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 Freeze Pork Chops
How to Freeze Pork Chops
Pork chops can stay in their original packaging, but must be overwrapped with air-tight plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper. Place the wrapped the chops in a freezer bag for another layer of protection against freezer burn. They will generally be safe to cook within four to six months.
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Next: How to Store Pork Chops
How to Store Pork Chops
Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for up to three days. Like loins and other cuts of meat, ensure that the pork is wrapped tightly in its original packaging and either freeze or cook immediately upon opening.
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In this quick recipe for breaded boneless pork chops adapted from Cooking Light, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs add crunch, while chopped fresh sage and black pepper provide plenty of flavor. Serve with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears or Mashed Red Potatoes and Sautéed Broccoli Rabe.
What to buy: Be sure to use real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, imported from Italy.