Deli meats such as hard, dry-cured salami are some of the longest-lasting meat products. Their moisture content is too low for most bacteria and molds to grow, so until they're sliced they'll keep for months under refrigeration. Unfortunately, once they're sliced for sale these meats become prone to drying out and absorbing odors from your fridge, or -- even worse -- making other things taste like salami. To avoid this, and extend the salami's storage life, you can freeze it for later consumption.
Separate the sliced salami into individual portions. If you normally use four slices on a sandwich or nine on a pizza, that's how you should portion them.
Cut sheets of parchment or wax paper to a size that matches your freezer bags.
Arrange the slices of salami in a single layer on a sheet of parchment, so they overlap just slightly at the edges.
Slide each sheet of parchment with its layer of salami into a separate freezer bag. Press the bag flat to remove as much air as possible; then seal it.
Freeze the packages individually, in a single layer. They freeze more quickly that way -- the faster the salami freezes, the better its texture will be when thawed.
Items you will need
- Parchment or wax paper
- Heavy duty zipper-seal freezer bags
- For longer storage, lay the slices of salami on plastic film wrap, and then fold the edges inward to cover them. Slide the wrapped slices into the bag as you normally would. The double wrap minimizes oxidation and freezer burn.
- Once the salami is frozen, you can pack the separate packages into a larger freezer bag for convenience and additional protection.
- If you use the salami quickly and long-term storage isn't an issue, you can stack multiple portions on their papers in a single bag.
- To thaw the salami, take it out of the freezer and let it rest in your refrigerator overnight. If you're in a hurry, you can thaw thin-cut salami in a few minutes by resting the palms of your hands on the bag.
- On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen; Harold McGee
- Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen; Culinary Institute of America
- Cucina Italiana: Salumi FAQs
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Animal Products
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images