Everything is better with bacon. If you are a believer of this and you always want crispy fried strips of it for breakfast or minced bits of it in your pasta, then you must have already wondered about this: Can I buy a whole large pack of bacon, stuff it inside my freezer, and have it anytime I want? Can I always have bacon at my fingertips?
The good news is, yes, you can! Just like most types of meat, you can freeze bacon to extend its shelf-life. Freezing is one of the most accessible and best-known methods of food preservation. This is because temperatures below zero prevent the growth and reproduction of bacteria that can cause spoilage.
Unlike freezing vegetables like broccoli or spinach, it is easier to have bacon in the freezer because you don’t have to worry about damaging its quality, taste. You just have to avoid repeated freezing and thawing because this decreases the water-fraction of the meat. Low water-fraction results in the bacon losing its crispness and texture.
Can You Freeze Bacon?
Normally, bacon can be stored in the refrigerator for about seven days. However, you have to cook the entire pack within that period or else you might end up with spoilage. With freezing, you can extend its freshness for up to two months with proper preparation.
At this point, it’s not just a question of whether you can freeze bacon or not. In fact, you should do it! The price of bacon in the market seasonally spikes up because of increasing demand for the product, so buying in bulk and storing it is cheaper than always buying a new pack.
Several kinds of fried recipes also now come in bacon wraps. It would be wise to buy as much as you can when the prices are still low or whenever there are two-for-one promos in your trusted store.
Perhaps the most important consideration in preserving bacon is the freezing and defrosting cycle. Thawing a pack of bacon repeatedly and exposing it to air several times encourages bacterial growth, thus decreasing its shelf-life.
An important thing to remember when handling food in general is that bacteria rapidly multiplies when the meat is exposed to air at room temperature. Thus, it is important to thaw it inside the refrigerator and not on the kitchen counter.
Separating a frozen strip of bacon from the rest when you just want to prepare a quick BLT or pasta might also be difficult. To avoid this hassle, you may have to portion your bacon into smaller amounts so you could get what you only need at the time.
How to Freeze Bacon
You can simply stash your bacon in the freezer while it is inside its original packaging. However, this means that you have to cook all of them up after they are thawed. It would be wise to store them in the freezer in such a way that you can get just the number of slices that you need. This will take a few simple steps:
- Buy a fresh pack of bacon. Make sure you checked for the expiration date.
- Prepare a sheet of wax paper. Put a strip of bacon along the paper’s short edge and fold it completely so that it covers both sides of the bacon strip.
- Lay another strip of bacon on top of your previous fold. It’s like making a wax paper accordion with strips of meat at every fold. Repeat the process with all the remaining strips.
- Now, put the wax paper-covered strips in a food bag. Ziploc containers will also do the trick. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag before storing it.
That’s it! You can forget the hassle of bacon slices sticking with each other or being forced to cook the entire pack after thawing. If you have no wax paper, you can neatly roll each slice of bacon into coils that look like snails.
There are numerous quick meals that you can prepare from your freshly thawed bacon. Its flavor and juices go well with this pasta with bacon and garlic.
If you want a heavy and protein-rich breakfast, you can always mix bacon with some bread, eggs, and butter. This mouth-watering French toast recipe is also very effortless to cook.
Finally, if you’re into baking, you can try out making these muffins with bacon topped with basil and parmesan cheese.