Homemade pizza frequently incorporates pepperoni, but plenty of other recipes do as well. Even though most recipes call for only a few slices, purchasing the entire stick will result in leftovers.
If you’ve never purchased pepperoni before, you’re probably curious about the sausage’s shelf life once it’s been opened.
Perhaps you’re shopping for ingredients for your homemade pizza and discovered that some pepperoni sticks are offered refrigerated while others aren’t. And you’re not sure if one is superior to the other or if the unrefrigerated pepperoni was just mismanaged. Is unopened pepperoni need to be refrigerated?
These are all fair concerns, given that pepperoni is not as simple as one would want in terms of storage, decomposition, and shelf life. If you’re wondering why some pepperoni must be refrigerated while others do not, or how to manage pepperoni sticks vs pepperoni slices, you’ve come to the right place.
This post is for you if any of these sound familiar. We talk through storage, shelf life, and going package of pepperoni in there. We also discuss sliced pepperoni, so if you like that, we’ve got you covered.
Can Pepperoni Spoil? How Can You Tell If Your Pepperoni Is Bad?
Pepperoni, like all meat, may spoil. However, because pepperoni is made from pork and beef that has been cured, the sicks live somewhat longer than ordinary sausage, and sliced pepperoni lasts longer than other deli meats. Nonetheless, it will spoil sooner or later.
When it comes to sticks, the first clue that something is amiss with the sausage is generally the fragrance. If the scent has become rotten or otherwise off, throw away the stick. Take note of whether the flesh feels sticky or if there is any other visible alteration, and if so, discard it.
The only exception is if the sausage has dried out, indicating that you may have stored it more effectively. However, dried sausage is not an issue; simply remove the dry portion and use the remainder.
Keep an eye out for any symptoms of deli meat spoilage when buying sliced pepperoni. The most prevalent are slices turning slimy and acquiring an odor. Typically, bad or altered taste, as well as other bodily changes, emerge later on.
Aside from the mentioned signs of spoiling, ensure that you do not store the sausage for longer than recommended. Let’s speak about the shelf life of pepperoni while we’re at it.
How To Keep Pepperoni
To begin, take a look at the full pepperoni sausage, commonly known as the pepperoni stick.
Typically, the sticks are wrapped or encased in a natural covering. The meat does not need to be refrigerated because it is cured and includes preservatives such as salt and nitrates.
Unless the label states differently, the unopened product does not require refrigeration. A cold and dry location, such as the pantry, will suffice.
Although technically, pepperoni does not need to be refrigerated, it stays fresher when stored in the refrigerator. So, if you don’t intend to start the sausage within 2 to 3 weeks, you better store it in the fridge.
After opening the packaging, keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. Also, make sure the sausage does not dry out.
If the sausage is not very huge, place it in a freezer bag, remove as much air as you can, and seal it. In the event that this is not feasible, cover the aperture with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Alternatively, you may slice the leftovers into pieces that will fit inside your resealable bags.
Typically, sliced pepperoni is sold cold, so you should store it in the refrigerator.
As with pepperoni sticks, you must prevent the leftovers from drying out once the package has been opened. If you can reseal the original container with the slices still inside, you should do so. Otherwise, you must wrap the slices in a resealable plastic bag. As is normal, remember to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
If you’re making pepperoni sandwiches for work the night before, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and chill overnight.
Is It Possible to Freeze Pepperoni?
You can freeze pepperoni if you have more than you can use.
Remember that many pepperoni companies advise against freezing their product. This is because they cannot guarantee the quality of the sausage after thawing. Your pepperoni should freeze without issue if you adhere to proper freezing protocols.
Let’s start with some preparation before freezing this dry sausage.
Unless you want to thaw and utilize the entire stick at once, it’s best to chop it into smaller pieces. This allows you to effortlessly defrost as much as you require.
You may also slice the pepperoni and freeze it pre-sliced if you like. That’s especially useful if you’re in a rush in the morning, cooking breakfast and getting ready for work.
You may wrap the sausage in freezer wrap, aluminum foil, or resealable plastic bags to store it in the freezer. In most cases, I’ll recommend the third option because it’s more sustainable and extends the life of a single bag.
The best method for defrosting food is to place it in the refrigerator the night before.
How To Defrost Pepperoni
When the time comes to utilize the pepperoni you’ve stored in the freezer, you’ll want to take special care to defrost it properly.
You may refrigerate it overnight. Defrosting frozen pepperoni is best done in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go bad. Consume it or throw it out no later than 24 hours after defrosting in this manner.
Pepperoni should be brought to room temperature no more than an hour before it is to be used in a recipe.
Exactly how Long Does Pepperoni Stay Good For
There isn’t a single tried-and-true method for producing pepperoni. Preservatives can vary in type and concentration depending on the brand.
Consequently, there is no reliable method for determining how long pepperoni will keep in the pantry. The only absolute is that it’s more than a month.
That’s why paying attention to the label’s expiration date is important. The producer’s estimate of the length of time their product will remain fresh; sometimes written as a best-by or best-before date.
The sausage is good for another day or two beyond that date, so you have some leeway. The sausage’s shelf life can be prolonged by refrigeration, even if it’s sold at room temperature.
Check the label to see how long the pepperoni stick may sit out after being cut. In most cases, that time frame ranges from one to three weeks. Again, a lot rides on what goes into it and how it’s made. If you can’t complete the stick within a week, it’s best just to freeze the remainder.
For the most part, we all slice pepperoni in the same way. Check the label for the sell-by or use-by date before consuming anything from an unopened box. To be completed within a week after opening the box.
Pepperoni slices tend to be more perishable than other deli meats.
Pepperoni’s Shelf Life: Frequently Asked Questions
Is it true that stale pepperoni may make you sick?
To be sure, rotten pepperoni isn’t good for you to eat. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even fever and muscle discomfort might be signs of food poisoning. You shouldn’t consume any pepperoni that looks weird. Stay hydrated and consider seeing a doctor if you eat any rotten sausage by mistake and get stomach pain.
How does pepperoni mold look like?
Unwrapping a pepperoni stick may reveal some white spots that appear suspicious at first glance but are actually simply hardened salt/fats and can be wiped away with a finger like a crumb. Fuzzy, greenish-blue and white or black mold will develop on pepperoni.
To Sum Up
While pepperoni lasts longer than other deli meats, it will still go bad eventually. You can keep it fresh in the fridge for months. Always keep an eye out for rotting and be sure to use food before its expiration date.