How Long Does Salt Cured Meat Last? [Storage Tips]

How long does Salt Cured Meat Last

The taste of cured meat is distinguished among the others, and it’s famous among culinary dishes. 

You must have tried making such a dish at home or at some restaurant. 

Salt-cured meat is one of the preservation methods used by us humans for centuries when there was no refrigeration. 

You tried salt-curing meat at home or bought a package from the store, and you are confused about how long the meat will last, how you should store it, and so on. 

Well, you have nothing to worry about. I have grown up watching how to cure meat and have tried to make dishes(curry) out of it too. 

I am here to answer all your queries regarding how long your salt-cured meat is and how you can store it effectively. 

Salt Cured MeatCounterFridge Freezer
Vacuum Sealed 2 weeks 4 to 5 months 1 year or longer 
Cured at Home Freshly7 to 10 days2 to 3 months 1 year or longer 

How long does Salt Cured Meat last in Fridge?

Well, the method of salt curation is meant to preserve meat or fish for a long time without refrigeration. 

But we can use both methods to ensure our favorite meats stay fresh for the longest time possible. 

Both salt curation and refrigeration combined, the shelf-life of meat increases. 

If your general meat lasts around 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge, then the salt-cured meat would last 3 to 4 months. 

If your salt-cured meat is vacuum sealed and bought from a store, it would last for up to 5 months before going bad. This is because vacuum seal packaging prevents oxidation. 

If you have opened your vacuum-sealed package and cut the meat, then storing them properly will last for about 2 to 3 weeks. 

How long does Salt Cured Meat last without Refrigeration?

As said earlier salt-cured meat is for the preservation of meat outside refrigeration. 

The salt-cured meat if made at home then they would last for about a week outside at room temperature. 

How long does Home Salt Cured Meat in Fridge if Stored properly
Freshly Salt Cured Meat

Did you know: That this method was used by sailors widely as some voyages would take longer to complete and they required food

This is a great jump compared to general meat which lasts only 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. 

If your salt-cured meat is vacuum sealed and bought from a store, then it would last a little longer for almost 2 to 3 weeks. 

Some say that vacuum-sealed salt-cured meat can last up to 30 days outside, but some say that it lasts only 14 days.

Well, it’s better to keep them inside the fridge within these 14 days for maximum safety. 

If you have sliced the salt-cured meat, it would hardly last for 2 to 3 days until it starts to spoil. 

How long does Salt Cured Meat last in Freezer? 

Salt-cured meat and freezing are two things that fit like a puzzle making the perfect combination for keeping your meat fresh. 

Whether the meat is cured at home or it’s salt-cured meat for a store they both have similar shelf-life when stored in the fridge. 

If stored in adequate conditions, your salt-cured meat would last up to 1 year and sometimes even longer. 

Some say that vacuum-sealed salt-cured meat will last for almost 2 to 2 and half years. 

But it’s better to use them within 1 year just to be on the safer side and enjoy the delicious salt-cured meat dishes. 

Why so long Shelf Life of Salt Cured Meat? 

The reason that the meat gets spoiled is because of bacteria. The growth of bacteria will result in molds, brown spots, and a foul smell.

But all this can be prevented by using the method of curation. Specifically, we are talking here about salt curation. 

The bacteria growth happens because of the moisture in the meat. Salt removes the water from the cells, including the microbial cells, through osmosis. 

A higher concentration of salt outside draws the low-concentrated water inside the cells. 

This process makes the meat dry and hence prevents microbial growth. 

How long does Stored Bought Salt Cured Meat last
Stored Bought Salt Cured Meat

How to Store Salt Cured Meat? 

Salt-cured meat is one of the most solid ways of keeping your meat fresh and healthy for the longest time. 

To make sure curation works you have to store the curated meat properly in the required way. Only then will it be effective. 

Did you know: In the olden days, the sailors stored salt-cured meats in barrels filled with brine for their long voyages?

If you have bought salt-cured meat from a store in a vacuum-sealed package. Then for a few days, you can keep it out in a cold and dry place at room temperature. 

But, for better preservation, you should store both canned salt-cured meat and vacuum-sealed salt-cured meat in the fridge where they would last good for 4 to 5 months.

If you have cut the meat or the package, you should store the salt-cured meat in a proper air-tight container. You can also store it in a freezer bag or a high-quality zip-lock bag.

If you are planning to store salt-cured meat for a longer time then you should always store your meat in the freezer. 

Keep the salt-cured meat in its original packaging if not yet opened. If opened then, as said before, store salt-cured meat in a freezer bag or an airtight container. 

You can easily thaw the meat by placing it in the fridge for 4 to 5 hours before you make some kind of dish out of the meat. 

How long does it take for Salted Meat to Spoil? 

Salt curation is one of the most interesting methods for preserving meat out there without refrigeration. 

Even if you store your salt-curated meat in the fridge or the freezer it’s eventually gonna go bad or dry. 

Here are some cues to know that your salt-cured meat has gone bad. 

If your salt-cured meat is not used for more than 1 year you should not use it directly before using it for cooking. Your meat may be bad. 

Left out salt-cured meat at room temperature for a longer time without proper storage, will make it bad.

If your salt-cured meat smells bad or off, then it’s a sign that it has gone bad and you should discard it. 

If your salt-cured meat has mold or fungi growing on it then you know it better to throw it out as soon as possible. 


I hope I have answered all your queries regarding how long your salt-cured meat will last and how you can preserve it longer by proper storage. 

Remember Safe eating is Fun eating.

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