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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Next: How to Store Fresh Sausage
How to Store Fresh Sausage
Fresh sausage must be consumed or frozen within one to two days of purchase. They can be stored in their original packaging, but refrain from opening the package until you’re ready to cook. The easiest way to tell if a sausage has gone bad is its smell. Discard of anything that smells foul.
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Next: How to Freeze Fresh Sausage
How to Freeze Fresh Sausage
Sausage can be kept in its original packaging, but re-wrapped in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. A frozen fresh sausage’s optimal flavor will last one to two months beyond its initial freeze date, though properly packaged sausage can last significantly longer.
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Next: How to Cook Fresh Sausage
How to Cook Fresh Sausage
To cook sausage in its traditional form (whole and with casing), spray a skillet with cooking spray and set the heat to medium-high. Add the sausages and allow their sides to brown. Continuously flip the sausages with tongs until they are browned evenly. Lower heat to medium-low and carefully had half a cup of water to the skillet. Cover the sausages and allow to simmer in the water for 12 minutes or until the they are cooked through.
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We’re always looking for a new fast and flavorful pasta dish for a weeknight meal, and we came across this recipe in Chef Michael Symon’s new book, Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers. The Mexican chorizo adds tons of savory flavor to the Swiss chard and cannellini beans. To finish the dish, toss in some Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon, and butter.
What to buy: Mexican chorizo (not to be confused with its Spanish counterpart) is a fresh pork sausage that must be cooked prior to eating. It can be mild or spicy, and is found at gourmet markets or online. If you can’t find Mexican chorizo, you can sub in any fresh, spicy sausage.
For a lighter side dish, try our Swiss chard recipe with lentils and feta cheese.