Pepperoni quite often goes on sale, and when it does, it is impossible to pass it by. It is just too easy, and too good of a snack. It works in any number of sandwiches and pizza. Surely this means that it will never have time to go off, right? Well, not quite. Don’t worry though, because we’ve made this mistake before too! Because of this, we thought we’d share our tips so that you never have to throw out pepperoni again.
Does Pepperoni Go Bad?
You will notice that there are pretty much an infinite amount of recipes for pepperoni out there. Generally, most of these will be similar to each other – but not always. Some will use different amounts of things that preserve the pepperoni. Others will have very little of this. So, all pepperoni will go off, but some quicker than others. The best we can do is try to store it so it lasts best. Luckily, we’ve found all the best tips to help you do precisely that! If this is the info you are looking for, read on!
How Do I Store Pepperoni?
First up, we’re going to dispel the biggest myth about storing pepperoni. Here goes: you don’t need to store pepperoni in the fridge! You can store it in the fridge, where it will last longer, but you don’t need to do it this way if you are going to eat it pretty quickly. This is because pepperoni normally comes in a protective and natural casing. Pepperoni is a cured meat. This also helps it to last longer. So, if you intend to use the sausage in the next few weeks, simply store it in the pantry. You just need to make sure it is out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat and moisture.
It is sometimes still a good idea to store pepperoni in the fridge. In fact, it may be the best option! For one, some manufacturers will suggest that their product be stored this way. It is also the best option if you have a lot, or you don’t use pepperoni all that often. The most important reason is that opened pepperoni doesn’t keep well at room temperature. So, as soon as the casing of a pepperoni sausage has been breached, it is time to put it in the fridge. To buy extra time, refrigerate your pepperoni in a resealable bag. You will notice that the quality keeps better, even in the short-term. Some of us like to slice up our pepperoni as soon as we get home for convenience. If you are one of these people, make sure to refrigerate your pepperoni at all times.
You will find sliced pepperoni almost exclusively in the fridge, and there is a good reason for this. Exposed surfaces attract moisture and bacteria. It just doesn’t survive at room temperature without the protection of the outer casing. So, a good rule is that if you buy it from the fridge, keep it in the fridge. The key with pre-sliced pepperoni is to minimize its contact with air. So, always reseal the pack in between uses. If you can’t reseal the pack, transfer the contents into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Should You Refrigerate Pepperoni?
You don’t really need to refrigerate whole pepperoni sausages. However, as soon as that casing is breached, it is time to put it in the fridge. For sliced pepperoni, there is no better place to store it than in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Pepperoni?
Pepperoni can last a pretty long time in the fridge. But what if you have bulk bought and want to keep some for months down the line? Well, thankfully freezing pepperoni is totally safe and pretty easy too. In some cases, the quality might decrease a little. But it still can be done. If you are concerned, just have a quick check to see if the manufacturer advises against it. If you wish to continue, here’s how it is done.
It is best to divide up your pepperoni before you freeze it. You don’t have to thaw it all at one time if it is done this way. So, first up, the best thing to do is to slice it up to the size you would normally use. After this, it can be frozen in freezer bags, in wrap, or in an airtight container. Just grab as much as you need any time you want – easy! When it comes time to defrost it, just take out what you need the day before and put it into the fridge.
How Long Does Pepperoni Last?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of different recipes for pepperoni out there. Each one of these will behave differently during long-term storage. It really depends on how many preservatives are present. In general, any pepperoni worth its salt (pun intended) will last a month. However, some can last multiple times as long as this. There really isn’t any sort of consistency here! So, the best advice we can give is to always read the label if you’re not sure. In addition, reading our section below on the signs of spoilage is also a good idea. One tip we can give you… As soon as the sausage has been cut into, try to finish it within a week. It may last longer, but it won’t be as good.
Sliced pepperoni is best thought of as a deli meat that lasts a small bit longer. Before it is opened, the date on the pack will tell you how long it will stay good. But this all changes when it has been opened. Treat it the same as you would the whole sausage. Finish it within a week or freeze it for later use.
Freezing pepperoni is the absolute best way to keep it in the long term. By following our tips above, your pepperoni can last for up to 9 months in the freezer.
How Do I Make Pepperoni Last Longer?
To keep pepperoni for the longest time, the best thing to do is to freeze it. However, if you don’t want to do this, there are ways to make sure it keeps well in the fridge. Always make sure that it is well sealed in between uses. Moisture will age pepperoni rapidly, and there is plenty of it in the fridge.
Signs That Your Pepperoni May Have Gone Off
Pepperoni has a few clear signs that will let you know if it has begun to go off. The smell will be the most noticeable of these. If it smells in any way putrid, you will know it is too late to save it. The same is true when you see signs of mold or discoloration on the surface. Sometimes, the sausage will feel wet when it has gone off. Any sliminess at all means that it is time to throw the whole thing out. One thing to watch for that isn’t a big issue: you may notice that the exposed surface of the cut surface can dry out and darken. If you notice this, slice off the end. If the sausage looks normal inside, it will be safe to use. But, always remember to have a taste before you use it in a recipe.