How to Thaw Bacon Quickly & Safely: The Definitive Guide

In this guide, I’ll cover how to thaw bacon quickly and properly.

First, you’ll learn the best methods used to get this popular breakfast food thawed.

I’ll also highlight some important information that you will find useful before you start the process.

Let’s get into it.

What You Need to Know Before Defrosting Bacon

Crispy bacon cooked and sitting on a paper towel
(Credit: cookbookman w/CC License)

There are a couple things you should know before defrosting your bacon, but the most important is:

Never thaw your frozen bacon at room temperature.

Keeping the bacon at room temperature opens it up the ‘Danger Zone’.

What is the Danger Zone?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Danger Zone is the range of temperatures 40 ° and 140 °F, where harmful bacteria multiplies and grows quickly.

These bacteria can be dangerous and they are the most common cause of food poisoning.

Always use recommended thawing methods, as this helps to reduce your risk of food contamination.

Here are some more actionable tips to consider:

  • The bacon should be kept in its original packaging unopened or a sealed reusable bag.
  • Do not refreeze after thawing.
  • Once thawed, the bacon should be immediately cooked.
  • After cooking, you want to reheat your bacon. We have an in-depth guide to that process here.

Related: How to Thaw Sausages

How to Thaw Bacon Properly: We Look at the Best Options

How to Thaw Bacon Quickly & Safely (A Step-by-Step Guide)

The three safest and recommended ways to thaw bacon are:

  • Overnight in the refrigerator
  • In a cold water bath
  • In a microwave

We will take a more in-depth look at each option below.

Overnight in the Refrigerator: The Best Way

Strips of Bacon on a White Background

The recommended way to thaw frozen bacon is to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

In doing so, you can be sure that it will be fully defrosted when you are ready to use it.

  • Step 1: Remove the package of frozen bacon from the freezer.

  • Step 2: Put the package of bacon in a container and place in the refrigerator so that it can thaw overnight.

  • Steps 3: After 8-12 hours (overnight), it will be safely defrosted and ready to be cooked.


After thawing using this method, you can keep the bacon in the refrigerator for up to a week before cooking.



Pros: Safest way to thaw bacon, without the worry of it being exposed to harmful bacteria. It is also perfect for those who pre-plan their meals.

Cons: Requires pre-planning. It is a slow method and not suitable for someone wants to use the bacon immediately.

In the Microwave: The Quickest Option

Defrosted bacon, cooking in a pan

When you want to thaw bacon quickly, the microwave is the fastest option available.

Let’s take a look at how to do this method, with the steps below.

Instructions

Step 1: Place the frozen bacon in a microwave safe container or plate.

Step 2: Select the microwave’s defrost or low power setting (consult the microwave’s owner’s manual) and hit start.

Step 3: The bacon should defrost between 5-10 minutes (depending on the amount of bacon that you will be defrosting).

Step 4: Once thawed, cook the bacon immediately.



Note: When using the microwave to thaw, you should monitor it closely, as the bacon may start to cook beforehand.

Pros: Perfect for those who need the frozen bacon thawed, so that it can be cooked immediately

Cons: If left in the microwave too long or the power is too high, the bacon can begin to cook.

In Cold Water: Another Quick Method

Bacon cooking in a skillet

If you’re in a rush and do not have or want to use the microwave, the cold water method is also another quick thawing option to consider.

Steps 1: Fill a container or kitchen sink with cold water.

Steps 2:  Submerge the pack of bacon in the cold water.

The bacon should be in its sealed original packaging or a leak-proof bag.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service explains that this is to ensure that if the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment is not introduced into the food.

Steps 3: Check the container/sink in about 10-15 minutes to see if the bacon has defrosted.

If it is still a frozen, replace the water and check back in 5 minute intervals (This is also dependent on how much bacon you are thawing).

The process can be sped up if the container with the bacon is placed under a running pipe of cold water.

We do not recommend that, as it is a waste of water.

Pros: Quick method to use if you do not or want to use the microwave.

Cons: If left out too long (hours after thawing) there is a significant chance for the growth of harmful bacteria.

Wrapping it up

Now that we’ve reached the end, I wanted to hear from you:

I want to know which method you used and how it turned out?

Either way, let me know in the comments below.

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