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Are you one of those who enjoy bacon as the main ingredient in your breakfast dish? If so, you will want to know how to store the leftovers and exactly how to store bacon in the fridge…both raw and cooked!
How To Store Bacon in the Fridge
So, how do you properly store bacon in the fridge? You can store raw bacon in the fridge by placing it in a sealed container or zip-lock bag. You can also cover the original packet with plastic wrap. However, if the bacon is cooked, store it in the fridge by placing it in a sealed container between paper towels.
As mentioned, my husband and I now run a bulk foods coop. In the last two years, we’ve literally sold tens of thousands of pounds of bacon. Each bundle of bacon comes in a 15-pound case, so I would say that I definitely have a few ideas on how to properly store bacon!
Keep reading for some of the best tips for how to store bacon in the fridge – whether fresh or cooked!
How to Store Bacon in the Fridge
Storing your bacon will help make it last longer. Generally, bacon should be kept in an airtight container, such as the original package or a glass jar.
However, storage options differ depending on whether the bacon is raw or cooked.
How to Store Raw Bacon
An unopened packet of raw bacon will stay in the fridge until the use-by date. This is usually a week to a month after the date of purchase. If you leave it in the package and have it wrapped in an extra plastic bag, it will often be good for up to a week past the expiration date.
If you’ve opened the package, you can store the leftover raw bacon in the fridge by putting it in an airtight container. You can also put it in a resealable plastic bag or cover the opened packet with plastic wrap.
Using the raw bacon within 4-5 days after opening the original package is recommended.
How to Store Cooked Bacon
If you have leftover cooked bacon strips, I recommend placing them in a sealed container between sheets of paper towels or parchment paper before storing them in the fridge. The paper will act as a cushion. This prevents the bacon from breaking and the grease from crystallizing on the rest of the bacon strips.
If the leftover bacon is crumbled, carefully wrap it in paper towels. Then, place it in an airtight container or cover it in plastic wrap before storing it in the fridge.
You can store cooked bacon in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Since the fat content in the bacon spoils rapidly, the less fat on the bacon, the longer it will likely last.
How to Store Bacon in the Freezer
You can store an unopened package of uncooked bacon from the store for up to a month. However, covering the packet with plastic wrap or a plastic bag is recommended. This is because the bacon is often accompanied by some liquid that could leak over other food items in the freezer.
If you’ve opened the packet, cut or portion the raw bacon into serving sizes, wrap them firmly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then tag them with the date. You can take out these servings whenever you need. Just make sure to leave them to defrost in the fridge before cooking.
If you properly package your bacon in a good freezer bag or in a vacuum-sealed bag, it will last in the freezer for 6 months to a year before frozen bacon starts to get freezer burnt. We personally re-package all our bacon into vacuum-sealed packs that are individual portions our family will eat in one setting and then freeze them.
Cooked bacon can be stored like raw bacon in the freezer. However, there is less chance it will crystalize quickly, so you can store it even longer.
How to Store Cooked Bacon at Room Temperature
Cooked bacon should not be left at room temperature for over 2 hours. It lasts a lot longer in the refrigerator, so it’s preferable to keep it there. If you must keep it at room temperature, place it in a sealed bag or under a plate as a cover to protect it from flies or other bugs.
As far as I’m aware, there is no safe way to store bacon so it’s shelf-stable (without bucket of preservatives). Someone comment if they know of a way or recipe!!
How to Reheat Cooked Bacon
Suppose you’ve prepared bacon for a nice weekend breakfast or delectable appetizer get-together with friends, but your guests are running a half-hour late. Easy! Use the oven to preserve those delectable pieces and keep them crispy and toasty.
The oven will get it crispy again in no time. Preheat the oven to 200 F and place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the cooked strips on the wire rack and keep them in the oven until they are crispy, warm, and ready to serve.
Bacon can be reheated in the microwave but it won’t keep it’s crispy texture.
How to Know If Your Bacon Is Spoiled
As mentioned before, how long bacon lasts depends on some factors, including its type, how it is stored, and whether it is cooked. Bacon that is spoiled or starting to spoil can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, and other unpleasant symptoms due to the bacteria it contains. Proper storage is the key to keeping your bacon safe.
- Sealed raw bacon can be stored for two weeks in the fridge and frozen for eight months. (Or longer if properly packaged.)
- Unsealed raw bacon can only be stored for a week in the fridge and frozen for six months. (Or longer if repackaged.)
- Cooked bacon has the shortest shelf life, as it can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days but it can be frozen for much longer.
But how do you know if you have bad bacon, regardless of the duration of storage? You need to pay attention to its color, texture, and color. Here are some signs of spoilage:
- The bacon’s color will fade to brown, grey, or greenish when it spoils.
- The bacon’s texture will be sticky or slimy instead of being moist and soft.
- The bacon will have a distinctive rancid odor.
If you discover any signs of spoiling in your bacon, you should throw it out right away to avoid infecting other food items in your kitchen. Do not feed spoiled bacon to animals.
Tips to Make Bacon Last Longer
Here are some tips to help you properly store bacon and make it last longer:
- Keep raw bacon in its original package, then cover it with a big zip-lock bag or plastic wrap if you are storing it in the fridge until you plan on using it.
- Repackage the bacon if you plan on freezing it.
- Use a couple of layers of foil or parchment paper between the bacon sheets when storing in the freezer.
- Place the stored bacon away from the fridge/freezer door to avoid temperature fluctuation.
Bacon’s shelf life in the fridge or freezer can range from a few days to months if properly stored. For maximum freshness, enjoy fresh within a few days of buying or freeze until later.
Learning how to store your bacon and how to tell it’s spoiled will help you optimize its shelf life and quality and keep you from wasting food unnecessarily.
More Food Storage Tips
- Practical Food Storage and Preparing For Price Increases
- Long Term Gluten Free Food Storage
- How Long Do Onions Last in the Pantry? Best Storage Ideas
- How Long Do Dried Beans Last? (Storage Tips)
- DIY Cold Storage and Frugal Root Cellar Ideas
- How to Keep Your Food Storage Protected From Pests
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How do you store bacon?
Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This blog post on How to Store Bacon in the Fridge – Fresh and Cooked was originally posted on Little House Living in February 2023.