It’s a common sight – bacon, sautéed to crispy perfection and laid out on a plate. But do you ever wonder just how long can cooked bacon sit out before it’s no longer safe to eat?
In this post, we will answer all of your questions about cooked bacon and storage suggestions surrounding cooked bacon in one convenient place! Make sure you read all information carefully.
Bacon is a type of pork that has been cured and smoked. It is made from various cuts of the pig, primarily the belly and back but also sometimes the loin or shoulder. The curing process involves smoking, salting, and/or seasoning with various spices before it’s cooked.
Note about cured and uncured bacon:
- The main difference is the amount of preservatives. Cured bacon is made with added nitrates or nitrites, which are often used in the curing process. It is usually considered to be more flavorful than uncured bacon (does not have any added preservatives) and has a longer shelf life.
- Both types of bacon are safe to eat as long as they’re properly cooked and stored. If you’re looking for a healthier option, uncured bacon is usually the better choice because it doesn’t have any added preservatives in it.
What is Cooked bacon?
Cooked bacon is bacon that has been cooked according to package directions. This includes frying, baking, and microwaving. Bacon cooked in the oven or on the stovetop should be done so until it is crisp for optimal flavor and texture.
Cooking bacon can vary based on preference, but in general, bacon should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C). This ensures that any bacteria present on the bacon is killed, making it safe to eat.
Cooked bacon does not last as long as other cooked meats, like chicken or beef. So if you plan to cook or fry bacon, it’s best to do so right before you plan on eating it. Or not, you need to store it properly.
How long can Cooked bacon sit out at room temperature?
The Most Expected Part! Knowing how long cooked bacon can be left safe to eat takes some understanding of when it is no longer safe to consume.
Cooked bacon should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This time frame applies to cooked bacon that is unrefrigerated and has been out of the refrigerator for less than an hour. After this point, the risk of foodborne illness increases greatly and it’s no longer considered safe to eat.
If you’re in a warm climate or your kitchen is particularly hot, it’s best to toss the cooked bacon in the fridge after an hour.
For food safety reasons, it’s best to store cooked bacon in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as it cools down. To keep your cooked bacon fresh, wrap it tightly in an airtight container or plastic, it will keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
It’s also important to note that cooked bacon can be frozen for up to 2 months as long as it is handled properly. Simply wrap the bacon securely in aluminum foil, place it into a freezer-safe container or zipper bag and store it in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
If you’ve left cooked bacon out longer than two hours and want to make sure that it’s still safe to consume, use your senses of smell, sight, and touch to decide. If you notice any discoloration, if it has an off odor, or if it feels slimy to the touch, discard it right away.
How long can Raw bacon sit out?
Just as with cooked bacon, raw bacon should never be left out longer than 2 hours and any leftover bacon should always be stored properly. That it to say, raw bacon can be left at room temperature for up to 2 hours, but after that it should be immediately placed in the refrigerator or freezer. The USDA recommends storing raw bacon in the refrigerator and using it within 7 days of purchase (or 9 days if vacuum sealed). If you plan to cook or fry raw bacon, it’s best to do so right before you plan on eating it.
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How long does Vacuum-sealed fully Cooked bacon sit out?
Fully-cooked vacuum-sealed bacon can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours. After this time frame, it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer properly. When stored in the refrigerator, fully cooked vacuum sealed bacon will keep fresh for up to 9 days and can last up to 2 months when frozen.
Be sure to always store cooked and raw bacon properly to ensure optimal freshness, texture and taste. If you’re ever unsure if your bacon is safe to consume, it’s best to discard it in the bin and get a new package from the store.
How long does cooked Nitrate-Free bacon last?
Cooked Nitrate-Free bacon can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored properly. To ensure its freshness, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or resealable bag.
If stored in the freezer, cooked Nitrate-Free bacon can last up to 1 month. When reheating the bacon, ensure that it is heated thoroughly before consumption. Enjoy your Nitrate-Free bacon and make sure you keep it safe!
How long will Bacon Grease last?
Bacon grease will last up to 6 months in the refrigerator if it is stored properly. It should be stored in an airtight container or jar and kept away from direct sunlight.
If bacon grease is left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it should be discarded immediately as it can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Storing bacon grease in the freezer can extend its shelf life to up to one year. When reheating, make sure that the bacon grease is heated through before using to avoid any potential food safety issues.
>> It is important to remember that proper storage and handling are the key factors in keeping bacon fresh, safe and savory. So by following the instructions below, you can enjoy fresh and flavorful bacon for up to a month!
What are the best ways to Store Cooked bacon?
Cooked bacon is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, but should always be handled properly. It’s also important to ensure that it is completely cooled before being placed in a container to avoid condensation and the growth of bacteria.
Storing in the Refrigeration
To store cooked bacon, you’ll want to wrap it tightly in an airtight container or plastic and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Vacuum-sealed bacon can last up to 9 days in the refrigerator. If left out any longer, it can spoil and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
When storing cooked bacon, be sure to label and date the container so you know when your bacon is ready to be consumed.
Storing in the Freezer
If you don’t intend to eat it right away or want to store it longer, it’s best to store cooked bacon in the freezer as soon as it cools. Cooked bacon can also be frozen for up to 2 months as long as it is properly sealed and labeled with the date of purchase. If not consumed within this time frame, bacon should be discarded. It is important to note that refreezing bacon is not recommended as this can lead to a decline in quality and texture.
To do this, simply wrap the bacon securely in aluminum foil and place it into a freezer-safe container or zipper bag. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and enjoy!
What bacon doesn’t need refrigeration?
Uncooked bacon does not need to be refrigerated, as it can safely be stored at room temperature. Vacuum-sealed uncooked bacon can last up to 7 days in the pantry, while unopened packages of regular uncooked bacon should be used within 7-10 days of purchase.
It is important to note that once the package has been opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 5 days. If you plan on freezing uncooked bacon, it is best to do so right before the expiration date listed on the package.
Additionally, cooked bacon does not need to be refrigerated if it is going to be consumed within two hours after cooking. However, once the two-hour window has passed, the cooked bacon should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for optimal freshness and safety.
How do you store bacon without refrigeration?
You can store bacon without refrigeration for short periods of time by wrapping it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and storing in a cool, dry place. This method should not be used for long-term storage and is only suitable for up to 7 days. Additionally, the bacon should be discarded if it has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
How to Thaw Frozen Cooked Bacon?
To thaw cooked bacon that’s been frozen, it’s best to do so overnight in the refrigerator. This will ensure that your bacon is still fresh and flavorful when you’re ready to reheat and enjoy.
If you are pressed for time, then you can also defrost it quickly by submerging the bag of bacon in cold water or running it under cold tap water until thawed.
However, keep in mind that if you choose to defrost your bacon quickly, the texture may change and it could dry out faster when reheating. Always be sure to use caution when reheating any frozen foods!
How to Reheat cooked bacon?
Bacon can be reheated in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even in an oven. The best way to reheat cooked bacon is by using the oven or a skillet.
To reheat in the oven, preheat the oven to 375°F and place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 8-10 minutes until it reaches your desired crispiness.
If you prefer to use a skillet, then heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add a few drops of oil, butter, or bacon grease. Add the bacon pieces in an even layer and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until it is warmed through and crispy.
No matter which method you use to reheat cooked bacon, always be sure to monitor the temperature so that it does not become too crisp or burnt. Enjoy your freshly reheated bacon!
How to tell if bacon has gone Bad?
If you’re unsure if your bacon has gone bad, there are a few telltale signs to look out for:
- Check the expiration date on the package and be aware that uncooked bacon will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.
- If your bacon has a slimy texture or an off-putting odor, then it is likely spoiled and should be discarded immediately.
- Additionally, cooked bacon should not have any discoloration or grayish hues, as this indicates that it has gone bad.
When in doubt, it is best to throw out any bacon that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours or that has passed its expiration date. Eating spoiled bacon can cause food poisoning and other health issues so make sure you pay attention to the signs of spoilage and discard accordingly!
Other Tips To Keep Bacon Fresher For Longer
To make sure your bacon stays fresh and delicious for longer, try the following tips:
- Buy bacon that has been vacuum sealed or packaged in a modified atmosphere. This helps to retain its freshness and extend its shelf life.
- Freeze uncooked bacon if it won’t be consumed within a few days of purchase. This will help to extend the bacon’s shelf life and ensure that its flavor remains intact.
- Store cooked bacon in an airtight container or resealable bag and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Be sure to label your bacon before freezing as different types of bacon may look similar when frozen!
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Bacon recipes that are super convenient and delicious!
Now that you know how to store and reheat bacon, why not try out some delicious bacon recipes?
Bacon-wrapped asparagus is a classic favorite – wrap thin slices of bacon around each piece of asparagus before baking in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try a bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper – stuff each jalapeno with cream cheese and wrap in crispy bacon before baking for 20 minutes at 375°F.
For an even heartier dish, make bacon mac and cheese by combining cooked macaroni noodles with your favorite cheese sauce and topping with bacon crumbles.
You can also use Bacon Grease for many recipes, like:
- Bacon-wrapped vegetables or as a topping for popcorn.
- Bacon Grease can also be used to sauté and stir-fry dishes.
- You can use it in place of butter or oil when baking, frying, and roasting dishes.
- It is great for adding flavor to soups, gravies, and sauces.
- You can also use it as a condiment for burgers and sandwiches.
FAQs how long can cooked bacon sit out
What is the average shelf life of raw bacon?
If stored properly in the refrigerator, raw bacon can last up to 7 days. In the freezer, it can be frozen for one to two months. Raw bacon should always be wrapped tightly and placed in an airtight container before being stored in the fridge or freezer.
What is the average shelf life of cooked bacon?
Cooked bacon can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator, and up to 2 months in the freezer. Again, it’s best to wrap or store cooked bacon securely before refrigerating or freezing it.
What happens if you leave cooked bacon out?
Cooked bacon should never be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. If left out any longer, it can spoil and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Always make sure to refrigerate or freeze cooked bacon as soon as possible for safety.
Is it safe to eat cooked bacon left out overnight?
No, it is not safe to eat cooked bacon left out overnight. If cooked bacon has been left out for more than two hours, it should be discarded and not consumed. Always make sure to refrigerate or freeze cooked bacon immediately after cooking.
Is It safe to eat spoiled Bacon?
No, it is not safe to eat spoiled bacon. Spoiled bacon will have an off-smell and taste sour or different from usual, and should always be discarded in the trash. It is important to never consume any food that looks or smells suspicious as this can lead to food poisoning.
Can you eat cold Precooked Bacon?
Yes, you can eat cold precooked bacon. Precooked bacon is ready to eat and doesn’t need to be heated up; however, it’s still important to store it properly in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to consume. When consuming cold bacon, make sure that it looks and smells fresh before consuming.
Can You Eat Bacon That Has Been Frozen?
Yes, you can eat bacon that has been frozen. Bacon can be frozen for up to two months before it begins to lose its flavor and texture. When reheating frozen bacon, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator first before cooking or reheating it.
Is It OK To Refreeze Bacon?
It is not recommended to refreeze bacon as this can lead to a decline in quality and texture. If you need to freeze bacon again, it’s best to use fresh bacon instead.
Can bacon be eaten raw?
No, bacon should not be eaten raw as this can lead to food poisoning. Always make sure to cook the bacon thoroughly before consuming it.
Does bacon go bad if not refrigerated?
Yes, bacon can go bad if not refrigerated. Bacon should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it safe and edible for a longer period of time.
Does Bacon Need To Be Cooked?
Yes, bacon needs to be cooked before consumption. This is due to the fact that raw bacon contains bacteria and parasites which can cause food poisoning. Always make sure to cook your bacon until it is crisp before consuming it.
Can you eat cooked bacon left out for 8 hours?
No, you should not eat cooked bacon left out for 8 hours. Cooked bacon should never be left out at room temperature for more than two hours as this can lead to food poisoning. Always make sure to refrigerate or freeze cooked bacon as soon as possible for safety.
Can i eat cooked bacon after 7 days?
No, you should not eat cooked bacon after 7 days. Cooked bacon can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer. If left out any longer, it can spoil and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Always make sure to refrigerate or freeze cooked bacon as soon as possible for safety.
Is packaged bacon already cooked?
No, packaged bacon is usually not already cooked. Packaged bacon typically needs to be cooked before it can be consumed. Always make sure to cook your bacon until it is crisp before consuming it for safety reasons.
Is it Bad to put Bacon Grease Down the Drain?
Yes, it is bad to put bacon grease down the drain. Bacon grease can solidify and clog your pipes, leading to costly repairs or maintenance. It’s best to dispose of bacon grease in the trash after it has cooled down.
Why is my bacon slimy but not expired?
Bacon that has a slimy texture and is still within the expiry date can be caused by improper storage or handling. Always make sure to store bacon in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freezer, and make sure that it looks and smells fresh before consuming it.
Does Hormel fully cooked bacon need to be refrigerated?
Yes, Hormel fully cooked bacon needs to be refrigerated. It should always be stored in an air-tight container or wrapped in aluminum foil before being refrigerated.
Can you eat bacon if it has a green tinge?
No, you should not eat bacon that has a green tinge as this is usually caused by spoilage. Always make sure to check the bacon for color, smell, and texture before consuming it.
Can you eat bacon if its expired?
No, you should not eat bacon that is expired as this can lead to food poisoning or other health issues. Always make sure to check the expiration date of any food item before consuming it.
Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to cooked bacon. As a general rule, cooked food should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours.
If the cooked bacon has been left out for longer than two hours, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it. When storing the bacon, it’s advisable to divide it into individual portions for easier wrapping and to prevent excess air exposure. That way, you can enjoy your bacon worry-free!
Hope this article has answered your questions about how long can cooked Bacon sit out. Happy cooking!
Leslie Fowler is the founder of Rhythm Cafe, a barbecue restaurant with over 15 years of experience. Leslie is an exceptional pitmaster and grill expert, specializing in smoking briskets and pork shoulders on charcoal, wood, or propane grills/smokers. Leslie has also tried out almost every model of kitchen appliance available on the market, making her an authority on grills and smokers.