Black pudding, also known as blood sausage, is a type of sausage made by cooking blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled.
It is a popular food in many parts of Europe as well as in other areas around the world. Many people wonder if you can freeze black pudding to extend its shelf life.
Below, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide some guidance on the proper way to freeze and thaw black pudding.
Understanding Black Pudding
Before getting into the specifics of freezing, it’s helpful to understand what exactly black pudding is and how it is made.
The primary ingredient in black pudding is pork blood. Pig, cow, sheep, duck, and goat blood are all used in various recipes. In addition to blood, black pudding contains some type of fat (usually pork fat) and filler ingredients that add flavor and help thicken the mixture.
Common fillers include grains like barley, oats, or rice, breadcrumbs, meat, and spices. Each culture has its own traditional mix of spices, but some examples are cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, coriander, and mace.
To make black pudding, the blood and fat are mixed together with the dry filler ingredients. This mixture is cooked while being stirred to prevent clumping.
Once it reaches the appropriate thickened consistency, it is cooled and stuffed into casings. The color comes from the blood, and the rich umami flavor develops during the cooking process. It has a soft, crumbly texture when cooked.
There are many regional variations of black pudding around the world. Some differences include:
- Size/shape: Can be small patties, large rounds, or stuffed in sausage casings.
- Type of blood used: Pork, cow, sheep, etc.
- Filler ingredients: Oats, barley, bread, cornmeal, etc.
- Spices and herbs were used to flavor it.
- Serving style: Sliced and fried, served whole, or added to dishes.
No matter the specific recipe, properly frozen and thawed black pudding retains the same general texture and rich flavor.
Is it Safe to Freeze Black Pudding?
Freezing black pudding is completely safe, although the texture may become slightly softer after thawing. The high salt content of most recipes acts as a preservative to protect them from dangerous bacterial growth when frozen.
It’s best to freeze black pudding that is fresh and has been properly refrigerated. Use frozen black pudding within 2–3 months for optimal flavor and texture.
Follow the guidelines below to safely freeze black pudding:
- Make sure black pudding is continuously refrigerated before freezing. Do not freeze if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Double-wrap the pudding in plastic wrap or place it in airtight freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible. This prevents freezer burn.
- Seal the bag or wrap thoroughly to avoid freezer odors seeping in.
- Freeze immediately, and do not allow it to sit longer than 30 minutes at room temperature before freezing.
- Thaw in the refrigerator, not at room temperature or in warm water.
How to Freeze Black Pudding
Freezing black pudding is simple. Here are some tips for the best results:
1. Portion the Black pudding.
- Cut the black pudding into portions based on your intended use. Good sizes are thick slices, patties, or chunks to add to dishes.
- Place each portion on sheets of waxed paper on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer until solid.
- Once frozen solid, remove from waxed paper and pack portions together in freezer bags or airtight containers.
2. Exclude Extra Air
- Squeeze out excess air from bags before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
- If using rigid containers, choose ones that closely fit the amount of black pudding for less air exposure.
3. Label Bags or containers.
- Include the type of pudding and the date frozen on each bag or container.
- This ensures you use the oldest pudding first and lets you know if it’s reached the recommended 3-month freezer limit.
4. Use Freezer Temperatures Below 0°F (-18 °C).
- Set your freezer to -5°F (-20°C) or below for best freezing results.
- Avoid repeated freezing and thawing. Thaw only what you plan to use within 3–4 days.
- When frozen properly at constant temperatures, black pudding lasts 2–3 months before quality declines.
Following these tips will keep your frozen black pudding fresh so it retains its characteristic soft, crumbly texture when cooked.
How to Thaw Frozen Black Pudding
Thawing is an important step to preserve the quality of frozen black pudding.
Here are some guidelines for properly thawing black pudding:
- Thaw in the refrigerator, NOT at room temperature or in warm water. Room-temperature thawing increases the risk of bacterial growth.
- Place frozen black pudding in a bowl or on a plate to catch any drips as it thaws over 24-48 hours.
- For faster thawing, seal frozen portions in a plastic bag and submerge them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. This may take 2–3 hours.
- Cook thawed black pudding within 1-2 days for the best flavor and texture.
- Do not refreeze thawed black pudding. Cook or discard any unused thawed portions.
When thawed slowly and properly, the texture of frozen black pudding returns to a soft, crumbly consistency perfect for cooking.
How to Cook Thawed Black Pudding
Cooking thawed black pudding is easy and restores its signature texture.
Here are some cooking tips:
- Lightly oil a skillet or griddle and heat over medium.
- For patties or slices, place black pudding flat in the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes per side until heated through.
- For whole sausage links, pierce them with a fork several times to allow steam to escape and prevent splitting. Cook on all sides for about 10 minutes total.
- If adding chunks of black pudding to dishes, sauté for 2–3 minutes to heat through before combining.
- Fried black pudding should be hot with a browned, crisp exterior and a lightly crumbled interior.
- Serve fried black pudding with eggs, potatoes, beans, or other traditional British breakfast sides.
The key is to fry thawed black pudding long enough for the exterior to become crisp again while gently heating the interior. Handle carefully when flipping to avoid breaking apart the tender texture.
Storing Cooked Black Pudding
Like raw black pudding, cooked black pudding also has a relatively short fridge life.
Here are some storage guidelines:
- Let cooked black pudding cool slightly before refrigerating in a covered container.
- Use cooked black pudding within 3–4 days for the best quality. The texture deteriorates quickly.
- Do not freeze cooked black pudding. Freeze raw pudding before cooking.
- When reheating, fry or bake until hot throughout. Microwaving makes the texture rubbery.
Storing cooked black pudding properly keeps it from drying out or taking on fridge odors. For best results, cook fresh and use within a few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Freezing black pudding is simple, but there are some common questions that come up.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Does freezing change the taste of black pudding?
Freezing has minimal effect on the rich, earthy flavor of black pudding. However, the texture may become slightly softer after thawing.
What happens if you freeze cooked black pudding?
Cooking black pudding again after freezing results in a much softer, mushier texture. Always freeze uncooked pudding instead.
How long does black pudding last in the freezer?
Properly wrapped black pudding maintains optimal taste and texture for 2-3 months in a constantly cold freezer set below 0°F (-18°C).
Can you refreeze thawed black pudding?
Refreezing thawed black pudding is not recommended as it further deteriorates the quality. Cook the thawed pudding immediately or discard any unused portions.
Is it okay to freeze open packages of black pudding?
Opened black pudding should be tightly wrapped or sealed in bags with all air pressed out before freezing. This prevents freezer burn.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.