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Can You Freeze Deli Meat? [Tested & Detailed Guide]

Deli meat is a handy food item to have around when you’re short on time and need something quick for lunch or dinner.

You can find them in your local grocery store – but the worst part of deli meats? They expire quickly after being opened.

Do you have the ability to freeze your deli meat to get the most out of it and to enjoy it before it spoils?

You can freeze all kinds of deli meats and lunch foods as long as they are in airtight containers.

The shelf life of deli meat can be extended up to 8 months by freezing it, depending on what type of meal you have.

In this article, we will detail to you the process of how to freeze deli meat and lunch foods.

Types of Deli Meat to Freeze

types of deli meat to freeze

Certain types of deli meat freeze better than others, which can be attributed to the lack of water in them (thanks to being cured or dry).

Bologna, sausage–these are great examples.

Their thick textures make it possible for these meats not to lose as much moisture when they’ve been frozen, which is one reason they hold up so well after getting cold again.

There’s also chicken, ham, and roasted turkey- all delicious, but those will likely have a wet surface once you take them out if you had first put them into your freezer while still fresh/uncooked.

You can store Deli meat in huge portions or slices, based on how you intend to use it later on and also how much you wish to eat at a time.

How To Freeze Deli Meat and Lunch Meat?

how to freeze deli meat and lunch meat

Deli meat or lunch meat is a great food to have on hand in your freezer, especially if you’re always on the go.

It requires no preparation and can be eaten cold or heated up.

But since most deli meats are filled with water many times when they thaw out, they end up getting soggy and taste funny.

To avoid this, you can freeze your deli meat and still get the most out of it.

There are several ways on how to freeze deli meat.

You just have to make sure that you’ll be able to take them out easily later on when needed.

Let’s first talk about the three common methods that many people use to freeze deli meat.

  • Wrap it in a freezer bag.

Placing the packaged deli meat in a zip lock freezer bag makes it easy to place back into the freezer if you’re not sealing them up individually.

You’ll just need to ensure that the seal is closed tightly before returning it to the freezer.

This method also works best if you’re freezing just a few slices of meat.

  • Wrap individual packages.

The other method is to wrap your deli meat individually before putting them into the freezer bags.

This is great when you have big portions of meats and don’t want to divide them again as it can be quite a task.

Just make sure that each meat item is wrapped separately with their seal tightly shut.

They should not stick to each other as it can cause freezer burn.

  • Use an Airtight Container.

This is a great way to store your deli meat.

It doesn’t matter if you’re freezing them individually or all together in one container–just make sure that they are tightly sealed so that the air won’t be able to get inside.

This will help prevent the food from getting freezer burn and keep it fresh for longer periods.

Make sure to store your deli meat in the freezer.

You can keep it there for quite some time since they are preserved well, approximately for up to 6 months.

How to Defrost Deli Meat & Lunch Meat?

how to defrost deli meat lunch meat

You can thaw deli meat by putting it in the fridge overnight or for a few hours. Never allow deli meat to cool at room temperature.

This can encourage bacteria to thrive, which could result in foodborne illness.

After being thawed, the lunch meat can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. But it is best to use it within three working days.

If time is a problem, defrost the deli beef in the microwave with the defrost function.

But this meat should be consumed immediately and not stored in the fridge. It is best to chill the deli meat overnight in the refrigerator.

This will preserve its texture and taste. Defrosting the microwave will cause the deli meat to become slightly warm.

It should be eaten right away and not kept in the fridge for extended storage.

Your deli meat can be safely frozen in the refrigerator and kept in the fridge for several days with a little planning.

How to Use Defrosted Deli Meat?

how to use defrosted deli meat

Now that you know how to freeze and defrost deli meat or lunch meat, it’s time to learn what you need to do with it once thawed.

The use of your defrosted deli beef depends on the type of beef product that you’ll be using from now on.

You can put them into a microwave for heating, or you can reheat them in the oven.

If it’s a sandwich, then you can place your defrosted deli beef inside shakers with a slice of bread to make your sandwiches filled with deliciously flavored meat.

For hot dogs, just heat the desired amount and serve while still warm.

It is best to serve it with a side of condiments so that the taste will complement each other.

You may also use your defrosted deli meat in broths or stews, casseroles, and much more ways – Enjoy them.

Can You Refreeze It?

can you refreeze it

According to “”, you should not refreeze meat that has been thawed even if it has only been partially defrosted.

Freezing your deli beef for long periods will cause them to become worse in quality and taste.

This is true even if you put them back in the freezer right after they have been thawed.

It will certainly spoil faster than fresh meat stored in the same manner.

So you should avoid storing them for more than a day after they have been defrosted or refrozen.

How to Tell if Deli Meat & Lunch Meat is Bad?

how to tell if deli meat lunch meat is bad

Visible signs of spoilage include changes in color, odor, and texture.

If you notice any discoloration, such as white or yellowish patches on its surface, it usually indicates that your meat is bad.

If it has dried out or has a slimy appearance to it, then your deli beef is certainly spoiled.

The same thing applies to if it has turned pinkish, gray, or green. This is a clear sign of the meat being bad.

The smell of spoiled deli meat is also an indication that it should be thrown away immediately.

It should have a rancid odor that smells sour or foul. If the odor becomes stronger, then you know your meat is bad.

If the texture of your deli beef has changed, then it’s time to throw it away.

This can be a sign that it is spoiled. It usually becomes slimy and mushy when it turns bad.

The meat also tends to change color as well if the food product has gone bad.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is best to throw away your deli meat or lunch meat right away.

can you freeze deli meat

Can You Freeze Deli Meat? Easy Guide to Freeze Deli Meat & Lunch Meat

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Storage u0026amp; Organization


  • Deli meat
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Prepare all the mentioned equipment and ingredients in the article.
  • Follow the steps for proper freezing.
  • Label the container with the date and contents.
  • Depending on the recipe, thawing time may vary.
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