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How to Preserve Cold Cuts: 4 Methods and Tips to Make them Last Longer

Tricks and tips for perfectly preserving cold cuts and cured meats, cut or whole, best preserving their flavor, texture and oranoleptic properties. Let's discover all the possible ways in which we can simply preserve cold cuts and cured meats of every type and seasoning at home.

By Cookist
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Artisanal or industrially packaged, cold cuts are an integral part of our gastronomic tradition, protagonists of aperitifs, starters or unforgettable homemade snacks. Salami, ham, bologna and soppressata: no, we are not just here to make your mouth water, but also to find out how to store them correctly at home, protecting them from mold and bacteria and preserving their taste and aroma. Correct food storage is a fundamental part of good nutrition, as well as a way to avoid waste and risks of poisoning: in the case of cold cuts, what should you do? What are the rules to follow to preserve them without errors and always have them within reach of a sandwich? Let's see it together.

1. Refrigerator

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The refrigerator is undoubtedly the ideal environment for storing cold cuts, especially if they have already been opened and sliced. Once opened and already sliced, the cold cuts immediately begin an oxidation process, for this reason they should be wrapped and closed in their packaging and placed in the lowest compartment of your refrigerator (or inside of the special drawer found in the latest generation refrigerators): this way, you can keep them for a maximum of 5 days.

2. Vacuum

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The most effective method to preserve sliced or whole cold cuts for a longer period is to vacuum them. The absence of oxygen interrupts the oxidation process and the proliferation of bacteria, so it is a method that allows the cold cuts to be preserved for up to six months: even in this case, however, the vacuum-packed bags must be stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, cold cuts and cured meats should be consumed within 5-6 days.

3. In the Cellar

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The cellar is without a doubt the best place to preserve whole cold cuts perfectly and for a long time. Whole hams and salamis should be hung in a space that is not excessively humid, perhaps at a temperature that fluctuates between 59° and 68°F (15-20°C); be careful to cover any cut parts with a sheet of lightly oiled paper, or with a linen cloth soaked in extra virgin olive oil: this way you'll be able to stop the oxidation process and you will keep the cold cuts whole for two or three months.

4. Can You Freeze Cold Cuts?

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If you have ever wondered whether it is possible to freeze cold cuts, we are here to answer your question. Cold cuts can be frozen but, of all the preservation methods, the freezer is undoubtedly the least suitable because freezing increases the risk of oxidation, particularly if it involves whole cold cuts. Before freezing a cold cut, make sure it is cut and vacuum-packed; eliminate excessively fatty parts and remember to note the freezing date on the package. Last but not least: cold cuts, once defrosted, absolutely cannot be refrozen and must be consumed within 2-3 days.

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