Bacon is one of the most desirable meats on the planet, and bacon bits are equally as delicious. Across the United States, Central America, and Europe, bacon bits are mixed with breakfast, salads, pasta, and soups. One common question surrounding bacon bits is, do Bacon Bits need to be refrigerated?
Yes, Bacon bits should be stored in the refrigerator once the packaging has been opened. As real bacon bits are technically a cured form of meat, they tend to be affected and become susceptible to germs. It’s a good idea to treat your real bacon bits how you’d treat cured bacon.
This article will discuss whether or not your bacon bits need to be refrigerated. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about storing your bacon bits and whether or not they should be stored in the refrigerator.
What Are Bacon Bits?
Bacon bits are a popular topping crafted from pork meat that’s been chopped into small pieces, chips, or granulated. It can give various meals with a bacon taste and works exceptionally well with sandwiches, salads, pasta, and soups.
Most bacon bits will contain actual bacon, and some even include cured bacon. They are often mixed with various ingredients to extend their shelf life. There are various ways to produce bacon bits, and each company has its own recipe, some of which don’t even include real bacon.
Brands such as Oscar Mayer are often considered the gold standard for bacon bits, as their product is made with cured bacon. Whereas other companies, such as McCormick’s bacon bits, contain no actual bacon and are made up of soy and other ingredients.
If you love the taste of bacon, chances are you’ve heard about and possibly even used bacon bits on various dishes such as sandwiches and soups. Depending on the size of the product you’ve purchased, you may be curious as to whether or not they need to be refrigerated to ensure longevity and freshness.
Should You Store Bacon Bits In The Refrigerator?
As we’ve previously mentioned, bacon bits don’t always contain real bacon, and depending on which variety you purchase will ultimately determine how they should be stored. If you opt for a brand containing real bacon, it’s generally advised to store them in the refrigerator.
If you buy bacon bits from companies such as Hormel or Oscar Mayer, then you know you’re getting a product that contains real bacon. While the packets are shelf stable, meaning they can be sold from supermarket shelves, once the foil packet has been opened, they should be refrigerated.
With the various companies that use real cooked pork in their bacon bits, it’s best to treat them the same as you would bacon you’ve cooked on the stovetop or grill. If stored incorrectly, they may turn bad quicker than you’d expect, and with pork, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Most brands of bacon bits that come in foil packaging, such as the Costco bacon crumbles, will generally last for up to 9 months if stored in the refrigerator after opening. However, others will only last for two or three months, so it’s best to check the label.
How To Store Homemade Bacon Bits
If you decide to make your own bacon bits, then it’s essential that you store them in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container once cooled, and they will last for five days. Making your own bacon bits is an easy way to save money, and the result has a much fresher taste when compared to store-bought brands.
Alternatively, if you have a large amount of bacon and want to create a hefty portion of bacon bits, one great option for storage is to freeze them. Bacon bits freeze extremely well and will last up to six months in the freezer if stored correctly. Simply wrap them inside parchment paper and store them in a container.
Will Bacon Bits Stay Crispy In Fridge?
If you decide to store your opened packet of bacon bits in the refrigerator, they should stay crispy for an extended period of time, so long as the foil packet stays closed. Generally, they will stay crispy up to the best-by date.
If you decide to use real bacon for your bacon bits, then chances are they won’t stay as crispy as long as the store-bought kind. However, the taste of homemade bacon bits far triumphs over those sold in a packet.
Your homemade bacon bits should stay crispy for up to a week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container and keep in the correct manner.
Storing Imitation Bacon Bits
If you opt to purchase imitation bacon bits, then you don’t actually need to store them in the refrigerator. Imitation bacon bits are generally made from a soy blend that includes various other ingredients and contains no pork.
Thus, if you purchase bacon bits from brands such as McCormick, this product contains no meat. Since there is no actual meat in the product, it can be placed into a pantry or stored on the countertop away from direct sunlight.
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Now you know that if you buy various brands of bacon bits from the supermarket, they will generally last for anywhere between three and nine months, depending on the brand. This is generally the case with all bacon bits, which are made with real pork.
Just remember that depending on what kind of bacon bits you opt for will determine how they should be stored. If you decide to make your own, they will generally last for a week or so in the fridge, and soy-based bacon bits can be stored in the pantry.