Can you freeze deli meats/cold cuts?
Here is the deal:
My son likes to bring his lunch to school, which is good because his friends all eat the school lunch and it's pretty crappy -- greasy and unhealthy.
However, he's tired of the salami and other lunch meats I get at the local Italian deli. (I live in Culver City California, so if anyone from L.A. is reading this, I go to Sorrento's.) There is nothing wrong with the cold cuts I've been buying him, he's just tired of them.
So, he sent me to the local "Jewish" deli (Roll and Rye, if you're playing at home) for cold cuts. Which, by the way, is way more expensive, but not as expensive as giving him money for lunch every day.
But, wait for it, my mom lives out in "the Valley" and can get him deli meats there (from Brent's -- arguably the best deli around town, YMMV). This would be great for two reasons, one is that their corned beef and tongue and turkey are better, the other is that if Grandma springs for the lunch meats it's even cheaper than the Italian deli -- at least for me. The added bonus is that my mom loves to buy things for my kids and nothing would make her happier than to spring for the cold cuts. Plus, she'll figure out a way to get me to visit more often if she does. (Oy vey.)
So, how much corned beef, tongue and turkey can she buy me? It doesn't last forever in the fridge. Will it freeze well? If so, is there a best practice on wrapping it up so that it freezes better?
Mmmm... I know all of those places well even though I'm no longer in the area. God, I wish I could get decent Jewish deli where I live now.
Your deli will freeze fine. I'd re-wrap everything in smaller portions in foil and freezer paper first, and if you have a chest freezer rather than a regular freezer that goes through the daily defrost cycle, that will be better.
If you have one of those Foodsaver vacuum-packer devices, that would be better still.
So depending upon how cold you keep your fridge, you can get a good two to three weeks of freshness from cured meats, a little less from simply roasted stuff like turkey. So it depends upon how fast you go through it to determine how much you keep in the fridge vs. freezing.
We just have a regular freezer on top of our Sears refrigerator.
Two to three weeks would be more than enough time. No food has ever lasted that long in my fridge (I have a son in college and the other at Venice High -- both living at home.)
Thanks for the tips. The corned beef will last and the turkey we'll just have to eat fast -- but we can freeze it if she buys a lot.
I know all the places you referred to, you are doing great by your son!
I have had no trouble freezing cold cuts; but I learned the hard way to not pre-prepare proscuitto-wrapped melon. oooooh. slimy.