Bacon is a beloved food item that can be found in many households. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast to dinner.
However, bacon has a short shelf life, and it can be challenging to keep it fresh for an extended period. If you find yourself with more bacon than you can use, freezing it can be a great solution.
But what about uncured bacon? Can you freeze it?
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of freezing uncured bacon and provide you with some helpful tips to ensure that your bacon stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
So, let’s dive in!
Can You Freeze Uncured Bacon?
Yes, you can freeze uncured bacon! Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of your bacon and prevent it from going bad.
Uncured bacon is bacon that has not been treated with nitrates or nitrites. It is a healthier alternative to traditional bacon, but it has a shorter shelf life due to its lack of preservatives.
To freeze uncured bacon, you should first wrap it in a layer of baking paper and then in a layer of cling film. Make sure the film forms a good seal to prevent any air from getting in.
Once wrapped, place the bacon in the center of your freezer. It’s essential to keep the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to ensure that the bacon stays fresh.
What Is Uncured Bacon?
Uncured bacon is bacon that has not been cured with synthetic nitrates or nitrites. Instead, natural sources of nitrates, such as celery, beets, and other vegetables, are used to cure the meat. The process of making uncured bacon involves injecting a brine of salt, sugar, and natural curing agents like cultured celery powder into the pork belly. The pork is then left to sit in the solution for 12 to 24 hours, allowing it to absorb the flavors and develop resistance to bacteria. Uncured bacon is labeled as such and must also have an additional label stating “no nitrates or nitrites added.” However, it’s important to note that naturally occurring nitrates will still be present in uncured bacon. While uncured bacon is still considered cured, it’s a healthier alternative to traditional bacon and has a more natural taste due to its lack of artificial additives.
Why Freeze Uncured Bacon?
Freezing uncured bacon is a great way to preserve it for a longer period. Uncured bacon can last for up to six months in the freezer, which is significantly longer than its one-week shelf life in the fridge. Freezing uncured bacon is especially useful if you have bought it in bulk or if you want to stock up on this healthier alternative to traditional bacon.
When you freeze uncured bacon, it is essential to wrap it properly to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when food is exposed to air, causing it to dry out and develop an off-flavor. Wrapping the bacon in baking paper and cling film creates a barrier that prevents air from coming into contact with the food, ensuring that it stays fresh and flavorful.
Freezing uncured bacon also helps to reduce food waste. If you find that you have more bacon than you can consume within a week, freezing it allows you to save it for later. You can defrost only the amount of bacon that you need, which means that you won’t have to throw away any leftovers.
How To Freeze Uncured Bacon
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze uncured bacon:
1. Start by wrapping the bacon in a loose layer of baking paper. This will help to absorb any excess moisture and prevent freezer burn.
2. Next, wrap the bacon in a layer of cling film, making sure to form a tight seal around the bacon. This will prevent any air from getting in and keep the bacon fresh.
3. Label the package with the date that you froze it. This will help you keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
4. Place the wrapped bacon in the center of your freezer. Make sure that it is not touching any other items in the freezer, as this can cause it to freeze unevenly.
5. Keep the temperature of your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to ensure that the bacon stays fresh.
6. When you are ready to use the bacon, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
7. Once thawed, use the bacon within 1-2 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
By following these simple steps, you can freeze uncured bacon and enjoy it for up to 6 months!
Thawing And Using Frozen Uncured Bacon
When it comes to using frozen uncured bacon, it’s important to thaw it properly to ensure that it retains its flavor and texture. The USDA recommends three safe methods for thawing bacon: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave.
If you have time to plan ahead, the best method is to thaw the bacon in the refrigerator. Simply transfer the frozen package from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw slowly over the course of a day. This method is ideal if you’re planning to use the bacon for a meal the next day.
If you’re short on time, you can thaw uncured bacon quickly using cold water. Fill a bowl or your sink with cold water and place the frozen bacon in its original packaging or a sealed zip-top bag. Change the water every 30 minutes until the bacon is fully thawed. This method should take about 30 minutes for a 16 oz package of frozen bacon.
Another quick method for thawing uncured bacon is using the defrost setting on your microwave. Remove the frozen bacon from its packaging and place it on a plate. Set your microwave to defrost mode and check on the bacon every minute or so until it’s fully thawed.
Once your uncured bacon is thawed, you can cook it however you like – on the stove, in the oven, or even in an air fryer. Just remember that uncured bacon has a shorter shelf life than traditional bacon, so be sure to use it within 7 days of thawing. If you have any leftover cooked bacon, you can safely store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for later use.
Tips For Storing Bacon In The Freezer
Storing bacon in the freezer can be a bit tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be able to keep your bacon fresh for longer:
1. Freeze individual slices: If you don’t plan on using an entire package of bacon at once, consider freezing individual slices. To do this, lay out a sheet of wax paper and fold slices of bacon accordion-style between the paper. Store the folded bacon in a freezer bag and remove as many slices as you need.
2. Label and date your packages: When storing bacon in the freezer, it’s essential to label and date your packages. This will help you keep track of how long the bacon has been frozen and when it needs to be used by.
3. Use heavy-duty foil or freezer wrap: When wrapping bacon for the freezer, make sure to use heavy-duty foil or freezer wrap. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep the bacon fresh for longer.
4. Freeze quickly: To ensure that your bacon stays fresh, it’s essential to freeze it quickly. Make sure your freezer is set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and place the bacon in the center of the freezer.
5. Use within 1-3 months: While bacon can technically be frozen for up to 12 months, it’s recommended to use it within 1-3 months for best quality and flavor.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your uncured bacon stays fresh and delicious for longer in the freezer.