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How to Easily Store Bacon

A Happy Birthday Breakfast

A Happy Birthday Breakfast

My husband turned 35 today. We’ve been married for 10 years and have 2 amazing sons. I am so grateful.

For his birthday breakfast, I served him farm-fresh uncured bacon & eggs with hash browned potatoes. (Yes, I made him break the Orthodox Nativity Fast to do it, but it’s only your birthday once a year!)

In honor of the day, I decided to share my single-serving bacon secrets with you all.

Ever wondered what to do with the uncured bacon you didn’t use? Particularly if you only needed a slice or two for your baked potato, your bacon cheeseburger, your hand-snapped green beans, or some other tasty dish?

You could keep it in the fridge and cook with it later in the week. But, what if you don’t want to eat bacon later that week? And, what if you’re like many frugal Real Food loving cooks and buy your bacon in bulk from a nearby pig farmer? What do you do with your bacon then?

The answer is simple!

You flash freeze it. Here’s how.

Layer a baking sheet with wax paper or foil.

Next, lay out your bacon slices across it, one-slice deep.

Next, lay out your bacon slices across it, one-slice deep.

Be sure to put down another layer of wax paper before adding another layer of bacon.

Be sure to put down another layer of wax paper before adding another layer of bacon.

Once all your sliced bacon has been layered, put the baking sheet in your freezer.

After an hour or more, pull the bacon out of the freezer, put it in a ziplock freezer bag, then return it to the freezer for later use. Here's the bacon in the bag.

After an hour or more, pull the bacon out of the freezer, put it in a ziplock freezer bag, then return it to the freezer for later use.

Now, you have single-serving bacon slices to use whenever you want! You can easily take out just one slice, four slices, or a dozen slices to use as needed.

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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15 Responses to How to Easily Store Bacon
  1. skinnygirl
    December 15, 2008 | 2:16 pm

    What a happy breakfast!

    I

  2. TrailGrrl
    December 15, 2008 | 8:42 pm

    Great tip! I never know what to do once the package of bacon is opened other than cook it all, or wrap it up and put it in the fridge, which means it usually goes bad.

    I’ll have to try this. I’ve got a package of bacon, but only want to cook a few pieces at a time, unless it’s the weekend and we have company.

    Any tips for storing bacon grease? Can it set at room temp if covered up?

    Great blog!

    TrailGrrl

  3. KristenM
    December 15, 2008 | 9:01 pm

    skinnygirl,

    You are SO right. I flash freeze lots of single-serving stuff to make cooking later easier — including meatballs, pre-assembled burritos & pizzas, you name it.

    TrailGrrl,

    Bacon grease stores FOREVER in a jar in the fridge. You need to let it cool just enough so that it won’t burn you, then pour it through a paper towel into a jar while it’s still hot to strain out the debris. It will do fine covered in a pantry (that’s how my grandmother used to do it), but it always made me a little nervous. It can easily attract pests, and in a warmer climate I’d be afraid of it going rancid. Anyhow, when you cook more bacon, you just pour more grease into your jar on top of the old grease. It really doesn’t matter if they mix, as it stores FOREVER in the fridge.

    I use bacon grease for all sorts of light frying — wilting spinach, green beans, hasbrowns, cooking eggs. I add it to beans and refried beans for flavor. It’s way healthier for you than store bought vegetable oils, and it tastes better to boot!

    • Kelsey
      March 19, 2011 | 1:34 am

      Is it necessary to strain the bacon grease? I usually don’t think about it and don’t mind the little bits in there… but does it store longer if you strain it? Thanks for the great idea, by the way!

      • Whitney
        April 20, 2011 | 10:31 am

        I don’t claim to be an expert ;), but since I keep mine in the fridge, I don’t bother straining it. We like the little flavor bits and it hasn’t ever been a problem. IF I were going to store it on the counter, I probably would strain it. Hope this helps!
        Whitney

  4. Anita
    December 16, 2008 | 12:48 am

    What a cool idea! I’m gonna have to give that one a try! Thanks!

  5. Anna
    December 16, 2008 | 10:56 am

    That’s one of my favorite tricks for freezing anything in individual or small portions.

    I also cook one or two sheet pans of bacon at a time in a slow oven, laying the bacon in a single layer on a rack on a sheet pan. 30-60 minutes in the oven at 250-300

  6. Erin
    February 10, 2009 | 12:38 am

    I LOVE this idea, I cannot believe it never occurred to me! I just did this with chicken breasts. One of my favorite things to make is that Thai Soup (Tom Kha Gai) and when you order in a Thai restaurant, it always comes with these really elegant thin slices of chicken breast…
    I froze some breast & then sliced them thinly on my meat slicer, laid them out in a single layer like your bacon & re-froze, then I vacuum packed them with my food saver into several size bags (large & small)…
    Great idea, thanks!

    Erin

  7. Whitney
    April 20, 2011 | 10:37 am

    Somehow it never occurred to me to cook less than a package! LOL The packages from our farmer are about 1# and our family of four can go through that pretty easily! Leftover bacon is *precious* around here. :)

    I like to cook it in the oven since it’s so hands off. I’ve tried low heat (250) and high heat (400) and we like them both. I also tried the rack-in-a-sheet-pan oven method, but was nervous about possible teflon or other weird stuff on my cooling racks. They are probably the only thing left in our house that’s possibly non-stick and I don’t think they were made to be baked. Has anyone heard of, seen, or bought stainless racks that *are* meant to be baked??? I even tried putting the bacon directly on the oven racks with pans underneath, but they fell through. Thanks!

    Whitney

    • Cris
      October 22, 2012 | 3:46 pm

      Agree with Whitney. There are only 3 of us and a package of bacon never lasts more than 2 days once it is open. We have a stainless steel rack that is gridded and the squares are < 1/2 an inch. I use this to bake my bacon and put it on a jelly roll pan lined with foil to catch the grease. They have it on Amazon.

  8. Yolanda
    November 10, 2011 | 10:11 am

    Brilliant! I’ve been cutting mine in half and freezing meal sized groups of them, but this is even better. Thank you!

  9. Kevi nLiu
    February 14, 2012 | 8:14 pm

    Hey, neat idea, but a word of warning. Depending on the type of bacon you are dealing with, freezing and then allowing the bacon to thaw can actually pose a health risk. When you freeze bacon, like any meat, the cells are partially ruptured due to water solidifying and forming crystals. When you thaw the bacon, some of that water escapes the cells and makes the bacon itself more wet, allowing bacteria activity to increase.

    If you are dealing with a wet-cured bacon (as most modern packaged bacon is), this isn’t really a problem, since the bacon will already be surrounded in a pool of salty liquid and small addition won’t matter. If, however, you have a dry-cured bacon, I would suggest leaving it out of the freezer; I *think* it should be good for a month or two left alone in the fridge, since it’s cured and dry. If you must freeze dry-cured bacon, you’ll want to use it as quickly as possible after defrosting.

    I forget the source where I remember this from, but I hope it helps.

  10. Dan
    July 14, 2012 | 12:28 pm

    Bacon GOOD! Potatoes BAD!

  11. Flowerchild
    December 31, 2012 | 3:15 pm

    I do buy uncured bacon in bulk. I split it up in to small portions and put in zip log bags (like 3 slices per bag). When I need it I defrost by popping the sealed bag in a bowl of warm water. It defrosts very quickly this way. Who can eat just one slice anyway! :)

    Love your site!!! <3

  12. Jennifer Pack
    January 20, 2013 | 6:17 pm

    Is uncured bacon just pork belly? I’ve seen pork belly for sale and its a lot less expensive than the uncured bacon I buy packaged at the health food store.

    Thanks!
    Jen

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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