Does Pepperoni Need to Be Refrigerated? – Things You Need to Know

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Pepperonis are spellbinding – the taste, flavor, and aroma are like a magnetic pull drawing you nearer every time. However, don’t you think storing pepperoni is a bit challenging? Why do they spoil so fast outside?

Does pepperoni need to be refrigerated? Why do pepperonis have to be kept in the fridge?

It’s wise to store pepperoni in the fridge for safety and longer shelf life. If the package is still intact, it lasts for 6 to 10 months in the fridge. However, if you open the packet, keeping them in the fridge is a must to avoid spoilage. Open pepperoni can stay in the fridge for around 3 weeks.

In short, keeping them in the fridge is recommended. Unless you have a fresh batch of pepperoni brought to you every day, you will need refrigeration.

Without any further ado, let’s find out how to deal with this Italian delicacy in a way that gives it justice.

Does Pepperoni Need To Be Refrigerated?

Does Pepperoni Need To Be Refrigerated

As meat, pepperoni contains high sodium levels, sugar, and preservatives. It also undergoes a fermentation process inside the casing. This process gives it a chewy texture and tangy flavor.

Due to these additives, pepperoni can be dangerous if you eat it too soon. Moreover, pepperoni stays fresh at room temperature for only 2 to 4 hours. After that, it no longer remains healthy to eat, and it’s best to discard it.

For this, many recommend pepperoni to keep in the fridge. You may ask, what about the unopened pepperoni?

Well, when Pepperoni is still in its package, you usually don’t need to refrigerate it. But refrigerating it will keep them safe. Although it doesn’t affect its quality, refrigerated pepperoni will extend its shelf life and taste.

However, once it’s opened, it needs refrigeration. It’s a must.

You should also avoid storing them outside their package because air is their worst enemy. Ensure you keep them in airtight containers. If you are confused about the container, you can try Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers to keep food fresh and secure.

Now, you can eat your pepperoni without worrying about bacteria by keeping them correctly away from air.

Can Pepperoni Be Left Unrefrigerated?

Can Pepperoni Be Left Unrefrigerated

Hard, dry sausages can last up to six months at room temperature. They can also be stored for several months in the freezer. However, when you cut a pepperoni, the bacteria on the surface can begin to grow. 

Hence, pepperoni can be frozen for three weeks or two months to prevent bacteria from growing. To avoid bacteria from growing, always check the “use by” date on the package.

Pepperoni doesn’t have a long shelf life with the growing temperature, especially during summer. Depending on the ingredient and manufacturing process, you should eat a pepperoni stick within a week after purchasing it.

If you’re planning on freezing pepperoni slices, you can place them in a freezer bag to prevent any odor or dryness. But if you’re using them fresh, you can store them as you would any other deli meat.

Pepperoni comes in several varieties and can be frozen for later use. Its casing is made of cellulose, which is similar to the cell walls of plants. While it’s not edible, the casing does provide a natural barrier that protects the sausage from bacterial and mold growth. 

How to Store Pepperoni Properly?

How to Store Pepperoni Properly

Pepperoni is an excellent food to store and enjoy year-round. The packaging should be sealed well so that the pepperoni does not dry out or absorb a smell.

To keep pepperoni fresh, store it in a cool, dark place. Airtight bags and containers are a great option. You can also refrigerate or freeze it for later use. Here are some helpful tips for storing pepperoni.

When storing pepperoni in the freezer, choose pieces that will last several months. You can also wrap the slices in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It will increase the longevity of the pepperoni.

 Remember that pepperoni should not be refrozen if it has been opened or exposed to oxygen or bacteria. You can also wrap the slices in plastic wrap or use plastic bags. Make sure that you label the bags and pepperoni with the original sell-by date.

If you have pepperoni in the freezer, check it regularly for signs of decomposition. If it is slimy or has a foul smell, it is definitely time to throw it out. You should also keep it in the dark, cool pantry.

A fresh pepperoni can last up to two months. You just need to monitor it carefully for any signs of mold or other spoilage.

How to Store Pepperoni Properly?

How to Store Pepperoni Properly

Pepperoni is slightly different from other types of salami. It’s made by grinding the meat very finely before adding the other ingredients. It results in a softer texture.

The best meat for making pepperoni is meat from the back, shoulder, and belly of pigs. Other cuts include pork butt and belly. You can choose a cut depending on your tastes.

If you are curious about how to make pepperoni at home, you have come to the right place. Here, you’ll discover how to make pepperoni with a few simple steps. 

Step 1: Score a pH meter

Before you start making pepperoni, you need to purchase a pH tester. It is essential because pepperoni’s distinctive sour note can be achieved by fermentation. Fermentation produces an inhospitable environment for harmful bacteria. 

Good bacteria present in meat release lactic acid, and the pH of the meat drops to a “safe zone.” The lower the pH level, the tangier the pepperoni.

Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients

To make pepperoni sausage at home, all you need to do is find the proper ingredients first. Let’s see what ingredients you need to combine together which will make the best pepperoni:

Step 3: Mix Everything Up

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients mix all the spices and your ground meat together. After your mixture is done, stuff your stuffing into a fibrous casing of 50-60mm diameter. 

Now, you can ferment the sausage at 30 degrees Celsius for a whole day. If you want to store your sausage, the ideal temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Slice Up The Pepperoni 

Next, you need to choose the thickness of the pepperoni. A thin slice will be stuck to the cheese, while a thick one will be too heavy and will curl. It is best to choose a medium thickness, which J. Kenji Lopez-Alt suggests for this dish.

Nonetheless, perfecting the consistency of the sausage will require a bit of practice. It is worth the time to perfect the recipe, as you will have a perfect sausage taste in every bite.

Step 5: Time To Dry

Once you have selected the right temperature, the next step is to dry the pepperoni. You should hang pepperoni at a 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 75-80% humidity level. 

Once dry, pepperoni can be stored in the refrigerator for several months. When drying, it’s essential to maintain high humidity levels, as low humidity causes the pepperoni to the casing. Cased pepperoni is too hard, so you have to add more moisture.

Step 5: Smoke Your Pepperoni (Optional)

Smoking meat is a great hobby. Smoking meat will help you save money at the butcher’s, and you can smoke it as much as you want to satisfy your heart. You can also use pepperoni seasoning, which will make your palette overflow with flavors.

Best Pepperoni To Try

Best Pepperoni To Try

Pepperoni is one of the most popular types of pizza around and for a good reason. However, making pepperoni is a bit different than other sausage making. But, if you’re one like me who loves pepperoni, however, making them seem back-breaking, several options are available at the market.

Special flavor, texture, sweet, spicy, or tangy – the shop-bought pepperoni can fulfill all your desire.

Check out some here with why to try and why not to.




Tillamook Country Smoker Real Hardwood Smoked Sausages 

  • Perfect for any barbecue or cookout, and make a great appetizer or main course.
  • Made from the finest ingredients .
  • Flimsy packaging.

Old Wisconsin Snack Sticks 

  • Made with 100% pepperoni and are gluten-free.
  • Low in calories and fat, so they are a healthy snack option.
  • Available in three flavors: original, BBQ, and hot buffalo.
  • Grows mold if not refrigerated in a few hours.

Hormel Original Pepperoni 

  • Great for pizza, pasta, and more
  • Extra-lean cuts for low-fat diets
  • Classic seasoning with no artificial flavors or colors.
  • A bit bland.

Old Wisconsin Premium Summer Sausage 

  • Award-winning sausage made with 100% pork
  • Low glycemic index for a crispy and flavorful sausage
  • All natural, nitrate free, gluten-free.
  • Softer than usual texture.

Applegate Farms Uncured Pepperoni 

  • Packed with flavor, the pepperoni is perfect for any pizza or antipasto dish
  • Certified organic and gluten-free
  • A healthy and tasty alternative to processed meats.

Take Away

Does pepperoni need to be refrigerated? – are you still pondering over the puzzle?

Pepperonis have to be kept in the fridge because they are a type of meat that require refrigeration to maintain their freshness. It is especially important for those looking to enjoy them at their most flavorful and juicy. 

So, if you’re looking for a satisfying snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied, reach for a pack of pepperonis now! Till the next time, happy dining!

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