There's A Time Limit For Storing Raw Bacon In The Freezer

Storing raw bacon can be a pain. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these popular meat slices last about a week in the fridge after opening. This puts home cooks in a tight time frame, as they either have to use up all that bacon or let it go to the trash can. To combat this issue, many people just move these thin strips right to the freezer for later use, since many foods last indefinitely in this icy part of the fridge. But raw bacon remains the exception, as it cannot last there for longer than a month.

When you allow your raw bacon to sit in the freezer for over a month, you let its fat begin to spoil. No one wants to eat rancid food, as it can obviously make you sick. Cooked bacon can be frozen for longer, but don't expect it to last forever either.

Separate your bacon slices in the freezer to avoid clumping

Parchment paper makes storing your bacon a breeze – either in the fridge or freezer. Once separated, you can easily grab however many slices you need for cooking without having to pry apart delicate pieces of meat. The same strategy of storing them applies in the freezer, as bacon easily turns into a block of frozen protein if not properly separated. This will force you to thaw all of your remaining bacon in one go, and if you have any remaining slices, you cannot refreeze them without risking any foodborne illnesses.

To properly store your bacon in the freezer, insert a piece of parchment or wax paper between each bacon slice. Make sure the paper completely separates each strip, as this will ensure no clumping occurs between each slice. You can also try flash-freezing each piece separately in order to minimize the chances of clumping.

Once your bacon pieces are properly frozen, don't waste time thawing them out before cooking. Their thin size allows them to crisp up even when covered in frost, and improperly thawing these popular meat strips can result in pathogens entering your food.

Whatever you do, keep slab bacon away from your freezer

While most raw bacon can be safely frozen and consumed within its allotted shelf life, slab bacon can actually deteriorate rapidly when exposed to frigid temperatures. Because these strips are cured with salt, the fat in slab bacon tends to sour even faster. If you have slab bacon at home or plan to buy a block of it soon, just seal it tightly with plastic wrap. This should allow it to stay fresh in the fridge for weeks, extending the time you have to finish it up.

If you still want to maximize the taste of your raw bacon, try out thicker, smoked slices over regular raw bacon. While these are often more expensive, they bring in more complex flavors from the curing and smoking process. If your local grocery store has a butcher section, give it a visit and check if they sell raw bacon slices. You can often get quality slices for cheaper prices, as you won't be paying for pre-packaged content.