Do you have leftover pigs in a blanket after partying or hosting a gathering? Don’t throw them away. Store them instead!
Proper storage is key to having your favourite snack available in its best shape possible for a much later date.
This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to properly store pigs in a blanket so they remain flavorful and safe for an extended duration.
It also provides instructions on how to properly reheat your stored pigs in a blanket when it’s time to consume them.
Here’s How To Store Pigs In A Blanket
Pigs in a blanket can be stored in an airtight packaging in the refrigerator for up to 4 days but are best consumed early. They can also be stored in the freezer indefinitely, but will only keep optimal quality within the first 2 months. Store-bought pigs in a blanket should only be kept under freezing conditions until they are ready to be used.
Can You Store Pigs In A Blanket Outside The Fridge?
When it comes to perishable commodities like pigs in a blanket, you’d be doing yourself a greater favor when you throw them away in the trash than storing them on the counter overnight or even longer!
Pigs in a blanket cannot, and should never be stored on the counter, and this is strongly because the snack is made up of a combination of protein (meat) and carbohydrate (dough) which serve as a great source of nutrients for bacteria. Yes, they eat too!
Pigs in a blanket contain sausage which is a meat based product that is highly perishable.
At certain temperatures, between 140°F to 40°F (and especially at 68°F to 77°F) — which all hot foods would eventually pass through as they begin to cool down, bacteria breed the fastest when they have a medium that can support such breeding: hotter ambient temperature and food source.
Meat and dough, being a perfect source of nutrients for bacteria, serve as a good breeding ground and thus allow for their rapid growth (when the temperature is maintained within that range for more than 2 hours, 1 hour actually if the ambient temperature is high — like in summer).
This results in the growth of harmful bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella which when consumed can pose health threat to whoever is consuming the snack. Depending on the person in question also, the symptoms can range from mild to even life threatening!
To avoid any story that touches the heart, it’s best to store pigs in a blanket in the refrigerator or the freezer, or, instead, if you only need to store them for only a short duration of time, say a couple of hours, then keep them warm using various tested and trusted techniques.
Storage Options For Pigs In A blanket
The refrigerator is a convenient and safe way to extend the shelf life of pigs in a blanket and make them available for snaking up later.
Below are the instructions of how to store pigs in a blanket in both the refrigerator and freezer.
Storing Pigs In A Blanket The Refrigerator
First, ensure the pigs in a blanket are cooled for 30 minutes on a cooling rack. You don’t want to store pigs in a blanket in their hot state as they can release moisture and condensation inside their medium of storage which can cause spoilage as well as affect the texture of the food.
Once cooled, stuff them inside a plastic storage bag or container making sure to avoid packing them tightly which will lead to crushing of individual pieces.
Seal or lid the container properly and put it inside the main compartment of the refrigerator to store for upto 4 days, but consume them early for optimal quality.
Avoid storing them in areas like the door or close to the door which have varying temperature compared to the innermost part of the fridge and can therefore cause quicker spoilage.
Before consuming refrigerated pigs in a blanket, make sure to reheat them (the sausage) to a safe internal temperature of 165°F in order to kill any microorganism that might have survived refrigeration.
Storing Pigs In A Blanket In The Freezer
If you want to further extend the shelf life of your pigs in a blanket, the freezer is your best bet, although it may affect their quality especially when they are stored for long in there.
Pigs in a blanket stored in the freezer would last indefinitely, but are best consumed within the first 2 months for optimal quality.
To store cooked pigs in a blanket in the freezer, first make sure they’re cooled down (to prevent release of moisture that can cause freezer burn during freezing), then arrange them, seperated, in one layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer to flash freeze (it should take around 1 to 3 hours depending on your fridge).
This would prevent them from freezing into clumps which can be difficult to separate when it’s time to reheat.
Next, take the cookie sheet out of the freezer and stuff the frozen pigs in a blanket loosely inside a freezer safe bag like Ziploc or a freezer safe storage container.
Make sure the container is large enough to accomodate the pigs in a blanket, and that you leave enough room for expansion of the pigs in a blanket during freezing.
Label the container with the name of the item and the date of freezing just so you keep track of how long the pigs in a blanket have been in the freezer.
When it’s time to reheat, remove as many pigs in a blanket as you need from the storage bag and transfer them into a covered container and put them inside the refrigerator.
Allow them to thaw overnight then proceed to reheat them in the oven until the sausage inside registers 165°F using a food thermometer.
Alternatively, and what most chefs would recommend is to ditch the thawing process and reheat the pigs in a blanket directly from frozen, in the oven or microwave.
Note, however, that the reheating time would increase in order to cater for the time spent in melting the ice crystals that form inside the food.
Best Container For Storing Pigs In A Blanket
Containers that provide an airtight and moisture-resistant sealing are the best for storing pigs in a blanket because they help to prevent spoilage due to oxidation, sogginess due to prevention of moisture from getting through the medium, as well as contamination that can happen to the snacks from other foods as they store in the refrigerator.
With this in mind, the perfect containers for the storage job include plastic and glass containers that have tight fitting lids, vacuum sealed bags or plastic storage bags.
Aluminium foil would also work great, especially when freezing as it can help to prevent freezer burn.
How Do You Preserve Store Bought Pigs or (Franks) In A Blanket?
Store-bought pigs in a blanket are almost always sold frozen in their packaging, and you’re required to maintain them in this state unless you’re cooking them instantly and they’re not past their expiry date!
For storage, keep them in their original packaging untouched and store indefinitely, but use them early to prevent them from losing quality.
You can take as much as you need from the packaging and continue to store the rest in the freezer.
When it’s time to cook them, make sure to follow the instructions printed at the back of the labelling. Depending on the brand, the method of reheating them can vary greatly and the medium of usage too can vary from oven, microwave to even the air fryer!