Learn how to thaw bacon quickly and safely, using either the refrigerator, cold water, or your microwave
Buying bacon in bulk from your butcher (or the supermarket!) can save you money. But you may be left wondering how to use it all up before it expires!
Luckily, you can freeze bacon. When stored properly, it can be kept in your freezer for up to six months. That being said, we recommend using your bacon within a month for maximum freshness.
But if you have frozen your bacon and now need some for a recipe or breakfast in the morning, you may be wondering how to thaw it quickly.
How to thaw bacon safely
Let’s firstly look at how to thaw bacon safely.
You may see recommendations that say bacon can be left at room temperature. However, you increase the chances of the production of bacteria if the bacon reaches a certain temperature for too long.
The three main methods for thawing bacon safely are in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
How to thaw bacon in the refrigerator
This is one of the safest ways to thaw bacon. The downside is that you must know in advance you want to use the bacon, as it is quite a slow thawing process. The exact time will depend on the size of the package you are thawing.
When you defrost bacon in the fridge, you can keep it in there for up seven days prior to cooking.
If, for any reason at all, you decide that you don’t want to use your bacon, you can refreeze it, as long as it has not been cooked.
How to thaw bacon using cold water
A quicker way to thaw bacon is by submerging it into cold water.
The important aspect to note with this thawing method is that you must ensure your bacon is in packaging that is leak proof, otherwise bacteria could get into the bacon.
Additionally, if the bacon isn’t in leak proof packaging, it may absorb some of the water which will alter its flavor.
Generally, a one pound package of bacon takes about an hour, or slightly less, to thaw. Do be sure to change the water about 30 minutes in. When you thaw bacon with this method, you must make sure that you cook the bacon right away.
How to thaw bacon using the microwave
Another quick thawing method is with the microwave, but as with the cold water method, you must make sure you are cooking the bacon right after thawing. This is even more important when using the microwave, because the bacon could begin to heat up while being defrosted.
Did you know you can cook bacon from frozen?
You can cut frozen bacon into lardons using a sharp knife and place them into a hot skillet to thaw and begin to cook.
You can then drain away any additional liquid and use the bacon as required.
If you don’t want to cut the bacon, you can actually put the whole chunk of frozen bacon into a hot skillet and cook it over medium heat. You can cover your skillet with foil which will keep the steam in and help to thaw the bacon more quickly.
You will then be able to start separating out the pieces.
With either of these methods, you must use the bacon in your recipe right away.