Introduction: The End of Smelly Bacon

Picture of The End of Smelly Bacon
I am the only one in our house who eats bacon regularly. Before what you read in the Instructable, a pound of bacon would be opened and most of it would rest on a refrigerator shelf for several weeks uncooked. After a while it developed an odor. We might cook all of it and reheat it, but it tasted like old reheated bacon. We might also put the opened package into the freezer, but then I had to thaw all of it, cook what I wanted, and freeze it again. I found a new, better way.

Needed for this are:
  • An unopened package of bacon (not frozen)
  • A knife for opening the bacon package
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • A larger locking plastic bag

Step 1: Open the Package

Picture of Open the Package

Open the package of bacon and pull off as many strips as you usually eat in one serving. For me that is two slices.

Step 2: Bag the Bacon

Picture of Bag the Bacon

Fold each serving portion and place each into a separate sandwich baggie. Fold the baggie around the bacon.

Step 3: Bag the Baggies

Picture of Bag the Baggies

Place the sandwich baggies into a locking freezer bag, seal the lock, and place into a freezer.

When you want bacon, open the locking freezer bag. Remove a baggie. Remove the bacon from the baggie. Place a paper towel on a plate and place the serving of bacon onto the paper towel. Cook for two burst of 25 seconds in a microwave. Remove the plate from the microwave. Watch out for hot grease. Lay each piece of bacon flat on the towel. Wrap one piece in a couple of layers of the paper towel. Then wrap the other in the towel.

Place the plate back into the microwave and cook in bursts of 25 seconds on high until the bacon is done as crisply as you want it. Watch out for hot grease. Unwrap the cooked bacon and enjoy.

I have kept bacon in the freezer like this for a couple of months and it tasted absolutely fresh when cooked.


dreamberry (author)2012-07-25

Fry up the whole package. Eat it all. I do this a couple times a year. Pork immersion therapy. mmm bacon'.

ecricirce (author)2012-05-01

i also freeze bacon servings. i wrap mine in wax paper and all the bundles in one big piece of tin foil the taste stays fine the bacon comes off the wax paper easy and you can recycle the foil. plus no wasted bacon or, as delish as it is, eating a pound in 2 days.

galpal41 (author)2012-04-30

I lay out a length of clear wrap (Saran etc) and lay each slice on that. When I have all the bacon on I place another length over the top and loosely roll it up and place in a gallon bag. and freeze. Whenever I want bacon I take it out and unroll untill I have the number of slices I need. No more old tasting bacon.

ironman0104 (author)2012-04-30

Your plan is good. I have been doing something similar for 12 years where I take the serving size and put in a gallon freezer bag. I have several servings in the back and pull a vacuum on the bag and freeze it. i open it and take out 1 serving or 2 if needed and reseal and restore the vacuum. I then heat on the griddle turning the bacon over until all are thawed. I have crispy bacon and no waste.

baldmosher (author)2012-04-30

As an obvious alternative for those who don't like microwaved bacon, you could just take one serving of bacon out of the freezer the day before, and then cook it as normal on the grill/griddle.

One good tip to reducing the number of plastic freezer bags used by this process is to separate the slices with greasproof (parchment) paper instead. It's recyclable, although you could just as easily re-use the ziplock bags a few times, but you'd have to put them back in the freezer immediately after use for hygeine reasons.

rimar2000 (author)2012-04-26

Good idea, Phil. I was forced to stop eating ham (prosciutto), which I love, for hypertension problems. Here it is not usual eating bacon, and almost always it is eated raw, not cooked.

Phil B (author)rimar20002012-04-26

I remember your Instructable on removing the salt from ham by soaking it in water. I have seen some things lately that suggest medical authorities may have been too alarmist about the dangers of salt for hypertension. Salt may not be as much of a danger as previously suggested. I have always been taught not to eat uncooked pork because of the danger of contracting trichinosis.

rimar2000 (author)Phil B2012-04-27

Yes, it is as you say, Phil, always in medicine o science the day's phrase is "yesterday we think that blah blah, but today we knows that blah blah blah blah". Hypertension, diabetes, kidney stones, are not exceptions.

Desalting ham you loss a bit of taste. I do that only when the piece is too salty, but lately the factories are doing it at good point.

Here are coming the first colds, and this raises the arterial tension.

About trichinosis, I think the danger was exaggerated, in my young 67 years I never seen a case, and these things are very sensitive to people. Raw ham (proscuitto) is for me the King of stiffs (cold meats), its taste is incomparable.

Phil B (author)rimar20002012-04-27

I did know a family who butchered a hog at home and made their own sausage. They did not cook the sausage adequately and were very sick with trichinosis.

Here some businesses sell prosciutto ham, which would be ham ham. That amuses me. It sounds very fancy, though.

rimar2000 (author)Phil B2012-04-28

Sausages, hamburguers, etc, all minced meat foods, are very dangerous it they are low cooked. The meat must be all brown, without a pink or red part.

Salt kills the thichine and its eggs-cysts, in some days or hours. Freezer too.

If you taste a well done prosciutto, you will say "what I was missing!". Spanish and Italian are very good, I don't know others. Lately, Argentine are good, too.

vanmankline (author)rimar20002012-04-29

Color alone is not a sure way of determining how thoroughly cooked meats are. Ground meats must be cooked to 160 deg F (71 deg C). The same chemical reaction that forms the pink "smoke ring" on BBQ can make some foods appear under-done (this is known as pinking). Additionally, some meats can turn brown prior to reaching safe temps.

I feel you only live once, so you might as well be able to eat what you like (in moderation). However, as a food-service professional, I still must advised that eating raw/undercooked foods may be bad for your health. This is especially true for the young, old, pregnant, or those with compromised immune systems.

In the USA, commercial farmers have reduced the occurrence of trichinosis to a point the USDA has said it is fairly safe to cook whole cuts of pork to 140 deg F rare/60 deg C). Without proper oversight/precautions I would not apply this. A home butchered animal may not kept to the same standards the government dictates.

rimar2000 (author)vanmankline2012-04-30

Thanks for the info, vanmankline. Here there are many persons that like the meat "jugosa" (juicy). In some cases it mean raw, as you can see here and here. I agree with you in that is dangerous.

A very bad practice is to use the same knike and/or board tu cut cooked and raw meat during carrying to the table. My wife last year was 3 days at bed due to that, we went to eat at a cheap restaurant near home, and she ate kitchen.

rimar2000 (author)rimar20002012-04-28

Phil, I was reading on the web about trichinosis, and it seems it is as you say: the salt is not safe to kill trichina cysts. I guess this must refer to when the stiff has not been done season enough, which usually occurs when one buy cheap cold meats.

USA regulations (FDA) are very strict on that matter, you can buy safe stiffs made in a regular factory.

l8nite (author)rimar20002012-04-28

scientists feed mice a diet of just eggs and when the mice die they say eggs r bad for you, then they feed mice a diet of just salty ham and when the mice die they say salty ham is bad for you etc etc. I might have eggs a couple times a month by them selves, a few more times mixed in something else and I try to vary my meat during the week with poultry, fish, pork and beef even an occasional vegetarian meal.. moderation is the key

rimar2000 (author)l8nite2012-04-29

Yes, I8nite, it is as you say. An example is Sodium cyclamate, prohibited in some countries and permitted in others. I use it since more than 30 years ago, and I have not had any problems, except an fully operational elephant's trunk has grown me in the back. But the trunk is an advantage, it helps me scratching and soaping my back.

moose2good (author)2012-04-30

I cannot believe how all these irresponsible "green" comments get into anyone's head!
Waxed paper is horrendous for the environment, as it is NOT recyclable (True!) Plus, lots and lots of wax ants are killed for their high-quality waxy build-up under their toe-nails; billions die needlessly to supply mankind with wax paper products (False, but sounds kinda cute)
And puh-lease don't get me started on the evils of baking parchment paper, as it is made by killing lots and lots of trees and spreading sulfuric acid all over the planet (True, except for the spreading part, as they keep it in large heat vessels). It takes 2,943,811 old-growth trees that have harbored little dancing nymphs and faeries all their lives to make 14.2 rolls of parchment (False, but ridiculous claims by anyone can be believable, right?)
No snail-darters were harmed during this interlude.

thinkdunson (author)2012-04-29

the easiest way is to use vacuum baggies.  they're like regular baggies except for a little tab thingy in one corner and texturing along the inside of one side to let the air escape.  

with these you can put them all in the same bag and just use the fridge.  plain, simple, and easy.

the vacuum unit only costs like twenty bucks.  the bags are very sturdy and can be used over and over, but i'm lazy and don't like washing, so i only use them a couple of times and then throw them away.  they're not that expensive.  and if you use the same brand as the vacuum unit, the vacuum seal lasts at least a month in my experience.  the seal on the ziplock brand doesn't last even a week before you can see air starting to slowly leak in.

it's called food saver / fresh saver and it can be found at both walmart and target that i've seen.

Skymeat (author)2012-04-29

Seems like a lot of work. I just buy fresh for what I need when I shop. If you can't get to the butcher and need to shop at the store then get it at the store's butcher. Just get em to pack two strips per package. I've never had a cello pack that was anywhere near fresh and not slimy.

solemnraven (author)2012-04-29

I like this idea. But on a side note you should never thaw raw meat and then refreeze it. Once you thaw you must cook, after cooking you can then freeze again.

lyndau (author)solemnraven2012-04-29

It is more of a quality loss issue rather than a food safety thing. As long as the food was thawed and stored properly it can be refrozen.

MsViv (author)solemnraven2012-04-29

I have been taught this my whole life and just the last year or so been told that is false and no longer true. I will continue to agree with you. You can go into WalMart and on their meat will tell you it came into store frozen and it is now thawed out and you can take it home and refreeze..

solemnraven (author)MsViv2012-04-29

Hm, interesting. I don't buy meat from WalMart but yeah, maybe. I just learned it in the Restaurant industry. :)

darkroommike (author)2012-04-29

One better, take half sheet pans lined with wax paper and spread the bacon on the pans, freeze the individual strips of bacon, then put all the frozen bacon into one large gallon sized zip bag the next day.

maka (author)darkroommike2012-04-29

This is what i do with bacon, too, except i prefer to use a reusable container instead of a zip bag to store it. Other meats i buy in larger-than-single-meal quantities get similar treatment. Freeze on waxed paper in single-meal sizes, wrap and store in labeled freezer containers.

darkroommike (author)maka2012-04-29

I prefer the zip bag since I can tuck it in the odd shaped spaces of the freezer, rather than making room. And the bag collapses as strips are removed making it even more compact. I can reuse my "bacon bag" several times before starting a new container.

LancasterPA (author)2012-04-29

I have NEVER had any extra bacon. Just as an FYI, If you leave your bacon in the refrigerator to thaw, pull off your slices then RE-Freeze the rest it will be a whole lot better. Contrary to popular belief, you can refreeze meat over and over again. After the third or fourth time you will feel a difference in the tongue for steaks. I guess the whole process takes a toll on the cells of the meat. For bacon, I doubt that would matter. For steaks the meat is actually more tender.

Switch and Lever (author)2012-04-29

Wasting a a lot of extra plastic vs wasting bacon, I'm not sure which is actually worse. This is a bit akin to individually wrapped slices of cheese in terms of wastefulness.

If you wanted to be more environmentally friendly you could use parchment paper folded between each slice, or couple of slices, and then place the folded stack into the freezer. Since you can peel off the frozen bacon from the paper no problem you can basically put new bacon on the old paper and continuously restock the bag with bacon while cutting waste down to a minimum.

68trug (author)Switch and Lever2012-04-29

There are some food safety issues with the reuses of the parchment paper. (pathogens can grow in a freezer, albeit very slowly, but they do grow and can cause problems for you.)

I don't have a compromise solution to the fresh bacon vs green just a suggestion... don't get sick.

Elkayen (author)Switch and Lever2012-04-29

That's similar to what I do. Get a long piece of parchment or wax paper, lay a strip of bacon on one end and fold it over. Lay another slice on top, fold, and repeat until you've got all the bacon wrapped in a roll. Then wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil and stick it in the freezer. Makes it really easy to get as many pieces of bacon as you want.

aqnd (author)Elkayen2012-04-29

Lol, don't know how I missed this until I click post. I just posted pretty much the same thing as you both :p

In other words, good idea.
It's precisely what at least one major fast food chain does, so it has to be a decent idea.

mress (author)2012-04-29

We separate the bacon, lay it on a tray and freeze it. Once it's frozen it can be put in a Tupperware celery or green onion keeper in the freezer. For those who don't require whole slices just freeze it as it comes from the store and cut off as much as you need from the end with a sharp knife and fry the pieces.

menahunie (author)2012-04-29

I just use plastic wrap; pull a part, put three to four strips peeled from the package on it.
Roll it and put more and so on. Then I throw it in the freezer.
When I want some I just take a separate amount from the other throw the rest back in the freezer and cook the one I took out.

aqnd (author)2012-04-29

I use a trick I picked up from working fast food - all their bacon came par-cooked and frozen flat on parchment sheets. So you'd just peel off a sheet and you'd have a batch ready to be crisped up and used.

So fry up the whole pack of bacon until it's just soft (also takes up less room and less grease to drain for final cooking)
While it's cooking, throw a sheet pan in the freezer to get a head start on cooling.

Then take a sheet of parchment and fold it like an accordion with the width of the folds roughly the width you need for one serving.
Dab some of the grease off with paper towel and lay your parcooked strips for each serving on the parchment and close the accordion one fold. Repeat for the rest of it and then throw it on your sheet pan and freeze until solid.
Wrap that in plastic wrap/ziploc bag/etc. and you're done.

Then just peel open a fold and crisp up your single serving. No dealing with lots of bags or solid rocks of bacon that need separating.

Duckism (author)2012-04-29

I think it would be more cost effective and better for the environment to just simply separate the bacons with wax paper in a freezer bag.

mygreenhome (author)2012-04-29

I do something similar, but I use Glad Press'n Seal film instead of the individual bags. I lay out a large piece of the film on the counter, and place portions in regular little piles -- like stuffing ravioli -- then I seal between the piles.

Then I place the whole batch in a zipper bag.

You can cut between the portions before freezing, or when you need one.

mygreenhome (author)mygreenhome2012-04-29

I forgot to say you have to add another piece of film on top, of course!

lifgrd (author)2012-04-29

Just man up and eat the whole package! You know you want to!

blanchae (author)2012-04-29

The first thing that I do when I open a lb of bacon is to put it between two sheets of paper towel to soak of any liquids - dry the bacon. I do this to any sliced meats like pastrami, smoked meat, bologna or roast beef. The meat lasts way longer without going bad.

adamnock (author)2012-04-29

Off-topic slighty, but in regards to cooking bacon.

You should have a look at Oven-baking rashers. There's a good number of videos/instructions available online, but the basic premise is to put unstacked strips in a cold over on a foil lined baking tray (lipped to catch the grease) and then bring the over up to 205 Degrees (Celcius).

Takes 15-20 minutes with a flip half way, then drain on paper towels for a minute or two.

Comes out wonderfully crispy, and as long as you get rashers with an even cut (i got some the other day that were about 2mm at one end and +1cm at the other) it cooks perfectly.

Its also somewhat healthier as the slow application of heat helps to liquify the fat and drain it away.

80$man (author)2012-04-26

Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips &
Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips &
Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips &
Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips &
Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips

Phil B (author)80$man2012-04-26

I think I see a pattern.

80$man (author)Phil B2012-04-29

l8nite (author)2012-04-28

pretty much what I do with any larger purchase be it bacon, ground beef or even green peppers but I usually let the individual packages freeze before putting them in a bigger bag because occasionally when freezing them all in one bag they stick together. I order a 20lb pack of thick cut bacon through a friends sandwich shop, knowing that it's going to be in the freezer awhile I wrap each plastic bag in aluminum foil then freeze and place in a larger bag

thomasready (author)2012-04-26

Are you kidding me really talking about Bacon give me a break or better yet make me a BLT...

chuCraft (author)2012-04-26

Great idea! Do you know if this method would also help keep bacon fresher in the fridge? I think it might, since you wouldn't be repeatedly opening and closing the same package.

Phil B (author)chuCraft2012-04-26

I have not given any previous thought to your question. I suspect the freshness problems begin when the vacuum seal is broken on the original package. So far, freezing as I described works very, very well and the bacon always tastes fresh.

killerjackalope (author)2012-04-26

I just use tupperware... Granted even a pound of bacon doesn't last long in my fridge... I really like bacon...

Phil B (author)killerjackalope2012-04-26

Obviously, much depends on how quickly your household can consume a package of bacon. In our house that can be more than a month. It is not that I do not like bacon, but once a week I have a breakfast meeting in a nearby restaurant and always include bacon in my order. So, back at home can languish. Thank you for looking.

killerjackalope (author)Phil B2012-04-26

Freezing does seem a good option then... I was given a microwave tray for bacon a while ago - amazingly it does work well, it's just a plastic dish with raised ridges but it's much easier to clean than a plate and drains the grease as it cooks so you don't burn your hand on it when you pick it up...

Phil B (author)killerjackalope2012-04-26

We had one of those and used it for many years. Currently, I like the paper towel cookery. Perhaps our tray was different from yours. On ours the grease in the catch reservoir absorbed more than its share of the microwave radiation, which slowed the actual cooking of the bacon, unless we tried to pour the hot grease into a tin can while attempting to keep the bacon from peeling off of the tray onto the counter or the floor. Sometimes the bacon cooked unevenly on the tray with pieces on the ends of the tray cooking faster than those in the center. Admittedly, I cook bacon for one person now and the grease that soaks into the paper towel remains close to the cooking bacon, which acts like a deep fat fryer to help the bacon cook.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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