Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. But how long does it last in the fridge? And what about uncured bacon?
With so many different types of bacon and storage methods, it can be hard to keep track of how long your bacon will stay fresh. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the shelf life of uncured bacon and provide some tips on how to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.
So, whether you’re a bacon lover or just looking to stock up on some breakfast essentials, read on to learn more about how long uncured bacon lasts in the fridge.
How Long Does Uncured Bacon Last In The Fridge?
Uncured bacon is a popular choice for those who are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional bacon. But how long does it last in the fridge?
According to experts, uncured bacon can last up to one week in the refrigerator if it has been opened but not cooked. If you have cooked the bacon, it can last for up to five to seven days in the fridge.
It’s important to note that the shelf life of uncured bacon can vary depending on how it’s stored and what type of bacon it is. For example, if you have unopened uncured bacon, it will only last for one to two days in the refrigerator. However, if you store it in the freezer, it can last for up to six to eight months.
If you want to maximize the shelf life of your uncured bacon, it’s important to store it properly. Wrap your opened bacon with paper towels before storing them in a resealable plastic bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This will help absorb any moisture and prevent bacteria growth.
What Is Uncured Bacon?
Uncured bacon is a type of bacon that has not been cured with synthetic nitrates or nitrites. Instead, it is cured with natural nitrates found in celery, beets, and other vegetables. These vegetables are combined with seasonings and fresh sea salt to create a delicious bacon cure that is free of artificial chemicals.
The process of making uncured bacon involves injecting pork belly with a brine of salt, sugar, and curing agents like cultured celery powder. The pork sits in this solution for 12 to 24 hours, absorbing the brine’s flavors and developing bacterial resistance. After curing, the bacon is partially cooked during smoking but must be fully cooked before eating.
While all bacon must be cured before consumption, uncured bacon undergoes a different process than traditional cured bacon. Uncured bacon is left in a more natural state than cured bacon, giving it a taste that is closer to the pork belly itself. It is also often saltier than cured bacon because it has to sit in the brine for longer to achieve the same level of preservation.
It’s important to note that even though uncured bacon is made without added or artificial nitrates and nitrites, it still contains naturally-occurring nitrates from the vegetables used in the curing process. Therefore, products labeled as “uncured” must also include the label “sodium nitrate-free” to truly be free of all nitrates.
Factors That Affect The Shelf Life Of Uncured Bacon
There are several factors that can affect the shelf life of uncured bacon. One of the most important factors is the storage method. If you store your uncured bacon in the refrigerator, it will generally last for one week if it’s opened and up to two days if it’s unopened. However, if you store it in the freezer, it can last for up to six to eight months.
Another important factor that affects the shelf life of uncured bacon is whether it has been opened or not. Once you open a package of uncured bacon, it becomes exposed to air and bacteria, which can cause it to spoil more quickly. Therefore, it’s important to use opened bacon within five to seven days if it’s been cooked and within one week if it’s uncooked.
The type of uncured bacon can also affect its shelf life. For instance, thick-cut bacon tends to have a shorter shelf life than thin-cut bacon because it has a higher fat content. Similarly, hardwood-smoked bacon tends to have a longer shelf life than other types of uncured bacon because the smoking process helps preserve the meat.
Lastly, the temperature and humidity at which you store your uncured bacon can also impact its shelf life. If you store your bacon in a cool, dry place, it will generally last longer than if you store it in a warm, humid environment. Additionally, if you wrap your uncured bacon in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer, this can help prevent moisture and bacteria growth, which can extend its shelf life.
How To Store Uncured Bacon Properly
Storing uncured bacon properly is essential to maximize its shelf life and maintain its quality. Here are some tips on how to store uncured bacon properly:
1. Refrigerate or Freeze Immediately: After using uncured bacon, it’s important to refrigerate or freeze it immediately. If you plan to freeze the bacon, wrap the package with tin foil to prevent freezer burn.
2. Store in Airtight Containers: If the uncured bacon has been opened, make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to maximize freshness.
3. Separate Cooked Bacon into Small Portions: If you have cooked the uncured bacon, it’s best to separate it into small portions and wrap each portion with paper towels before freezing. This will help prevent freezer burn and maintain its quality.
4. Do Not Freeze Unsliced Slabs of Bacon: If you have unsliced slabs of uncured bacon, do not freeze them as they can turn rancid very quickly. Instead, wrap them with foil or place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for a few weeks at a time.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your uncured bacon stays fresh and maintains its quality for as long as possible. Remember to always check for any signs of spoilage before consuming the bacon, such as a sour smell, dull color, or slimy texture. When in doubt, it’s best to discard the bacon to avoid any potential health risks.
Signs That Your Uncured Bacon Has Gone Bad
While uncured bacon is a healthier alternative to traditional bacon, it can still go bad if not stored properly. Here are some signs that your uncured bacon has gone bad:
1. Discoloration: Fresh uncured bacon should have a pink or red color, but if it starts to turn brown or gray, or has a greenish tint, it’s a sign that it has gone bad.
2. Unpleasant Smell: If your uncured bacon has a sour, fishy, or rotten odor, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad. Fresh uncured bacon should have a natural meaty smell.
3. Slimy Texture: Fresh uncured bacon should feel soft and moist, but not slimy or sticky. If it feels slimy or sticky to the touch, it’s a sign that bacteria has started to grow on it.
4. Mold: If you notice any white or green mold on your uncured bacon, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad and should be thrown away immediately.
It’s important to note that if you notice any of these signs, you should not consume the bacon as it can cause food poisoning. Always make sure to check your uncured bacon before cooking and discard any that show signs of spoilage. By following proper storage techniques and being aware of the signs of spoilage, you can enjoy your uncured bacon safely and deliciously.
Can You Freeze Uncured Bacon?
Yes, you can freeze uncured bacon. Freezing uncured bacon is a great way to extend its shelf life and prevent it from going bad. However, it’s important to keep in mind that uncured bacon should be frozen properly to maintain its quality and taste.
To freeze uncured bacon, start by wrapping it in a layer of baking paper followed by a layer of cling film. Make sure the film forms a good seal to prevent any air from getting in. Then, place the wrapped bacon in the center of your freezer.
It’s important to note that once you’ve thawed uncured bacon, you should not refreeze it as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage. Additionally, it’s recommended to use frozen uncured bacon within six months for the best quality and taste.