If you enjoy crunchy bacon, no doubt you love preparing extras on weekends and putting them in the fridge for later.
However, sometimes you’ll go out of the limit and end up with more than you need. In that case, you may find yourself asking; how long is cooked bacon good in the fridge? You can store bacon for around seven days in the refrigerator.
Being knowledgeable on how to correctly store cooked bacon is essential for ensuring food safety, lowering the likelihood of spoilage, and maintaining its incredible taste. Keep reading to learn about how long is cooked bacon good in the fridge and everything you need to know about storing cooked bacon.
How Long Can Bacon Stay in the Fridge?
A bacon’s shelf life depends on several variables, such as the storage method and whether or not it’s cooked. Generally, you can keep unwrapped bacon in the fridge for two weeks and in the freezer for eight months.
On the other hand, unwrapped and uncooked bacon has a storage life of one week in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. When you open the container, bacon is immediately at risk of contamination from airborne pathogens and spoiling.
Resealing it won’t help since the original exposure will have already started the chemical reactions responsible for decomposition. If you have more than enough bacon, add it to different recipes because it’s not more than breakfast food.
Cooked bacon can stay in the fridge for at least five days if you use the following:
- Airtight bag
- Plastic bag with a zip-top closure
- A lidded container
Whereas the USDA recommends refrigerating cooked bacon for at least seven days, it will most likely retain its taste and crispness if you consume it within a day or two after cooking.
How To Properly Store Three Varieties of Cooked Bacon
There’s no universal rule on how long you can store bacon. A bacon’s variety, thickness, degree of cooking, and storage environment will dictate how long you can store it. Here are several ways to store cooked bacon.
Cooked Strips of Regular Sliced Bacon
First, spread the bacon strips on a wire rack and cool them thoroughly. An airtight bag or receptacle is essential to freeze or refrigerate cooked bacon. That’s because you want to minimize the surface area subjected to oxygen.
You should try squeezing as much air as possible from the bag before closing it, or consider investing in a vacuum air sealant. After labeling, you can put the container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Read also: Temperature Guide for Medium Rare Hamburger
Cooked Thick-Cut Bacon
Sealing thick-cut bacon in a single sheet of plastic wrap would be insufficient. You should cover the pieces using freezer wrap, thick freezer bags, and several layers of wax paper. That way, you may anticipate your bacon to remain edible for up to 5 days.
Home-made bacon bits in a sealed container will survive for up to five days in the refrigerator. It’s also important to note that bacon bits have a longer freezer lifespan of up to six months if you cover them securely.
Does Bacon Go Bad?
Yes, bacon can go bad. Seasoning with organic ingredients and smoking doesn’t mean it’ll remain fresh indefinitely. It would be best if you took a moment to check the bacon’s container for the expiration date before you begin examining the individual strips.
Although the USDA does not mandate that bacon producers include a date on the product’s packaging, most opt to have a “sell by” or a “use by” date.
A “sell by” date assists store owners in moving stock efficiently and ensures you get the freshest goods possible. If you get bacon with such labeling, it’s safe for consumption within one week. You may also freeze it for one month.
However, a “use by” date signifies the point in time when a product’s quality has declined. The USDA suggests discarding such bacon.
Furthermore, bacon can get spoiled before the “sell by” or “use by” date. That’s particularly true if there’s a rupture in the packaging or other damage during shipping or storage.
Most companies consider bacon’s vacuum-sealing and long-term storage while creating the packaging dates. But once air gets inside the container, the deterioration process starts immediately. You should check the bacon’s container to ascertain that it’s well sealed and does not exhibit any signs of spoilage before making a purchase.
How To Tell if Bacon Is Bad
Here are some warning indications that your bacon may have gone bad:
It Doesn’t Have the Normal Smell
A bacon’s smell should not be overpowering. If anything, the smell should be slightly smokey. It has gone rancid if you smell something sulfur or sour when opening your bacon package. The particularly offensive odor occurs when fungi, yeast, and bacteria get a foothold in the bacon.
The microorganisms can generate a smell or cause the bacon to release a bad odor. In certain situations, the smoky aroma of bacon may cover up these smells. So, if you’re not positive about whether your bacon is still good, there are other indicators you can look for.
It Has Molds
Most fungi and microbes are invisible to the naked eye, but some can grow on the bacon’s surface. The presence of molds and any growth means your bacon is spoilt. Removing the moldy part of the bacon and using the remainder might be tempting, but it’s not advisable.
Fresh bacon should have savory white fat strips spread with pinkish-red flesh meat, but that’s the opposite of bad bacon. After staying in the fridge for a week, bacon might start having a grayish, greenish, or brownish color. Such changes are signs of fungi infiltration, implying it’s time to throw away the bacon.
It Has a Slimy Texture
Bacon is at its best when it has a succulent, soft texture. If you hold the bacon and feel a slimy texture, it means something is amiss.
Although some people may think of the slime as water dripping from the bacon, that’s not the case. The formation of slime happens when particular microbes begin decomposing the meat. Therefore, you should throw it away if you don’t want to get ill or see your loved ones suffer due to food poisoning.
How Long Does Pre-Cooked Bacon Last?
Precooked bacon has a comparable lifespan to freshly cooked bacon when kept in the refrigerator. With proper storage, you may anticipate pre-cooked bacon sitting in the refrigerator for at least four or seven days.
To promote food safety, the standard recommendation is not to let cooked bacon sit at room temperature for over two hours. You might want to consider dividing your bacon into individual portions as it renders it simple to wrap securely and eliminates excess air.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for Storing a Cooked Bacon?
Keeping your bacon at a temperature that’s low enough to prevent the development of microbes might increase its lifespan. Ideally, you should maintain your fridge’s temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have concerns about your refrigerator’s cooling capabilities, a fridge thermometer may help you keep tabs on the exact temperature.
Cooked Bacon Products Storage
The USDA recommends checking out refrigerated cooked bacon products before leaving the store. When you get home, put them in the fridge at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you buy shelf-stable, cooked bacon, keep it in a cool cupboard and maintain the temperatures at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also consume it before the package’s expiry date or within three months of purchase, whichever comes fast. If you’re unsure how to handle it, check the label for directions.
How Long Can Cooked Turkey Bacon Stay in the Fridge?
Turkey bacon could be a decent choice for fans watching their waistlines. A cooked turkey bacon will sit in the fridge for three days if securely covered in plastic wrap. Since turkey bacon is healthier and lower in fat than normal bacon, it spoils more quickly. However, keep it in a sealed container or cover it in foil to extend its shelf life.
Whereas the USDA considers refrigerating turkey bacon for as long as seven days, the experience is different. The bacon’s quality, like flavor and color, declines after three days.
Can I Cook Bacon Beforehand and Reheat It?
It’s possible to cook bacon beforehand and then reheat it. First, you must prepare the bacon using the most convenient method. You may opt to use a barbecue, pellet smoker, or oven.
Then, allow it to cool, wrap it securely and store it in the fridge. Warm the bacon in a big saucepan over medium heat or a baking sheet in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips To Prevent Bacon From Going Bad
When you bring a package of bacon into your house, you want to enjoy every delicious piece. To achieve that, you must take proper bacon storage measures. Your best bet is freezing or refrigerating your cooked or uncooked bacon.
It allows the bacon to last longer because the low temperatures inhibit the proliferation of harmful bacteria. When dealing with cooked bacon, let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you want to preserve your bacon longer, ensure to seal it. If you use a plastic bag, remove any excess air before closing. At the minimum, you should put your bacon in an airtight receptacle so it won’t go bad.
Bacon is widely available, which counters the need to store much of it. Nevertheless, if you’re planning on taking your bacon with you on a weekend getaway, these simple tips will ensure that you can enjoy it when it’s still at its freshness peak.
Can You Reheat Bacon Three Times?
No, reheating your bacon excessively reduces its quality. Doing it multiple times also raises the risk of microbial growth. If you must reheat your bacon, ensure you return it to the refrigerator within two hours. In addition, be sure to reheat your cooked bacon to 165 degrees F, allowing you to store it for longer.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Reheating Bacon?
Bacon is a tasty delicacy but can become more dangerous if not cooked properly. While reheating is possible, cooking bacon at once is safer to prevent microbial spoilage. In addition, avoid cooking your bacon partially because that will not destroy bacteria.
Understanding how to store bacon safely will let you get the most out of it and prevent food poisoning. Bad bacon isn’t hard to identify since it has a sour smell, slimy texture, discoloration, or mold.
When unsure about your bacon’s freshness, choosing caution and discarding it is better. We hope you now have a satisfying answer to the question; how long is cooked bacon good in the fridge?
Here are the most common questions people ask about bacon storage.
Can I eat cooked bacon after seven days?
After seven days, you can eat cooked bacon if you store it properly in a freezer. When kept in a freezer, cooked bacon will retain its savory taste and appearance for up to one month. However, storing your cooked bacon in a fridge will go bad after seven days.
Can you eat 2-week-old bacon?
No, it would help if you did not eat 2-week-old bacon. The USDA recommends that you should consume bacon within seven days. That means you should discard bacon after the seven days have expired, as it’s no longer safe to eat.
How long does cooked bacon last in the fridge?
Cooked bacon can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored correctly. Store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil to maximize shelf life. For longer storage, you should freeze cooked bacon for up to three months.
Is bacon still good after two weeks in the fridge?
No, with proper storage, cooked bacon will only last four to five days in the refrigerator, while an open package will only sit for one week.