Bacon is one of the most beloved foods on the planet. Just seeing the word can be enough to make mouths water! So, it’s no surprise that many people have wondered: Can you freeze bacon? The short answer is yes — but we have a genius trick that makes it easier to cook after chilling down.
How to Freeze Bacon
You might think it’s as simple as sticking your newly purchased bacon into the freezer when you get home from the grocery store. But how many times have you done that and found yourself struggling to separate the solidified block of meat back into strips when it comes time to cook? Even after it thaws, the pieces tend to stick together and tear apart. That’s where a tip from our print magazine (buy on newsstands now or on Amazon, $19.97 for a year’s subscription) saves the day!
Instead of storing the bacon on top of each other in flat strips, roll them into individual circles and arrange them side-by-side in a freezer bag. This will keep them from clinging together and causing frustration later on. It’s also great for those times when you just want to use a couple slices, not a full pack.
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How long does bacon last?
There’s a lot of conflicting information on how long bacon is good for, but it’s safest to stick to the USDA’s recommended storage times. Although it might be shorter spans than you see from other outlets or food experts, the organization’s suggestions are still the best way to make sure you’re not serving up any bacon that’s gone bad.
For regular uncooked bacon, the USDA says it can last seven days in the fridge or four months in the freezer.
Interestingly, uncooked bacon that is also cured without any nitrites will last a lot longer — three weeks in the fridge or six months in the freezer. Yet another reason to avoid those potentially harmful additives!
And when it comes to leftover cooked bacon, the USDA recommends eating it in the next four to five days if stored in the fridge or within a month if put in the freezer.
In all cases, they also emphasize paying close attention to sell- or use-by dates on the packaging.
How to Tell If Bacon Is Bad
Of course, there are those times when you can’t quite remember how long bacon has been in your fridge or freezer and you still want to satisfy your salty meat cravings. In that case, you can use your best judgement before heating it up.
A few clear signs bacon has gone bad include change in color (like seeing gray, green, or blue spots pop up), a sour or fishy smell (never a good sign for non-fish foods), or a slimy texture (which may be caused by harmful bacteria). If you notice any of those issues, you will have to go without your bacon fix — until your next grocery run, at least.
Keep all of these tips in mind and you’ll have a happy bacon-loving home!
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