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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The centerpiece of a luau is the painstakingly slow-cooked pig. If you can’t go to Hawaii or don’t have an imu (underground oven) at your disposal, fake it with slow-braised pork shoulder. The combination here of salty soy and sweet pineapple juice balances the richness of the pork. Topped with spicy, crunchy jicama and pineapple slices and served on a sweet, toasty roll, it’s the perfect tiki party snack. Try pairing it with a tiki cocktail, such as the classic Mai Tai.
What to buy: Hawaiian sweet rolls are soft, yeasty rolls about the size of slider buns. Their slightly sweet flavor complements the rich braised pork, but you can substitute a larger bun of your choice for a more substantial sandwich.