It is a true American classic — Oscar Mayer is a household name that is famous for its cold cuts, hot dogs and other meat products. Not only are these meats ready for consumption, but Kraft Heinz offers a wide array of products to appeal to every palate. For those who want to have these convenient items on hand, can you freeze Oscar Mayer lunch meat?
We have the cure to your meat storage problems!
Deli meat will last for two weeks in the fridge when the package remains unopened. However, once the seal is broken, these products should be used within three to five days. However, consumers can be safely store them in the freezer is one to two months, no matter if the meat has been opened or not.
When the package remains unopened, you can put it directly in the freezer. Conversely, once the seal is broken you must store the individual slices between wax or parchment paper. Then, place them in a freezer-safe ziplock or vacuum seal bag. Finally, wrap them in aluminum foil.
- Proper Storage Of Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat
- How To Freeze Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat [Three Methods]
- How To Defrost Your Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat And Sandwiches
- Final Thoughts
- Related Guides
Proper Storage Of Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat
Whether you like turkey, bologna, salami, roast beef or ham, Oscar Mayer has got you covered. They even have ham and cheese loaf and ham and olive loaf. With over 125 products to choose from in the deli section, it is not hard to find yourself with more meat than you know what to do with in a timely manner.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these products “can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks before opening. After opening a package of lunch meats or buying sliced lunch meats at a deli, you can refrigerate them for three to five days.” If they cannot be consumed in this time frame, then it is always best to freeze these deli items.
Federal Guidelines For Freezing Various Meat Products
Thankfully, you can safely store packaged lunch meats in the freezer for one to two months. Better yet, the majority of the products made by this company are vacuum sealed, which further elongates the shelf life compared to freshly cut meats.
However, it is important to note that while this general rule will always be safe to follow, some of the meats can actually span for longer time periods. In fact, the USDA notes that ready prepared chicken can be frozen for up to four months and that “frozen hams remain safe indefinitely”. Now that statement is assuming that it is a whole ham and not slices, but it will still likely last longer than two months when stored properly.
How To Freeze Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat [Three Methods]
Freeze Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat In The Original Packaging
The simplest way to store Oscar Mayer lunch meat is to take the unopened package and either wrap it in a tight layer of heavy duty aluminum foil or place it in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Why is this important? Hillphoenix notes that “when exposed to light in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths for prolonged periods, [the fat in meat can] become rancid. […]
Processed or cured meats, such as luncheon and deli items like ham, are affected more rapidly. The nitrites found in these products give them their characteristic pink color, but when exposed to light, they combine with oxygen to produce a brownish-grey color.”
This company specializes in refrigeration so they are familiar with the effects of the regular exposure that our food endures each day. They advise food producers and consumers alike to implement light blocking packaging to prevent the instance of premature spoilage. Aluminum foil is the perfect solution. It will also help to prevent freezer burn.
Freeze Opened Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat
If you have already opened a package of Oscar Mayer lunch meat, this is an ideal way to protect the flavor and texture of your meats while you freeze them. Additionally, their line of ham products that are stored in water should use this same method of storage, whether or not the seal has been broken. Otherwise, large ice crystals will form. This can cause undesirable changes to your meat.
1.Remove Excess Water
First, remove the meat from the packaging and place it on a double layer of paper towels. Next, using a second layer of paper towels, press down on the top of the meat to remove any juice. This is extremely important because you want to avoid the instance of large ice crystals forming on the meat.
2.Layer the Meat
The next step is to take a piece of wax paper and lay down a slice of your lunch meat. Then, lay down another sheet of wax paper. Repeat the process until you have layered all the meat.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All meat products should only be frozen once. Once the meat has had the chance to thaw, it should never be refrozen. Therefore, if you do not intend to consume all of the product in a three to five day span, package individual serving sizes to limit the instance of food waste.
3.Store The Lunch Meat [Two Methods]
The first option is to slide the now layered meat into a freezer safe ziplock bag and remove as much of the air as possible. The alternative method is to take your vacuum sealer machine and vacuum pack the meat.
Next, as mentioned above, it is always best to apply additional protection in the form of heavy duty aluminum foil. Tightly wrap the package and then label it with the date.
4.Freeze Your Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat
Freeze all meat products at a consistent zero degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, place the meat on an open shelf. This will allow the cold air to quickly and effectively freeze the product. This will further help to prevent the instance of freezer burn.
Freeze Sandwiches Using Oscar Mayer Lunch Meats
For those who love meal prep, you can also consider pre-making your sandwiches and freezing them for later consumption. Breads last for up to 3 months in the freezer. In addition, hard cheeses like cheddar, provolone, muenster and Colby Jack can stay frozen for up to 6 months.
Prepare your sandwich with your favorite Oscar Mayer lunch meat, your cheese of choice and the bread. It is important that you leave off the vegetables, spreads, and condiments until you are ready to eat. Moreover, if you choose to grill your sandwich prior to freezing, allow it to cool completely prior to following the next step.
Then, wrap the sandwich in a layer of freezer wrap paper, followed by a tight layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Finally, slide the sandwiches in individual freezer-safe ziplock bags. Again, remove as much air as possible. Seal and label with the date. You should be able to safely freeze these simple meals for one to three months.
How To Defrost Your Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat And Sandwiches
The best way to thaw out your meat and sandwiches is to pull them out the day before intended use and place it in the refrigerator. This will allow them to slowly and safely defrost.
However, if you are in a hurry, take a bowl of cool water and submerge the ziplock or vacuum sealed bag. Replace the water regularly. This method will not work for the sandwiches. Instead, place it between two paper towels and use the defrost function on your microwave.
Moreover, the USDA instructs consumers to never allow meat to thaw on the counter. This can cause your food to become unsafe to eat.
Check For Spoilage
Additionally, always check your meat for spoilage prior to consumption. Changes in appearance, smell and texture are indications that your food has gone bad. Remember that when in doubt, throw it out!
However, it is important to note that products like roast beef and ham can appear to go through detrimental color changes, when in fact, you are just seeing diffraction that occurs when light hits the meat in a specific way. This will give it a green or rainbow sheen.
This is clearly an undesirable color to see on your food. However, it occurs for a simple reason. When you cut meat against the grain, it leaves spaces in between the muscle tissue. Therefore, it won’t necessarily occur every time. “Iridescent beef isn’t spoiled necessarily. Spoiled cooked beef would probably also be slimy or sticky and have an off-odor.”
If your vacation is coming up or your mother-in-law sent you home with leftovers after family dinner, do not let your opened lunch meats go bad. Take your heart-healthy oven-roasted turkey breast and classic bologna deli meat and freeze them for later use!
Additionally, these freezer storage methods also a fantastic choice for Oscar Mayer hot dogs and bacon! The hot dogs will last the same amount of time as the deli meats. Conversely, the bacon will last slightly less time, only spanning one month in cold storage.
Nonetheless, let’s be frank, freezing is a spectacular way to ensure that you always have food on hand for when life gets busy! It also gives you the latitude to buy in bulk without the worry of waste.
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