory, its taste will depend on its freshness, and hence, emphasis should be given on how it is stored. Can you freeze pepperoni? What are the best ways to retain its freshness? Until when is it good for? If you have these questions at the back of your mind, we will provide the answers that you are looking for.
Can You Freeze Pepperoni?
Yes, you can freeze pepperoni. In fact, this is the best way to store it for future consumption. Leaving it at room temperature is not recommended. Keep in mind that this is a deli meat. It can be easily prone to bacterial growth and spoilage.
Freezing pepperoni, however, is not as easy as putting the meat in the freezer. There is a need to do this correctly for the optimal outcomes. With this, here are the steps:
- Start by slicing the pepperoni. While you can keep the pepperoni as a stick, this can be space-consuming. Also, slicing it is a good idea so that you can easily take out only the portion that you need to use.
- Divide the pepperoni into small batches. The logic here is the same as previously mentioned. When the time comes that you have to use the pepperoni, there is no need to take out the entire batch.
- Store the pepperoni in a plastic bag. See to it that it is freezer safe. Also, do not forget to label the plastic with the date when you placed it in the freezer. This will make it easy to monitor its freshness.
Shelf Life Of Pepperoni
Freezing pepperoni is a good way to lengthen its lifespan. This will keep it away from microbes that might make it go off quickly. Nonetheless, even in the freezer, take note that it won’t last indefinitely.
Salt and nitrates are some of the most common preservatives that are used in pepperoni, which are effective in combatting the presence of contaminants. However, you have to keep in mind that it also contains oil, which can make it rancid.
If pepperoni is in the fridge, it can last for two to three weeks. On the other hand, for long-term storage, it is best to have it frozen. In this case, the shelf life can be as long as eight months, provided that you follow the things that have been mentioned above.
Signs Of Spoilage In Pepperoni
As we have earlier mentioned, freezing is not a guarantee that pepperoni will not go bad. Inevitably, there will come a time wherein it is no longer safe to be eaten. It will not only taste terrible, but it can also be a reason for you to suffer from food poisoning.
The first thing that you have to do is to perform a quick visual inspection of pepperoni. When it has already spoiled, it will end up being discolored. The texture will also change and it will tend to be slimy. The smell will be sour. You can also try pinching the meat. If it ends up sticking to your finger, this is an indication that it should be discarded.
How To Use Frozen Pepperoni
Depending on how creative you are, there are endless ways to use frozen pepperoni. Before anything else, however, you have to pay attention to thawing. The best thing to do is to take it out from the freezer and thaw it somewhere in the fridge where the temperature is lower. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours. Do not thaw at room temperature as it can breed bacteria.
For most people, pepperoni is a default topping for pizza. If you want another way of using it, one of the things that you can do is to use it in your pasta. You can bake a normal macaroni and cheese and top it with sliced pepperoni. To add, you can also add it as a layer in your lasagna.
You can also use pepperoni as bites for cocktail parties. Cheese, olive, and pepperoni on a toothpick will be a good choice for finger food. Thinking of a way to give the boring salad a new twist? Simply add pepperoni to have a distinct flavor. You can also use pepperoni sandwiches for your toast.
Still, there is perhaps no other use as popular as for a pizza. Here is a short video that will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Can you freeze pepperoni? As we have already answered in this post, yes, you can do that. This is one of the best ways to extend its lifespan as it will prevent the growth of bacteria that could speed up spoilage. Other than this, below are other things that we have discussed above:
- When freezing pepperoni, start by slicing it and separating it into batches. Keep it in a freezer-safe bag. Do not also forget to label it so that it will be easier to monitor its freshness.
- If pepperoni is kept in the freezer, it can last up to eight months. In the refrigerator, on the other hand, it will last for two to three weeks.
- You should also pay attention to the different signs of spoilage of pepperoni. Some of the most common indications that it has gone off include a change in color, having a sour smell, being slimy, and sticking to your finger when the meat is pinched.
- After taking out pepperoni from the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator. You can use it not only for pizza, but also for pasta, casseroles, salads, sandwiches, and finger foods, among others.
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