One of the most used ingredients for making pizza is pepperoni. In fact, pepperoni pizzas are one of the go-to options for most Americans. The recipe is pretty simple, yet it is capable of offering you a finger-licking experience, which is why it has so much popularity in restaurants.
That being said, if you make it in your home instead of opting for the restaurants, there is a high chance that you have a good amount of pepperoni in your fridge. And you might be wondering, “does pepperoni go bad?”.
Well, we are here to answer you exactly that. Alongside that, we will fill you in on the other aspects that are related to the food item. That being said, let us get right into it.
Can Pepperoni Go Bad?
Without getting into the other topics, let us first talk about the thing that you are primary here for, which is to know whether these do go bad or not. Well, in a nutshell, they can go bad. Just like the other meat products that are out there, these also have a shelf life, in which they will taste the best.
Aside from just tasting their absolute best, they can become inedible after that period of time is over. So if you are shopping for these in bulk, you need to consider the expiration date beforehand.
Is There Any Difference in Shelf Life When It Comes to Sliced and Stick Pepperoni?
Usually, the sticks are sold in both unrefrigerated and refrigerated. And as you have probably guessed, the unrefrigerated ones will last longer than the refrigerated ones because they are well preserved and have a proper amount of preservatives in them.
Talking of which, the unrefrigerated ones also have a best-by date. That means that you might have the luck to get the full flavor and get the full taste of it even after that date if you have left the package unopened. And if you want to elongate the shelf life a bit further, there is always an option to put them inside the fridge.
On the other hand, the refrigerated ones will have a sell-by or a use-by date. And just like the unrefrigerated ones, if you store these properly, you should be able to eat them without any issues past that note.
Aside from that, you might have the idea to slice them up and keep them in a keeper. That will not be that much of a great idea if you want to elongate the food’s shelf life. Instead of doing that, we would recommend you store the stick itself inside the fridge if you plan to use it by keeping it for a long time.
How to Tell If Pepperoni Goes Bad?
For the sticks, the first obvious giveaway is going to be the smell. The smell of those will be a bit off. And as these are mainly of beef and pork, the scent you will get when these turn bad would be similar to bad beef or pork. It will smell a bit putrid.
Other than the smell, the outlook can indicate whether it has gone bad or not. It will have a sticky property, which is not that usual for processed meats. Also, some of the sticks might even have an off texture on the surface, which indicates that it has gone bad. You should discard those.
The smell factor goes for the slices as well. These will have a putrid smell if they go bad. Alongside that, the texture will be a bit slimy, which is, again, not usual for the processed meats. So, if you notice any of these for the slices, you must not use them to prepare any meals.
Does Dryness Indicate That the Pepperoni Has Gone Bad?
Not really, the dryness is the only exception that you have to consider when you think about whether the pepperoni has gone bad or not. If you have not stored the stick in an ideal environment, there is a high chance that the meat’s moisture has dried out.
However, this is not an indication that your pepperoni has gone bad. For that reason, instead of throwing the whole thing away, you should just cut away the dried part and use the rest for making different types of dishes. Make sure that you do store the rest properly to avoid it from getting dried again.
How Long Does an Opened Stick of Pepperoni Last?
Considering the fact that there is a good amount of time prior to the best-by or sell-by date, you can expect the opened sticks to last for up to three weeks. However, most of the manufacturers are going to recommend you to finish the leftover within a week.
So if you have one of them, you would not want to keep them around for up to three weeks. The most you should store them for is a bit past the one-week mark. That being said, if you want can store them in a proper storing solution, you can make them stay good for up to four weeks.
How to Store Pepperoni Properly?
As you know by now, you will have the option to purchase these sticks in both the refrigerated and unrefrigerated versions. And if you want them to be good food for a good amount of time, you should opt for the unrefrigerated version.
Nevertheless, no matter which one you pick, you can expect it to stay good for a good amount of time if you manage to store it properly. And they are as stated:
- For the Unopened Sticks
When it comes to the unopened sticks, the best way would be to store the package at the same temperature that it was on the shelf. That is going to make it stand by the best-by or eat-by date. However, for the refrigerated version, you need to keep it in the fridge as soon as you reach home.
By keeping them lying around for a while can ruin the shelf life of them. That is why you need to store them as soon as you reach home.
- For the Opened Sticks
The case is a little different for the opened sticks. For these, you must opt for freeze bags. Keep the leftover stick in the inside and squeeze all of the air out of it. Also, you can opt for aluminum wraps. Plastic wraps will work great as well.
However, we would recommend getting the freezer bags because those will work the best to elongate the opened sticks’ shelf life.
Are Pepperoni and Salami the same thing?
In short, pepperoni is basically a variety of salami. While pepperoni will have different spices in them, the salami will mostly be a bit bland. That is why they are mostly referred to as a spicy version of salami. So if you do not like spices, the salami is the one that you will want to opt for.
On the other hand, if you want a bit of spice kick, pepperoni should be your go-to option. Nevertheless, considering that one is the variety of the other, it can be said that pepperoni and salami are mostly the same things.
To recapitulate, if you are still wondering does pepperoni go bad or not, it does. But you can slow down the process by storing it properly. And there are ways to tell if the pepperoni has gone bad or not. You should keep them in your mind.