Bacon available in supermarkets is either cooked or uncooked. Both have a certain shelf life and should be eaten with a certain period. But can you freeze bacon whether it’s cooked or uncooked to extend its shelf life?
The National Center for Home Food Preservation gives us some important information about cured meat. The shelf life of cured meat is less than that of other meats due to the fat content and curing salt, which further speeds up rancidity.
The Food Marketing Institute suggests that once you open a package of bacon, it cannot be frozen. Any unopened packages have a shelf life of one month when frozen.
How to Freeze Bacon: Cooked and Uncooked
Can cooked bacon be frozen? Thankfully, cooked bacon can be frozen to extend its shelf life. But, you need to take certain precautions when freezing bacon.
Best Way to Freeze Cooked Bacon
You can safely freeze and store leftover cooked bacon from breakfast or dinner for consumption at a later time.
Fry the bacon but keep it slightly undercooked if you would like to store it for later use. This way, when you reheat it later, you will get properly cooked bacon slices.
Pat the bacon with paper towel to soak up the oil before you cut it into smaller pieces. Once the bacon cools down, wrap it tightly using aluminum foil or cling wrap. Put it in an air tight container and store it in the freezer.
This process can help keep cooked bacon good for three to four months, and can even extend its shelf life to six months. But the longer it sits in the freezer, the saltier it becomes. It may also change color and lose some of its taste.
Best Way to Freeze Uncooked Bacon
Can uncooked bacon be frozen too? Yes! Uncooked bacon is easier to store in a freezer.
If you are not going to cook the entire package of bacon, it makes sense to store it in smaller portions.
Get butter paper and place the strip along one edge of the paper. Wrap the slice once and then take the second slice, place it over the first one with a layer of paper separating the two. Continue doing this until all the pieces or slices are wrapped in the paper.
Place them in an airtight container in the freezer. Tupperware can be really helpful here.
The above process ensures two things. First, it helps to preserve the entire package of bacon longer. Secondly, you can as many pieces you want or need, and keep them out at room temperature to thaw and cook.
How Long Can You Freeze Bacon before It Goes Bad?
If stored and packaged properly, bacon can last for one to two weeks beyond its “Sell By” date. Bacon can also be frozen safely for six to eight months depending on the method of storage. The shelf life of bacon depends on a variety of factors including the Sell By date, cooking method, and how it was stored.
Of course, before you eat it, you should check all the physical parameters to see if it is edible or it has gone bad. Check the smell, color, consistency, and taste. If you find any of these parameters altered, simply discard it.
While you can extend the Sell By date, that may not always be the case. There are many factors responsible for the shelf life of any food, right from the way it is made to weather conditions.
The table below shows the best date for using frozen and stored bacon.
Bacon Expiration Details
|Past Printed Date||Past Printed Date|
|Bacon lasts for||1-2 Weeks||6-8 Months|
|Bacon Bits last for||6 Months||6 Months|
|Fresh Bacon lasts for||1 Week||6 Months|
|Cooked Bacon lasts for||7-10 Days||6 Months|
|Bacon Bits last for||6 Weeks||6 Months|
Since bacon comes with a Sell By date, using proper storing and freezing methods will give it a shelf life of around six months. Beyond that, the quality and taste may start deteriorating.
Final Word on Freezing Bacon
Whether it is the cooked or the uncooked variety, bacon is a very important part of meat lovers’ diets around the world. Be it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a bacon slice in a sandwich or a burger makes it a tasty snack.
Ensuring a long shelf life by following certain precautions makes this an economical choice. This is especially so when buying in bulk, such as with fast food outlets and homes with large families.
So, can you freeze bacon? Yes, you can but just a word of caution. You should eat bacon in moderation because it poses various health risks. After all, it is processed meat.
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“Freezing Bacon,” National Center for Home Food Preparation, June 2005; http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/bacon.html, last accessed August 11, 2017.
Thomson, J.R., “Yes, You Can Freeze Bacon. Here’s Why You Should.,” HuffPost, November 8, 2115; http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/yes-you-can-freeze-bacon-heres-why-you-should_us_55ca09c9e4b0f73b20ba92e8, last accessed August 11, 2017.