Are you a fan of adding some extra flavor to your dishes with Hormel Real Bacon Bits?
If so, you might be wondering how long these delicious bacon bits can last in your pantry or fridge. With so many different types of bacon bits available on the market, it can be tough to know how to properly store and use them.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Hormel Real Bacon Bits and answer the question: how long do they really last? Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this information will help you make the most of your bacon bits and ensure that they stay fresh for as long as possible.
So let’s dive in and explore the shelf life of Hormel Real Bacon Bits!
How Long Do Hormel Real Bacon Bits Last?
Hormel Real Bacon Bits are made from 100% real bacon that has been ground and cooked to develop a great bacon flavor. The cooked bacon bits are then processed to separate the bacon bits from the bacon fat, and quickly cooled, sized, and packed to retain their great bacon flavor.
According to Hormel’s documentation, the bits are shelf-stable as packed but need to be refrigerated after the foil pouch has been opened. Real bacon bits can be used in any food system where real bacon flavor is desired. Use it in salad toppings, gravies, quiche, potato toppings, pasta, bakery items, sauces, and soups.
So how long do Hormel Real Bacon Bits last? The answer depends on how they are stored and what they are made of. If the bacon bits are made with real bacon, they will not last as long in your refrigerator as a shaker of bacon bits made from anything but real bacon.
Per Eat by Date, bacon bits made with real bacon can last anywhere from 6 weeks in the refrigerator to 6 months in the freezer. The site also notes that the range of dates is only as good as your storage method. So if you want your Hormel Real Bacon Bits to last as long as possible, make sure to store them properly in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
If you opt for imitation Bac’n Pieces, which are touted as vegan bacon, you can expect them to have a longer shelf life. On an Amazon thread, the manufacturer says Bac’n Pieces have a shelf life of “24 months from the date of manufacture.” However, keep in mind that these bits are not made with real bacon and may not provide the same flavor profile as Hormel Real Bacon Bits.
In general, it’s best to use Hormel Real Bacon Bits within three to five days after opening and keep them refrigerated. Exceptions to this rule include raw bacon, ham, and HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Meats – refrigerate and use within one week. HORMEL® Fully Cooked Bacon and HORMEL® Pepperoni – refrigerate and use within three weeks.
What Are Hormel Real Bacon Bits?
Hormel Real Bacon Bits are small pieces of cooked bacon that have been processed to separate the bacon bits from the bacon fat. The bacon bits are made from 100% real bacon that has been ground and cooked to develop a great bacon flavor. Hormel uses domestic ingredients in their Real Bacon Bits, including water, salt, sugar, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite. These ingredients are combined with the cooked bacon to create a delicious and savory flavor.
In addition to the main ingredients, Hormel Real Bacon Bits may also contain smoke flavoring, dextrose, brown sugar, sodium phosphate, sea salt, potassium chloride, sodium diacetate, flavoring, and honey. These additional ingredients help to enhance the flavor of the bacon bits and create a unique taste that is both sweet and savory.
Hormel Real Bacon Bits are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are perfect for adding a smoky and savory flavor to salads, soups, baked goods, pasta dishes, gravies, quiches, and more. The small size of the bacon bits also makes them ideal for sprinkling on top of dishes as a garnish or topping.
Proper Storage Of Bacon Bits
Proper storage of bacon bits is essential to ensure that they remain fresh and safe for consumption. If you have opened a package of Hormel Real Bacon Bits, it is important to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help prevent moisture and air from spoiling the bacon bits.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your bacon bits, you can also store them in the freezer. To do this, transfer the bacon bits to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. You can also spread the bacon bits out on a baking sheet and freeze them until they are hard before transferring them to an airtight container or plastic bag.
According to Eat by Date, bacon bits made with real bacon can last up to 6 months in the freezer and up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator when stored properly. However, it is important to note that the quality of the bacon bits may deteriorate over time, and they may not be as crispy as when first opened.
If you prefer to make your own homemade bacon bits, it is recommended to store them in a mason jar and keep them in the freezer. To make homemade bacon bits, cook the bacon until crispy, let it cool, and crumble it into tiny bits or pulse it in a food processor.
Signs Of Spoilage In Bacon Bits
It’s important to be able to identify when your Hormel Real Bacon Bits have gone bad to avoid any risk of food poisoning. Here are some signs of spoilage to look out for:
1. Off odor: Spoiled bacon bits will often have a sour or rancid smell. If you notice an unusual odor coming from your bacon bits, it’s best to discard them.
2. Slimy or moldy appearance: If the bacon bits have a slimy or moldy appearance, this is a clear sign of spoilage and should be thrown away immediately.
3. Discoloration: Fresh bacon bits will have a uniform color. If they have changed color or have dark spots, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard them.
4. Texture: Fresh bacon bits will have a crispy texture. If they are soft or rubbery, they may be spoiled and should not be consumed.
5. Expiration date: Always check the expiration date on the package and discard the bacon bits if they have expired.
Remember, consuming spoiled bacon bits can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chest pain, and dehydration. If you suspect that you’ve consumed spoiled bacon bits and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Creative Ways To Use Bacon Bits Before They Expire
Hormel Real Bacon Bits are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes before they expire. Here are some creative ways to use them:
1. Sprinkle on top of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes for added flavor and texture.
2. Mix into scrambled eggs or omelets for a delicious breakfast.
3. Add to mac and cheese for a smoky, bacon flavor.
4. Use as a topping for homemade pizza or flatbread.
5. Mix into homemade meatballs or meatloaf for added flavor.
6. Add to deviled eggs for a unique twist on a classic appetizer.
7. Use as a garnish for Bloody Mary cocktails.
8. Mix into cornbread batter for a savory twist on a classic side dish.
9. Top off a bowl of chili with bacon bits for added flavor and texture.
10. Use as a topping for loaded nachos or quesadillas.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to using Hormel Real Bacon Bits before they expire. Get creative and experiment with different dishes to find your favorite way to use them!