Can You Freeze Pancetta?

Pancetta is a popular cured charcuterie meat that originates in Italy. It’s similar to bacon but is salt-cured and dried. But what is the best way to go about storing pancetta for the long term?

Can You Freeze Pancetta? Yes, you can freeze pancetta. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. It’s salt-cured so it keeps well if it’s wrapped up anyway, but It can be frozen once you’ve opened the original sealed packaging. 

Can You Refreeze Pancetta? No

Does Pancetta Freeze Well? Yes

How to Freeze Pancetta

Freezing pancetta is fairly straightforward. You do need to consider what form your pancetta is in. It can be purchased as a block, in thin slices or as cubes. The method for freezing each of these will differ.

We would recommend not freezing an entire block of pancetta as you’ll have to thaw the entire piece and cannot then refreeze it. Instead, opt for freezing slices or cubes:

How to Freeze Pancetta Slices

One of the common forms that pancetta takes is in slices. These look much like bacon or parma ham slices. The major issue is, once you open the packet, these slices will dry out. So here is how to freeze them:

  1. Wrap Slices Individually
    Take a sheet of baking paper and wrap each slice of pancetta in an individual piece of paper. You could opt for 2 or 3 slices per sheet if you know you’ll want to defrost 2 or 3 at a time.
  2. Place Into a Freezer Bag
    Place the wrap slices into a freezer bag and seal the bag up. Try to remove as much air from the bag as possible.
  3. Label and Freeze
    Once you have placed the pancetta slices into a bag, seal the bag up, label it with the contents and then place the bag into the freezer.

Ensure you wrap or seal it well to avoid freezer burn affecting the flavour of the meat. If the meat is exposed to the frozen air, it will further dry out the product and in so doing this will affect the flavour, texture and consistency of the food.

How to Freeze Pancetta Cubes

The other form that pancetta will often take is cubed. If you’ve got cubes of pancetta then here is the best approach to take:

  1. Place Cubes into a Container
    Grab a small airtight container and tip your cubes of pancetta into the container. Place the lid on the container and ensure it is airtight.
  2. Freeze
    Add a label to the container and place the container in the freezer.
  3. Shake After 30 Minutes
    After 30 minutes, remove the container and give it a quick shake. This will prevent all the cubes from clumping together. You’ll still get some sticking together but, by shaking, you can prevent some of this from happening.
  4. Return to the Freezer
    Finally, return the box to the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Pancetta

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing pancetta to have the best results:

Wrap Slices Individually
If you have got sliced pancetta and not cubes then wrap each thin slice individually before freezing them so they separate easily. You can wrap each slice in a sheet of baking paper to prevent them from sticking together.

Freeze Cubes in a Container
If your Pancetta is thick, cut it into cubes and freeze in an airtight container. After 30 minutes in the freezer, give the container a quick shake to prevent the cubes from clumping together.

Keep Raw Meat Apart
Store meats separately from non-meats to avoid cross-contamination between your ingredients while they’re in storage, be it the fridge or freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Pancetta?

Pancetta will freeze for around three months. Remember, it’s a cured meat that is preserved with salt. If it’s wrapped and sealed it’ll last for ages without freezing it, so only put it in the freezer as a last resort. 

You Can Freeze Pancetta for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Pancetta?

Pancetta needs to be completely defrosted before it is used. If it has previously been cooked then you should only eat after it has been appropriately heated through.

To defrost, remove the amount of pancetta you need from the freezer and then place it in a bowl or on a plate in the fridge. You’ll need to leave it overnight to thaw fully.

We would not recommend defrosting at room temperature.

Can You Refreeze Pancetta?

Refreezing any meat or fish is always a big no, the process of defrosting can encourage the growth of bacteria that is harmful to our gut health if consumed.

Does Pancetta Freeze Well?

Go with your own discretion. We’d suggest that unless you have an excessive amount of Pancetta that will go to waste if not frozen, it’d be better to just eat it without freezing.

That said, precooked and cubed Pancetta that is always at hand in your freezer is great to have constant access to as an ingredient in other recipes. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing pancetta or pancetta in general, then these may help:

Why Is Pancetta Not Suitable for Freezing?

Although there is a risk that pancetta will dry out in the freezer, this doesn’t mean it is unsuitable for freezing. It can be frozen providing that it is wrapped tightly.

Can Cooked Pancetta Be Frozen?

Yes, cooked pancetta can be frozen, whether that’s on its own or as part of a cooked dish. The method for freezing cooked pancetta is similar to uncooked pancetta.

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