Cooked bacon can be left out for up to two hours. After that, it should be refrigerated. If you’re not sure how long your bacon has been sitting out, it’s better to err on the side of caution and throw it away.
Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork. It is prepared from several different cuts of meat, typically from the belly or side of the pig. Cooked bacon is a great way to add flavor and protein to your breakfast or lunch. However, you may be wondering if it can be left out at room temperature or stored in the refrigerator.
Bacon is cured by either smoking or wet curing. Wet cured bacon must be cooked before consuming and can then be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to six months.
Smoke-cured bacon is cooked before consumption and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for up to eight months.
In this article, we will answer the questions of how long can cooked bacon stay outside and provide some tips on how to store cooked bacon for maximum freshness!
Consequences of Leaving Cooked Bacon for a Long Time
Leaving cooked bacon out for extended periods of time can result in a number of foodborne illnesses. The most common bacteria that can grow on improperly stored bacon are Salmonella, Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Eating bacon that was cooked a long time ago can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
Additionally, the bacteria can pose a serious threat to infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has contracted a foodborne illness from improperly stored bacon, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
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How to Know if Your Cooked Bacon Has Gone Bad
Cooked bacon is a delicious treat, but it can go bad if it’s not stored properly. If you’re not sure whether your cooked bacon has gone bad, there are a few signs to look for:
First, check the appearance of the bacon. Cooked bacon should be a uniform light pink color. If you see any patches of dark pink or brown, that’s a sign that the bacon is starting to spoil.
To make sure you’re eating safe bacon, take a deep sniff of the meat. If it has an off smell or smells sour then don’t even bother checking for yourself because there’s no way that would be good.
Finally, touch the bacon to see if it feels slimy. Cooked bacon should be firm to the touch. If it feels slippery or sticky, that means it’s gone bad and you should throw it away.
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How Long Does Cooked Bacon Stay at Room Temperature?
Cooked bacon will stay fresh for two to four hours if it is properly stored at or below 40° F. It will stay good for up to 2 days if it is stored properly.
Cooked bacon can be reused if it is stored at room temperature and kept in an airtight container.
It is best to reheat the bacon in a microwave or on the stove before eating. When reheating, make sure that the bacon is cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F.
How Long Can Cooked Bacon Stay in the Refrigerator?
Cooked bacon can last up to four days in the fridge. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooked bacon be consumed within four days.
Cooked bacon can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. When storing cooked bacon in the freezer, place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.
If cooked bacon is kept in the refrigerator for a long time, the moisture in the bacon will cause it to spoil. When thawing cooked bacon, place it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least eight hours.
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Best Ways to Store Cooked Bacon
It is possible that you have cooked bacon for the morning breakfast but had no time to eat them as you had to rush to work. Or, you have prepared a long batch of bacon for a whole week to reduce your work in busy mornings.
Now you want to store it in the proper way, but don’t know what exact method you should follow.
- Cooked bacon can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- They can also be frozen for up to 2 months in the freezer.
- Cooked bacon can also be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- If you are going to store your bacon at room temperature, it is best to place it in a sealed container or bag.
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The Recipes That Use Left Out Cooked Bacon
Cooked bacon can be left out in the open, but only if you want to risk it. Cooked bacon is considered a “potentially hazardous food” because of its high-fat content and potential for bacterial growth.
So, what can you do with the bacon that has been left out after dinner? Well, you can cook it again or you can refrigerate it. If you decide to cook it again, make sure that the bacon is cooked thoroughly before eating it.
Some recipes that use cooked bacon are quiche, carbonara, BLT’s, and omelets. If you have leftover bacon from breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then these are all great recipes to use it in.
Recipe of Quiche With Cooked Bacon
Quiche is a savory, egg-based dish that is usually crustless. It can be made with a variety of ingredients, including ham, bacon, and cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together eggs and milk. Stir in cheese and bacon. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until set in the center.
Recipe of Carbonara With Cooked Bacon
Carbonara is a pasta dish made with bacon, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. The eggs are mixed with the hot pasta and the bacon is then added in. Some variations also include garlic and onion.
- Cooked bacon
- Parmesan cheese
- Spaghetti pasta
Cook spaghetti pasta according to package instructions. In a pan, cook eggs and bacon until the eggs are scrambled.
Add Parmesan cheese and mix together. Drain spaghetti and add it to the pan with the eggs and bacon. Serve immediately.
Recipe of BLT with Cooked Bacon
A BLT is a sandwich that consists of bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It is usually served on toasted bread and can be either grilled or toasted.
- Cooked bacon
Toast bread. Add mayonnaise to one slice of toast and top with lettuce, tomato, and bacon. Add the other slice of toast on top. Slice and serve.
Recipe of Omelet with Cooked Bacon
Omelets are made by beating together eggs and milk. The omelet can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including bacon, ham, cheese, and vegetables.
- Cooked bacon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook eggs in a pan until they are scrambled. Add cheese and bacon to the eggs and fold everything together. Serve immediately.
As you can see, there are many recipes in which you can use cooked bacon. If you have cooked bacon that has been left out, then don’t worry, just use it in one of these recipes and it’ll be fine.
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As you have already known, cooked bacon can stay at room temperature for up to two hours.
However, it’s best to store cooked bacon in the fridge where it will last for three to four days. When storing cooked bacon in the fridge, you can place it on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.
Cooked bacon can also be frozen for up to two months. When reheating, always cook bacon until it is crisp as overcooking will cause the bacon to become chewy. Enjoy your delicious bacon!