Most meat cuts can be frozen for future use, but can you freeze lunch meat? This question has been bothering me after overhearing a group of women debate about this subject. I am concerned on this matter myself because I like to buy lunch meats in bulk to save money and time by going to grocery stores less frequently.
Lunch meat is good to store for future use because it’s versatile. You can use lunch meat in sandwiches, omelets, and even salads. After going through a serious research, I have finally found the answer to this question which I’m going to share below.
What Are Lunch Meats?
Lunch meats are also known as cold cuts, deli meats, and luncheon meats. You can see them sold in deli markets and retail stores taking the form of slices or loaves. Due to the growing demand for ready-to-eat products, lunch meats are introduced in the market.
As the name suggests, lunch meats are normally used for lunch sandwiches. These meats are already cooked and pasteurized, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria contamination. To meet the taste demands of customers, they may be cured or not.
So, Can You Freeze Lunch Meat?
Now back to the question. The answer is yes, and you can freeze lunch meat. According to Food Marketing Institute, lunch meat can be frozen up to two months if sealed in a package. You should not store the meat for more than two months or its texture and flavor can be altered.
The secret in maintaining the freshness of lunch meat is to wrap it well leaving no air as possible. If your meat gets exposed to the air inside the freezer, it turns your meat parched and dry. Sealing the air out can also help prevent freezer burns.
Storage Options And Labeling
To maintain the freshness of your lunch meat, freeze them in proper packages. You can store your lunch meat in the freezer by using any of these storage options: plastic wrap, freezer bag, or vacuum sealed bag. To store lunch meat in a plastic wrap, use several layers to create a thick shield against freezer burns.
You can also place your lunch meat in a heavy duty freezer bag. Before you seal it, make sure that you remove all air as possible. Using a straw, you can suck all the air out, as shown in this
If your lunch meat is already vacuum sealed, then you can place it right away in the freezer. If not, then you can use a vacuum sealer to remove all air out efficiently. Many invest in this expensive machine because it comes in handy when freezing all sorts of foods.
You need to label each package with the date of freezing so you don’t end up guessing when the lunch meat will go bad. For best results, place a paper towel or tissue in between slices to seep all moisture left inside the bag.
Thawing Frozen Lunch Meat
The safest way to thaw frozen lunch meat is to defrost is slowly in the refrigerator. Although this may take a lot of time, there’s a less probability of bacteria growth. To save time, you can defrost the meat in the refrigerator overnight so you can use it the following morning.
If you’re in a pinch, you can defrost the lunch meat in the microwave. Heat it for a few seconds and use it right away. Another way is to submerge the meat in cold water. Defrosted meats can last in the refrigerator not more than five days.
Some Preparation Ideas To Enjoy Lunch Meat
Recreate the famous luncheon meat bread from Hong Kong by sandwiching the dough with luncheon meat and cheese. Brush it with egg wash and coat with sesame seeds. Bake the dough for about 17 minutes or until the bread is done.
Use lunch meat leftovers to make a meaty sauce for your fettucini. Stir fry luncheon meat together with celery and seasonings. Mix the stir fried meat and banana sauce into the cooked pasta, then serve.
Make your omelet more exciting by adding luncheon meat into a mix of eggs, onion, and garlic.
Freeze Your Lunch Meat Today!
Can you freeze lunch meat? Yes, you can keep lunch meat for future use up to two months in the freezer. The key is to store them in an airtight container, like freezer bags, vacuum sealed bag, or several layers of plastic wrap. To thaw, just place frozen lunch meats in the refrigerator overnight or heat in the microwave.
Have you tried freezing some lunch meat already? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t hesitate to share this post if find this very helpful.