How to store cooked bacon doesn’t seem too challenging a task. Bag it up and toss it in the fridge, right? Only if you like old soggy bacon that looks sort of grey. Because that is where you are headed going down that road.
Sure, the dog might be ecstatic about it for a bacon treat, but I think most humans prefer freshly cooked bacon, or at least something as close to it as possible.
And in my family, we eat a lot of bacon. Having boys in the house means a pound of bacon goes quickly. To make my mornings easier, I cook large batches on a baking sheet in the oven. Then I store it for quick and easy use over the next few days.
Cooking bacon in the oven is not nearly as messy as a frying pan. I hate cleaning up grease splatters from the stove top and counters. How about you?
Leftover Cooked Bacon
If you plan on storing cooked bacon, then you can store in the fridge or the freezer. But each does require some forethought for how you plan to keep it, and when you plan to use it.
Obviously, each has its limitations as well as advantages, but only if you plan on using it within the right timeframe.
Check out these tips for Storing Freshly Cooked Bacon
How to Store Cooked Bacon
1. Completely Cool The Bacon
Whatever you do, of course just make sure you bacon is completely cooled down first before you store it. If it doesn’t get eaten right away, I allow the bacon to cool to room temperature. Then I decide on storage.
2. Remove Excess Moisture/Fat Properly
But, there is more to consider as well. For example, if you take just cooked bacon and lay it on paper towels to drain excess fat, then make sure to remove it from the towel promptly.
Sitting on the towel the moisture that escaped at first, then gets reabsorbed back into the bacon. Before you even get up from the table to store the leftovers, you are already going to find that once crispy bacon has begun to wilt with moisture. Osmosis is tricky like that…
3. Wrap Properly
Use paper towels to refrigerate or freeze cooked bacon. Ok, I know I discouraged using a paper towel too long after you pull it off the stove to cool and let the excess moisture get absorbed.
As long as you don’t use that greasy paper towel again, and wrap your bacon in a clean paper towel, then store it in an airtight container or freezer bag, then that is fine.
Take the pieces of bacon and roll them up in a fresh paper towel then place the towel wrapped bacon in your container. This will actually help keep the bacon pretty dang crispy. It also makes it easy to reheat, since you can place it in a microwave to reheat quickly, still wrapped in the paper towel.
How To Avoid Freezer Burn On Bacon Strips
With anything stored in the freezer, and bacon is no exception, freezer burn is the blight to avoid. If you store bacon in the freezer properly, then storing up to 3 months is possible. But you have to remember:
- Make sure the container is completely air tight. Air is what causes so called freezer burn. The better the container, the longer the storage duration. The heavier freezer specific zipped plastic bags work great.
- Make sure to mark the date when you pop the bacon into the freezer. Things get lost in freezers. And when they turn up again finally… Well, no one wants to be around when that happens.
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How To Keep Bacon From Spoiling In The Fridge
In the fridge, it is actually harder to keep the bacon from getting slightly soggy. A frost free freezer is helpful at reducing moisture. But a fridge actually needs a bit of moisture to keep things like veggies fresher.
So where does that leave you with bacon? Use it before you lose it as the saying goes. Bacon stored in the refrigerator lasts about 3 days.
Same rules apply for cooked bacon in the fridge. Keep it wrapped in paper towels and sealed in an airtight container.
How To Tell If Leftover Bacon Has Spoiled
When bacon is still perfectly good to eat, you see and smell it. But if it doesn’t smell like bacon, then forget it. It isn’t bacon anymore. It is something you need to toss.
Also, if the bacon becomes slimy and has an off color close to grey, then say goodbye. Not worth the risk.
My advice is use the freezer over the fridge to store bacon if possible. You get better results and way less risk of it going bad.
Reheating Cooked Bacon
To reheat your bacon:
- In the oven, reheat at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on if it is frozen or not.
- With a microwave, reheat it in the wrapped paper towels for about 15 to 30 seconds.
- On the stove top, make sure the bacon has plenty of room around each piece and heat on high for about 3 minutes.
- Using an air fryer, blast for about 4 minutes at 325 degrees.
How long can bacon sit out?
Try to use your thawed bacon or bacon leftovers pulled from the fridge as soon as you reheat it. Only reheat what you plan to eat. Don’t plan on restoring leftovers of leftovers.
Does Cooked Bacon need to be Refrigerated?
While bacon is very salty, a method of preservation before refrigeration, you are best off ALWAYS using a refrigerator or freezer to store leftovers. We live a lot longer than folks did in the so called good old days. Modern food storage appliances are a good reason for that.
How long will cooked Bacon keep in refrigerator?
If you store the bacon properly, then 3 days to 4 days tops in the refrigerator is ok.
How do you keep bacon crispy in the fridge?
Well stored leftover bacon in the freezer is good for two or three months. But make sure it is stored in airtight containers!
Can you eat cooked bacon cold?
One of the great things about leftover bacon is it is fine to eat even if it is still cold. Cobb salad anyone?
Tips for Storing Cooked Bacon
- Don’t immediately throw the bacon strips into a container. Let them cool completely.
- Use a cooling rack instead of a paper towel to cool on will keep the excess fat and moisture away.
- Pat the bacon completely dry of excess moisture from fats and water.
- Be mindful of shelf life. Always mark the container so you know the date of cooking and storing.
- Use airtight containers or wrap the bacon tightly in foil. You can use freezer bags too.
Time For Some Bacon Recipes!
- Southern Baked Beans with BBQ and Bacon
- Apple Risotto (With Bacon)
- Easy Spaghetti Carbonara
- Bacon Bar
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