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Old 08-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Freezing homemade deli meats; thoughts?

Hello,

I usually make lunch meat out of leftovers but have decided to buy roasts and cook up, slice, and freeze so that we can have sandwich meat readily available. I'm going to start with a eye round roast and a turkey breast.

What is the best way to freeze the meat? I'd like to slice it and then freeze in small portions. I've looked online and there doesn't seem to be a consensus. Some say turkey comes out too dry while other meat comes out kinda slick after thawing. Others seem to just wrap it up and freeze and don't report any difference. Is freezer wrap and a freezer bag not enough?

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:55 PM   #2
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All I ever use is zip baggies, not even the freezer kind. Works fine for me.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:55 AM   #3
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Before I retired I would buy lunchmeat at my local deli for the week. I would eep some out and freeze some for later in the week. I mainly bought different varieties of ham for this.

I have since bought a Chef's Choice meat slicer and now buy small whole hams and use roast beef, chicken, and turkey for lunch meat. The one thing I have learned is not to slice before freezing. If I have a large roast beef I will cook it and then cut it in half, thirds, or quarters depending on it's size. If I plan to use it within a two weeks I plastic wrap it and freeze. Any longer and I vacuum seal it before freezing. Slicing and then freezing for a few days is fine but for anything longer freeze it in manageable sizes for your use and slice after it has thawed.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #4
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Thanks! Donsabi why do you say don't slice before freezing? Zhizara is this what you do? I'd like to avoid having to make lunch meat weekly but also don't want to waste the meat.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love2cook11 View Post
Thanks! Donsabi why do you say don't slice before freezing? Zhizara is this what you do? I'd like to avoid having to make lunch meat weekly but also don't want to waste the meat.
When I freeze meat from a pork roast, I leave it in chunks, bagged separately, and slice after I thaw it out. It just seems easier that way.

Small turkey hams, I usually slice some for sandwiches, and some I cut into 1/2" slabs that can be used as is, or chopped later into chunks for casseroles. It's more convenient to process the whole 2-3# ham at the same time.

Excess lunch meat is already sliced. I just can't keep a whole pound in the fridge and expect it to last. I'll go ahead and buy the pound, but put half in a baggie and freeze for later. Besides, I usually get tired of the taste long before I can use up a whole pound.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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Leaving an item whole reduces the area exposed. I believe the flavor is best preserved this way. However, before I had a slicer I would buy sliced lunchmeat and freeze a portion of it. I almost used it up within the first week. Once in a while I would forget and allow the lunchmeat to remain in the freezer for more than a week or two. The flavor was degraded the longer it remained frozen. Keep in mind I only plastic wrapped this item because I had no intention of long term storage. If vacuum sealed instead I think it would keep much longer without losing much flavor.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:05 AM   #7
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I have found frozen, sliced, lunch meat loses juices. I find the juice in the plastic bag when I thaw it. I don't do that anymore.
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