Bacon is considered one of the basic food groups in many homes. The smell of bacon cooking can make nearly anyone’s mouth water.
Who doesn’t love bacon? It’s a versatile food that is used for breakfast and so many other things. You can often find bacon prepared and cured in many different ways at your local grocery store.
You can even get bacon from your local butcher or meat shop. It’s up to you how thick you like it and how you like it to be cured as well.
If you get a large amount of bacon, it’s important to understand the best ways to preserve your bacon.
Can you freeze uncooked bacon to make it last longer? Yes, you can freeze uncooked bacon. For best results, pre-freeze the bacon in portion sizes and pack portions into a freezer-safe container. It will last in the freezer for up to a year but is best eaten within six months. Either cooked or uncooked, bacon freezes well.
The good news is that bacon freezes really well and we’re here to show you how!
In this guide, we will talk about everything that you need to know to freeze your uncooked bacon. We will share some helpful tips and tricks to get you through the process.
There are also several things you should know about freezing uncooked bacon just to anticipate what to expect from the process. Keep reading to learn how to freeze your uncooked bacon and more.
A Guide to Freezing Uncooked Bacon
Bacon is salt-cured pork. Most of the time, it comes from the pork belly or back but it can come from various cuts around the pork as well. Since bacon is cured, it does preserve very well in a lot of different ways.
Bacon is a versatile dish as long as you are comfortable eating pork. Bacon can be eaten by itself, used as a side dish, or cooked and mixed into various dishes in a lot of different ways.
You can store it in the refrigerator initially and move it to the freezer when necessary.
You can also purchase uncooked bacon in bulk and store the excess in the freezer until you are ready to use it. We think you will find that this works quite well and the process is incredibly simple.
There isn’t a lot you have to do in order to preserver your bacon, particularly if the bacon is in an unopened package.
Properly Storing and Freezing Uncooked Bacon
Uncooked bacon should never be left at room temperature for an extended period of time. It is a raw form of meat and therefore is susceptible to bacteria and parasites that can lead to food poisoning or additional health issues.
On the same note, you shouldn’t eat uncooked bacon for similar reasons. You can come down with bacterial or parasitic infections from eating uncooked bacon.
Just like you need to cook steak, chicken, and other meat, you need to cook your bacon before consuming it.
Should You Freeze Uncooked Bacon? – Pros and Cons
Your unopened bacon packages will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks. They are cured and typically packaged in a way to make them last. Just be sure to store your bacon in the refrigerator or freezer right away when you bring it home. In the freezer, bacon can last 6-12 months.
The longer the bacon is in the freezer, however, the more the taste and texture might be affected by the process.
Here are some pros and cons to freezing uncooked bacon:
Pros to Freezing Uncooked Bacon
- The shelf life of bacon is prolonged.
- You can freeze it in the original packaging if it is unopened.
- You can freeze bacon individually or together.
- The freezing process is simple.
- Bacon is easy to use after freezing.
- It can be frozen up to 12 months.
Cons to Freezing Uncooked Bacon
- You must be sure it is properly sealed and packaged.
- The flavor and texture can be negatively affected over time.
- The curing process can sometimes adversely work with freezing.
- Frozen bacon can take longer to cook.
Freezing Uncooked Bacon
Now that we’ve talked about all the basic details you need to be aware of and set you up for anything that could go wrong, let’s talk about the process in detail.
Storing your bacon in the freezer is not much different than storing it in the refrigerator, except for you can store it in the freezer much longer than you can store it in the fridge.
Let’s start by discussing the proper steps to store your uncooked bacon in the freezer.
How to Freeze Uncooked Bacon
If the bacon is still in the sealed packaging from purchase, you can just slip that in the freezer. For extra protection, you can slip it into a freezer bag but it’s not required.
If you’ve opened your bacon, We do recommend a pre-freeze process for uncooked bacon from an open package.
Follow these steps to freeze uncooked bacon:
- Decide whether you want to freeze a lot of bacon together or if you want to sort it into portions of a few slices at once.
- Start by rolling your bacon into small coils, picture the way a snail looks.
- Set each bacon coil on a baking sheet, in a single layer and freeze in this manner for several hours.
- Once they are solid in this form, you can then place as many individual pieces together as you like and store them in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Label, date, and seal all packaging.
- Store in the freezer for up to 12 months, with 6 months being the recommended time frame.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you remove your bacon from the freezer, you should plan to use all of it. It really shouldn’t be refrozen once it has been allowed to thaw out.
Storing Uncooked Bacon in the Refrigerator
It is simplest to store uncooked bacon in the same, unopened packaging from purchase in the fridge.
Once the package has been opened, be sure to place any unused bacon in a storage container or a storage bag to keep it from gathering extra bacteria or germs. Use within 1 week when stored in the fridge. Move it to the freezer if you can’t get it used in that time frame.
As you can see, storing your uncooked bacon is really pretty simple. The pre-freeze process is recommended primarily if you are splitting your bacon into several servings.
Uncooked bacon is raw meat, even though it has been through the curing process. Be sure to follow all raw meat handling precautions as well as ensuring that you cook your bacon to the appropriate temperature to make it safe for consumption.
Using Bacon After the Freezing Process
One of the nice things about freezing bacon is it doesn’t have to thaw for a long time to be used after it’s been frozen. If you froze it in the original packaging, it might stick together while it is still frozen, so you will want to thaw it out some to cook it.
You can let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight for the best thawing process.
If you forget to pull it out ahead of time, you can also use somewhat quicker thawing methods. This includes submerging it in or running it under, cold water. This could still take up to an hour.
You can also use your microwave. If you use either of these methods, the bacon should be cooked right away after your thawing process.
Do not try to refreeze the bacon once you have allowed it to thaw. This is why we highly recommend that you plan ahead and split it into applicable portion sizes when you freeze it. Otherwise, you should plan to cook all of it that you thaw out.
Once you’ve cooked it, you can store the cooked bacon in the refrigerator for about a week, which should give you some time to use it up and avoid having to toss it out!
We hope that you have found this guide to freezing uncooked bacon to be a helpful resource and that you fully understand the freezing process. It’s a simple process that doesn’t take a lot of work or effort to get it right.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that could also be informative for you.
How Can You Tell if Uncooked Bacon Has Gone Bad?
To tell if bacon has gone bad, watch for a change in color in your bacon. As it goes bad, the color may turn from reddish tones to grey-brown tones or even green tones. If you see this color change, you should toss it out.
You can also watch for signs of slimy bacon as this can mean it’s gone bad. Finally, if the bacon smells bad or sour, it should be thrown out as well, as this is another sign it has spoiled.
Does Cooking Bacon Kill the Bacteria on It?
Much like any other meat, if you cook bacon to the recommended temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, this would normally kill any parasites or bacteria on the bacon.
Do You Have to Coil Bacon to Freeze It?
You do not need to coil bacon before freezing it, however, this may simplify the freezing process. Coiling also allows you to more easily complete the pre-freeze process and maximizes space for storage as well.
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