Last Updated: May 9, 2022

Can You Freeze Lunch Meat? How Long Does It Last?

can you freeze lunch meat

Lunch meat or deli meat is a preferred food item. You can freeze it to keep it safe for a long time. If you want to make a snack or food for tiffin, you can use the meat. It’s a perfect component for different types of dishes. 

How Long Can You Freeze Meat? Check the List Below

TypeCategoryFreezeFreezer
OpenedFresh Meat3- 5 days1-2 months
OpenedPackaged Meat5- 7 days1-2 months
OpenedSliced Meat3- 4  days15 days
UnopenedFresh meat3- 5 days1-2 months
UnopenedPackaged meat 2 weeks2 months
UnopenedCured meat2 months3-4 months
UnopenedProcessed Meat2 Weeks4 months

Here’s How to Freeze Turkey Lunch Meat

Following specific techniques, you can freeze turkey lunch meat. It is pretty easy. Let’s look at the procedure of it.

Key actions:

  • Cut the turkey into small pieces
  • Spread the turkey into a clean baking sheet
  • Freeze the pieces of turkey for one hour
  • Shift the frozen pieces into a plastic bag

Step 1: Cut the turkey into small pieces

For freezing, you need to cut the turkey into small portions. In this way, it will be easy to settle them in the freezer. And it will not take up much space.

Step 2: Spread the turkey into a clean baking sheet

Next, you have to line up and spread the small leftover turkey pieces into a baking sheet. Keep them in one layer.

Step 3: Freeze the pieces of turkey for one hour

Remember, the flash-freezing technique is essential for storing leftover turkey meat. Freeze the turkey meat pieces for about an hour, making them set and not stick to each other.

After that, you can store the turkey in the freezer. It will remain safe for a long time.

Step 4: Shift the frozen pieces into a plastic bag

You have to shift the frozen turkey into a clean plastic bag and put it in the freezer. It will remain fresh and consumable for up to 3 months.

Find out the available nutrition of lunch meat. The links are given below-

  • Meat
  • Turkey
  • Raw Chicken

Here’s How You Can Freeze Cooked Turkey

You can freeze cooked turkey following these steps:

Key actions:

  • Leave it to be Cool
  • Slice
  • Wrap the turkey pieces with foil
  • Bag up
  • Label it
cooked turkey presented in a plate with berries
Image credit: Shutterstock

Step 1: Leave it to be Cool

I warn you, don’t freeze hot turkey immediately after dinner. Instead, you have to wait for some time and leave it to cool down. Otherwise, if you preserve it hot, it will lose its main texture and taste.

Step 2: Slice

It is better to freeze leftover turkey into slices because it will be easy to use them in the future. Also, it will not take longer to defrost them after thawing from freezing.

It will be easier for you to plan how you want to use your leftover turkey in other ways. For example, you can make noodles and salad and eat the turkey pieces. Or else, you can make snack dishes with it.

Step 3: Wrap the turkey pieces with foil

It is a good idea to wrap the turkey pieces with foil paper. Why? Because it will keep them airtight and preserve their moisture and flavor. The turkey will not get dry.

Step 4: Bag up

After wrapping with foil paper, you must transfer the cooked turkey meat into a bag and push its inner stuffed air fully before sealing it.

In this way, your cooked turkey will remain safe to eat.

You may also like: What Do Ice Crystals in Meat Signify?

Step 5: Label it

You can freeze cooked turkey for around 4 months. So, it is better to label the package with the date and time of storage and use it before the date expires.

How to Freeze Packaged Deli Meat?

Packaged deli meat can be frozen with less effort because it remains sealed in unopened condition. But for extra support, you can 

  • keep the package in a freezer bag or 
  • wrap it with a foil. 

This will keep the stored deli meat from freezer burn. Also, it will not dry soon.

You can store packaged deli meat for up to three months in the freeze. Add labels on them as a reminder of the storage date. Suppose you have two types of deli meat. If one is stored first and the other is later, the labeling will contain the information. It will be easier for you to identify which one was stored earlier.

How to Freeze Opened Deli Meat?

Freezing opened deli meat is quite challenging because air enters it and is no longer sealed. You have to put it in a freezer bag but before that, 

  • remove the extra water with a tissue and 
  • then put it in the bag.

Deli meat slices or pieces of an opened package should be wrapped with either a paper towel or wax paper to remove the humidity and make it dry. You can wrap individual pieces or two or three smaller pieces together. Later, put them in an airtight bag and freeze them.

sliced deli meat on a wooden plate
Image credit: Shutterstock

Which Deli Meats Can Be Frozen?

All types of deli meats, pepperoni, salami, and bologna can be frozen because they contain slighter water and are comparatively easy to freeze.

Bonus reading!

How to Defrost Frozen Meat?

The best way to defrost frozen meat is to thaw it from the freezer and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. The frost will be melted, and it will be easy to use in the morning.

It is better to store meat in separate smaller portions. In this way, you can thaw according to your need. You don’t need to bring out all the frozen meat every time.

You can keep the package of meat in a bowl of normal water for quick defrosting. Remember to change the water two or three times. After that, wrap the defrosted meat with a paper towel to remove extra water.

And then you can use as much meat as you need. And if some are left, freeze it again, following the same procedure.

How To Tell If Your Frozen Meat is Bad?

If your frozen meat becomes bad, you will get a weird smell. Another symptom can be extremely wetness or dryness. When your frozen meat becomes bad, it will lose its original, oily, thick moisture.

If you accidentally eat spoiled meat, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, etc. Sometimes, the situation may worsen, and you need to be admitted to the hospital. So, before cooking and eating, please check if your frozen meat has become bad. If it is bad, dispatch it to the right place. 

Let’s explore more about lunchmeat!

Types of Lunch Meat

Many different names are known as lunch meat. 

  • cold guts
  • deli meat
  • cold meat
  • sliced meat etc.

The major types of lunch meats are 

  • beef 
  • poultry 
  • poke or mix

Ham
Cooking style:

  • smoked 
  • baked

You know, one of the common pokemon type lunch meats is ham. There are various ways to cook a ham. It is made from the thigh part of a pig. Ham can be made smoked or baked.

Poultry
Cooking style:

  • roasted
  • baked
  • smoked 

Among poultry-type lunch meats, chicken breast is most familiar to all. It can be roasted, baked, or smoked. Though these meats usually are eaten hot, you can store them in the freezer and later use them as cold meat.

Turkey
Cooking style:

  • just like chicken breast

This meat is another category of lunch meat, and it is kind of similar to breast meat. It is usually treated as chicken breasts.

Beef
Cooking style:

  • seasoned
  • streamed
  • smoked
  • roasted

Corned beef is a type of lunch meat made from salt-cured beef. Pastrami is similar to corned beef, but it goes from different processing like seasoning, streaming, and smoking. We also find roast, a trendy type of lunch meat, and another type of beef lunch meat is bresaola.

Meatloaf
Cooking style:

  • just like beef or lamb

We also find meatloaf made from ground beef or lamb. Jagdwurst is a mixed type of lunch meat like German sausage, made from beef and pork. Salami is another type of lunch meat. Bologna can be made either from chicken or beef, or pork. 

Usage of Lunch Meat

Lunchmeat can be used in different dishes like

  • savory platters
  • meat sandwiches
  • grill sandwiches
  • snacks items
  • pizza topping
  • making pasta
  • chicken or beef grill
  • cutlet
  • soup, and 
  • salad.

How long is lunch meat good for after the sell-by date? It usually remains good for 7-10 days after the sell-by date.

Some Common Leftover Turkey Recipes

You don’t need to worry about the leftover turkey. They are so easy to make and very popular among people. Here is a list of common dishes (with links) made with leftover turkey.

Popular Meat Recipes

Conclusion

Lunch meat is an excellent component of protein, calcium, vitamins, minerals, and others. Are you a non-veg lover? Don’t worry about freezing your favorite lunch meat further. You can freeze meat for up to 6 months by following the above-mentioned steps.

That’s all for today. Happy freezing your lunchmeat!

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