Does Pepperoni Go Bad?

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Pepperoni, a culinary cornerstone from Italy, is a type of meat topping for pizza. It’s created from a blend of ground beef and pork combined with dried peppers and various spices.

It’s been around since the 1800s and is commonly used on pizzas in Italy.

But how long does pepperoni last?

And what happens when it starts to rot?


Does pepperoni go bad?

The short answer is yes, pepperoni does eventually go bad.

However, there are several factors that determine when this occurs.

The main culprits are heat and moisture.

When fresh, pepperoni is an appetizing item.

But as time passes, the fat dries up and the meat begins to dry out.

This causes the flavor of the meat to deteriorate and the smell to become pungent.

As the pepperoni continues to age, it becomes more prone to spoilage.

This is because the bacteria present in the air begin to grow and multiply inside the pepperoni.

The result is a rotten odor and taste.

However, pepperoni is not the only product that can start to rot.

There are other foods that have similar characteristics, including bacon, ham, sausage, and salami.

These items also contain nitrates which help preserve them.

When these nitrates are exposed to oxygen, they break down into nitrites which are toxic to humans.

Nitrites cause cancerous tumors and blood clots in the body.

In order to avoid rotting, pepperoni must be stored properly.

One way to ensure that your pepperoni remains fresh is by freezing it.

By using a cold storage method, the meat will remain at a low temperature so that the bacteria cannot survive.

If you choose not to freeze your pepperoni, then you should keep it in the refrigerator or another cool place.

If pepperoni has already started to rot, you may notice a foul odor.

To remove this odor, cut open the package and remove all of the pieces.

Then put the slices in the trash.

Do not eat any of the pepperoni until you are sure that it is safe to consume.

Since pepperoni contains high levels of salt, it often needs to be soaked in water before eating.

This helps to draw out some of the excess salt and make it easier to digest.

Another way you can prevent pepperoni from going bad is by purchasing it in bulk.

You can store it in the freezer and use it throughout the year.

Just take care to wrap it well so that no one else accidentally eats it.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your food fresh, check out our list of top tips for keeping your food fresh.

Does Pepperoni Go Bad? 1

How long does pepperoni last?

It’s a common question.

Does pepperoni go bad? You might be surprised to learn that there are two different schools of thought here.

One says that it doesn’t go bad, while the other argues that it does after a certain period of time.

You may have heard of “expiration dates” on food products.

These are set by manufacturers so you know when they should be used up (or at least close to being used up).

But does this apply to pepperoni as well?

The short answer is no.

There are no expiration dates for pepperoni, nor any sort of recommended use-by date.

In fact, the only thing that could possibly happen if you don’t eat your pepperoni within a few days is that it would start to smell.

But that’s not necessarily a sign that it has gone bad.

So then why do some people say that pepperoni does go bad? Well, it turns out that there are two different ways that you can look at this issue.

One way is to consider it from an ecological standpoint, while the other looks at it from a scientific perspective.

Can you freeze pepperoni?

You can definitely freeze pepperoni but there are some things you need to keep in mind.

First of all, frozen pepperoni isn’t as good as fresh because it has less flavor.

But it’s still better than no pepperoni at all.

The other thing to consider is that freezing will cause the fat inside the pepperoni to harden.

When you defrost your pepperoni, you’ll have to defat it first before eating.

If you don’t, you run the risk of having grease spill onto your pizza, or worse, falling into your mouth.

So, yes, you can freeze pepperoni but you should only do so if you’re going to eat it within six months, and even then, make sure to defat it before you freeze it.

What is the best way to store pepperoni?

The short answer is that pepperoni doesn’t go bad, but there are ways to prolong its shelf life so it lasts longer.

These include storing it properly at home or buying fresh pepperoni instead of pre-packaged slices.

To find out if pepperoni really does go bad, we’re holding a competition to see which person has the most convincing arguments for each side.

So let’s get started!

How can you tell if pepperoni has gone bad?

It’s a question that many people are asking themselves.

Does pepperoni go bad?

Or do some of these toppings just have an expiration date?

If you’ve ever had a slice of pizza with pepperoni, you may already know the answer.

But if you haven’t, we’re here to help!

What do you do with pepperoni that has gone bad?

Pepperoni can go bad for different reasons.

It depends on the type of pepperoni, how old it was stored, and even the way it was packaged.

If you have leftover pepperoni, there are many ways to make it edible again.

However, if you’re looking at the pepperoni in your fridge right now, it’s probably not going to be good enough to eat.

It could be spoiled by the time you get home or by the time you open it up.

So, let’s find out exactly what you should do with pepperoni that has gone bad.

Is it safe to eat pepperoni that has gone bad?

Pepperoni is one of those foods that we expect to last forever.

It’s not just a matter of taste, but also a matter of safety.

But if you buy it at the store or make it yourself, there are some things you should know before eating it.

Pepperoni doesn’t have a long shelf life.

It won’t keep much longer than three months after being opened, so once it starts to degrade, it becomes unsafe to consume.

The problem is that it’s hard to tell when it’s no longer safe to eat.

The best way to avoid this issue is to purchase your pepperoni fresh from the store.

If you do decide to make your own pepperoni, you need to cook it quickly and thoroughly so that all bacteria is killed off.

However, even if you follow these tips, you may still run into problems.

As we mentioned earlier, pepperoni doesn’t last as long as other meats.

So if you buy it already prepared, you may find that it’s gone bad before you get the chance to use it up.

This contest asks the question: Is it safe to eat pepperoni that has gone bad? We want to hear from you, so join us below to discuss the ins and outs of this topic!

​What does spoiled pepperoni smell like?

The first thing you’ll notice when you open your fridge is that there’s no smell coming from it.

If you take a sniff of the pepperoni, however, you’ll get an entirely different experience.

Pepperoni has a distinctive odor that makes it easy to identify as soon as you walk into your kitchen.

But if you leave it too long in your fridge, it will start to smell…not good.

Let’s find out what that smell is!

To begin our investigation, we need to know what pepperoni smells like when it’s fresh.

As it turns out, pepperoni doesn’t have much of a smell at all.

When you buy it, it’s wrapped in plastic and packed in a cardboard box.

Once you unwrap it, you’re left with a thin layer of fat and some salt on top of the meat.

That’s not exactly a fragrant combination.

When you cook pepperoni, you’ll see even less of its natural scent.

After cooking, the meat takes on a darker color and loses some moisture.

The fat melts away, leaving behind just the muscle fibers, which are then cooked through.

The result is a very bland-looking piece of meat.

If you’ve ever had pepperoni, you probably didn’t notice any flavor at all until you took a bite.

So, what does spoiled pepperoni smell like?

Let’s start by looking at the two sides of this debate.

On one hand, you have people who believe that pepperoni never goes bad.

They say that pepperoni is always safe to eat – even after months or years in your refrigerator.

These folks claim that pepperoni is so delicious that it would be impossible to spoil it.

On the other hand, you have those who think that pepperoni is full of bacteria and should be thrown out immediately.

They argue that pepperoni is prone to spoiling because it’s not good enough to be eaten fresh, and it shouldn’t be kept in the fridge for more than a few days.

In order to determine which side is right, we need to examine both points of view.

First up, let’s look at the pepperoni never goes bad camp.

Why is my pepperoni GREY?

Pepperoni is sold in vacuum-sealed packages that are designed to keep freshness and extend shelf life.

These packages contain an inert gas (nitrogen) to prevent oxidation and air exposure.

When opened, the package is punctured and the contents released into a tray filled with water.

The water prevents oxygen from reaching the product, which helps to preserve its quality.

However, this method of preservation doesn’t work as well with pepperoni because there isn’t enough space between the pieces to allow the water to fully penetrate the meat.

The result is that the meat quickly turns grey.

In addition, the outer layer of the pepperoni becomes dry and brittle.
This is why some people call it “grey powder.”

If you don’t consume your pepperoni within two weeks, you should throw it away.

But if you do eat it, it could still be good!

Does Pepperoni Go Bad? 2

Homemade Pepperoni

Pepperoni, the Italian food staple, is a meat-based pizza topping made from ground pork and beef mixed with dried pepper and spices.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 2096 kcal


  • 1 Pan
  • 1 bowl


  • 7 pounds pork butt fat included, cubed
  • 3 pounds beef round or shank, cubed
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed crushed
  • 1 teaspoon very finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 feet sausage casing
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar more or less


For the Sausage Mix

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Separately grind pork and beef through the coarse disk.
  • Mix meats together with salt, sugar, cayenne, paprika, anise seed, garlic, red wine, ascorbic acid, and saltpeter in a large bowl.
  • Spread mixture out on a large pan, cover loosely with waxed paper, and cure in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Prepare the Casing

  • Start with about 4 feet of casing. It’s better to begin with too much than too little because any extra can be repacked in salt and used later.
  • Rinse casing under cool running water to remove any salt stuck to it.
  • Place casing in a bowl of cool water and let soak for about 30 minutes.
  • After soaking, rinse casing under cool running water. Slip 1 end of the casing over faucet nozzle. Hold casing firmly on nozzle, and turn on cold water, gently at first, and then more forcefully. This will flush out any salt in the casing and pinpoint any breaks. Should you find a break, simply snip out a small section of casing.
  • Place casing in a bowl of water and add white vinegar; a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water is sufficient. The vinegar softens casing and makes it more transparent, which makes pepperoni look better. Leave casing in water-vinegar solution until ready to use. Rinse well and drain before stuffing.

Make the Pepperoni

  • Stuff sausage into casings and twist off into 10-inch links.
  • Using cotton twine, tie 2 separate knots between every other link, creating pairs of links. Cut between the double knots.
  • Tie a string to the center of each pair to hang sausages. Hang pepperoni to dry in a space that is 50 F to 55 F with 75 to 80 percent humidity for six to eight weeks. Once dried, the pepperoni will keep, wrapped, in the refrigerator for several months.



If you find the pepperoni is solid on the outside but mushy on the inside, it means it has cased and needs to be tossed out. This can be due to low levels of humidity during the drying process.
It is normal for cured sausage to develop a coating of mold on the outside. It is usually a dusty white, and is beneficial as it wards off the bad bacteria. It should be removed before eating.
If you want to calculate the dry time by weight, you will need to weigh the pepperoni before it is dried and then multiply that number by 0.65 to determine what the finished weight should be, which is 35 to 40 percent less than starting weight.
Pepperoni comes in different sizes, the most common being about an inch in diameter. Some commercial packers offer “pizza pepperoni,” which is roughly twice the diameter of regular pepperoni and isn’t as dry. This variety can better withstand the high temperature of a baking pizza. If you plan to use your pepperoni primarily as a pizza topping, you might want to experiment with the drying time for the best results.


Calories: 2096kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 213gFat: 123gSaturated Fat: 45gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 53gTrans Fat: 5gCholesterol: 740mgSodium: 10245mgPotassium: 3884mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3654IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 209mgIron: 18mg
Keyword Homemade Pepperoni
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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