Can You Refreeze Bacon?

Here's what to do if you thawed more bacon than you needed.

Bacon slice being cooked in frying pan
Photo: Krasyuk/Getty Images

People like to say that there's no such thing as too much bacon, but that's not always true. For example, what if you thawed some frozen bacon but you didn't need to use it all, and you're not going to get around to using it any time soon? The last thing you want is for your bacon to go bad. The good news is you don't have to waste that extra bacon. You can refreeze it instead — as long as you follow certain guidelines. Keep reading to learn the best way refreeze bacon, how to freeze and thaw bacon for the first time, and how to cook bacon from frozen.

Can You Refreeze Bacon?

You sure can, but only if the bacon was safely thawed in the refrigerator no more than seven days before you refreeze it, according to USDA guidelines. Bacon that was thawed at room temperature, in the microwave, or under running water is not safe to refreeze. The process for refreezing bacon is the same as freezing raw bacon.

How to Freeze Bacon

Packaged bacon, opened bacon, and cooked bacon all require different methods for freezing. Here's how to freeze each:

  • Raw bacon (unopened): Tightly wrap the unopened package with aluminum foil or several layers of plastic wrap before freezing. Use within four months for best quality.
  • Raw bacon (opened): Place uncooked bacon in a zip-top bag and squeeze out all air before moving it to the freezer. Use within four months for best quality.
  • Cooked bacon: Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of waxed paper. Arrange strips of cooked bacon in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. If you're freezing lots of bacon, you may need to repeat the waxed paper and bacon layers. Freeze overnight or for several hours. Now you can transfer the strips of cooked and frozen bacon to a freezer-safe a zip-top bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Remove as many pieces as you need, when you need them. When properly wrapped and frozen, cooked bacon will last in the freeze for up to six months, but use within one month for best quality.

How to Refreeze Bacon

Bacon that's been previously frozen and has been thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen. Place bacon in a zip-top bag, squeeze out any additional air, and move to the freezer within seven days of defrosting.

How to Thaw Bacon

  • Overnight: Move bacon to the fridge and let thaw overnight.
  • In 30 minutes: Place bacon in a zip-top bag and defrost it in cold, flowing water. Bacon thawed in water should be cooked immediately. You cannot refreeze bacon that's been thawed using this method.
  • ASAP: Remove bacon from package or plastic baggie and use your microwave's defrost function. Don't heat for more than a few minutes at a time and stay within range of the microwave. Finish cooking the bacon immediately (stovetop, oven, or microwave) to avoid bacterial growth on partially cooked bacon. You cannot refreeze bacon that's been thawed using this method.

Can You Cook Bacon From Frozen?

Like other meats, bacon cooks well from frozen. It's much easier to cook frozen slices, but cooking a frozen bacon block is not impossible. Lightly pat your bacon with a paper towel before cooking to remove frost.

  • In the microwave: Line a microwave-safe tray or dish with paper towels. Place strips of bacon, then cover with a paper towel to avoid grease splatters. Microwave on high for two minutes and remove carefully.
  • On the stove: If you're starting with a block, put it in a skillet over low heat. As the block thaws, you'll be able to peel the strips off with tongs. Move the strips to a plate until the entire block is thawed, then turn up the heat and cook as usual. If you're starting with strips, put the bacon in a skillet over medium heat and cook as normal.
  • In the oven: Line a baking pan (preferably one with a rack) with aluminum foil. Place strips of bacon on the rack or directly on the foil, leaving between 1/2 and 1 inch between each piece. Cook at 400 degrees F for 17-20 minutes. Remove carefully and use tongs to place cooked bacon on a paper-lined tray or dish.

Note: As the ice crystals melt, they will interact with the hot grease, meaning that cooking bacon from frozen entails more grease pops.

Hungry for more? Browse our collection of bacon recipes, including our ultimate bacon recipes, our best maple-bacon recipes, and delicious ways to use up bacon grease.

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