Can I store bacon in the pantry?
Can you really store bacon for long-term food storage? The answer is quite simple: yes you can! Here are the food storage options for bacon lovers …
Bacon for Food Storage
Yes, bacon can be stored in your pantry for long-term use. You might have to learn to love it in a new way, but it is definitely something you can do!
Pre-cooked bacon strips
The fully-cooked bacon packages from Hormel or Oscar Mayer have little fat and moisture, and tons of chemicals and preservatives (but hey – almost all commercially cured bacon does, too), and will keep for months and months unopened. Either open and cook it all, or use the rest within a few days from the fridge. While the USDA recommends only storing until the “use by date”, we know that those dates don’t mean the food has expired, it’s just when the optimum quality may have been achieved. It didn’t expire, it didn’t suddenly become bad.
Bacon bits in a jar or resealable bag can be reopened numerous times (throw a silica pack in to help with moisture control after opening) and used to add some flavor to bland dishes. Just be sure you’re using real bacon, and not the soy bacon substitute.
• Additional Reading: USDA Food Safety Guidelines for Bacon
Home Pressured Canned Bacon
You can always choose to pressure can bacon for yourself. Bexar Prepper walks you through the entire process here in her video. You can also find printed instructions at Backwoods Home Magazine. While this process isn’t approved by the people who tend to approve of canning techniques – you can find an approved method of canning meat chunks here.
Home Cured Bacon
You can make bacon at home, and have it last months at room temperature without worry if you follow the proper process. This curing method might be more than you want to tackle for Sunday’s breakfast, but if you want to learn proper meat preservation techniques, this one save’s your bacon every time!
I know..I know….you have so many question. What if…
- if the power goes out? (fire up the grill and cook you up a mess of bacon!)
- the power stays on, but you have no job and you need to survive out of what you have stored up?
- you do have a generator to keep things going if the power does go out?
- I just forgot to pay my electricity bill this month?
- a hoard of zombies comes and steals my bacon (that’s for another post).
While I don’t recommend relying solely on your refrigeration/freezer methods to preserve food for long-term, I don’t discourage you from making it a part of your plan. Just know how to recover if there is a power failure. Freezing bacon is a great way to preserve commercially produced bacon for long term if properly stored in airtight packaging, and it will last a long time. Six months is the accepted length of time, but if wrapped properly, stored in a vacuum sealed package (not necessarily the packaging from the store), it can last up to a year (though we’ve never been able to keep it stocked for that long with our rotation system).
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