Can You Freeze Pepperoni? 

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Pepperoni, the most-liked pizza topping, is made of various spices and meats. Generally, pepperoni is a mixture of beef and pork, but there are multiple methods and recipes you can refer to on the Internet. Although pepperoni is becoming much more costly nowadays cause of the delay in meat production at butcheries, it is still everyone’s favorite. However, people typically want to keep it stored for a particular dish, but how will it stay fresh? Can you freeze pepperoni? 

You can freeze pepperoni for up to three months, although pepperoni must be appropriately stored. Freezing pepperoni will not change its texture or taste. Freeze pepperoni by slicing the meat, separating the slices into a zip-lock bag, and adding the storing date to avoid the meat from spoiling. 

Freezing and storing pepperoni is a simple process. You do not require any special containers or kitchen tools; however, it is important to know how to freeze the meat, how long it will last frozen, and a proper method to defrost pepperoni. Have a look through the easy guidelines I have outlined in this article. 

Can You Freeze Pepperoni?

The ideal freezing period of pepperoni is approximately three months (opened) or ten months (unopened), but it depends on the meat’s condition and how you store it. Pepperoni is a mixture of pork, beef, and various peppers and spices. It is specifically prepared in a way that will preserve and prolong their shelf-life.  

I recommend glancing at the “use by” date when you purchase pepperoni to have an idea of how long the meat will remain safe for consumption. Ideally, you want to place the pepperoni in the freezer before the “use by” date approaches. 

Sometimes, you will not find a “use by” date label on the packaging of the pepperoni. If this is the case, give the deli a call and ask the butchers for advice. 

Pepperoni has a long shelf life when it is sealed, and it can undoubtedly turn bad; therefore, if you want to reduce the risk of spoilage, freeze it as soon as possible. Butcheries suggest we use it within three days of opening. 

But if you will not be able to use the entire fresh pack of pepperoni, rather freeze it immediately instead of placing it in the refrigerator for a few days. For an estimate of pepperoni’s shelf life, have a look at the table below: 

FoodTypeRefrigerated 
(40°F or below)
Freezer 
(0°F or below)
Sausage(Pepperoni) Fully Cooked Pepperoni1 week 1 to 3 months 
Raw Pepperoni1 to 2 days 1 to 3 months
Frozen Pepperoni (opened)After cooking, 3 to 4 days1 to 3 months
Frozen Pepperoni (unopened)1 to 2 weeks3 to 10 months

Can Pepperoni Go Bad In The Freezer?

If you bought pepperoni in bulk or have leftovers, examine the meat’s texture, taste, and smell before storing it in the freezer, so you will not make the mistake of keeping spoiled pepperoni. Once you are 100% sure the pepperoni is safe and prepped for storing, add a label with the date you stored the meat in the freezer written on it. 

Like other meats, Pepperoni contains salt and preservatives such as nitrites. These compositions make the pepperoni last considerably longer and unsusceptible to bacteria build-up. Nonetheless, it will not last forever and might even go bad in the freezer if you do not check on it from time to time. 

How Will I Know If Pepperoni Has Gone Bad In The Freezer?

It is easy to spot the characteristic of spoilage on pepperoni. Look for the following signs: 

  • Discoloration
  • Slimy or sticky on the surface
  • It smells rancid and unpleasant

If you do not cover the top of the pepperoni properly, it can dry out and change color, but that is not a problem. You can cut off the dried-out part of the pepperoni and use the rest. However, drop the entire pepperoni pack or stick into the dustbin when the pepperoni displays the signs mentioned above of spoilage. 

Consuming rotten pepperoni can cause food poisoning, resulting in fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. The only cure for food poisoning is drinking tons of water and electrolyte drinks. If you are dubious about the pepperoni, avoid it! Prevention is better than cure. 

How To Freeze Pepperoni

Placing the pack of pepperoni or pepperoni sticks into the freezer is easy. But to make it last, you need to store it properly beforehand. Follow these simple steps:

Cut The Pepperoni In Slices 

Slice the pepperoni before freezing it. It will make it easier to grab the necessary portion out of the freezer and defrost and thaw the pepperoni. 

Split The Pepperoni Into Separate Bags Or Containers 

Separate the pepperoni into different zip-lock or any sealable bags or containers. If you slice the pepperoni in various sizes, organize it in the containers accordingly. 

Ensure that the bags or containers are meant to keep meat fresh, and it seals properly. This is possibly the essential part of the freezing guidelines. 

Add Labels On The Bags Or Containers 

Paste a label on the bags or containers stating the “use by” date and the date you stored the pepperoni in the freezer. You can go back and use this as a guideline to avoid keeping and consuming spoiled pepperoni.

Place The Pepperoni Into The Freezer

Finally, pop the packages or containers into the freezer! As you should know by now, the freezer temperature must be set at 0°F to keep the meat and other frozen food safe. 

How To Defrost Pepperoni

Defrosting pepperoni takes a while, well, two days to be exact. Luckily, you do not have to do any time-consuming tasks. Here is how you defrost pepperoni:

Pick The Freezer Bags You Want To Defrost

Choose a freezer bag that is nearing the use-by date, so you will not waste any part of the pepperoni. I suggest slicing the pepperoni and keeping it in different bags and portions for the same reason. 

Move The Freezer Bags From The Freezer To The Refrigerator 

To thoroughly defrost the pepperoni, move the freezer bags from the freezer to the refrigerator at least two nights before cooking it.

Remove The Pepperoni Out Of The Refrigerator

After thawing and defrosting the pepperoni, remove it from the fridge, place the freezer bag containing the meat on a plate, and wait until it is at room temperature. 

Cook The Pepperoni

If you follow these steps and the pepperoni has reached room temperature, you can start cooking it and preparing the pepperoni dish. 

Can You Freeze Pepperoni Rolls?

Like with pepperoni sticks and packaged pepperoni, you can freeze pepperoni rolls too. If you want to freeze the rolls for later use, simply bake it for about 20 minutes, and afterward, let it cool down entirely. Wrap the pepperoni rolls in aluminum foil or place them into freezer bags and put them in the freezer. 

How Long Can You Freeze Pepperoni Rolls?

Pepperoni rolls can be kept in the freezer for up to one month, and you can keep it refrigerated for about five days. When freezing pepperoni rolls, the same guidelines apply, as mentioned before. Add a label and use it to indicate how long the pepperoni rolls will stay fresh and edible. 

Ensure that you check on the rolls after a few weeks for any signs of spoilage. However, if you are 100% confident that you stored the pepperoni properly, it will not be a problem. 

Split the pepperoni rolls into the desired portions to quickly warm them for lunch or dinner. This way, it will not go to waste. 

How To Reheat Frozen Pepperoni Rolls?

Usually, I thaw the pepperoni rolls until it reaches room temperature, so I recommend doing this. If you do not see the need to let the rolls thaw, you can surely warm them directly after removing them from the freezer. 

After I have allowed the pepperoni rolls to thaw, place them in an oven-safe dish at about 350 to 400 degrees. Brush melted butter on top of the pepperoni rolls beforehand for a nice golden-brown roll. Leave it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (or less depending on the oven’s heat). 

You may also reheat it using the microwave; however, never leave the microwave unattended when you are reheating or cooking food in it. 

Place the pepperoni rolls on a microwaveable plate and microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds. The rolls might warm up sooner or later than the estimated time I suggested, but it depends on the serving size and the microwave itself. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pepperoni

If this is your first time purchasing and storing pepperoni, you might have a few questions in mind. I have put together a list of the most asked question about pepperoni. 

How Long Does Pepperoni Need To Be Cooked?

Place baking sheets with foil and put them on cooling racks. Line the pepperoni on the cooling shelves in a single layer and cook the pepperoni until it is crispy. It takes around 6 to 8 minutes to cook pepperoni properly. They burn rather quickly, so do not leave them on for long. 

Can You Eat Uncooked Pepperoni?

Sausage is dry-cured. Sausages contain lactic acid that kills and prevents bacteria growth. The natural fermentation process applies to all dry-cured sausages. 

Pepperoni is cured and fermented, which kills any bacteria. After the process, uncooked pepperoni becomes safe to consume. Therefore, you will not risk food poisoning or illness; in other words, you can munch on a raw pepperoni sandwich without the fear of any mishaps.

Is Grey Pepperoni Bad?

If the frozen pepperoni begins to discolor, darken, or splotches appear, there is a high possibility that the pepperoni has gone bad. I had experienced this before with sliced pepperoni; although I packaged and stored the pepperoni slices properly, it emitted an unpleasant smell and tasted stale. 

Why Is Pepperoni Greasy?

Since pepperoni is made from pork, beef, or a combination of these meats, it can be pretty greasy. Both beef and pork are fattier than other meats. You may not know this, but pepperoni is prepared with the portions of the meat leftover after the prime cuts have been salvaged from the animal. So, it consists of remnants of pork and beef meat. 

Nevertheless, manufacturers add fat to enrich and flavor the pepperoni during the manufacturing procedure. An alternative to greasy pork and beef pepperoni is turkey pepperoni. 

How Do You Make Pepperoni Less Greasy?

To reduce greasiness, lay down the pepperoni slices in a single layer on paper towels. Place the pepperoni for about 30 seconds in the microwave. It will cook the pepperoni, and the additional fat will melt away and absorb in the paper towels. 

Whether you are preparing a pizza, macaroni, or sandwich dish, precooking pepperoni in the microwave is a simple way to make pepperoni less greasy. 

Pepperoni Vs. Salami

Salami Pepperoni

Pepperoni and salami look strikingly similar, but you can still spot a few distinctions between these two related types of meat: taste, contents, appearance, texture, etc.  

PepperoniSalami 
TasteSalty and tangy Sweet and savory 
AppearanceVibrant red and smokyMarbled and bright red 
Texture Soft, fine-grained Firm, dry 
Preparation Curing pork or beef meat, cover pepperoni in an artificial casingMade with poultry, pork, beef, or veal. Fermented and dried, mixed with yeast and bacteria
Price Less expensive than salamiMore expensive than pepperoni 
Shelf life Will last for 1 month at room temperature if unopened Will last for 40 days without refrigerating 
VersatilityPopular as a pizza toppingMore versatile than pepperoni 

Interestingly, pepperoni refers to a particular type of salami, whereas salami is a common name used to describe different kinds of salami. 

So, Can You Freeze Pepperoni?

Pepperoni is, without a doubt, the best meat topping for pizza or a delicious lunch sandwich. Therefore, you need to savor it for as long as possible! Depending on the meat’s condition and how you store it, you can freeze the pepperoni for approximately three months (opened) or ten months (unopened). 

Slice the pepperoni and store it in sealable bags or containers. Ideally, place the pepperoni in the freezer before the “use by” date approaches. If you do not find a “use by” date on the packaging of the pepperoni, give the deli a call and ask them for advice. Check the pepperoni for any signs of spoilage. Defrost and reheat the meat to enjoy a lovely pepperoni-filled evening!


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