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How long will vacuum packed pork belly and then bacon keep in the fridge?

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goodeatsgal Jul 3, 2012 03:08 PM

I have a 2-pound piece of pork belly which is vacuum packed and had been kept frozen. I defrosted it last Saturday with the intention of curing it to make bacon. However, we didn't get to the project and it's still in the fridge and in its unopened packaging. I'm not familiar with vacuum packaging and its affect on freshness, and have several questions:

1) If I re-freeze i\the pork belly, will that affect the meat's quality?
2) Can I keep the package in the fridge until this weekend or even for a couple of weeks before curing it? Will the vacuum packaging protect its freshness?
3) If I begin the curing process this weekend, and it's ready the following weekend, how long will the bacon keep once cured?

Ideally, I'd like to delay the curing and have the bacon ready to go in 3-4 weeks in order to share it with some friends at that time. But as you can tell, I want to make sure that the quality is still good and that the bacon will stay fresh in the fridge, so I'll do whatever's best.

Thanks for any advice!

  1. p
    paul balbin Jul 4, 2012 09:34 AM

    I have kept pork belly for 2 weeks in the original packing in the fridge. I would start the cure soon
    and when done and smoked I would cut the bacon into convenient sizes and freeze the pieces in zip
    lock bags and take the amount you need out upon arrival of your guests. I always store my bacon
    frozen and thaw out what I need for a week. Try bacon wrapped shrimp with home made bacon.
    Pablito el gordito

    1 Reply
    1. re: paul balbin
      g
      goodeatsgal Jul 4, 2012 10:42 PM

      Thanks, Paul. I will start the cure soon, then. Do you think freezing the bacon will affect the quality once defrosted?

    2. p
      paul balbin Jul 5, 2012 01:12 AM

      To tell the truth I think it improves the texture to freeze it. I keep quite a bit of bacon in the freezer
      since I have to buy pork bellys by the 25 lb. box in order to keep on good terms with my butcher.
      I also keep quite a lot of pulled pork, from Boston butts, for bbq and for carnie adobado tacos.
      A new book has come out about Mr. Birdseye which I found very interesting. The whole subject
      of freezing is fascinating to me.
      I use the premium bacon rub from Eldon's jerky out in Idaho and leave it in the fridge for a week
      or so, smoke in a little Meco smoker with Apple or Russian olive wood for four hours at 190 F.
      Good luck and please feel free to call on me for any advice I may not have covered.
      Pablito el gordito

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