Have you ever wondered, how long is bacon good for in the fridge? Or the different types of bacon you can use in most bacon recipes? Find the answers to those questions and more – plus 21 of my favorite easy bacon recipes!

a cast iron skillet, cooked bacon, uncooked bacon, and a carton of eggs

How Long Is Bacon Good For In the Fridge?

Everyone in our family loves bacon, so leftover bacon isn’t really a thing around here. But I often make extra bacon, for quick and easy use in other recipes, such as my bacon ranch pasta salad and my mom’s broccoli salad. And sometimes I open a pack of bacon and don’t cook the whole pack.

Both scenarios – cooked bacon and uncooked bacon – beg the question…

“How long does bacon last?”

  • Sealed, unopened bacon: Bacon just purchased at the store is typically good for 2-3 weeks in the fridge, though you should always check the package for a “use by” date.
  • Opened raw bacon: Once you open a package of bacon, its shelf life will shorten whether you cook it or not. As long as you seal the open package tightly or place it in a ziploc bag, opened raw bacon should keep well for up to 1 week. The exception would be if you were already close to the “use by” date when you opened it.
  • Cooked bacon: Cooked bacon will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.
a sheet pan with cooked bacon

Can You Freeze Bacon?

You bet – I freeze bacon all the time!

To store bacon in the freezer:

  • Sealed, unopened bacon: You can easily toss a whole package of uncooked, unopened bacon straight in the freezer. It’ll keep well for up to six months.
  • Opened raw bacon: If you want to freeze an open pack of uncooked bacon, I recommend sealing the package and then placing the package in a freezer-safe baggie. Be sure to squeeze all the air out of both packages. You could also wrap the package in heavy-duty foil. It will keep well for up to 3 months.
  • Cooked bacon: Simply transfer the cooked, cooled bacon to a freezer baggie. If I know it will be more than a couple weeks before I use it, I double-bag the bacon for extra protection, or wrap the baggie in foil. It will keep well for up to 3 months.
a cast iron skillet, a carton of eggs, cooked bacon, and uncooked bacon

How to Tell If Bacon Is Bad

Because of bacon’s high fat content, it can go rancid quickly when not stored properly. There are several ways to tell if your uncooked bacon has gone bad in the fridge.

  • Color. If your bacon has faded to a lighter pink color, it’s probably time to toss it. And it’s DEFINITELY time to toss it if you notice any brown, gray, or greenish coloring.
  • Smell. If the bacon smells sour or rancid, it’s definitely gone bad. Cooked bacon will also smell “off” once it has gone bad. If you detect any funky smells, just get rid of it.
  • Texture. Uncooked bacon that has gone bad will often have a sticky or slimy feel to it.
a wooden tray with Canadian bacon, bacon, and diced pancetta

Different Types of Bacon

Did you know there are actually many different types of bacon and some of them don’t look like the bacon we typically picture? Here’s a rundown of the most popular types you’ll find used in bacon recipes:

  • American-style bacon. This is the bacon used in almost all of my bacon recipes and the one we typically think of. Bacon is pork belly cured with salt and then smoked and sliced.
  • Slab bacon. Slab bacon is simply a whole smoked pork belly before it’s sliced into the familiar bacon strips. Then you can slice it however you like: thick or thin!
  • Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon is circular and cut from the back loin of the animal. It has a ham-like flavor and is often smoked.
  • Pancetta. Pancetta is cured with salt, black pepper, and spices and rolled into a cylinder. You’ll often find it diced in packages. It’s often used in pasta dishes, though it can be served for breakfast too, like in baked eggs with pancetta.

How to Store Bacon

So let’s wrap this up. Here’s how to store bacon in the fridge and freezer:

  • Fridge. Store unopened packages of bacon as-is in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, depending on the “use by date”. Store opened, uncooked bacon in the fridge for up to a week, sealed tightly inside a baggie for up to 1 week – be sure to squeeze out excess air. Store cooked bacon in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer. Store unopened packages of bacon in the freezer for up to 6 months. If the package has been opened, place the package in a freezer-safe baggie and freeze for up to 3 months. Store cooked bacon in a freezer baggie if freezing for a short amount of time or double-bag the bacon for extra protection – you can also wrap the baggie in foil. It will keep well for up to 3 months.

21 Easy Bacon Recipes You'll Love

Now that you know all about the different types of bacon and how to tell when it's gone bad, let's get to the fun bacon - cooking with bacon!

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