There’s just two of us at our place. So when we have bacon, we typically require a whopping 4 slices. And then we’ve had our bacon fix for the better part of a months. Heck, if we are eating bacon, we are probably having our only hot breakfast for the week. The only problem? A pound of bacon is about 16 slices. That means it generally takes up to FOUR MONTHS to eat a pound of bacon. And once opened, it just doesn’t last an entire season before going rancid.
I used to throw away a lot of bad bacon. Call me cheap, frugal, or budget-conscious, but I hate throwing away food. Every time it happens, I cry inside. If it smells bad enough, I cry on the outside too.
Then last month, I had an epiphany. The heavens opened up and angels sang (well, that’s the mental image I had). Okay, really, I was looking up online how long it took to thaw out a package of frozen bacon because I forgot to thaw it out and I wanted to get started on my post on the perfect BLT. I found the answer here (about 15 minutes submersed in water) which also had the gem about cooking the entire thing and storing the cooked bacon which lasts longer.
The tip in that discussion was to put in the refrigerator, but I still really don’t trust myself to use it before it goes bad. Cooked meat takes longer to go bad then raw meat, but it still goes bad. So I decided to freeze it instead. If you use bacon faster than I do, keeping it in the fridge may work for you. Then you can take out a few slices and finish cooking to get the crisp texture that bacon is so famous for and have it done in a fraction of the time. The first step will be the same for refrigerating or freezing.
Step 1) Cook the bacon
Start off with a large skillet. Place as many slices of bacon as will fit without crowding in the pan and turn the heat to medium. It will take about 10 minutes before it’s ready to flip. Do so and wait for it to be slightly undercooked from your preferred level of crispiness. Transfer onto a plate covered with paper towels to cook and drain some of the grease off. For more detailed guide on how to cook bacon, check out The Art of Manliness.
Continue this process until all the bacon is cooked. Occasionally, you will need to drain the grease from the pan and let it cool down a bit. The number one cause of burnt bacon is a hot pan.
Step 2) Freeze the bacon
Place the bacon on a cookie sheet without over-lapping. Place flat in freezer for one hour. Remove and put frozen bacon strips in a plastic baggie. Put the baggie back in the freezer and, viola!, you have frozen pre-cooked bacon to pull out as much or little as you need at a time.
If you are refrigerating, place the cookie sheet in the fridge for at least two hours before transferring to baggie. The warmer fridge will take longer to cool the bacon to a temperature where they won’t stick together or melt the plastic.
Step 3) Using the bacon
When you are ready to use the pre-cooked bacon, get your desired number of strips out and place on a microwave save dish covered with a paper towel. 30 seconds will get it cook and crisp.