Can You Freeze Bacon Bits? The Complete Guide on Freezing and Storing Bacon Bits

Bacon bits are a pantry staple in many households. The crispy, salty, smoky bits of bacon add flavor and texture to everything from salads and baked potatoes to casseroles and pasta dishes. But like regular bacon, bacon bits also have a relatively short shelf life and will go bad if not stored properly

This leads many home cooks to wonder – can you freeze bacon bits to extend their shelf life?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze bacon bits to keep them fresh for longer. In fact, freezing is one of the best ways to prevent bacon bits from spoiling quickly.

In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about freezing bacon bits, including:

  • Why freeze bacon bits
  • How to freeze bacon bits (with homemade and store-bought)
  • How to thaw and use frozen bacon bits
  • How long frozen bacon bits last
  • Tips for freezing and using bacon bits

Let’s dive in!

Why Freeze Bacon Bits?

There are a few key reasons why freezing can be useful for storing bacon bits:

  • Extends Shelf Life – Fresh bacon bits usually only last 1-2 weeks in the fridge. Freezing gives them a shelf life of 4-6 months.

  • Prevents Waste – Freezing allows you to keep unused bacon bits instead of tossing extras that go bad.

  • Saves Money – Freezing lets you buy bacon bits in bulk or make big batches of homemade bits and save them.

  • Always Have Them on Hand – Frozen bacon bits mean you’ll always have some ready when a recipe calls for them.

  • Maintain Freshness – Freezing locks in freshness and prevents bacon bits from getting stale over time.

So if you want to get more mileage out of your bacon bits, freezing is the way to go!

How to Freeze Bacon Bits

Freezing bacon bits is easy whether you’re working with leftover homemade bits or store-bought varieties. Here are simple steps for both:

Freezing Homemade Bacon Bits

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. Let cool completely.
  2. Chop cooled bacon into small pieces. Season with pepper or other spices (optional).
  3. Spread pieces in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour until solid.
  4. Transfer frozen bits to airtight container or freezer bag. Squeeze out air, label, and freeze up to 4 months.

Freezing Store-Bought Bacon Bits

  1. If bacon bits are in a shaker container, pour into a resealable plastic freezer bag.

  2. Remove as much air from bag as possible before sealing. This prevents freezer burn.

  3. Label bag with contents and freeze-by date (up to 4 months).

  4. For best results, lay bag flat in the freezer so bits don’t all settle to the bottom.

And that’s it! The freezing process is the same whether you made the bacon bits or bought them pre-made.

Pro Tip: Separate bacon bits into recipe-sized portions before freezing so you can thaw just what you need.

How to Thaw and Use Frozen Bacon Bits

Thawing frozen bacon bits is simple. There are a few methods:

  • Room Temperature – Leave sealed bag of frozen bits on counter for 2-3 hours.

  • Refrigerator – Place sealed bag in fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.

  • Microwave – Microwave frozen bits in 30 second bursts, stirring between until thawed.

Once thawed, bacon bits are ready to use in recipes or as a topping. A few serving ideas:

  • Sprinkle on salads, baked potatoes, soups
  • Mix into dips, spreads, eggs dishes
  • Add to mac and cheese, pasta, casseroles
  • Use in seasoning blends for meats or veggies
  • Garnish for cocktails, milkshakes or desserts

The possibilities are endless! Just be sure to use thawed bacon bits within a week and don’t refreeze them.

How Long Do Frozen Bacon Bits Last?

When stored properly in airtight packaging, frozen bacon bits will maintain quality for 4-6 months.

Frozen bits remain safe to eat past 6 months but may suffer more texture and flavor loss over time. It’s best to try using up frozen bacon bits within that 4-6 month window.

Be sure to check your bags or containers of frozen bits occasionally for signs of freezer burn. This appears as dry, shriveled spots and can impart an “off” flavor.

Tips for Freezing Bacon Bits

Follow these tips for best results when freezing your bacon bits:

  • Use fresh, high-quality bacon. Old or low-quality bacon won’t improve with freezing.

  • Allow cooked bacon to fully cool before freezing for food safety. Don’t let it sit more than 2 hours.

  • Freeze bacon bits in single layers on trays before bagging to prevent clumping.

  • Exclude as much air as possible from bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.

  • Label everything with contents and freeze-by date so you know what’s inside.

  • Organize your freezer so older bacon bits get used first within the 4-6 month window.

  • Inspect bags or containers for signs of freezer burn before using frozen bits.

  • Don’t refreeze thawed bacon bits or they’ll lose texture and flavor.

Following these tips will help you successfully freeze and store your bacon bits like a pro!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make homemade bacon bits?

Making homemade bacon bits is easy:

  1. Cook bacon slices until crispy and drain on paper towels.
  2. Let cool completely then chop into small pieces with a knife or food processor.
  3. Optionally season with black pepper or other spices.
  4. Use immediately, refrigerate up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 4 months.

Can you freeze pre-cooked bacon bits?

Yes, you can freeze both homemade cooked bacon bits as well as pre-cooked, store-bought varieties. Be sure to exclude excess air when freezing to prevent freezer burn.

Do bacon bits change texture when frozen?

Freezing can slightly alter the texture of bacon bits, making them less crispy compared to fresh. But once thawed, they still add great bacon flavor to recipes.

Can you freeze bacon fat/grease?

Yes, bacon grease can be frozen for later use. Let it cool completely first, then store in freezer bags or airtight containers for up to 6 months.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen bacon bits?

Letting them thaw slowly in the fridge overnight is best to prevent moisture loss. Quick thawing in the microwave also works in a pinch. Just don’t refreeze thawed bits.

The Bottom Line

Freezing is an easy, convenient way to preserve leftover or bulk-purchased bacon bits so they stay fresh longer and prevent waste.

With proper storage methods, frozen bacon bits can keep 4-6 months in the freezer. They may lose a bit of their signature crunch but still add tons of smoky, salty bacon flavor to dishes once thawed.

Follow the tips in this guide for successfully freezing and storing your bacon bits. And next time a recipe calls for these crispy bits of pig candy, you’ll be ready thanks to your frozen stash!


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