One of those things that are simple to fall in love with is bacon. It goes well with breakfast, but it also tastes great sliced up over a salad, draped over grilled chicken on a sandwich, or mixed with veggies as a side dish. This taste, which is simultaneously sweet, salty, and smokey, has the power to bring a meal to life, and the aroma of bacon cooking in the oven is enough to make anybody hungry.
In spite of the widespread adoration for bacon, it is difficult for the majority of people to consume a whole package in a single sitting. Because of this, some kinds of bacon even come in packets that can be sealed again after being opened.
This gives rise to a wide variety of questions, including the following: How long can bacon be stored in the refrigerator before it goes bad? Is it possible to store bacon that has been cooked for later use? How does one go about freezing bacon? Continue reading to get the answers!
How Long Does Bacon Last?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed recommendations to assist customers in understanding how long food may be stored in the refrigerator. When it comes to bacon, it makes a difference whether the bacon is cooked or uncooked, as well as whether it is frozen or stored in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Bacon Last?
How Long Can Bacon That Hasn’t Been Cooked Stay in the Refrigerator? How Long Does Bacon Last?
Although the USDA does not mandate that manufacturers put a sell-by or use-by date on their product’s packaging, you may discover that some manufacturers do so nevertheless. You are allowed to retain the unopened bacon until the expiration date. In the event that it does not carry a date, you can often bank on it being good for around two weeks after you leave the grocery shop. Bacon that has been cured without the use of nitrates, which is a typical variety of bacon, may be stored for up to three weeks.
Use all varieties of bacon within a week of the package being opened, regardless of the variety (or less, if the printed date is sooner).
How Long Does Cooked Bacon Last in the Fridge?
The shelf life of cooked bacon leftovers in the refrigerator is between four and five days. The easiest way to keep it is in a container that doesn’t let air in (we recommend using glass containers since they don’t soak up smells).
If you bought shelf-stable cooked bacon from the store, you may keep it unopened in the pantry until the use-by date as long as it doesn’t go beyond the date printed on the package. Depending on the instructions included with the product, it should be used anywhere from 5 to 14 days after it has been opened.
How Long Does Bacon Last in the Freezer?
Put your bacon in the freezer if you won’t be able to use it before it goes bad. You can freeze bacon in either its raw or cooked state, but for the greatest flavor, consume either version within four months after freezing it. You may immediately place bacon packets that have not been opened in the freezer; however, you should bear in mind that you will need to defrost the complete package at the same time.
If you wish to freeze individual strips of bacon, you should spread them out on a baking sheet that has been coated with waxed paper, making sure that the strips do not overlap, and then put the baking sheet in the freezer. After the bacon has been frozen through in its entirety, place the pieces in a bag that is suitable for the freezer. When you want to freeze cooked bacon, you may do it using the same sheet pan approach.
How to Prepare Bacon from a Frozen State
Because bacon can be cooked frozen, there is no need to defrost it before cooking. However, the cooking time will be longer than with bacon that has been thawed.
If you have some spare time, you should defrost the bacon in the refrigerator. The majority of frozen bacon packets may be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator; but, once defrosted, they should be used within seven days. If necessary, bacon that has been defrosted in the refrigerator may be frozen again. Both thawing bacon in cold water and thawing it in the microwave take less time (approximately 30 minutes in cold water and as little as 5 minutes in the microwave, respectively), but the bacon must be cooked as soon as it is defrosted. Bacteria have the potential to multiply more quickly during these thawing processes; hence, this bacon cannot be refrozen without first being cooked.
How long is the shelf life of bacon grease?
One of the most typical errors that individuals do while preparing bacon is that they throw away the fat from the bacon. This thing is pure gold in liquid form! Put it in a jar made of mason jars or a container designed for bacon grease, and store it in the refrigerator. When placed in the refrigerator, it will firm, making it simple to scoop and dish out.
The shelf life of bacon grease is about three months in the refrigerator and indefinitely in the freezer. You will be able to tell when it is no longer safe to use because it will have a rotten odor, and it will impart a little off flavor to everything that is cooked in it.
How to Keep Bacon for Longer
In the Refrigerator
Uncooked bacon that has had its packaging opened may be kept for later use in an airtight container, plastic bag, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil that has been firmly wrapped. After the bacon has been cooked, the best way to keep it is in a container that does not let air in. Between each layer of paper towel, we like to place individual pieces of bacon. In the event that this does not occur, the fat will congeal in the refrigerator, causing the strips to become adhered to one another.
Within the Refrigerator
Keep the frozen bacon in a container that seals tightly or a bag that can be placed in the freezer. We recommend using resealable bags, particularly if you froze the strips on a sheet pan as described in the previous section since this enables you to remove one or two strips from the bag while leaving the remainder of the bag in the freezer.
What to Look for to Determine If Bacon Is Stale
Bacon that has not been cooked is often a vibrant shade of red; thus, you will be able to tell when it has gone bad when the hue changes to a muted pink. As soon as it takes on a brownish, grayish, or greenish tinge, it is beyond its expiration date and should be thrown away. You should any bacon that is sticky, slimy, or smells very strongly of sourness since these qualities indicate that it has gone bad. Bacon that has been cooked but is beyond its prime will lose its crisp texture and become mushy and sticky instead of having a rotten odor to it when it is cooked.