Bacon is one of the most delicious foods, and there’s nothing better than the smell of cooking bacon in the morning to make you get out of bed and rush down for breakfast.
It can be eaten in many ways and with a combination of many other foods, so it truly is a versatile piece of food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. However, as it is meat, bacon doesn’t last forever.
In fact, you have to be careful of the expiry date when you purchase it, and you have to ensure it is kept and stored in the right conditions so that it doesn’t go bad before you’ve had the chance to eat it.
One of the best ways to store bacon, if you’re wanting to make it last longer, is to put it in the freezer.
While unopened bacon will last around 2 weeks in the refrigerator, it can last up to 8 months when stored away in the freezer.
It’s slightly different for bacon that has already be cooked, but it is still possible as long as you store it correctly.
How long can you freeze bacon?
Bacon can easily be frozen so that it lasts for a longer time than it would if stored in the refrigerator. However, putting it in the freezer doesn’t mean that it will last indefinitely.
After a certain amount of time, the bacon will lose its flavor and won’t be as good, so it is important that you only leave it in the freezer for as long as it can withstand for optimal consumption.
Here is how long you can freeze bacon, depending on its state before you put it in the freezer:
Unopened raw bacon
In the refrigerator, raw bacon that is still in its original packaging, unopened, can last up to two weeks.
In the freezer, however, it can last up to 8 months.
Opened raw bacon
In the refrigerator, bacon that has been opened and/or removed from its original packaging, but that is still raw and uncooked, can last up to around 1 week.
In the freezer, however, it can last up to around a month.
Cooked bacon needs to be stored appropriately so that it doesn’t go bad too quickly. In the refrigerator, it will last around 4 to 5 days.
In the freezer, however, it will last up to around a month.
Some people like to save the bacon grease that is left behind after cooking bacon, to use for cooking other meals. In the refrigerator, bacon grease can last up to around 6 months.
In the freezer, bacon grease will last around 9 months before it goes rancid and can’t be consumed.
How to freeze bacon
In order for bacon to last its full shelf life in the freezer, without losing its flavor, you need to make sure you are freezing it appropriately.
Here’s how to do it:
How to freeze uncooked bacon
Bacon is a lot easier to freeze when it hasn’t been cooked, and it will also last a lot longer inside the freezer than if the bacon has already been cooked.
You might want to freeze uncooked bacon that hasn’t been opened or uncooked bacon that has been opened and/or removed from its original packaging.
Either way, here are the steps for you to freeze the slices properly and efficiently:
- Take the slices of uncooked bacon, and coil them individually so that they look like little round snails. This will help them take up a lot less space.
- Place your little bacon snails on a baking tray, making sure they’re not touching each other, and place them in the freezer.
- Once they are frozen, you can remove them from the baking tray and place them in a sealable freezer bag, so that they are kept sealed and take up less space.
- When you feel like eating some of your frozen bacon, you can choose as many or as few slices as you need, leaving the rest perfectly sealed and frozen.
How to freeze cooked bacon
Cooked bacon will last a lot less when frozen, and it isn’t as recommended. If you have a choice, definitely freeze uncooked bacon rather than cooked.
However, having some cooked bacon frozen means that you have access to a very easy and fast bacon snack, as you can quickly defrost it to eat on the go!
Here is how to do it correctly:
- Place a sheet of wax paper on a baking tray, and neatly lay your slices of cooked bacon on it.
- If you have lots of bacon slices, you can cover the first batch with another sheet of wax paper, and then place more bacon on top of them. Kind of like forming many layers of bacon.
- Once all your bacon slices are neatly laid out, cover the baking tray (with the bacon slices) with another bigger sheet of wax paper.
- Place the baking tray in the freezer (making sure it’s on a flat surface so that the bacon slices don’t move around and end up touching each other, as they would then get stuck together.)
- Once the bacon slices have frozen, you can remove them from the baking tray and place them inside a sealable freezer bag for easier storage.
- When you feel like having a bacon snack, you can take as many or as few slices of bacon as you want, leaving the rest perfectly sealed and frozen.
How to defrost bacon
It is important to defrost and thaw the frozen bacon correctly, or else it will go bad during the process and be unsafe for consumption.
The most important thing you need to remember is to never leave the bacon to thaw at room temperature. This will leave it vulnerable to bacteria, and will likely make it unsafe for consumption.
There are two main ways of thawing bacon:
In the refrigerator
This is the safest and best way to thaw bacon. You simply remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
The bacon will then be safe for consumption for up to 7 days while stored in the refrigerator.
In the microwave
If you thaw the bacon in the microwave, you should then eat or cook it immediately after. You simply remove it from the freezer and place the slices on a plate. In the microwave, leave for a few minutes, until the bacon is visibly defrosted.
If it was already cooked you’ll be able to instantly consume it. If the bacon was uncooked, immediately cook it, as the heat of the microwave will have already started to cook parts of it.