Pork fares best in the freezer if packaged with freezer-friendly materials like waxed paper, aluminum foil, or heavy-duty plastic bags.
Wrap any meat tightly so that air does not escape and freeze at 0°F. Generally, fresh cuts of pork can last up to six months, while ground pork can last up to three.
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Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.
It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.
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Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for two to four days, with ground pork having a slightly shorter shelf life at one to three. Ham or other smoked pork products like bacon can be stored for up to a week, though this only applies to products that aren’t vacuum sealed or prepared with preservatives. The latter can obviously last a lot longer.
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Here’s an almost effortless recipe that yields luscious, melting slices of long-simmer pork with a lovely dark, rich-tasting sauce or—if you have time to reduce it—glaze. All you do is make a quick brown sugar rub for your pieces of pork loin, then add them to the slow cooker along with chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of soy sauce. After 8 hours on low, you’re ready to eat. Be sure to select roasts with as much fat as possible, both on the exterior, as a healthy fat cap, and good internal marbling, so it doesn’t dry out from 8 hours of slow cooking.
For more, check out our Slow Cooker Pork Ramen, Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, and Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut.