freezing cooked bacon
I was gifted with a big wad of frozen bacon. No way I could use it all at once. I'm looking on suggestions on what to do with it. I could thaw, lay out individually and then refreeze (probably not the best idea). Or I could thaw, cook it all, and then freeze. I've never had bacon that's been frozen in the cooked state. What do you hounds think I should do?
I had something like that happen once, my solution was inviting people over for Brians First Annual Baconfest 2011! We made all sorts of things with bacon, from the normal bacon-wrapped shrimp to the more out there bacon and corned beef sushi. We got rid of it all, and our blood-pressure probably hasnt been the same since!
Anyway, I'm sure something like that isn't a solution to your problems, so I'd say you could cook, freeze then eat again, It seems like it would freeze well, having little water content and high-fat. Though personally, I would probably give what I can't eat fresh to someone you know. You could also make real bacon bits for things like salad or whatnot, that would keep well in the refridgerator.
The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises, "Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing." (Basics for Handling Food Safely, September 8, 2006).
(DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.)
But as a general rule from growing up, I have never eaten meat that has been thawed then refrozen. I know you can probably do it safely, it was just engrained in me as a kid. That's the same reason why I will only eat well-done pork, even though there hasn't been a case of trichinosis since WW2, and you can eat a medium-rare chop if you want. (And for disclosure, I eat steak black&blue)
Hope that helps!
Ah, I could just let it thaw in the frig, seperate into slices and refreeze. I think I would like it better anyway if it was cooked after freezing. I heard somewhere that the only reason not to refreeze meat or anything for that matter is that it may affect the texture. Don't know how true that is but it sounds pretty good
Brian's suggestions are all excellent. We buy bacon in the big four-pound Costco packs, cook it all at once and then roll in paper towels and store in the fridge in a Ziploc, microwaving to reheat as needed. It keeps for weeks this way.
But yes, it'll freeze well.
Cooked bacon freezes well. We always cook the whole package, wrap in plastic wrap and then store in the freezer in a freezer bag.
As for thawing frozen raw bacon - cut the pound of bacon in half while frozen (easy to do), place one half in a skillet over low heat and cover pan with a lid or foil. After a few minutes the slices will start to separate and you can start frying them up.
If the bacon is sliced and frozen, you can let it thaw just a bit, and pry the sections apart to freeze separately. I don't think thawing and freezing would have that much of an effect as it's not like bacon has a particularly delicate texture.
I do freeze pre-cooked bacon; it works well when you want a slice or two crumbled into something for a salad. IF you plan to re-heat it to eat as strips, leave it a bit undercooked. You can also freeze diced bacon.
One advantage of batch-frying is that you can save all of the lovely bacon fat, strain it, and use it instead of lard or butter for cooking. It makes a great start to potato soup, for example.
The downside of cooking and then freezing, of course, is that frozen bacon strips are an amazingly delicious snack.
I think many people freeze meats a second time without knowing it. A lot of ground meat (beef/pork/veal/chicken/turkey) sold in supermarkets come from previously frozen. Many people bring it home and pop it in the freezer.
I don't think re-freezing bacon should be a problem. It holds up against spoilage better than your average cut of meat as its cured with salts, nitrates, and sometimes smoke.
Perhaps many people eat pre-cooked frozen bacon and don't know it either.The food industry supplies plenty of restaurants (and I'm gussing lots of chains) precooked frozen such as this
You can definitely cook & freeze.
The frozen I've seen are pressed between parchment or wax paper. If you go this route, it might be a good idea to do this on a tray to freeze, keeping the bacon's shape.