Crispy yet salty bacon with a smoky flavor is meant to be eaten.
From using it as a burger topping or as an add-on in cornbread or mac and cheese, bacon is an irresistibly delicious addition to any meal.
Alas, there is such a thing as leftover bacon. If you live alone or have 1-2 people in your household, there is no way you can finish an entire package of bacon in one sitting.
If you purchased your bacon or cured your own bacon at home and it remained hidden in the fridge behind your Denver steaks, you might be wondering if the bacon is still good.
Knowing how long bacon lasts in the refrigerator will help you answer this question.
How Long Can Cooked Bacon Be Left Unrefrigerated?
Cooked bacon can spoil too. Bacteria multiply at exponential rates at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
Cooked bacon should only be left at room temperature for 2 hours.
If the room’s temperature is above 90°F, bacon should only be left at room temperature for 1 hour.
If you leave your bacon at room temperature longer than this, bacteria will become riddled with bacteria.
How To Store Bacon
Just like other refrigerated foods such as pork shoulder, Tomahawk steaks, and ranch steak, bacon has an expiration date. Bacon’s shelf life depends on how it is stored.
If your bacon is unopened, it can be stored as-is. However, if the bacon is opened, place it into an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can also keep the bacon in a zip-lock bag or wrap it with aluminum foil before putting it into the fridge.
How To Store Bacon in the Freezer
If you are freezing an unopened package of bacon, double wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Next, label the bacon with today’s date and place the bacon in the freezer.
If you are freezing opened bacon, it’s best to remove it from its original packaging. You can place it into a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
Press all the air out of the bacon and label it with today’s date. Alternatively, you can also use your vacuum sealer to seal the bacon in an airtight package.
You can also freeze cooked bacon. Simply place the bacon between sheets of paper towels.
Place the stacked bacon in a large freezer-safe ziplock bag and press the air out of the bag before sealing it. Label the bacon with today’s date and place it in the freezer.
Although bacon can last for some time, it is best to store bacon in the freezer for a short term rather than a long time.
This will prevent the bacon’s flavor and quality from being ruined.
Once you are ready to use your bacon, you can defrost it in the refrigerator overnight, in cold water, or in the microwave.
However, beware of defrosting bacon in the microwave.
Use your microwave’s defrost setting and do not heat it for more than a few minutes as the microwave will start to cook parts of the bacon.
How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge
The lifespan of bacon can depend on multiple factors.
For example, how the bacon is stored and if the package is unopened or opened can impact how long the bacon lasts in the fridge.
Bacon is cured with salt. This preservation method is used to inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria.
However, just because bacon is cured with salt does not mean you can chop portions of the bacon and use it on your homemade hot dogs or add it to your homemade BBQ beans.
Bacon will not last in the refrigerator forever. It will inevitably spoil. This is why it is essential to know how long bacon lasts in the fridge.
This way, you can eat your bacon promptly before it spoils.
On average, an unopened package of bacon has a shelf life of will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
For individuals who do not consume pork, turkey bacon will last up to two weeks in the fridge.
If you prefer pancetta, it will last just as long as turkey bacon and pork bacon as long as it is stored properly.
Once the bacon is opened, the window of freshness decreases. It doesn’t matter whether it is raw or cooked bacon. Its lifespan will be shortened.
Raw opened bacon that has been resealed in a new airtight package will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
On the other hand, cooked bacon will last up to 4-5 days as long as it is stored properly.
How Long Does Bacon Last in the Freezer
Bacon can also be frozen. This is the ideal option if you do not intend to cook it right away.
Unopened bacon can last up to 8 months in the freezer. When stored properly, opened raw bacon will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Cooked bacon has the shortest lifespan of them all. Cooked bacon will only last up to a month when stored in the refrigerator.
How To Tell if Bacon Is Bad
Just like you need to know how long bacon lasts in the fridge, it is also crucial to know how to determine if bacon is bad.
Unfortunately, bacon contains a large amount of fat which means it can spoil quickly if it is not stored correctly.
Luckily, you can use your senses to determine if bacon is rotten.
You can quickly tell if bacon is bad by looking at it. Bacon usually has a red color.
It is spoiled if this color changes to a faded brown or grey with a green tinge.
Spoiled bacon will also have a pungent rancid smell and will feel slimy when you touch it.
Make sure you wash your hands as well as any surfaces the bacon may have touched to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Bacon is an irresistible treat. But no one can eat a whole carton of bacon in one sitting, especially if you live in a small household.
This is why you must know how long bacon lasts in the fridge.
It will prevent you from consuming bad bacon and keep you from throwing money in the trash.
You might also be interested in:
- How Long Does Steak Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Ground Beef Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Rotisserie Chicken Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Pork Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Ham Last In The Fridge
- How Long Does Sausage Last In The Fridge
- How Long Do Hot Dogs Last In The Fridge
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.