How to Defrost Turkey Bacon: A Quick and Easy Guide

Turkey bacon has become a popular lower-fat and lower-calorie alternative to traditional pork bacon. But to enjoy those crispy turkey bacon strips whenever you want it helps to buy turkey bacon in bulk and keep it frozen until needed. This raises the question – what’s the best way to safely and quickly defrost turkey bacon?

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about defrosting turkey bacon using multiple simple methods. Read on for tips on thawing turkey bacon in the refrigerator, cold water hot water, the microwave, and more.

An Overview of Turkey Bacon

Before jumping into defrosting methods, let’s cover some turkey bacon basics:

  • Turkey bacon is made from ground turkey shaped and cured to replicate bacon, without using pork.

  • It has roughly half the fat and calories as regular pork bacon.

  • The turkey meat typically comes from the breast, thigh, or a mix.

  • Turkey bacon is precooked but still needs some additional cooking before eating.

  • Most nutritionists consider it a healthier alternative to pork bacon.

  • The taste and texture differ somewhat from pork bacon. It has a leaner flavor and can be slightly chewier.

  • Look for turkey bacon without added nitrites or nitrates.

  • Unopened packs last 1-2 weeks refrigerated, 6 months frozen.

Now that you know what turkey bacon is, let’s get into the best practices for thawing it.

How to Defrost Turkey Bacon in the Refrigerator

For slow, safe thawing overnight or longer, the refrigerator is your best bet:

  • Place the turkey bacon package on a plate or bowl to catch drips.

  • Put the plate in the fridge on a bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Allow roughly 12-24 hours to thaw a 1 lb package of turkey bacon.

  • 1 lb takes about 5 hours per 500g to defrost in the fridge.

  • Once thawed, use within 1 week.

Defrosting in the fridge gives you control – just remember to start early if you need it thawed by a certain time!

Defrosting Turkey Bacon in Cold Water

A quicker way to defrost turkey bacon is by submerging it in cold tap water:

  • Place turkey bacon in a sealed zip-top bag or leave it packaged.

  • Submerge the bag or package in a bowl of cold tap water.

  • Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold.

  • Defrost time is about 30 minutes for a 1 lb package.

  • Cook immediately once thawed – don’t leave it sitting out.

  • Only defrost small amounts using this method.

Cold water thawing takes about half the time versus the refrigerator method. Just be sure to cook the turkey bacon soon after thawing.

Using Hot Water to Defrost Turkey Bacon

Believe it or not, hot tap water is an effective and safe way to quickly thaw turkey bacon:

  • Place turkey bacon in original airtight packaging or a sealed bag.

  • Submerge the package in a bowl of hot tap water.

  • Drain and refresh the hot water every 10 minutes.

  • Defrost time is roughly 10-20 minutes for a 1 lb package.

  • Cook immediately after thawing, don’t let sit out long.

  • Only thaw small packages of 1 lb or less using this method.

Hot water thawing is fast, but only works for smaller frozen items like turkey bacon. Be very diligent about cooking soon after.

Microwave Thawing of Turkey Bacon

While not ideal, you can defrost turkey bacon in the microwave in a pinch:

  • Place turkey bacon on a microwave-safe plate.

  • Microwave at 30% power, checking and flipping every minute.

  • Defrost times vary based on microwave wattage, around 3-5 minutes for a few slices.

  • Cook the turkey bacon immediately after thawing in the microwave.

  • Defrosting longer than needed in the microwave can start cooking the turkey bacon.

Use the microwave to quickly thaw just what you need, but watch closely to prevent cooking.

Thawing Turkey Bacon on the Counter

It’s generally not recommended to thaw meats at room temperature due to bacteria growth:

  • Thawing turkey bacon on the counter promotes rapid bacteria growth.

  • Room temperature thawing should only be done if cooking immediately after.

  • Thaw only what can be cooked fully within 2 hours max.

  • Temperature control is difficult; refrigerator or cold water thawing are safer.

Only thaw small amounts of turkey bacon at room temp if you will be cooking all of it within 2 hours.

Thawing Frozen Turkey Bacon in the Skillet

If you’re really in a pinch, you can thaw and cook turkey bacon simultaneously:

  • Place frozen turkey bacon strips or pieces directly into a cold skillet.

  • Cook over medium-low, turning occasionally, until thawed and browned.

  • Add 1-2 minutes to the normal cooking time.

  • Watch closely to prevent burning before it’s fully defrosted.

  • Covering speeds thawing but can make bacon overly soft.

  • Once partially thawed, increase heat to crisp up.

Skillet thawing is doable but requires close monitoring to prevent burning or uneven cooking.

Things to Avoid When Defrosting Turkey Bacon

To safely thaw turkey bacon, avoid these methods:

  • Don’t thaw at room temperature more than 2 hours.

  • Don’t refreeze thawed turkey bacon; cook within 1 week.

  • Don’t microwave on high power; use defrost or 30% power only.

  • Don’t thaw in standing water which can breed bacteria.

  • Don’t thaw in slow cooker on low or simmering water.

Stick to the recommended thawing methods above to avoid food safety issues.

Tips for Cooking Defrosted Turkey Bacon

Once thawed, turkey bacon needs some cooking before eating. Here are some tips:

  • Cook thawed turkey bacon in a skillet, bake it, or microwave it.

  • Pan frying over medium-high heat works well for getting it crispy.

  • Bake turkey bacon in the oven at 400°F for 12-18 minutes, flipping halfway.

  • Microwave in 30 second intervals until desired crispness; cook time is 2-4 minutes.

  • Turkey bacon generally takes longer to crisp up than pork bacon.

  • Add a touch of oil to the pan to aid browning.

  • Pat off excess moisture with paper towels pre-cooking.

  • Turkey bacon shrinks more than pork when cooking. Make extra!

With the right defrosting and cooking methods, you can enjoy delicious turkey bacon anytime. Thawing turkey bacon safely just takes some forethought and using one of the recommended techniques. We covered all the bases here, so next time your recipe calls for turkey bacon, you’ll know exactly how to defrost it.

Here’s a QUICK safe way to thaw out your frozen bacon , sausage or any meats !! USE COLD WATER ONLY!


How to defrost turkey bacon fast?

One way is to place the bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it on the defrost setting for a minute or two. Another way is to place the bacon in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it on low power for a minute or two.

Can you cook turkey bacon from frozen?

Yes, you can cook frozen turkey bacon in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the frozen bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.

Is it safe to defrost bacon in the microwave?

There are three safe ways to thaw bacon: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. Never defrost bacon on the kitchen counter or at room temperature.

Is it OK to defrost bacon in hot water?

The Best Method For Thawing Bacon Slowly: The Fridge. The Best Method For Thawing Bacon Quickly: In Hot Water. The Second Best Way To Thaw Bacon: In Cold Tap Water.

How do you defrost Bacon?

Consider the following methods: 1. Coldwater bath: Using cold water, you can defrost the bacon relatively quickly. Place the bacon in its original packaging into a watertight container or freezer bag, then place the bag into a bowl of cold tap water on the kitchen counter.

How do you Thaw a bag of bacon?

Submerge the bag of bacon in cold water. Fill the sink, or a large bowl, with cold tap water. Place the watertight bag of bacon into the water. Don’t use the sink if you need to wash dishes in the next hour. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the bacon is thawed. The water will warm up over time, especially if you live in a warm climate.

Can You defrost bacon if you don’t have a chef?

You don’t have to be a chef to get your bacon at the temperature that you want it to be in order to cook it. One of the easiest and most natural ways to defrost bacon is by putting it in the sink and run tap, cold water over it. Just put the bacon in its original wrapping on a grill and allow cold water to run over it.

Can You reheat frozen turkey bacon?

You can thaw and reheat frozen turkey bacon in the microwave. Just remove from the freezer and then place the turkey bacon on a microwave-safe dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and heat up for 5 to 10 seconds at a time until thawed. How to Use Thawed Turkey Bacon? Once your turkey bacon is thawed, you can use it in multiple ways.

Leave a Comment