Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that many of us can’t live without. But what happens when you open a package of bacon and don’t use it all at once?
How long can you keep it in the fridge or freezer before it goes bad? These are important questions to consider, especially if you’re trying to reduce food waste and save money.
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of bacon after it’s been opened and provide tips on how to properly store it to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
How Long Is Bacon Good For After Opening Package?
Once you open a package of bacon, its shelf life begins to shorten. Raw bacon in an opened package can last up to a week in the fridge, while cooked bacon can last for four to five days if stored properly. However, the exact duration depends on storage conditions, so it’s essential to keep bacon refrigerated at all times.
Other types of bacon, such as turkey bacon or pancetta, should last just as long in the same conditions. Once you open the package, it’s best to store it in a resealable plastic bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to maximize its shelf life.
If you have leftover cooked bacon, it can last for up to five to seven days in the fridge. It’s best to store it in an airtight container to prevent any odors from being absorbed. If you purchased a shelf-stable cooked bacon from the store, you can keep it unopened in the pantry until the use-by date. After opening, you’ll want to use it within five to fourteen days, depending on the package specifications.
Understanding The Shelf Life Of Bacon
Bacon, like other protein or meat products, usually has a sell-by date label instead of an expiration date. This means that you may still consume bacon even after the sell-by date has passed. However, the shelf life of bacon depends on several factors, including the preparation method and how it was stored.
An unopened package of bacon will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Once opened, raw bacon in a package that has been opened and re-sealed will last up to a week in the fridge, while cooked bacon will last four to five days if it’s properly stored. In general, bacon that has been opened but not cooked may only last around one week in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your bacon, you can store it in the freezer. Uncooked, unopened bacon will last up to eight months in the freezer, while leftover raw bacon that’s properly stored will last up to six months in the freezer. Cooked bacon, stored properly, will last up to one month in the freezer.
It’s important to note that once you open a package of bacon, its shelf life begins to shorten. Raw bacon in an opened package can last up to a week in the fridge, while cooked bacon can last for four to five days if stored properly. It’s best to store opened packages of bacon in a resealable plastic bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to maximize its shelf life.
If you have leftover cooked bacon, it’s best to store it in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent any odors from being absorbed. If you purchased a shelf-stable cooked bacon from the store, you can keep it unopened in the pantry until the use-by date. After opening, you’ll want to use it within five to fourteen days, depending on the package specifications.
Proper Storage For Bacon
Proper storage is key to extending the shelf life of bacon. For uncooked, opened bacon, it’s recommended to store it in an airtight container, plastic bag, plastic wrap, or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. This will help prevent the fat from solidifying and causing the strips to stick together in the fridge. You can also store uncooked bacon in its original packaging, but it’s best to back it up with a large zip-top bag or a few layers of aluminum foil.
Packaged sliced bacon can be stored in its unopened vacuum-sealed package in the fridge for up to a week past the expiration date. Once opened, it’s best to keep it tightly wrapped in foil or a zip-top bag and use within one week. Sealed packages of bacon can be frozen for up to one month before the fat begins to go rancid. To freeze bacon, separate it into 4-piece serving sizes and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Label with the date and store in the freezer.
For cooked bacon, it’s essential to store it in an airtight container immediately after use for four to five days. You can layer bacon strips between sheets of paper towels to prevent them from sticking together. If you have leftover cooked bacon, you can store it for up to five to seven days in an airtight container in the fridge.
It’s important to note that unsliced slabs of bacon should not be frozen as they can turn rancid very quickly. Instead, wrap them with foil or place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for a few weeks at a time.
To maximize the shelf life of your bacon, be sure to refrigerate or freeze it directly after use. If freezing, wrap the package with tin foil to prevent freezer burn. Proper storage by wrapping bacon tightly in plastic wrap, foil, or placing it in an airtight container can help extend its shelf life and prevent food waste.
How To Tell If Bacon Has Gone Bad
It’s important to know how to tell if your bacon has gone bad to avoid getting sick from consuming spoiled meat. Here are some ways to determine if your bacon has gone bad:
1. Look: Fresh bacon should have pinkish-red meat with white fat marbling. If the color has faded into a dull grey, brown, or greenish hue, it’s a sign that bacteria and/or fungi have colonized your bacon, and it’s time to toss it out. Also, check for any small mold spots on the meat.
2. Smell: Bacon should have a natural meaty smell. If you notice a sour, fishy, rotting, or any other unpleasant odor, it’s a sign that the bacon has spoiled and should be discarded immediately.
3. Touch: If you’re still not sure whether your bacon is good or bad, touch it with clean hands. Fresh bacon should be soft and moist to the touch. If it feels slimy or sticky, it’s a definite sign that the bacon has gone bad and should be thrown away.
It’s important to note that even if your bacon passes the look, smell, and touch test, it’s still best to err on the side of caution and consume it within four to five days of opening the package. Always make sure to store your bacon properly in the fridge and avoid leaving it out at room temperature for an extended period. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy delicious bacon without worrying about getting sick from spoiled meat.
Tips For Extending The Shelf Life Of Bacon
Proper storage is key to extending the shelf life of bacon. Here are some tips to help you maximize the freshness of your bacon:
1. Refrigerate or freeze immediately after use: Whether your bacon is cooked or uncooked, it’s important to refrigerate or freeze it as soon as possible after use. This helps to slow down bacterial growth and maintain the quality of the meat.
2. Wrap it properly: If you’re freezing uncooked and unopened bacon, you can store it as is. However, if you’re freezing opened bacon or want to prevent freezer burn, wrap the package with tin foil. For uncooked bacon that has been opened, wrap it in tin foil or store it in an airtight container before refrigerating or freezing. Cooked bacon should be separated into small portions and wrapped with paper towels before freezing.
3. Store it in the right place: Unopened raw bacon can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. Once opened, it should be used within a week. Cooked bacon can last for up to five days in the fridge. If you’re storing bacon in the freezer, raw bacon can last for up to six months, while cooked bacon can last for up to one month.
4. Label and date your bacon: To avoid confusion and ensure that you’re using your bacon before it spoils, label and date your packages before storing them in the fridge or freezer.
By following these tips, you can extend the shelf life of your bacon and enjoy it for longer without worrying about spoilage or food waste.
Don’t Let Bacon Go To Waste: Creative Ways To Use Leftover Bacon
Bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes, and it’s a shame to let any leftovers go to waste. Here are some creative ways to use up leftover bacon:
1. Bacon Grease Popcorn: Instead of using oil, pop your popcorn in leftover bacon grease for a delicious and unique treat. Just make sure to add salt sparingly since bacon grease is already salty.
2. Vegetable Stock: After peeling carrots or potatoes for recipes, save the scraps and use them to make a flavorful vegetable stock. Bacon can also be added to the stock for extra depth of flavor.
3. Gourmet Pizza Toppings: Leftover bacon can be used as a gourmet pizza topping along with other ingredients like arugula, olives, goat cheese, or even crumbled hamburgers with special sauce.
4. Perfectly Crispy Bacon: If you have leftover bacon that’s not quite crispy enough, try adding water to the skillet and simmering the bacon until the water evaporates. This will render most of the fat and leave you with perfectly crispy yet succulent bacon.
5. Breakfast Treats: Use leftover bacon grease to make your eggs taste even better. You can also use it to fry potatoes or other vegetables for a delicious side dish.
By using these creative ways to use up leftover bacon, you can reduce food waste and create delicious meals at the same time. Just remember to store your bacon properly and always check for any signs of spoilage before using it in any recipe.