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How to Freeze Lunch Meat

Save money and ALWAYS have the deli slices you need ready to use! These quick instructions for HOW TO FREEZE LUNCH MEAT are the BEST and EASIEST to follow. Learn how!

quart size bag of frozen lunch meat

Why This Recipe Works? 

  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Saves Money!

How It’s Done

STEP 1. Label the freezer bag with today’s date, what is in the bag. You may also want to put a “USE BY” date that is 6 months to 1 year from now. 

hand writing on bag date, item, etc

STEP 2. Place the lunch meat Into the Freezer Bag

hands putting lunch meat into freezer bag

STEP 3. Close the freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can.

finger closing the top on a freezer bag with lunch meat in it

How To Freeze Lunch Meat

To freeze lunch meat, first place the lunch meat into the freezer bag and lay it as flat as possible. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as you can. Label the freezer bag with today’s date, how many and what is in the bag. You may want to put a “USE BY” date for 6 months to 1 year from now. 

How Long Can I Freeze Lunch Meat?

Freeze lunch meat, wrapped well with no air in the package (as described below in the recipe card), kept at zero degrees for up to a year. 

Photo of half of a sandwich from the side

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can You Freeze Lunch Meat After Opening? 

Yes, you can  after opening. Place the unused lunch meat into a sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag. Label the bag with the date, what is in the bag and a “USE BY” date for 6 months from now. Place into the freezer and lay it as flat as possible in the freezer. 

Can You Freeze Cold Cuts Deli Meat? 

Yes, Freeze cold cuts deli meats by following the instructions in the recipe card below. Cold Cuts Deli Meats keep frozen for 6 months.

How Long Can You Keep Lunch Meat in the Freezer? 

Frozen meat is generally good for 4 months – 1 year, however, according to the USDA, meat kept at 0 degrees is good indefinitely. To be safe though, I don’t keep meat for more than a year and I check it for freezer burn before using if I know its been in there for a while! 

Is It Safe To Eat Two Year Old Frozen Lunch Meat?

That really depends on how well the meat has been wrapped, how much air is in the package and how steady the temp has been in the freezer. If the meat has been kept solidly at 0 degrees, then it should be fine. If you notice many ice crystals, it is probably time to throw it out. 

Does Freezing Lunch Meat Change It? 

Freezing Lunch Meat does not change it so long as it does not develop freezer burn. Whatever quality of lunch meat you start with is the quality of lunch meat that you will end up with. 

A view of three slices of ham on a grey plate with a blue napkin

How Long Can You Freeze Lunch Meat

You can freeze lunch meat, if handled properly and kept at the right temperature for a year. 

How To Thaw Lunch Meat

To thaw lunch meat, Fill a large bowl or a clean kitchen sink with tepid (room temperature) water. Place the frozen lunch meat in a sealable plastic bag bag. Place the lunch meat filled bag into the water. Turn the lunch meat over every 10 minutes and replace the water if it becomes cold. The lunch meat will thaw in about 20-40 minutes depending on how thick the package is. 

Does Freezing Lunch Meat Affect the Taste? 

It does not affect its taste as long as it has not been freezer burnt. Freezer burnt meat does not taste good. 

How to Avoid Freezer Burn.

The main point is to avoid freezer burn …

  • Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag. 
  • Make sure there are no holes in your freezer bag.
  • Keep  at a steady temp as close to 0 as possible. 

Is It Safe to Refreeze Thawed lunch meat That Has Already Been Frozen?

According to the USDA, it is safe as long as the meat has been handled properly. That said, my mother always taught me to NEVER do this. I don’t recommend it. 

How To Know If Frozen Meat Is Bad

Look at the meat very well, is it covered with large amounts of ice crystals? Does the meat appear white and dry? How long has it been in the freezer?

If you notice….

The meat appears encased in ice crystals or frost

  • Meat is very light colored and dry
  • The meat has been in the freezer longer than 6 months.
  • There was a lot of air in the package.

Then, the meat might be bad and you should throw it out. 

The edge of three pieces of ham on a gray plate with a napkin and the handle of a fork

If You Enjoyed this lunch meat Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…


If You Want To Know More About Freezing Other Foods, Check Out….

Hey, Ya’ll, Help Me Out, OK? 

Leave me a 5 STAR  comment in the comment section below. This helps other people to find recipes on Loaves and Dishes! 

quart size bag of frozen lunch meat

How to Freeze Lunch Meat

Save money and ALWAYS have what you need ready to use!  These quick instructions for HOW TO FREEZE STEAK are the BEST and EASIEST to follow.  Learn how!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Freeze Lunch Meat, freezing lunch meat
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 238kcal


  • 1 lb lunch meat any variety or size slice


  • Label the freezer bag with a sharpie marker to indicate what will be in the bag and how many. Label with today's date and a "USE BY" date (6 months to 1 year from now).
  • Place the lunch meat into the freezer bag and lay flat
  • Squeeze as much air as possible from the bag.
  • Seal the bag.
  • Place the bag of lunch meat into the freezer and lay flat so that they will freeze flat.


  • Use good quality freezer bags (this doesn't necessarily mean name brand).  Just check to make sure that the bag feels heavy and thick in your hand and that the seal works very well.
  • It's so easy to use the type of bag with the zippers, but I've had more bag failures with the zipper bags than with the press and seal type bags. 
  • Buy yourself a sharpie marker to keep in the kitchen in your "junk" drawer OR tape it to the front of your freezer bag box.  Then you'll always have one. 
  • The flater that you can make the bag, the better for saving space in your freezer. 
  • When putting things in the freezer, put the newer things on the bottom of the stack so that the older things are near the top and you'll use those first. 
  • Squeeze air out of the bag after you put the meat into the bag by rolling it up. Air in the bag will equal freezer burn later. 
PRO TIP:  Label the bag BEFORE you put the food in the bag.  It's so much easier to write on a bag with nothing in it BEFORE it has water or grease on it. 


Nutrition Facts
How to Freeze Lunch Meat
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 54mg18%
Sodium 1067mg44%
Potassium 309mg9%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Protein 10g20%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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I am often consumed with nerves, are you? This helps me. Maybe it will help you. 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Wednesday 6th of March 2024

Thank you 😊 I never knew I could freeze lunch meats! We like turkey and ham best, how do you thaw and prepare the slices to be used in a sandwich after freezing?

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 7th of March 2024

Hi Christina, All you need to do is to move them to the refrigerator. Depending on how cold it is, it might take a couple of days. If you don't have a couple of days, seal them very well in a zip lock style bag and let them float in a bowl of cool water for an hour or so. Hope that helps!


Friday 27th of September 2019

Perfect, I can never eat an entire package myself!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 27th of September 2019

Me either!


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