How Long Does Bacon Last and How To Store it for a Longer Shelf Life

How long does bacon last in the fridge once opened? It's an important question. But that question doesn't matter if you don't truly know how to store and extend the shelf life of bacon. Every unopened package of bacon has an expiration date, so to open it would cut that date down significantly. Don't fret though! There are a couple of steps you can take to make that bacon last long enough to enjoy that last strip.

Store Bacon In The Fridge

Greasy Hot Grilled Bacon

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So you've just opened a new pouch of bacon and heated up your stovetop. You're quick to throw on some uncooked bacon and watch the bacon grease start flowing out. But there are more pressing matters at this moment. While you wait for your crispy cooked bacon to form, you should be taking care of the raw bacon you didn't use.

To keep it from drying out, don't let it just sit at room temperature. It needs to get right back in the fridge. Grab an airtight container and put the rest of your bacon in there. Ziplock bags and aluminum foil work great too at sealing it tightly. These storage conditions will prevent a sour smell in your fridge and make the bacon last longer.

If you're wondering how long does bacon last in the fridge, the answer depends on a few things. If you store opened but uncooked bacon in the fridge, it'll last about 1 week. If it's unopened, it'll last up to 2 weeks. To make it have a longer shelf life, the freezer is your best bet. If you're storing cooked bacon in the fridge, it has the shortest shelf life, at 4-5 days. Bacon grease can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.

Freeze Bacon In The Freezer

Roasted bacon on cutting board

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So what can you do if you don't plan to eat the rest of the bacon anytime soon? Freeze it! Unopened bacon lasts up to 8 months in the freezer. Opened, uncooked bacon lasts up to 6 months in the freezer, and cooked bacon will make it about a month in the freezer before going rancid. As for bacon grease, it can be frozen for up to 9 months.

However, for food safety and according to the USDA, your safe bet is to only freeze bacon for a month or less. You're risking spoilage at that point. Don't want food poisoning now.

The idea of having to defrost the bacon each time you want to enjoy a couple of slices is daunting. So if you're looking to cook bacon in smaller quantities, in the near future, separate the bacon in the container so that it doesn't freeze as a bunch.

Unopened bacon must follow the same directions. Only freeze it if the sell-by-date hasn't approached yet. Grab a heavy-duty freezer bag and throw the unopened pouch, and voila. No freezer burn here.

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This post was originally published on March 26, 2021.

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