A whole salami can last for weeks in the pantry, and even longer in the fridge if unopened. But what if you need to store it for longer? Can you freeze salami? And should you? Let’s find out.
Salami can be a great addition to a charcuterie board, sandwiches, and various appetizers. But sometimes you may end up buying too much salami.
So can you keep it long-term in the freezer, or should you store it another way?
Yes, you can freeze salami. If stored properly, it can keep for up to 9 months in the freezer. That time can vary if you’re freezing a whole salami versus salami slices.
Read on to find out more, and to learn how to store salami the right way so its stays fresh for longer.
How to freeze salami
Salami is a cured, largely dry meat, so freezing it for too long could cause it to become overly tough and unpleasant to eat. So while salami can keep for several months in the freezer, it’s a good idea to eat it within 1-2 months after freezing, especially if it’s been sliced.
Follow these simple steps to freeze salami properly.
Step 1 – If you have a whole salami, cover it in plastic wrap or cling wrap.
Step 2 – Then place it in a freezer-safe plastic bag.
Step 3 – Be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible. The idea is to sort of vacuum seal it so no air can seep into the salami and dry it out. This will also help prevent freezer burn and keep odors from other food items in the freezer from affecting the salami.
Step 4 – Place in the freezer, being careful not to set any other foods on top of it.
The salami should keep for up to 9 months if frozen this way.
If you have a lot of salami, you can cut it into portions and freeze only the amount you don’t plan to eat right away.
If you’ve already cut up a salami into slices and you have leftovers, you can also freeze them. The key is to remove excess moisture to avoid the slices from sticking together.
Step 1 – First, place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between individual slices.
Step 2 – Then place the slices into a freezer bag in a single layer and lay it flat, making sure to remove any excess air.
Step 3 – Seal it tightly and place it in the freezer.
Freshly cut whole salami slices should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer, but for the best results and taste, avoid freezing them longer than 1-2 months.
You can also freeze pre-sliced salami. Simply place it in its original packaging in the freezer. It should stay good for 1-2 months. However, you’ll need to thaw out the entire package all at once when you’re ready to consume it.
How to defrost salami
The best way to thaw out frozen salami is to do it slowly. This will help preserve the texture.
So, allow salami to defrost in the fridge overnight. This will keep cold as it thaws and will help the salami last longer (so you can enjoy it for longer!)
Avoid thawing it out in the microwave as that can make the salami soft. It can also accelerate its shelf life. Since microwaving warms it up rapidly, you’ll need to eat the salami soon after to avoid it from going bad.
How long does fresh salami last in the fridge?
Unopened, uncut salami can stay good for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. So if you don’t plan to eat it right away, it’s best to keep your salami in the fridge rather than freeze it.
After you open salami, it will keep for about a week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
Can you store salami in the pantry?
Since salami is a type of cured meat, you can store whole salami for some time unrefrigerated. It will keep for up to 6 weeks in a cool, dry place like a pantry.
After you cut into salami, you do need to refrigerate it however, to prevent the onset of harmful bacteria. It’s best to store it in the fridge in an air-tight container and eat it within a week of opening the package.
How do I know if my salami has spoiled?
A great way to know how long your salami will stay good is to check the expiration date or best-by date on the packaging. But there are some tell-tale signs that your salami may have gone bad.
Fresh salami should smell aromatic and even a bit like cheese, due to the dry curing process. If the salami smells sharp, sour, like rotten eggs, or simply off, then that could mean it is starting to spoil.
Salami is typically a dark red color. If you notice spots of black, green, or gray, or signs of mold growth inside the salami meat, these are all indications that it has gone bad.
Salami should be fairly dry and firm. If it’s overly moist or slimy, or if it feels soft and spongy, that could mean the meat has started to turn. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if it feels very dry and brittle, chances are the salami is not fresh anymore.
In any of these cases, it’s best to discard the salami.
When not to freeze salami
The signs of spoilage above are good indicators of when freezing salami is not a good idea.
For example, if you’ve sliced up some salami and left it out on a charcuterie board for a couple of hours, it’s a good idea to simply discard it rather than freeze it. That’s because bacteria may have started to form as it sat at room temperature, so it may already be on its way to spoiling.
If you notice an off smell or a moist, slimy texture, don’t freeze the salami. Simply throw it away.
In most cases, you can eat the white outer salami casing if it’s made from natural ingredients like cleansed animal intestines or skin. Don’t eat artificial casings made with collagen or plastic.
Salami is made with a variety of spices which help give it a strong, robust flavor. Common salami spices and other ingredients include pepper, salt, chili, garlic, fennel seeds, and in some cases pig’s blood. Common meats are pork and beef.
The bottom line
If you have leftover salami or simply want to buy in bulk and save it for later, the good news is you can freeze it. If stored properly, unopened uncut salami can have a long shelf life, lasting up to 9 months in the freezer. And salami slices can keep for up to 6 months.
However, for the best taste and texture, it’s a good idea to keep salami in the freezer for no longer than 2 months, as a prolonged freezing process can make it overly tough.
More food storage answers
Wondering whether some other foods may freeze well? Check out these posts.