If you ask me, bacon is one of life’s greatest gifts. There is nothing better than a bacon sandwich with lots of butter on a Sunday morning, eating bacon cheese burgers, or sprucing up a meal like pasta with some crispy & salty bacon.
So how long can cooked bacon stay in the fridge? Let's look at the different scenarios...
Unless you buy from a local butcher, you will mainly buy bacon in packs of six or eight rashers. As much as you may be tempted to eat the whole pack at once, you will be happy to know that cooked bacon can remain safely in the fridge for several days.
This means that you can cook up a batch of bacon and pick when you want to add it to your dishes. Pancakes in the morning? Why not add some bacon and syrup. Boring caesar salad for lunch? Make it more interesting by adding streaky bacon. The possibilities are endless!
Now, let’s get into the real reason why you’ve come to this post. How long can cooked bacon stay in the fridge and not get bad?
The short answer to this question is typically four to five days but it obviously depends on the use by date before you bought it, how you store it, and the quality of the bacon.
During this timeframe, your bacon will usually be fine to eat but you still need to use your own judgement (i.e. your eyes and nose to check the colour, appearance and smell).
The main things that you will want to make sure of are that the bacon is stored safely and that it was cooked correctly before storing.
How to cook bacon
There are a couple of ways that you can safely cook your bacon. The tastiest way is on the stovetop. Before you start to put your bacon in the pan, leave it to cool down to room temperature on your countertop first. This only takes about five minutes and will help to avoid any burning of the meat.
Next, it’s time to get cooking. Add your strips of bacon into a cool frying pan. Ensure that each strip of bacon is laying flat on the pan with no overlapping. Depending on the size of your frying pan, this may result in you cooking several batches of bacon.
Now you can add heat! Once your bacon starts sizzling away in the pan, it will release grease which will only help to cook your bacon to perfection. You will want to cook your bacon on the first side for 10-12 minutes. When you notice the edges of your bacon curling up, it’s time to flip it.
Cook the other side for 8 more minutes minimum. If you prefer crispy bacon, then cook a little longer in the pan. Remove from the heat as soon as it reaches your desired crispiness. Set the bacon aside onto some paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
To us, this is the best way to cook your bacon. You will never be let down if you follow our simple steps!
How to safely store bacon in the fridge
Once you have finished cooking your batch of bacon, you will need to leave it to completely cool down to room temperature before thinking about refrigeration.
When it has cooled down, you can place the bacon into an airtight container or wrap it in aluminum foil. Whichever you choose will work just as well.
Cooked bacon can remain in your refrigerator for a further four to five days maximum. It is perfect to add to sandwiches or breakfast food so is great to have on hand during the week.
If you have a busy lifestyle or live alone, it is also very convenient to cook bacon in batches to keep aside for use throughout the week.
It is very important to keep your bacon tightly sealed or wrapped during its time in your fridge. If it is not stored correctly you may be at risk of bacterial illnesses such as Salmonella.
Due to this, ensure that any surfaces that your raw bacon has touched are properly sanitized afterward. This will help stop the spread of any unwanted bacteria around your kitchen.
Has your bacon gone bad?
As bacon is a meat product, it is very important to cook and store it properly. This will help to avoid any contamination or health issues. If you follow our above advice, you will be absolutely fine. However, how do you tell if your bacon has gone bad?
When it comes to raw bacon, you may find that it feels slimy to touch instead of soft and slightly moist. Raw bacon is always pink with white fat running through it. If you start to see any gray discoloration then your bacon is no longer safe to cook or consume.
The last thing to check out is how it smells. When you open the pack, it should smell like meat. If you open the pack and you get a strong fishy or rotten smell, it is time to put that bacon in the garbage.
On the other hand, cooked bacon has different characteristics to look out for if you suspect it may have gone bad. If your cooked bacon isn’t stored in a tightly sealed way, then it may reduce the number of days it is safe for consumption.
The easiest way to tell if cooked bacon has gone bad is to smell it. We emphasize that you smell it, never taste it first! If you start to smell a sour or offensive smell coming from your bacon strips, it is time to part ways with your refrigerated bacon.
How Long Can Cooked Bacon Stay in the Fridge? A Summary...
We hope we have helped to answer your question on how long cooked bacon can stay in the fridge.
Some important things to remember are that bacon is a meat product so you must ensure that it is cooked and stored properly. To do this, follow our super-simple steps above which will guide you through the perfect steps to cook delicious, crispy bacon.
Store your bacon in an airtight container or aluminum foil for a maximum of four to five days. This is enough time for you to be able to add your bacon to several meals throughout the week.
If you have bacon stored in the fridge longer than the advised five days, we do not recommend consuming it.