Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer it crispy or chewy, on its own or as part of a sandwich, there’s no denying the deliciousness of this salty treat.
But what happens when you have more bacon than you can eat in a week? Can you freeze it? And if so, how long will it last in the freezer?
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of freezing bacon and provide you with all the information you need to make sure your bacon stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
So let’s dive in!
How Long Is Bacon Good For In Freezer?
The good news is that bacon can be frozen, and when stored properly, it can last for several months in the freezer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your bacon stays fresh and tasty.
Firstly, it’s important to note that cured meats like bacon have a high fat content, which can lead to the development of rancid flavors over time. This means that even in the freezer, bacon has a limited shelf life.
The Food Marketing Institute recommends that unopened bacon be frozen for up to one month, while opened bacon should not be frozen at all. However, our recommendation is that unopened bacon can last for up to 1-3 months in the freezer, while opened bacon can last for up to 4 months.
To freeze unopened bacon, wrap the store package with heavy-duty foil or other freezer wrapping, making sure to push all the air out of the package and tightly close the wrapping around the inside package. If you want to freeze individual bacon strips, lay them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, making sure the strips don’t overlap, and place them in the freezer. When the bacon is completely frozen, transfer the slices to a freezer-safe bag.
If you have opened bacon that you want to freeze, remove the portion you want to freeze from the package as soon as you open it. Be sure to wrap the portion for freezing in heavy-duty freezer plastic wrap or bags, making the package air-tight. Freeze quickly to a temperature of 0 degrees F. or lower.
Can You Freeze Bacon?
Yes, you can freeze bacon. In fact, freezing bacon is a great way to extend its shelf life and prevent it from going bad. However, it’s important to note that bacon has a limited shelf life even in the freezer due to its high fat content and the development of rancid flavors. This means that it’s best to use frozen bacon within a certain time frame to ensure its quality and flavor.
When freezing bacon, it’s important to avoid freezing it in its original package unless you plan to use all of it at once. Instead, it’s best to freeze individual slices of bacon in a way that allows you to take out just what you need. One method is to coil the slices up like snails and freeze them on a baking sheet until solid. Then, transfer the coils to a freezer-safe bag.
If you have unopened bacon, wrap the store package with heavy-duty foil or other freezer wrapping, making sure to push all the air out of the package and tightly close the wrapping around the inside package. To freeze opened bacon, remove the portion you want to freeze from the package as soon as you open it and wrap it in heavy-duty freezer plastic wrap or bags, making sure the package is air-tight. Freeze quickly to a temperature of 0 degrees F. or lower.
Although frozen bacon can last up to six months in the freezer, it’s recommended to use it within one month of freezing for best taste and texture. It’s also important to note that once bacon has thawed, it should be cooked right away and not refrozen.
How To Freeze Bacon Properly
There are a few different methods for freezing bacon properly, depending on whether you have an unopened package or individual slices that you want to freeze. Here are some tips to help you freeze bacon properly:
How Long Does Frozen Bacon Last?
When stored properly in the freezer, frozen bacon can last up to six months. However, for the best taste and texture, it’s ideal to use frozen bacon within one month of freezing.
Unopened packages of bacon can be tossed straight into the freezer, but keep in mind that you’ll have to thaw the entire package at once. If you want to freeze individual bacon strips, follow the method mentioned above.
Both uncooked and cooked bacon can be frozen, but you’ll want to use both within 4 months for best quality. Frozen bacon, which is typically sold at farmers’ markets, will keep indefinitely, but the USDA recommends using it within two months for best results.
It’s important to note that the longer you store frozen bacon, the more the quality and flavor will deteriorate. So, it’s best to use it as soon as possible after freezing.
Tips For Storing Frozen Bacon
Here are some tips for storing frozen bacon to ensure that it stays fresh and tasty:
1. Freeze bacon in individual slices or portions: Instead of freezing an entire package of bacon, freeze it in individual slices or portions. This will allow you to take out only what you need, without having to thaw the entire package.
2. Use heavy-duty freezer wrapping: When wrapping bacon for freezing, use heavy-duty freezer wrapping to prevent freezer burn and keep the bacon fresh.
3. Remove as much air as possible: When wrapping bacon for freezing, make sure to remove as much air as possible from the package. Air can cause freezer burn and affect the quality of the bacon.
4. Label and date the package: When freezing bacon, label the package with the date and contents so that you know how long it has been in the freezer.
5. Freeze bacon quickly: To ensure that your bacon stays fresh, freeze it quickly to a temperature of 0 degrees F. or lower.
6. Store bacon properly: Store frozen bacon in a freezer-safe bag or container to prevent freezer burn and contamination from other foods in the freezer.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your frozen bacon stays fresh and tasty for several months in the freezer.
Thawing Frozen Bacon Safely
When it comes to thawing frozen bacon, it’s important to do so safely to avoid any potential foodborne illnesses. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends three safe methods for thawing bacon: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.
Thawing bacon in the refrigerator is the best practice and should be done by placing the unopened package on a plate or tray and leaving it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. This method requires planning ahead, but it ensures that the bacon stays at a safe temperature throughout the thawing process.
If you don’t have time to thaw bacon in the refrigerator, you can use the cold water method. Keep the bacon in its unopened packaging and place it in a sink with a grate or cooling rack underneath. Run a consistent stream of cold water over the package, ensuring that the water is flowing and not just soaking the package. Bacon should thaw in about 30 minutes using this method and should be cooked immediately.
Lastly, you can defrost bacon in the microwave by following instructions for “defrosting meat” on your particular microwave. It’s important to note that you should not leave unattended as if the bacon gets hot there is a risk of plastic melting. Once the bacon is soft enough to separate, lay out individual pieces on a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake it in the oven until done to your desired crispness (generally 15 minutes or less).
Cooking With Frozen Bacon
Cooking with frozen bacon is a convenient option for those who want to save time and have bacon on hand whenever they need it. There are several methods for cooking frozen bacon, including on the stove, in the oven, in the microwave, or in an air fryer.
One of the easiest ways to cook frozen bacon is on the stove. Simply lay out the frozen bacon strips in a frying pan, making sure they don’t overlap. Turn the burner on to medium heat and cook the strips for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping them midway through cooking. This method provides crispy bacon strips, and you can save the bacon grease for later use.
Another option is to cook frozen bacon in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay separated slices of bacon on a wire rack placed on top of the baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it and how thick your slices are.
If you prefer to use a microwave, you can cook frozen bacon by placing it on a microwave-safe plate and heating it for 30 seconds on each side. Then, transfer the strips to the oven to finish cooking until they are crispy.
Lastly, an air fryer is another option for cooking frozen bacon. During the defrosting stage, do not attempt to cook more than one pound of bacon at a time in the air fryer. After defrosting, separate the bacon slices and cook them in batches for 8-10 minutes or until they reach your desired crispness.