Salami was invented during a time when refrigeration was non-existent and people had to find a way to preserve their meats. Until now, salami is known for being able to remain shelf-stable even when left unrefrigerated.
In fact, dry, uncut salami can last up to 6 weeks unrefrigerated. But once you cut the sausage, you have to store it in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from growing.
Cut salami can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge. But what if you need to store it for longer than that?
Can you freeze salami? Or will that disrupt the delicate meat of the sausage?
Luckily, you can freeze salami, but there is a right way to do it. Salami can lose its rich herby flavor when stored improperly, or worse–develop that dreaded freezer taste.
So, how do you freeze salami without losing its flavor?
Let’s find out.
Can You Freeze Salami?
Yes, you can keep salami in the freezer for up to 1 to 2 months in the freezer. However, salami can still be safe to eat beyond that timeframe, although you might notice a drastic change in quality. (*)
Another important thing to note is that whole salami freezes better than cut salami. This is because salami slices lose moisture and flavor faster than whole, uncut salami.
More than that, dried salami lasts longer than fresher salami. Dried salami contains less moisture, which makes it less conducive to bacterial growth.
All that said, we recommend buying whole, dried salami if you plan to store it for a long time.
But either way, you can freeze salami without losing much of its flavor. Here’s how to do it the right way:
How Do You Freeze Salami?
Freezing salami is a straightforward process. However, using the right method makes a huge difference in the meat’s flavor and texture.
So, here’s how to freeze salami properly:
- Cover the salami with an airtight plastic bag or cling wrap. You can keep it in the original packaging or transfer it to a bag; either way is fine.
- Cut the salami into portions if you plan to use it for different meals. For sliced salami, we suggest placing the slices between parchment papers to prevent them from sticking together.
- Remove as much air as possible from the container.
- Label the container with the date then put it in the freezer. Do not stack salami bags or place anything on top of them to maintain the salami’s original shape.
Make sure to freeze the salami quickly to preserve as much of its texture and flavor as possible. Otherwise, large ice crystals can form and draw out the meat’s juices once it is thawed.
Follow this simple method and you should be able to preserve your salami’s optimum quality for up to 2 months. Super easy!
Once you’re ready to eat your salami, here’s what you should do:
How Do You Thaw Frozen Salami?
There are two reasons why you need to thaw frozen salami properly: to prevent bacterial growth and to maintain as much flavor as possible.
As always, the best way to thaw frozen salami is to defrost it in the fridge overnight. Slow thawing your salami will help ensure it keeps as much of its original flavor and tenderness as possible.
Moreover, allowing your salami to thaw in the fridge will minimize the risk of bacterial growth. Bacteria grow between 40 °F and 140 °F, which is not possible in the refrigerator where the temperature is usually below 40 °F. (*)
If you are in a hurry, you can defrost your salami in the sink by running it under cold water for 30 minutes. However, this can dry out the meat due to the ice crystals melting too quickly.
Now that your salami is thawed, can you refreeze it safely? Here’s what we found:
Can You Refreeze Thawed Salami?
Fortunately, yes, you can refreeze thawed salami. But there are some rules that you need to follow. (*)
First, your salami has to be thawed properly in the refrigerator. If you thawed your salami in the microwave or in the sink, we advise against putting it back in the freezer.
Second, make sure your salami has not come in contact with water and other foods. If it has, it will likely spoil faster in the freezer.
Lastly, don’t keep your salami out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours if you plan on refreezing it. Salami that has been kept at room temp for 2 hours or more will have already grown harmful bacteria.
As long as you follow these rules, refrozen salami can last a few more weeks in the freezer. Nevertheless, always make sure to check for signs of spoilage before eating frozen salami.
1. How Can You Tell if Salami Has Gone Bad?
Spoiled salami will have a foul smell like rotten eggs or ammonia. In addition, it may have gray edges, black fuzz, or mold growing on it.
2. What Is The Best Way to Store Salami?
For the best quality possible, we recommend keeping salami in the fridge. It should keep most of its spicy, herby flavor for up to 2 to 3 weeks.
3. Do You Need to Cook Salami?
Frozen or not, you don’t need to cook salami. It’s already safe to eat due to the drying and fermentation processes.
But if you want to be extra safe, you can heat up thawed salami on the grill or in the microwave before eating it. Alternatively, cook it with an omelet or stew.
As you can see, the answer to the question “Can you freeze salami?” is a big ‘yes’!
Salami, unsurprisingly, keeps well in the freezer. However, it’s important to use the proper freezing technique (like the one we’ve mentioned above) to prevent the meat from losing its distinct flavors.
Making food last longer is easy when you know what to do. Learn more about proper food storage tips from our blog, where we talk about food, drink, nutrition, cooking, and everything else in between!