If your two-year old is like mine, you don’t have many go-to protein sources for meals. One of the few ones he likes is turkey lunch meat with BBQ sauce. But true to two-year old form, he will love lunch meat one day and refuse it the next so I end up having a package that is about to go bad. So I wanted to know: Can you freeze lunch meat?
How Is Lunch Meat Made?
Deli meat, cold cuts, lunch meat- they usually refer to the same thing- processed meat. But you can have 3 different kinds. There is the deli meat that is freshly cooked and cut up- like roasted turkey or sliced chicken breasts. This is obviously the healthiest of the 3 choices. Then you can have the lunch meat that is moderately processed. The meat is removed from the bone and ground up (usually turkey, chicken, beef). It is then emulsified and fit into a mold. The meat is then smoked for a few hours. It is then packaged and sent to the store. The third kind is the very processed meat like hot dogs or salami. This meat is made similarly to the turkey slices above, but preservatives and sugars are added to begin the fermentation process. Then it is aged for a few days, cooked, or left raw.
Can You Freeze Lunch Meat?
The answer to this question is YES! Your favorite lunch meat can be saved to help you cut down on a lot of costs. Can you freeze lunch meat that is opened? Yes. You can freeze it for 2 months. If you have not opened your package of lunch meat, you can freeze it up to 6 months. However, make sure that you are not freezing expired lunch meat. We all know that food does not go bad the second the date on the package hits. Fresh deli meat is good for 5-6 days past the printed date; pre-packaged lunch meat is good for 7-10 days after the date. Once it has been opened, you should eat it within 5 days. Beyond that, it is not worth freezing as the meat is bad and will still be bad when you eat it.
How To Freeze Lunch Meat
If you opened the lunch meat, then you need to properly repack it either in a freezer-safe bag or Tupperware (wrap it in plastic wrap first) so that you it can freeze properly. If it is sliced meat are freezing, your best option will be to put a piece of wax paper in between the slices to make it easy for you to defrost it.
For the sealed case, you need to leave it packed. There is no need to open it, as long as it remains in its original pack it will not spoil. Make sure the package is placed in a freezer safe container. A good tip would be to label the container so you can keep track of how long you have left it in the freezer. You can keep it frozen for up to six months this way.
How To Properly Thaw Lunch MEat
The first way you might want to consider is getting your meat out of the freezer earlier before the day you want to use it. So let’s say you want to use it on Friday, the best bet is for you to take it out of the freezer by Thursday and let it go through a natural defrosting process. Make sure you use the meat 2-3 days after you get it out.
Another method is by leaving the meat to stay in cold water. This is also safe as the meat will not lose most of its texture and taste.
If you were not totally grossed out by the description of how lunch meat is made and still plan on eating it. I am not sure I do! Then you may need to know: Can you freeze lunch meat? The short answer: yes! You can freeze it for 2 months if it is an opened package and for up to 6 months if unopened. I hope this helps. Leave us a comment if it helped you.
You may also need to know: Can you Freeze Mozzarella Cheese?
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