How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out? Best Way To Store Bacon

Bacon is incredibly delicious but perishable if you don’t know how to preserve it. What should you do when cooking a big bunch of bacon and have leftovers after your family breakfast? 

Throwing away bacon pieces is something you never want to do, but stubbornly eating these foods will not be safe for your health. Is it a good idea to keep it in your fridge?

How long can cooked bacon sit out at room temperature? Read this article to learn more about its shelf life and how to store this food properly.

How long can bacon sit out after cooked? Cooked bacon can sit out with different varieties of storage gainings. Specifically, it can last about two hours when kept at room temperature and around 1 week if stored in the fridge.

However, there is a debate about the question – can cooked bacon be left out? Right now, we will clarify each specific case. 

How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out At Room Temperature?

How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out
Cooked Bacon

How long will cooked bacon last? Essentially, almost all food can only sit out at normal room temperature during a certain time, and then it goes bad. The speed of spoilage depends on many factors, such as the type of food, temperature, or humidity of the environment.

How long can you leave cooked bacon out? Cooked bacon may sit out for a certain period. Yet, how long is bacon good for after-cooked? According to the standards set by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), food prepared at 40 degrees can only stay for about two hours.

After this amount of time, bacteria will start appearing and spreading on it. Ingesting food contaminated with bacteria can cause food poisoning.

You should follow the standard rules for cooked bacon to avoid bad situations arising. It’s better to put bacon leftovers in the fridge after the meal instead of leaving it at room temperature. 

Furthermore, leaving bacon on the outside will also change the original texture. It will be less fresh and become chewy. You’d better prepare just enough bacon for your family members in each meal.

How Long Does Cooked Bacon Last In The Refrigerator?

Do you have to refrigerate cooked bacon? Does cooked bacon last longer if stored in the refrigerator? Our response is yes, just like the answer to how long does vacuum sealed meat last. Fridge food properly will make them increase shelf life – about a week. However, accidentally opening the container will spoil its taste.

Then, how long does cooked bacon last in fridge? Cooked bacon can commonly remain around four or five days in the fridge. 

You should be asking, do bacon bits need to be refrigerated? Not really, but your bacon may have longer longevity, about one month if fully frozen. 

Before fridging, you should wrap the bacon in foil and put it in a freezer bag. It’s better to vacuum seal it to keep your meat fresh. Don’t worry because thick slices of bacon are relatively easy to thaw. Also, bacon stays quite well in the freezer. 

While preserving, make sure there is no excess moisture in the refrigerator as this can cause mold or bacteria for your bacon. You should also pack wet or greasy foodstuffs in sealed containers or zipper bags to avoid creating unpleasant odors in the fridge.

Does Fully Cooked Bacon Need To Be Refrigerated?

Does cooked bacon have to be refrigerated? Like other non-cured meats, fully cooked bacon also needs storing in cold conditions after being prepared.

If there is any cooked bacon leftovers after meals, you should put them in the fridge within around two or four hours to extend fully cooked bacon shelf life. The longer you leave it outside, the higher the chance of bacteria developing.

Though it’s alright to let cooked bacon cool down, you should not leave it to sit out extremely long before placing it in your refrigerator.

That’s because Still Tasty reports that bacteria develop quickly on food at temperatures about 40 °F to 140 °F. Hence, you should discard fully cooked bacon if you let it wait over two hours exposed to room temperature. 

This rule varies depending on the environment where you are living. Does bacon go bad if left out in this context? If you reside in warmer climates from 90 °F indoors, you may have to stow food away earlier. In particular, the time for cooked bacon waiting outside should be only within one hour. 

How To Store Cooked Bacon In The Fridge?

How long can you refrigerate cooked bacon? 

The answer is within one month when fully frozen. As shared earlier, you should conserve cooked bacon at a cool temperature. However, some people don’t know how to store their cooked bacon correctly. 

So how do you store cooked bacon? Here are recommendations for well-preserved bacon you should apply!

Cook The Bacon

Before putting the bacon into the fridge, you should cook it. Remember to prepare it to a level below your desired dish. The purpose is that when you warm it, it won’t overcook but achieve the desired crispiness. 

For those who enjoy the cold bacon, prepare it to the wanted doneness in the first cooking time before fridging. These techniques are extremely beneficial in mastering how to cook a tomahawk steak, Gordon Ramsay!

Cool Off The Bacon

You need the help of paper towels to blot off excess oil or fat on cooked bacon. After that, leave it cool with a wire holder.

Put Bacon In Your Airtight Container

Check if it’s cool enough. If yes, pack the bacon strips in zipper bags or medium size airtight containers. Cover the bacon with cling film to avoid spare vacancy in the box and to minimize exposure to air. How long can you store cooked bacon with this method? Well, your shelf life cooked bacon can last about four or five days. 

Don’t be upset when you have previously made the bacon that reaches your desired doneness before putting it inside of the fridge. The tip is you don’t need to reheat it or just rewarm gently to keep its original flavor and texture. 

For more inadequate portions of bacon, you may want to fry instead of baking it. Still, if you’re dealing with larger batches of bacon, you should bake it because it helps to reduce the washing process afterward. 

How To Tell If Cooked Bacon Go Bad

Can you leave cooked bacon out overnight? Cooked bacon can sometimes stay overnight without getting spoiled. This is not always the case, so you should carefully check it. 

Spotting bad bacon cooked isn’t difficult at all. So, how to tell if cooked bacon is bad? You can rely on intuition, smell, or touch to spot signs of spoilage.

1. Odd Smell

Spoiled food starts to release an unpleasant or sour smell. Cooked bacon is not an exception, which means it emits a strong and very nasty odor, like the taste of foul chicken. 

2. Off-color

You can easily detect bad bacon depending on colors. In particular, spoiled bacon strips will change into grey or green. Sometimes, there is white and black spots or mold appearing on its surface. 

3. Slimy Texture

Before storing in the fridge, you have already removed excess moisture content and water out of the meat. Hence, the slimy texture is another sign of rotten bacon. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Bacon Be Stored At Room Temperature?

Surprisingly, you can store bacon at room temperature, but not all kinds of bacon. In particular, smoked cured bacon is cooked for hours before cooling, so the excess water is discarded. Therefore, dry well-cured bacon unrefrigerated is free of bacteria. Storing it into a well-sealed container can enhance its shelf life. 

2. Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out Overnight?

Very few types of cooked bacon can wait out overnight, as mentioned above. Instead, you should refrigerate it to use for around four or five days. 

For dry-cured bacon no refrigeration; you can use it for ten days. If you keep it inside of the fridge, its shelf life can increase by about four weeks than usual. 

3. Is It Safe To Eat Cooked Bacon Left Out Overnight?

It’s hard to answer this question directly – can you eat cold bacon? The situation depends on the types of bacon, like real bacon, imitation bacon, or cured bacon. 

  • Real bacon: you shouldn’t leave it overnight because it contains high fat and water content. Can bacon spoil in this case? Yes, you’d better not eat real cooked bacon left out overnight
  • Imitation bacon: you may put it on the table overnight and eat it the next day without a problem. 
  • Cured bacon: You can leave it outside as long as you don’t open the package. It is safe to enjoy the following day. Does cooked bacon go bad once you unbox it? Yes. Once opened, you need to store your cooked bacon in the refrigerator. 

Final Thoughts 

This post has eventually reached the bottom of the debate question: How long can cooked bacon sit out? Generally, cooked bacon can last about 2 hours at normal temperature, around four and five days in the fridge, and approximately one month if stored in the freezer.

Besides, you should also know the proper way to store cooked bacon leftovers to better quality meats.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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