Storing Uncooked Bacon: Can You Freeze Bacon That Hasn’t Been Cooked?

Is there anything better than filling the kitchen with the smell of cooking bacon?

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Whether you’re having it for breakfast, as a sandwich snack, or as part of a meal, bacon is a meal that can be found in many houses, a day-to-day item for the grocery list.

However, bacon is one of those foods that need to be eaten not long after they’ve been bought. Unopened and uncooked bacon will last around 2 weeks in the refrigerator, which is pretty decent.

But it will only last around 1 week in the refrigerator once it’s been opened. If you have a busy week, or you end up eating other things, you might find yourself out of time, and wasting the bacon! 

So, how can you preserve the bacon so that it lasts longer? Can you freeze uncooked bacon?

The answer is yes! You can freeze uncooked bacon, and it will then last a lot longer, so you don’t have to worry if you’re not planning on cooking and eating it for a while!

In fact, unopened uncooked bacon that is frozen will last around 8 months, while opened uncooked bacon that is then frozen will last around 6 months. That’s a lot more than the time it lasts in the refrigerator, so it can be well worth it!

If you want to know how to freeze uncooked bacon, and how to keep it stored appropriately, how to defrost it, and much more, stick around!

How to Freeze Uncooked Bacon

As we’ve said, you can freeze uncooked bacon without a problem, so that it is preserved for a lot longer. This also means that you could bulk buy your bacon, and store all the extra in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. That way you don’t have to worry about it during the weekly shop!

You might think that you can simply throw the uncooked bacon in the freezer, and that’s the job done. And in a way, sure, that will freeze and preserve the bacon. But for the best results, it’s important to freeze it in a more suitable way.

So, how do you freeze uncooked bacon? Let’s get right into it!

There are two main ways in which you can go about freezing your uncooked bacon, and it depends on whether it’s opened or unopened. If the bacon is still unopened and it is therefore still in its original packaging, then freezing is a lot easier.

Simply take the pack of bacon, and place it in the freezer! You could place it in a freezer hand beforehand, but it doesn’t really need it. If anything, we highly recommend you label the bacon so you know exactly when you put it in the freezer!

Freezing uncooked bacon that has been opened, on the other hand, requires a bit more of a process, so let’s focus on that.

Here is a step by step guide on how to freeze uncooked bacon, once it’s been opened:

  1. First of all, think about whether you want to freeze all of the bacon portions, or just a few. Since the pack is already open, you can pick and choose with the amount that you’re freezing!

  2. Next, take the slices of bacon that you want to freeze. One by one, roll each slice individually into a tiny coil (kind of like turning it into the shell of a snail). This is a great way to freeze the bacon slices, and it also helps save some space in the freezer.

  3. Take a small tray and line it with a baking sheet. Then place the little coils of bacon on the tray, making sure none of them are touching each other. (Otherwise, they’ll get stuck together during the freezing process!)

  4. Place the tray with the bacon in the freezer, and let it freeze for a few hours.

  5. After a few hours, retrieve the tray from the freezer. All of the bacon coils should be perfectly frozen. You can now take them from the tray and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, for better storage. You can use several bags or containers if you want, as that way you can defrost a certain amount of bacon at a time!

  6. We highly recommend that you label and date the freezer-safe containers and bags. It’s important to know how much time something has been in the freezer, as they won’t remain edible forever!

  7. Place the bags and containers full of bacon slices back in the freezer. They can stay there for up to 12 months. However, it is recommended that you defrost and consume the bacon within 6 months for the best taste.

And that’s it, that’s how you can freeze uncooked bacon, once it’s been opened! Make sure that once you defrost it, you’re going to consume it.

Although it’s fine to freeze bacon, you really shouldn’t be freezing it more than once!

How to Defrost Uncooked Bacon

Once your uncooked bacon is safely frozen in the freezer, you have a lot more time to consume it. When you’re finally ready to cook and eat the bacon, however, you will first have to defrost it.

And here’s the thing with defrosting, it’s the trickiest bit of freezing food! It’s important to defrost food properly, or else the food can go bad in the process. Especially foods such as bacon. This is because raw meat is highly susceptible to growing bacteria, so if not defrosted right you could end up with food poisoning!

But don’t worry, we’re going to tell you, step by step, exactly how to defrost bacon, by guiding you through the thawing process.

There are different ways in which you can thaw bacon after being frozen, depending on how much of a hurry you’re in.

One of the easiest ways to thaw bacon is by leaving it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. This is especially suited to thaw bacon that is still in its original packaging and is therefore unopened.

Once it is defrosted, it can be kept in the refrigerator for another day or two. Easy, simple, and you can then cook the bacon as normal for consumption.

But what if you want to defrost the bacon a little faster, instead of waiting overnight? Well, there are two other main methods: using the microwave, or defrosting in cold water. With both of these methods, you should then cook the bacon immediately after, and consume it.

Let’s look at both of these methods in more detail:

Defrosting the Bacon in a Microwave:

Thawing the bacon by using the microwave will take no more than 5 minutes, it’s a super easy and easy way to get it ready for cooking.

It’s perfect for when you want to defrost the bacon fast.

This is how to do it:

  1. Take a microwave-safe dish and line it with a paper towel. (The paper towel will absorb the excess water and bacon fats as it defrosts!)
    Then take the bacon from the freezer, and place it on the plate. You should spread out the bacon slices out as much as possible so that they get properly defrosted. If you froze them up in coils, let them defrost for 2 min, and then you should be able to spread them out on the plate a lot better.

  2. We recommend you then put another paper towel on top of the bacon, to avoid any of the fat and from ending up all over the microwave.

  3. Place the bacon in the microwave, and place the ‘meat defrost’ button. This will automatically set the right timer on. If not, set the timer on 5 minutes, and then check. If it’s not fully defrosted, set the timer to another 5 minutes.

  4. Once the bacon is fully defrosted, cook it immediately. (Once cooked it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to another 5 days).

Defrosting the Bacon in Cold Water:

Another option for thawing bacon is in cold water, and this should take around 30 minutes max, so it’s also well-suited when you’re in a bit of a hurry.

This is how to do it:

  1. If the frozen bacon is still in its original closed packaging, you can go ahead to the next step. If not, then you will have to place the frozen bacon pieces into a watertight plastic bag. A ziplock bag can also work.

  2. Fill the sink or a bowl with cold water, and place the watertight bag inside it. It’s important that the water is cold, and not warm, as otherwise, it might cause the bacon to gather dangerous bacteria.

  3. After 30 minutes, the bacon should be defrosted. If it isn’t, change the water and leave it for a bit longer, until it is fully thawed.

  4. Once the bacon is defrosted, cook it immediately. (Once cooked it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to another 5 days).

How to Store Uncooked Bacon Properly

Uncooked bacon is raw meat, and therefore it is highly susceptible to bacteria that could lead to food poisoning if it’s not stored appropriately. So just to be on the safe side, let’s go over the basics of how to store bacon, in different places.

The first, and most important thing that you need to know, is that uncooked bacon should never ever be left at room temperature. If it’s out at room temperature for too long, it runs the risk of breeding harmful bacteria, and might then give you food poisoning when consumed.

With that in mind, there are only two ways in which you can store uncooked bacon, the fridge, and the freezer. And depending on how it’s stored, the bacon will last for a certain amount of time:

In the Fridge:

  • Unopened bacon: up to 2 weeks
  • Opened bacon: up to 1 week

In the Freezer:

  • Unopened bacon: up to 8 months
  • Opened bacon: up to 6 months

When it comes to the freezer, bacon can actually last up to around 12 months or so, but it is not recommended to leave it there as long, as the bacon will not taste as good.

Should you freeze uncooked bacon?

We’ve more than established that uncooked bacon can indeed be frozen, allowing it to be preserved for longer. But a more important question is perhaps, whether or not you should.

Well, like most things in life, there are pros and cons to the decision. But ultimately, freezing your uncooked bacon or not, is up to you!

PROS to Freezing Uncooked Bacon:

  • The bacon will last a lot longer! Therefore, there is no pressure to consume the bacon within two weeks, you will have up to 12 months!
  • You can freeze uncooked bacon in its original packaging, which is super easy and fast. Or you can freeze uncooked opened bacon, and freeze as many or as few slices as you want.
  • Bacon can be defrosted very easy and fast after frozen
  • As long as the bacon isn’t left in the freezer for more than the recommended amount of time, it will taste just as good!

CONS to Freezing Uncooked Bacon:

  • If the bacon is left in the freezer for too long, it will lose its taste, and won’t be as nice.
  • If you do not defrost the bacon properly, you run the risk of it breeding harmful bacteria, that might give you food poisoning.
  • If the bacon is opened, you need to go through a pre-freeze process in order to ensure it is properly frozen, which might take more effort than you’re willing to put in.

In Conclusion

Right, let’s sum up everything we’ve covered. Can you freeze uncooked bacon? Yes, you can!

You can freeze it whether it’s unopened and in its original packaging, or whether it has already been opened. The only difference is that freezing opened uncooked bacon requires a bit more pre-freeze prep.

While uncooked bacon can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator if unopened, it can last up to 12 months when frozen, so it allows you to preserve the bacon for a lot longer so that it can be consumed at a later date. 

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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