How Long Does Bacon Last?
In this post, we will be discussing how long does bacon last. At the same time, we will explore all the different storage methods because, if it’s not stored properly, bacon can easily go bad.
Bacon can last anywhere from five days to six months. It all depends on the type of bacon and the storage method so, to answer your question, we have to discuss each storage method individually.
Let’s start with the average shelf life of bacon, shall we?
Bacon’s Average Shelf Life
How long bacon lasts is determined by different factors. This includes how the bacon is stored and what type of bacon you store. How long does bacon last in the fridge? What about the freezer? This also depends. Raw bacon and cooked bacon don’t have the same shelf life.
Let’s determine what is bacon first because this will help us to understand the shelf life of bacon better. Bacon is typically salt-cured pork made from different cuts of meat. The most common bacon is made of pork belly. However, you can also find a less fatty variety that’s made of back cuts. Nowadays, you can also find low-fat alternatives to pork bacon including turkey and chicken bacon. As you can imagine, shelf life is different for each type.
Usually, unopened bacon can easily last for a maximum of 14 days inside the fridge. When stored in a freezer, shelf life is increased to a maximum of eight months.
The answer to how long is bacon good for in the fridge changes if you want to store a package of opened raw bacon. This variety can only last seven days inside the fridge and six months inside the freezer. When you cook it first, it can stay inside the fridge for around five days and inside the freezer for up to one month.
If you want to save the grease you obtain while cooking bacon, you can store it in the fridge for a maximum of six months and it can be frozen for a maximum of nine months.
It is important to know that different bacon varieties have different shelf life durations. As an example, you can refrigerate Canadian bacon for up to four days and you can freeze it for up to eight weeks. With pancetta, beef bacon and turkey bacon, shelf life is similar to common bacon. To be sure, check the package for details about how long does bacon last.
How To Store Bacon
Both bacon quality and shelf life can be maximized with proper storage. Do you have to refrigerate bacon? Can you freeze bacon? Find answers to all these questions plus tips for extending the life of bacon in the following paragraphs.
The most important thing you have to remember is that bacon needs to be refrigerated or frozen right after you open the package. You can store unopened and uncooked bacon exactly as it is but wrapping the package with tin foil when freezing is needed to prevent the appearance of freezer burn.
When uncooked bacon is opened, it needs to be stored in a quality airtight container or in tin foil in order to maximize freshness. This is needed before you place it inside the freezer or refrigerator.
If you want to store cooked bacon, separate it in small portions first. Wrap every small portion in paper towels before you place it in the freezer.
If you want to store unsliced bacon slabs, you have to wrap them in tin foil or place them in a high-quality airtight container. You can store them inside the refrigerator for a number of weeks. Freezing is not recommended for bacon slabs because they can easily turn rancid.
Simply put, bacon can be safely stored inside the freezer or refrigerator if you wrap it in tin foil. Alternatively, you can place the bacon inside airtight containers so that shelf life can be maximized.
Is Bacon Spoiled?
In order to see if bacon is bad, you need to be careful with texture, appearance, and smell. All of these can indicate if fresh bacon is safe to eat or not. If the bacon is spoiled, the red hue you know starts to become pretty dull and quickly turns into a greenish, brown or grey color.
It is also possible for spoiled bacon to be sticky and slimy. Good bacon is always moist and soft.
Whenever you notice sour smells coming from the bacon, like a rotting odor, the best thing to do is to throw it away because the possibility of it being spoiled is really high.
If the bacon seems to be spoiled, you need to immediately discard it so that it does not contaminate other kitchen products and meats.
How Should You Freeze Uncooked Bacon?
Most people freeze uncooked bacon because, usually, recipes don’t require a full package. The good news is that uncooked bacon is very easy to store inside the freezer so that it lasts for months. You just need to seal the package in a proper way so that air does not go in or out. However, after the bacon is thawed, it needs to be cooked immediately. You do not want to refreeze the bacon.
A great way to store uncooked bacon is to freeze individual bacon slices. To do so, you coil bacon slices so that they are similar in appearance to a snail. Then, you freeze the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. After the coils are solid enough, you store them inside Ziploc bags for a maximum of six months.
When you need to cook some bacon, you just take out as many bundles as you need. You thaw them and then cook them.
How Should You Freeze Cooked Bacon?
Although it is ideal to freeze uncooked bacon, you might need to freeze leftover bacon that you cooked for a recipe. Fortunately, this is not only possible but also really easy to do. Clean the pan you used for cooking bacon then line it with wax paper. Add the bacon in the pan. You can freeze bacon in layers if you need to. To do so, use wax paper in between each layer of bacon.
All you have to do next is to cover the pan with wax paper and then freeze it overnight. The frozen bacon should then be moved to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and stored in the freezer for up to four months. When you are ready to cook the bacon, just take the number of slices you need. Bacon can be thawed or microwaved to get ready for cooking.