Can You Refreeze Bacon Safely?

Yes, but it's important to follow basic food-safety rules

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Frozen Bacon. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

If you pulled some bacon out of the freezer but never got around to using it, or you only needed a partial package, can you refreeze the rest? The simple answer is yes, you can refreeze whole or partial packages of uncooked bacon.

Just wrap the bacon well to prevent freezer burn (a freezer bag works well for this), and place it back in the freezer within three days of thawing. Exposure to air is the main cause of freezer burn, so squeeze all the air out of the freezer bag before you seal the top.

You can also refreeze cooked bacon as well as casseroles and other dishes that include bacon as an ingredient, provided the other ingredients are freezer-friendly.

Refreezing Bacon

If you need a couple pieces of bacon at a time, repackage the bacon when you bring it home from the store. Then, pop the individual servings in the freezer. You can even cook the bacon first, so it'll be easy to add to sandwiches.

Flash-freeze your cooked bacon on a cookie sheet. Then, transfer it to a freezer bag when it's fully frozen. This will prevent the pieces from sticking together, so they're easy to pull out as needed, and it'll save you the hassle of having to package everything individually.  Label all of your packages of bacon, so you don't confuse them with other foods in your freezer. 

Using Frozen Bacon

To use your cooked, frozen bacon, just pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to heat it through, and it'll be ready to slide onto your breakfast plate or to top a sandwich without any additional prep work or dishes to clean.

Safety Warning

Your bacon will only be as good as it was when you put in the freezer, so don't try to cheat time by freezing old bacon. The quality won't be good, and it could put you at risk for food poisoning. While freezing does stop bacterial growth, it doesn't kill the bacteria that's already on the bacon.

As soon as you thaw it out, that bacteria will begin multiplying again. So, stick to the rule of only freezing opened packages of bacon that have been in the fridge for less than three days and sealed packages of bacon before their use-by date.

Tips and Hints

Try not to thaw bacon until you know how you'll use it, so you limit the amount of time it spends in the fridge. The Department of Agriculture notes that there are three safe ways to thaw bacon: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. You should also never defrost bacon on the kitchen counter or at room temperature, the department warns.

Indeed, buying bacon—or any meat—in bulk can be a great way to save money because you can often get a better price if you buy more at one time. But it's important to learn the proper steps for packaging any meat for refreezing to ensure safety and avoid food-borne illnesses.