The exciting part about entering a deli shop is that you get to have many choices of meats that are attractively placed on display! You would definitely purchase some pre-sliced or whole lunch meat as they are convenient to use considering all those delicious sandwich recipes and other tasty dishes you can make with it. Particularly, bologna is not one to miss, right?
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where you have had some leftover bologna from your family potluck. Or, you have decided to purchase bologna in bulk as this is a more cost-effective shopping option for you. As the label says to keep it refrigerated, you may wonder if you can freeze it for longer storage.
So the answer is… Yes, freezing bologna is completely fine. Although bologna can last in the refrigerator for more than a week, freezing it will extend its shelf life further as long as you remove all the air out of the package.
Thus, that will save you from the “pressure” of consuming all the bologna the soonest. Instead, you get to save it for the next occasion.
Call it baloney, parizer, polony, devon, or fritz. That is how other countries from different parts of the world refer to this popular smoked sausage. Bologna sausage started in the Italian city of Bologna. This sausage is a large smooth-textured smoked sausage made of beef, veal, or pork. The original recipe is derived from the fancy Italian mortadella, made from finely ground pork meat cured and cooked at a low oven temperature.
How long can Bologna last in the Freezer?
The answer lies largely in the extent of its storage conditions. According to food safety standards, you can keep cured cooked meats like bologna in the freezer for 1 to 2 months. Ensure that you store your frozen foods continuously at 0 °F or below.
Basically, all kinds of deli meats like bologna can be frozen. Since bologna has a low water content with a dense and hearty texture, it can withstand freezing conditions. Whatever works for you, feel free to freeze your bologna as a whole or in slices.
How to Freeze Bologna?
Follow these proper storage steps to maximize the quality of your bologna:
Step 1: Wrap it in a plastic bag
Whether you have purchased a whole or sliced bologna, you need to wrap the sausage in a re-sealable freezer bag before you store it in the freezer. Wrapping your deli meat will help reduce freezer burn.
For sliced bologna, divide the meat slices into portions either by individual servings or in large quantities. Then, insert a wax paper between each slice before transferring the whole stack in a plastic bag. So, whenever you have the appetite to eat bologna, you can get as many or a few servings as needed.
If you have bought pre-packed bologna from the deli store, you can immediately toss it in the freezer. And once you have already opened it, make sure to have it wrapped in a plastic bag. But if you want to maximize the shelf-life of your sausage, overwrap the original packaging with heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or plastic wrap.
Step 2: Remove the air out
To help preserve the flavor and texture of your bologna, press the air out of the bag. Doing this step is a must to ensure that your bologna holds its prime for an extended period. Using a vacuum sealer does a better job on this.
Step 3: Add a label
Label the wrapper with the contents and its freezer storage date. This way, it will remind you when you purchased this item, and you’ll know how much time left that you can still keep your bologna in the freezer.
Step 4: Freeze it
Put on the side where your frozen cooked items are found. Make sure to keep it away from raw meats to avoid cross-contamination.
How to Defrost Bologna?
The refrigeration method is the best way to store your bologna. Just take out the entire package or the portion you only need to eat into the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight.
After defrosting your bologna, you can keep it in the fridge for another 3 to 4 days before using it.
2. Coldwater bath
If you lack time to thaw it in the refrigerator, the cold water bath will do. Prepare a basin of cold water. Take the frozen bologna out of the freezer and submerge it in the water. Do not forget to change the water in the basin every 30 minutes until your bologna is ready for cooking.
Place your frozen bologna in a microwavable container and set it to defrost mode.
After defrosting, remember these tips:
- Pat your bologna using a paper towel to remove some excess water before using it.
- Note that after thawing your sliced bologna in the microwave or in cold water, you should use it immediately and never put it back in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Avoid leaving your sausage under room temperature after thawing, as this is the ideal environmental condition for bacteria to exponentially grow rapidly.
Does Freezing Bologna Affect the Taste?
Cured cooked meats like Bologna can last in the freezer for 1 – 2 months. But beyond that, its texture and flavor start to deteriorate. That’s why before you toss it in the freezer, it is better to vacuum-seal the package to preserve its quality.
What to do with Bologna that Lacks Taste after Freezing?
It is a fact that proper storage and defrosting protect the taste and texture of your bologna sausage. But just in case your bologna lacks in taste, you can use it in other recipes like casseroles, quiches, quesadillas, gratins, or pizza. Cooking with a touch of seasoning and flavor of other ingredients will bring your bologna slices back to life.
How to tell if Bologna is Already Bad or Spoiled?
For your safety, discard the bologna deli meat that has been left under room temperature for two hours.
Inspect the appearance and smell of your bologna. If the surface is already slimy with an off smell or appearance, better be safe and toss it in the bin.