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How Long Does Bacon Last?

Most of us have been there: We buy a package of bacon for breakfast or a recipe, then only use half of it. 

We stash the opened package, perhaps enclosed in a resealable plastic bag, in the fridge. Then, we forget all about it.

Or you make bacon and boiled eggs and wonder how long they’ll last.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Photo

Days go by.

Suddenly, we have a taste for bacon with our pancakes or scrambled eggs.

That opened package though…is it still good? Can we safely cook the bacon?

Or what about when we completely forgot we had a new package of bacon…and now it’s past the expiration date. Is it still good?

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Pic

How Long Does Unopened Bacon Last in the Fridge?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends using unopened bacon within seven days of purchasing it. If that’s too strict for you, make sure to use or freeze the bacon within the “use by” date on the package.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Image

How Long Does Bacon Last After You Open the Package?

If you have an opened package of bacon in the refrigerator, you should use it within a week (if it’s before the expiration date). You could freeze the bacon if needed.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Picture

How to Freeze Bacon

You can freeze the entire package of unopened bacon if you plan on using all of it at once when thawed. Otherwise, you can freeze raw bacon individually by rolling each strip into a coil.

Place the rolled-up bacon onto a wax-paper-lined or parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Transfer the frozen coils of bacon to a freezer bag. Take out one or more as needed.

To freeze cooked bacon, lay the strips on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and cover with more wax paper. Freeze for 30 minutes before placing the strips in a freezer bag. For best quality, use the bacon within four months, but it will remain safe indefinitely.

Maple Bacon Donuts Image

Storing Cooked Bacon

If there is such a thing as leftover bacon in your household, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it as described above.

Maple Bacon Donuts Pic

Storing Bacon Grease

Did you know you can save bacon grease for use again? You’ll need to discard any remaining bits of meat though, since they’ll burn if cooked again.

Once your bacon is cooked, strain out the solid bits by pouring the drippings through a sieve and into a metal container. If you want to use a glass jar, make sure the grease is no longer hot, so the glass doesn’t shatter.

Store bacon grease in the refrigerator for at least a month. You can use it in place of oil or butter when cooking.