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Main Forums => The Roundtable => Topic started by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 09:33:08 AM

Title: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 09:33:08 AM
I don't use a lot of bacon, and I use it mainly for seasoning other dishs, such as stew, chili, etc.

Which means that in the past I've often used a half pound only to have the other half pound go bad.

Plus, with bacon prices rising like they are, I want to take advantage of sales.

So, how well does bacon freeze?
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: WLJ on October 15, 2021, 09:36:08 AM
I don't use a lot of bacon, and I use it mainly for seasoning other dishs, such as stew, chili, etc.

Which means that in the past I've often used a half pound only to have the other half pound go bad.

Plus, with bacon prices rising like they are, I want to take advantage of sales.

So, how well does bacon freeze?

I usually buy bulk Sam's packages and freeze much of it. It seems to freeze just fine with no real change in quality
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 15, 2021, 09:36:49 AM
Extremely well.  I put the sealed package in the freezer and pull it out as needed.  Once it is thawed, I keep it in the fridge until I use it up.  We do not have a problem using up a pound before it goes off. I have not noticed any loss of quality. I buy it on sale, and I probably have around six or seven pounds in the garage freezer right now.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Ben on October 15, 2021, 09:36:56 AM
I'm just one data point, but I freeze bacon all the time and I don't think I can detect any flavor or cooking differences.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: 230RN on October 15, 2021, 09:45:38 AM
If your store has a decent spice & flavorings aisle, there are "bacon bits" in small jars that don't require refrigeration and would meet your occasional use requirement without refrigeration or freezng.  I kinda thought that was why bacon was smoked and salted --for preservation.

Besides, I don't think one buys bacon itself, one buys the smoke.  That spice aisle should contain liquid hickory smoke elixir or tincture in small bottles which might meet your needs anyway if you aren't a hyper-epicurean.

I like to use a bit of those crunchy little bits on salads and some other stuff, but as for real bacon, I try to avoid it because of the fat and salt content.

However, at least one company (Hormel?) puts out sliced bacon in a no-refrigeration package which works out well when I succumb to the bacon monkey on my back.

I guess they irradiate it for preservation, but once the package is open, it requires refrigeration or freezing.  In that case, I separate the remaining slices into convenient amounts and freeze them in those small sandwich bags.  Though they're stuck together, Ķwaving them results in their neat separation and crunchification, depending on how long you subject them to the 7-8 cm energy of the usual kitchen Ķwave.

Bon appetit ! =D

Terry, 230RN
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: HankB on October 15, 2021, 09:48:46 AM
I have a good amount of frozen bacon in my freezer right now - the vacuum packed packages it's sold in are just fine and require no additional wrapping.

Hmmmm . . . thinking about it now, I think I should probably make some bacon buns this weekend . . .
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: French G. on October 15, 2021, 09:54:31 AM
 Bought a ten pound box and froze meal sizes in vac bags. Used it for a year just fine. The precooked stuff is handy too.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Ben on October 15, 2021, 10:03:39 AM
I keep mine in the original packaging. The packs I buy at Costco have two packages in each pack, with 10-12 slices of bacon per pack. I have bacon and eggs 1-2 times a week, with 5-6 pieces of bacon per meal (or 4-5 because of the begging dog) so that works out just fine without worrying about the bacon going bad after I've opened a package.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 10:06:36 AM
Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon.

They're flavored textured vegetable protein, and they just taste... weird... to me.

When I want the flavor of bacon in a dish, I want the flavor of real bacon. For example, a good one is bean and bacon soup. It's just not the same with liquid smoke. 
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Brad Johnson on October 15, 2021, 10:12:10 AM
Seems to freeze perfectly fine if left in the original vacuum-sealed packaging. Sams carries my favorite bacon, Wright thick-cut hickory smoked, in 4 lb lots (two 2 lb sealed packages). On occasion I've cooked it after being frozen for several months. No issues at all. I usually cook the entire package on a Saturday morning. We'll gnaw on it over the weekend, then bag it up and keep for things like sandwiches, salads, etc. Once cooked, it seems to do just fine in the fridge for several weeks.

Brad
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 15, 2021, 10:14:22 AM
I just pulled a bacon package out to thaw so we can make this on Sunday:  https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/split-pea-soup-hearty-split-pea-soup-from-the-new-york-times/972325

One of the best split pea soups we have ever had and any time I get to use the immersion blender, it is good. We serve it with homemade bread.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Jim147 on October 15, 2021, 10:16:38 AM
"I don't use a lot of bacon."

That's something a woke commie pinko would say.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 10:19:18 AM
"I don't use a lot of bacon."

That's something a woke commie pinko would say.

I use a lot of ham and sausage, Comrade.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 15, 2021, 10:56:07 AM
We've never had a problem freezing bacon, with one caveat.  We have found that its flavor or texture can change if its left frozen for more than a year.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Bogie on October 15, 2021, 11:38:05 AM
There are actual real bacon bits/crumblies out there for sale. I think that Hormel is one brand.
 
My father used to cook up a large batch, and then freeze that, and microwave when ready to eat it.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: charby on October 15, 2021, 11:39:20 AM
I'll buy 20-30# when it's on sale, it freezes well. If you ever have a pig slaughtered, you get your bacon back frozen.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 15, 2021, 11:57:50 AM
Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon.

They're flavored textured vegetable protein, and they just taste... weird... to me.

When I want the flavor of bacon in a dish, I want the flavor of real bacon. For example, a good one is bean and bacon soup. It's just not the same with liquid smoke. 

Wally World sells real bacon bits under their house brand.  They're not bad.  We have a bag in the fridge right now that we use as a salad topping.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Boomhauer on October 15, 2021, 12:02:00 PM
Wally World sells real bacon bits under their house brand.  They're not bad.  We have a bag in the fridge right now that we use as a salad topping.

Samís has a big bag for $10 of probably the same stuff itís good stuff and a real bargain compared to little bags from Hormel or Oscar Mayer for $4-5 apiece.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RoadKingLarry on October 15, 2021, 12:40:49 PM
Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon.

They're flavored textured vegetable protein, and they just taste... weird... to me.

When I want the flavor of bacon in a dish, I want the flavor of real bacon. For example, a good one is bean and bacon soup. It's just not the same with liquid smoke.

You can get real bacon bits. The "stuff" that you speak of is vile.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 12:42:58 PM
Wally World sells real bacon bits under their house brand.  They're not bad.  We have a bag in the fridge right now that we use as a salad topping.

You know, I had NO idea that companies were selling pre-cooked bacon bits.

Still, I'd rather have a package of real bacon in the freezer, just in case.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Ron on October 15, 2021, 12:48:21 PM
Like those above, I buy bacon in bulk and freeze.

Not only can you freeze it but it probably tolerates freezing better than any other meat I've frozen.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 01:45:49 PM
Generally it makes sense that it would freeze well because it's preserved, and the preservation process removes water from the meat, which reduces the chance of freezer burn and the like.

I just wanted to make sure that something else didn't come into play that I didn't expect, like the fat getting weird and spongy or something, or it developing some other off trait that some foods can when they're frozen.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 15, 2021, 01:52:10 PM
Samís has a big bag for $10 of probably the same stuff itís good stuff and a real bargain compared to little bags from Hormel or Oscar Mayer for $4-5 apiece.

Costco does this as well, with the big bag of Hormel brand.  It just perfect when I want to add bacon to a pasta sauce, throw on top of a salad, or mash into the devilled egg filling.

ETA: I keep this bag of bacon bits in the kitchen freezer so I can add bacon at a whim.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 01:55:41 PM
I really should consider rejoining Costco or BJs.

But I hate to do so for a couple of reasons...

1. I'm single. I just can't use a lot of the stuff in the quantities sold there.

2. Costco especially is a seething mass of humanity. I break into a sweat just thinking about walking into that place.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 15, 2021, 01:55:58 PM
Costco does this as well, with the big bag of Hormel brand.  It just perfect when I want to add bacon to a pasta sauce, throw on top of a salad, or mash into the devilled egg filling.

I never heard of such a thing.  Sounds real good.  I'll have to give that a try.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 15, 2021, 01:57:58 PM
You know, I had NO idea that companies were selling pre-cooked bacon bits.

Still, I'd rather have a package of real bacon in the freezer, just in case.

Fake bacon is like fake crab.  No, just no.  Absolutely not.  Wrong in any universe.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Ben on October 15, 2021, 02:38:37 PM
I really should consider rejoining Costco or BJs.

But I hate to do so for a couple of reasons...

1. I'm single. I just can't use a lot of the stuff in the quantities sold there.

2. Costco especially is a seething mass of humanity. I break into a sweat just thinking about walking into that place.

With Costco and being single, a vacuum sealer is your friend. I hate crowds there too, but weekday mornings are not bad if you can swing it. I'm told right before closing also isn't bad, but I never go there that late.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 15, 2021, 02:50:42 PM
Yeah, I've got a vacuum sealer. But I'm not sure that I have enough freezer space to store a 250-lb "family pack" of chicken thighs...
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: zxcvbob on October 15, 2021, 03:00:03 PM
Walmart here sells 3# (I think it's actually 2.5# now) packages of Plumrose bacon ends & pieces.  I just finished a package and need to buy a couple more; 1.5 pack for the freezer and a half a pack for the fridge.  It cooks up better than sliced bacon and works just as well in a BLT.  It's a lot cheaper than sliced bacon.

Costco and Sam's both sell real bacon sprinkles in big bags for less than $10.  They don't need refrigeration until you open them, then they do unless you use 'em up real fast. 

And I still have a few packages of sliced bacon in the freezer from when KwikTrip put it on sale a year or two ago.  It freezes very well.  Probably oxidizes a little if you leave it in there more than a few years.

Sometimes expensive bacon from a butcher shop is a better deal than supermarket bacon because it doesn't shrink as much, and you don't have to cook off a bunch of water before it actually fries.  And you can buy it pretty much by the slice instead of big packages.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: 230RN on October 15, 2021, 10:45:56 PM
Ben:

"I have bacon and eggs 1-2 times a week, with 5-6 pieces of bacon per meal (or 4-5 because of the begging dog) ..."

=D

As I remember, with two dogs in the house (back when), that problem was general to all foods... especially since I couldn't dissuade the kids from slipping them some goodies from the humans' table whenever I blinked.  To this day, I swear it was a game for them with the dogs as witting and willing guerrillas.

K Frame:

"Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon."

"Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon."

Where'd you get that from?  Rocket man also questioned that. I just threw out an emptied jar of those so I can't check the ingredients, but I wasn't aware of that.  Brand name differences?

Millcreek:

"I just pulled a bacon package out to thaw so we can make this on Sunday:  https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/split-pea-soup-hearty-split-pea-soup-from-the-new-york-times/972325"

You low-down  dirty rotten scoundrel, you.  Sounds out of this world delicious, but some folks have to watch their Nackle (NaCl) intake.  I used to love lentil soup with cut up hot dogs in it and it was a favorite at pot luck affairs at work.

But the Nackle, the Nackle !

I think I'll check my BP now... Just the thought of that much Nackle in your NYT recipe must have spiked it.

Terry, 230RN
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 15, 2021, 11:45:22 PM
I didn't question the fake bacon bits so much as say that genuine ones are readily available.  Maybe K-frame had a hiccup or two in the past when he bought bacon bits, got the fake ones accidentally.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: 230RN on October 16, 2021, 02:20:29 AM
"Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon."

Well, I questioned that because of the "generally," but let's let it go.  My misinterpretation.

Clause struck out.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: zxcvbob on October 16, 2021, 02:29:35 AM
These https://www.amazon.com/McCormick-Culinary-Flavored-Bacon-Bits/dp/B005D8SWXQ/ref=asc_df_B005D8SWXQ and the Bacos brand in small bottles are actually pretty good, but are a poor substitute for the real deal.  For one thing, they are not greasy enough :)  Use the imitation soy bacon bits on a salad (they are good for that), and get real bacon crumbles for everything else.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 16, 2021, 07:02:50 AM
"K Frame:

"Those bacon bits generally aren't bacon."

Where'd you get that from?  Rocket man also questioned that. I just threw out an emptied jar of those so I can't check the ingredients, but I wasn't aware of that.  Brand name differences?"

Well, when I was growing up, the only "bacon bits" that you could store in a cupboard were Bacos.

From the Amazon listing for Bacos (which are unavailable):

"Bacon-flavored condiment made with the goodness of soy
No saturated fat or cholesterol; contains no meat
Preservative-free food in a convenient, re-closable container"

There are a number of other makers of similar products, like McCormick, only they're flat out called imitation bacon bits. But they're made with soy (as in textured soy flour).

I see the imitation bacon bits most commonly on salad bars (saw them on the salad bar at the grocery last night, in fact). Never cared for them, never go looking for them, never use them.

But, as others have noted, and which I didn't know about, there's now REAL bacon bits in bags that are relatively shelf stable. I never went looking for it so I didn't know it existed.

But, I think I still want to sock away some real bacon in the freezer. Few things smell better than bacon cooking, and part of cooking bacon for a recipe is getting the bacon fat as a cooking oil.

For example, when I do chili and put bacon in it, I cook the bacon slowly to get it fairly firm, but to also get all of the fat out of it.

Then I cook the onions, peppers, garlic, chilis, and anything else in the bacon fat before it all goes into the pot. Simply can't beat that flavor boost.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 16, 2021, 07:35:42 AM
^^^My parents were both born and raised in NE Arkansas, so as a kid growing up, they always had a container of bacon drippings in the fridge used for frying.  Due to now taking statins, that is one habit I had to drop.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Bogie on October 16, 2021, 07:47:15 AM
I would make my own bacon bits, but I always eat all the bacons...
 
I use this when I make Evil Mac'n'Cheezes...
 
https://www.aldireviewer.com/tuscan-garden-real-bacon-bits/
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: 230RN on October 16, 2021, 07:56:25 AM
I would make my own bacon bits, but I always eat all the bacons...
 
I use this when I make Evil Mac'n'Cheezes...
 
https://www.aldireviewer.com/tuscan-garden-real-bacon-bits/

:rofl: 

That's like making egg nog for Christmas.  The guests rarely got to have any of our homemade and I always had to run out and get some from the store, and spice that up for the guests.  I used to call it Rescue Nog.

(That was when I was drinking.)
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 16, 2021, 08:21:48 AM
^^^My parents were both born and raised in NE Arkansas, so as a kid growing up, they always had a container of bacon drippings in the fridge used for frying.  Due to now taking statins, that is one habit I had to drop.

Yeah, I'm taking statins, too, but I'm going the moderation route, not the religious-type penance route.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 16, 2021, 08:54:28 AM
If this group was really woke, turkey bacon would have been mentioned by now.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: RocketMan on October 16, 2021, 09:27:08 AM
If this group was really woke, turkey bacon would have been mentioned by now.

Turkey bacon is like imitation crab meat.  No, just no.  I guess this crowd just isn't woke.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: Ben on October 16, 2021, 09:30:15 AM
If this group was really woke, turkey bacon would have been mentioned by now.

That's not woke. This is woke:

https://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-bacon/
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MillCreek on October 16, 2021, 10:10:39 AM
This is more woke since it involves unprocessed ingredients from Mother Gaia:

https://healthmylifestyle.com/carrot-bacon/
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 16, 2021, 03:17:57 PM
If this group was really woke, turkey bacon would have been mentioned by now.

YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH!

I tried turkey bacon some years ago. Butterball, I think.

The taste was good, the mouthfeel not so much. It was loaded with bone chips, which was VERY off putting.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: fifth_column on October 16, 2021, 03:52:10 PM
When I was a kid my parents hosted a high school student via American Field Service (https://afs.org/). He was from Sri Lanka and happened to be muslim. He was overjoyed to find that our bacon bits didn't contain any actual pork. He ate them all the time from then on.

Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: 230RN on October 16, 2021, 06:51:08 PM
As I said, you're really buying the smoke.

Which works well with some substrates, others not so much.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MechAg94 on October 17, 2021, 08:16:36 PM
I never heard of such a thing.  Sounds real good.  I'll have to give that a try.
Yes, an egg with bacon filling sounds good.   =)

I freeze it all the time. 
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: MechAg94 on October 17, 2021, 08:18:18 PM
As I said, you're really buying the smoke.

Which works well with some substrates, others not so much.
Since most of it I eat is fried in a pan before frying eggs, I think I want a little more than the smoke. 

Gotta have the grease also.   =)
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 18, 2021, 07:12:26 AM
Since most of it I eat is fried in a pan before frying eggs, I think I want a little more than the smoke. 

Gotta have the grease also.   =)

Bingo.

I can throw all of the smoke and salt I want into a pot, but it will NEVER replicate the flavor that actual bacon adds, because you don't get the pork flavor profile with just liquid smoke and salt.

I threw a pound into the freezer yesterday. I'll grab another pound or two for the deep freeze.

But, I found some solid gold in the freezer... a really nice looking chunk of beef chuck that I forgot that I bought.

I think I'll turn that into borscht sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: zxcvbob on October 18, 2021, 11:49:35 AM
Bingo.

I can throw all of the smoke and salt I want into a pot, but it will NEVER replicate the flavor that actual bacon adds, because you don't get the pork flavor profile with just liquid smoke and salt.

I threw a pound into the freezer yesterday. I'll grab another pound or two for the deep freeze.

But, I found some solid gold in the freezer... a really nice looking chunk of beef chuck that I forgot that I bought.

I think I'll turn that into borscht sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Imitation bacon bits suck for cooking, but they are actually pretty good for some things; adding a salty bacon-y crunch to salads.  Or just as a salty snack if you don't pretend they are bacon.  For cooking, if you can't have real bacon (sad!) try a smoked turkey wing.  The smoked turkey fat kinda works.

Congrats on the unexpected beef roast :)
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: JTHunter on October 19, 2021, 12:19:51 AM
I have a good amount of frozen bacon in my freezer right now - the vacuum packed packages it's sold in are just fine and require no additional wrapping.

Hmmmm . . . thinking about it now, I think I should probably make some bacon buns this weekend . . .

Exactly.  I freeze it like that too.
And check those "ingredients" on those "bacon bits".  IIRC, most of them are soy-based with artificial flavors.  The fats in real bacon would turn rancid in days no matter how it is processed.
Title: Re: How well does bacon freeze?
Post by: K Frame on October 19, 2021, 07:30:43 AM
"Congrats on the unexpected beef roast :)"

Yes, manna from the freezer is always nice.

And, it has been joined by a beautiful Angus chuck roast in the 4 pound range that I picked up this morning.

I pawed through the big chiller case to find the one that had the marbling I wanted but not a huge chunk of connective tissue right through the center. It has a piece, but it's more to one side. I'm going to cut it in two and vacuum seal them. I'll use one piece for borscht or similar soup, and the other piece, the one with the connective tissue, in the slow cooker.

I may even grab another one later this week.