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Can You Freeze Braunschweiger? How Long Can You Store It?

Can you freeze Braunschweiger? Yes, it can be frozen to extend its shelf life like any other meat-based food. However, improper freezing can negatively impact its texture and flavor, so you should know the right ways to freeze it to maintain the best possible quality and avoid potential risks.

Can You Freeze Braunschweiger? How Long Can You Store It?
Highlights
  • Braunschweiger is a German sausage made from pork liver and other organ meats with seasonings.
  • Eat Braunschweiger within 2 weeks of taking it out of the refrigerator, but freezing can keep it fresh for a longer time.
  • Braunschweiger stays good for 1-2 months without losing quality if frozen correctly.
  • Freezing Braunschweiger has risks of texture and flavor changes, moisture loss, and potential bacterial growth, if not wrapped correctly.

What Is Braunschweiger?

Braunschweiger is a type of smoked pork liver sausage that originated in Brunswick, Germany. It's primarily made from pork liver, along with pork meat, and various spices, such as ginger, white pepper, and nutmeg.

This sausage has a smooth, spreadable texture when sliced and offers a rich, livery flavor. Commonly, Braunschweiger is eaten sliced on bread or crackers as a sandwich spread or appetizer.

The nutritional values for 100 grams of Braunschweiger sausage are mentioned in the table below [1]:

Calories327 kcal
Protein 14.5 g
Fat 28.5 g
Carbohydrates 3.1 g
Calcium 9 mg
Iron 11.2 mg
Magnesium 11 mg
Sodium 977 mg
Zinc 2.81 mg
Manganese 0.155 mg
Vitamin E 0.35 mg
Vitamin B6 0.33 mg
Vitamin B12 20.3 mcg
Vitamin K 1.6 mcg
Vitamin A 14100 IU
Vitamin D 48 IU

You can buy ready-to-eat and pre-cooked Braunschweiger or easily make it home to have a higher quality sausage without preservatives.

For making Braunschweiger at home, simmer pork livers for 10 minutes, and grind them with all meats. Freeze the mixture for 30 minutes, then stuff it into beef casings.

Then, cook in 165°F water until the internal temperature reaches 152°F, and then chill in cold water. Smoke for 5 hours at 120°F, then refrigerate overnight.

After taking Braunschweiger out of the refrigerator, you should consume it in less than 2 weeks. But what can you do if you want to keep it fresh longer than 2 weeks?

U.S. Liver Sausage Consumption in 2020

According to USDA, U.S. per capita consumption of liver sausage was around 0.24 pounds in 2020.

Learn More: Braunschweiger vs. Liverwurst: Taste, Nutrients and Calories

Can You Freeze Braunschweiger?

Yes, you can freeze Braunschweiger, but you should know how long you can freeze it because it can be preserved for up to 2 months with good quality if only frozen properly.

Since it has a soft texture, handle it carefully during freezing and thawing to prevent it from getting squished.

Please note that Braunschweiger can get damaged in the freezer if not wrapped properly or kept for too long. So, here are the steps to freeze it properly.

Learn More: Can You Refreeze Shrimp? Is It Safe?

How to Freeze Braunschweiger?

Here’s a step-by-step guide for freezing Braunschweiger:

  1. Wrap in Parchment Paper (Optional): If the Braunschweiger lacks casing, you can wrap it in parchment paper to prevent sticking and losing shape. Seal the parchment paper completely.
  2. Cover in Plastic Wrap: Wrap the entire Braunschweiger multiple times in plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss and drying out. Plastic wrap also helps keep the sausage’s shape.
  3. Cover in Aluminum Foil: Wrap the Braunschweiger in aluminum foil and ensure no edges are exposed. It helps prevent freezer burn and keep the taste.
  4. Place in a Plastic Container: Put the wrapped Braunschweiger in a freezer-safe container to protect its shape from distortion.
  5. Label the Container: Braunschweiger can be frozen for up to two months. So it’s better to label the container with the freezing date.

Additionally, improper thawing can cause Braunschweiger to lose its flavor and texture. Here's how to defrost it correctly.

Learn More: Can You Freeze Liverwurst? For How Long?

How to Thaw Braunschweiger?

To defrost Braunschweiger, you should thaw it in the fridge, which takes about a day to thaw completely.

This method preserves its shape, texture, and flavor better than thawing at room temperature or microwave.

Defrosting at higher temperatures can cause the fat to separate, affecting the texture and potentially drying out the Braunschweiger sausage.

Keeping it in the fridge also maintains an optimal temperature for preservation, and you should use it within 2-3 days after thawing.

Please note that freezing and thawing Braunschweiger can affect its taste and texture and it won’t be the same as a fresh Braunschweiger. So, to enjoy it at its best, you’d better store it in the fridge if you plan to consume it soon.

How Long Does Braunschweiger Last in the Fridge?

Braunschweiger can last 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge when stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic.

Once opened, Braunschweiger should be consumed within 3-5 days. During this time, it maintains its freshness and quality. For sausages not vacuum-sealed, using an airtight container is crucial to prevent spoilage.

If you plan to store it for more than 2 weeks, freezing Braunschweiger is necessary and helps keep it fresh, but if not wrapped properly, it can have certain risks.

Germany's Liver Sausage Consumption in 2021

According to the German Butchers' Association, in Germany, the average person consumed around 2 kg of liver sausage/pâté products in 2021.

Learn More: All Meat Diet: Is It Healthy? Benefits and Result [Meal Plan]

Risks of Freezing Braunschweiger

You should consider these risks when freezing Braunschweiger:

  • Texture Changes
  • Flavor Changes
  • Moisture Loss and Freezer Burn
  • Bacterial Risks

These risks only occur if you store Braunschweiger for too long or don't wrap it properly.

Texture Changes

When you freeze Braunschweiger for too long (more than 2 months), the freezing process can change the structure of proteins and fat due to the formation of ice crystals.

These ice crystals can damage the structure of the proteins and destabilize the fat emulsion, resulting in a crumbly and less creamy texture once the sausage is thawed [2].

Flavor Changes

The process of freezing and thawing Braunschweiger can also affect its flavor. Over time, freezing can alter the flavor compounds in the meat.

Additionally, if Braunschweiger is not tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container, it can absorb odors from other foods in the freezer, which can change its taste.

To keep its original flavor, use proper wrapping techniques and consume the Braunschweiger within two months of freezing.

Moisture Loss and Freezer Burn

Improper packaging can cause moisture loss and freezer burn in Braunschweiger during freezing.

When exposed to dry freezer air or not properly sealed, Braunschweiger can become dehydrated, which causes dryness and a less appealing texture when thawed making the Braunschweiger less flavorful and harder to spread or slice.

Bacterial Risks

To prevent harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli from growing, Braunschweiger should be quickly frozen at 0°F (-18°C) or lower [3].

Thawing or storing Braunschweiger at temperatures above 40°F (4°C) allows these bacteria to multiply quickly.

They produce toxins that cause foodborne illnesses, such as mild stomach upset [4]. Proper wrapping and storage are essential to avoid these risks and ensure food safety.

Learn More: Can You Eat Pork Rinds on the Carnivore Diet?

Conclusion

Proper storage of food, particularly meat, is crucial for ensuring its safety and quality. Meat products like Braunschweiger can undergo changes in texture and flavor if stored in the freezer for extended periods, generally more than two months.

To preserve its quality, it is essential to freeze Braunschweiger properly and thaw it correctly when needed.

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