Have you ever needed to know how to store cooked bacon?
While we have never seen or experienced it ourselves, we have heard of people sometimes having a thing called “leftover bacon.”
Excess bacon might be as rare as a Bigfoot sighting, but this miraculous phenomenon could happen. For instance, someone might invite you to an all-you-can-eat bacon buffet on the very day you happen to be wearing your cardigan sweater with the big pockets.
As you casually stash a couple handfuls of the tasty strips, you’ll want to know: what are the top ways to best preserve cooked bacon’s savory, tasty flavor and delectable crispy texture? How can I make this bonanza of cooked bacon last?
These tips will guide you!
Refrigerating Cooked Bacon
We cook a lot of bacon here in the BENSA test kitchen. My favorite way to store it is to wrap it loosely in parchment paper, folding the ends to keep excess air out. Then put the packet inside a resealable plastic bag. Keep the cooked bacon in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
How Long Does Cooked Bacon Keep?
Cooked bacon can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. In our experience, the flavor is best if used within a day or two.
Alternately, you can store fully cooked bacon in the freezer for about a month. See more freezing tips below.
For detailed information, be sure to read “How Long Does Cooked Bacon Keep in the Refrigerator?” By the way, here’s our guide to storing and keeping unopened bacon fresh.
For tips about turkey bacon, check out our post about storing, handling and freezing turkey bacon.
How to Keep Bacon Crispy Overnight
Pro tip: To store cooked bacon for the next day, place it on a paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil or plastic wrap. The paper towel will absorb any excess grease and moisture, helping to keep the bacon crispier.
Can You Freeze Cooked Bacon?
Cooked bacon freezes very well! Be sure it’s completely cooled to room temperature before wrapping it for freezing, so that ice crystals don’t form.
Our favorite way to freeze cooked bacon is to wrap individual portions in wax paper or parchment paper. Then place the parcels in a zip lock bag and freeze.
To avoid any loss of quality or freezer burn, enjoy the frozen cooked bacon within four weeks for best flavor.
How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Cooked Bacon
The easiest way to thaw bacon you’ve cooked and stashed in the freezer is to simply move the package from the freezer to the refrigerator and leave it in the fridge overnight. This will slowly thaw the bacon, preserving its texture.
But if you didn’t plan ahead, no problem. Remove the frozen cooked bacon from the freezer and let it sit out on the kitchen counter for one hour to thaw.
To reheat it, use one of these methods:
Skillet – lay the frozen strips in the unheated frying pan. Turn the heat on to medium and reheat the bacon strips, turning once or twice, until hot and crispy.
Oven – Arrange the strips on a foil lined baking sheet and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Check after 5 minutes, and frequently thereafter. Bacon is ready when it’s hot and sizzling.
Microwave – Arrange the strips on a microwave safe plate or baking dish. Heat on Medium (50%) power in 30 second increments until strips are hot and sizzling. The exact heating time will depend on your microwave and the thickness of the bacon.
Pro tip: When reheating cooked bacon, always heat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure food safety.
You might also enjoy our comprehensive post about how to reheat bacon.
Is it Okay to Leave Cooked Bacon Out?
In a word, no. Bacon, like all meats, is susceptible to spoiling. According to the USDA’s food safety guidelines, the longest time you can leave cooked bacon sitting out is 2 hours maximum. After that, you’ll want to promptly refrigerate or freeze it.
So if you’re planning to serve bacon on a buffet or potluck where it will sit out, it’s a good idea to put it on a warming tray.
Ways to Use Cooked Bacon
Looking for ways to incorporate leftover cooked bacon? Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Chicken Bacon Wraps
- Broccoli Chicken Bacon Pasta Bake
- Deviled Eggs with Bacon
- Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon
- Mini Bacon and Cheese Quiches
We all know that cooked bacon is one of the tastiest foods on the planet. We hope these storage tips help you keep your cooked bacon fresh so you can prolong your enjoyment for as long as possible!
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