Does Bacon Go Bad? How Long Does Bacon Last?

Bacon is a delicious and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your bacon is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

No matter how you store it, bacon will eventually go bad.

  • Bacon will last the longest when kept in a freezer, with a shelf-life of anywhere from one to eight months.
  • Cooking bacon will cut its shelf life by up to a half; for example, frozen cooked bacon will last for a month, while unopened frozen bacon can last for up to eight.
  • Keep your bacon in the far corner of the fridge for best results. Refrigerated bacon will last for around five to seven days.
  • No matter how you’re storing your bacon, keep it in an airtight container to prevent premature spoilage.

The way that you store your bacon, along with whether it is cooked or uncooked, will affect its storage life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that bacon is stored to demonstrate this.

Does Bacon Go Bad? How Long Does Bacon Last?

Bacon won’t last for an extremely long amount of time, but when stored correctly, it can provide joy for anywhere from around a week to several months. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to keep your bacon in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Bacon Last Outside?

Unless your bacon is dry-cured, you shouldn’t leave it outdoors. Bacon needs to be kept at a temperature that is at least sub-40 degrees Fahrenheit, and must be kept out of the sunlight.

If your bacon is dry-cured, you can leave it outside of the fridge for up to ten days. As with regular bacon, make sure to keep it out of the sunlight and in an airtight container.

While it may be tempting to use your garage or a similar place outside to store your bacon so that there is more room in your fridge, it isn’t worth the risk. Bacon that isn’t stored in the correct way can easily develop dangerous bacteria that can make you very sick.

How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge?

Unopened bacon will last the longest. When kept in a fridge, you can expect regular, unopened bacon to last for up to two weeks. A package of bacon that has been opened, but not cooked, will still last in the fridge for up to a week.

Once you cook your bacon, its shelf life in the fridge deteriorates by a decent amount. Only keep cooked bacon in your fridge for a maximum of five days. After this, it will start to go bad.

Different types of bacon, like Canadian or turkey, will last just a few days less than standard bacon when kept in the fridge. Make sure you keep track of what kind of bacon you buy!

How Long Does Bacon Last in the Freezer?

Bacon will last for quite a long time when kept in the freezer. Just like with refrigeration, unopened bacon will last the longest. Unopened bacon will last for up to eight months when kept in the freezer. Once you open the bacon, its shelf life in the freezer decreases to six months.

Cooking bacon will cut its shelf life in the freezer by a significant amount, although it will still last for some time. Frozen cooked bacon will last for up to one month in the freezer.

As with refrigeration, other types of bacon, like Canadian and turkey, may last for less time when kept in the freezer versus standard bacon. Keep an eye on the type of bacon you choose to buy, and remember to do your research into your specific type of bacon.

Now you know all about how long bacon will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your bacon has gone sour.

How to Tell if Your Bacon Has Gone Bad?

Even though your bacon can last for a pretty decent amount of time when stored properly, it will eventually turn sour if not consumed. Here are some ways that you can tell if your bacon has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Texture: Bacon that has gone bad will feel odd, almost as if it is coated in slime or some sticky substance. Good bacon should be moist, but not slimy.

Color: Bacon’s iconic reddish hue will become dull as it goes bad; spoiled bacon may have a gray, green, or brown color.

Smell: This one should be pretty obvious, but if your bacon has a strong odor to it, then it has gone bad. Spoiled bacon will have a sour or rotting smell to it; this will likely be pretty obvious. Nonetheless, if you notice even a whiff of foul odor coming from your bacon, throw it out.

Storage length: Even if your bacon isn’t showing the above signs of spoilage, if you’ve kept it in storage for way longer than its intended shelf life, throw it away. For example, if you put a package of bacon in your freezer and don’t come across it again for an entire year, throw that bacon out right away, even if it looks, smells, and feels fine.

How Should You Store Bacon?

You know that you can keep your bacon in the fridge or freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep the bacon sealed up: Once you’re done using your bacon, make sure you keep it in an airtight container or bag. Before placing it in this bag or container, make sure you put it back in the original packaging or wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep it from leaking juices all over the place.

Store it right away: Make sure you put your bacon in the fridge or freezer right away, especially if it’s opened and still raw. Bacon can go bad quickly if left outside of the fridge or freezer; raw bacon can spoil in just a few hours when left in incorrect temperatures and settings.

Shelf-stable bacon: Some bacon is dry-cured to make it shelf-stable; if this is the case, store it in the same way as it was when you bought it at the store.

How to Freeze Bacon?

We established above that you can in fact freeze bacon, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your bacon in perfect condition for months.

Wrap it: Before putting your bacon in the freezer, wrap it up in aluminum foil or paper towels to help prevent it from getting freezer burn.

Airtight: Uncooked bacon should always be kept wrapped in aluminum foil or paper towels and in an airtight container when kept in the freezer.

Label it: Make sure you note the date that you originally place the bacon in the freezer. Three months from now, you’ll thank yourself when you’re trying to remember how long your bacon has been in the freezer.

Big chunks of bacon: If you happen to have large, uncut chunks of bacon, don’t freeze them. Giant hunks of bacon will go bad very quickly if kept in the freezer. Instead, slice them down into smaller pieces and then freeze them.

How Do You Thaw Bacon?

Now that you know how to freeze your bacon, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.

There are three ways you can go about thawing out your bacon. First, you can place the package in your sink and run cold water over it until it thaws. This might sound counter-intuitive, but we promise it works. If you don’t trust us, you can also defrost it in your microwave.

Make sure you never defrost your bacon on a countertop or a similar location. Bacon isn’t meant to be left out in the open for ages, and you risk compromising the safety of the food if you do this. Stick to the methods outlined above.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bacon’s Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your bacon and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.

Is the use-by date on my bacon the same as an expiration date? No, it isn’t. A use-by date is a suggestion for when the bacon should be used by to maintain the highest quality. An expiration date tells you that you must use the product by that date, or else it has gone bad. Use your bacon’s use-by date as a guide, along with the information in this article.

Can I just leave my frozen bacon in a tub of water to thaw it? Not really. We suggest using a running stream of water as opposed to a container of still water because the motion of water will help to thaw the bacon, and it will also lower the risk of leaking.

Wrap Up

Even though bacon is quite bad for you, we all still love to enjoy it anyways! We hope this article gave you all the information you need to keep your bacon good for up to eight months. Remember to wrap your bacon in foil or plastic before storing it, and keep it in an airtight container!

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