In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you freeze Italian sausage?”, and how to freeze, defrost and reheat Italian sausage?
This article also includes a recipe card for making sausage and pepper freezer meal.
How long can you freeze Italian sausage?
Raw Italian sausages will last indefinitely If stored at a steady temperature of 0°F. However, they are best consumed within 1-2 months of storage. Raw Italian sausages will only keep for 1-2 days in the fridge.
When to discard frozen Italian sausage?
Frozen Italian sausage that has been sitting at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F for more than 2hours should be discarded. If the sausage feels slimy upon touching or develops grey patches or spots, it is done for.
How to freeze Italian sausage?
Follow the steps below to successfully freeze Italian sausage.
Cook: Cooking will prolong the shelf-life of Italian sausage. Cut the sausage into slices or shape it into meatballs.
Cook the meat over medium heat on a greased skillet until brown from all sides. Transfer the cooked Italian sausage onto a paper towel to get rid of the excess fat.
Let it cool: Let the steam escape. If you store the sausage while it is hot, the steam will get trapped inside the storage container.
This moisture is enough to trigger bacterial growth. The bacteria will grow to dangerous levels and spoil the meat.
Moreover, the moisture collected on the surface of the meat will freeze and deteriorate the quality of the meat upon thawing. Therefore, let the cooked sausage thoroughly cool before freezing.
Seal tightly: Make sure the lid of the container has a tight seal. If using a freezer bag, make sure the seal is sound.
By minimizing air contact, you prolong the shelf-life of the Italian sausage. Do not forget to squeeze the bag to remove as much air from the bag as possible.
Don’t forget to label: Putting a clear label will help you identify which product is which. Believe me, it gets pretty messed up to differentiate meat products once frozen.
This way you don’t have to keep mental notes on how long this particular product has been frozen. This also helps you practice stock rotation so that the first-in product is always first-out.
How to defrost Italian sausage?
Italian sausage or Italian sausage meal should always be defrosted in the fridge. It takes several hours to thaw completely. Your best bet is to pop it in the fridge and let it defrost overnight.
Defrosting any meat or meat-related product on the counter or a room temperature is strictly prohibited due to safety reasons and rightfully so.
The sudden temperature drop results in a frozen core and thawed edges. This puts the outer layer of meat at risk of spoilage. This is where food safety also comes into play because bacteria can grow exponentially if the meat is sitting on the counter for too long.
Similarly, defrosting Italian sausage in the microwave is a big no. microwave is notorious for heating food unevenly creating hot spots. This not only destroys the meat’s texture and quality but is also a threat to its safety.
How to reheat Italian sausage?
After thawing the Italian sausage, it can be safely reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Place the thawed Italian sausage or meal in a microwave-safe dish/plate. Put it in the microwave and heat for 3-4 minutes.
Check after every 30 seconds to ensure the sausage is heated evenly. Flip the pieces so that the sausage is browned uniformly from all sides.
Heat the Italian sausage or meal in a greased skillet over medium heat.
Sausage and peppers freezer meal recipe
- 1 lb. of Italian sausage
- 1/2 a yellow pepper sliced
- 1/2 a red pepper sliced
- 1 onion chopped or sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 tsp. cajun seasoning
- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- Squeeze the sausage to remove the casing. Cut the sausage into slices and cook the slices on medium heat in a greased pan.
- When the sausage slices are nice and brown from both sides, toss them into the freezer bag along with sliced peppers, onion, minced garlic, cajun seasoning, and the can of diced tomatoes.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag. Label and pop it into the freezer.
- Before consuming, thaw the frozen sausage and pepper meal and reheat in a skillet over medium heat.
- Serve with rice or stuff in a wrap. Enjoy!
In this article, we answered the question “How long can you freeze Italian sausage?”, and how to freeze, defrost and reheat Italian sausage?
If you’ve enjoyed ”How long can you freeze Italian sausage?”, take a look at ”What can I substitute for Italian seasoning?” too.