If you have a few slices of bacon that you’ve been keeping in the freezer for a few weeks or months, whether it’s in preparation for a big holiday family meal or just to keep them fresh for when you want to sizzle them up as part of a breakfast, the good news is that you can defrost frozen in no time with a microwave, but there are a few precautions to always keep in mind before you do so.
While many people become tempted to throw the meat into a microwave and wait a few minutes for it to pop out, this can end up ruining the taste if not done correctly, and can even cause it to be unsafe to eat, so it’s very important to always research beforehand how to defrost bacon the right way.
Here is everything you need to know about defrosting bacon in the microwave including what to do if it’s packaged, how long to heat it for, and if there are any better alternatives.
What Is The Fastest Way To Defrost Bacon?
There are three ways you can defrost a pack of bacon; in cold water, in the refrigerator, and in the microwave, and while you will be waiting at least an hour for the bacon to completely defrost by keeping it in a chilled refrigerator, in the microwave it will be ready to cook after just a few minutes, so for many people, it’s the go-to way to prepare a few slices of bacon when they’re in a hurry to get it ready for an upcoming meal or recipe.
How To Defrost Bacon Using A Microwave
Before you place any bacon in the microwave, you’re going to need to prepare it depending on if it is packaged or not. If the meat is still in the packaging, poke some holes into it so that the heat doesn’t end up building inside.
On the other hand, if you just have a few loose pieces that have been wrapped in some foil, simply place two paper towels on the dish and then another paper towel over the top before you put it inside the microwave which will help absorb any of the excess fat.
Step 1 – Gather Your Equipment
Alongside your microwave, you’re also going to need a pair of tongs, kitchen scales, and microwave gloves. While the scales are optional, many modern microwaves will ask for a specific weight so that they can calculate how much heat they will need to use and how much time is needed, so it can make the whole process a lot easier if you have some.
The tongs are going to be used not only for placing the meat into the microwave, but also for checking if it has been thoroughly defrosted and whether it’s suitable to be cooked, which is also what the microwave gloves will be used for.
Step 2 – Place The Bacon Into The Microwave
Rest the frozen bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate or bowl and insert it into the microwave if it’s unpackaged, or simply poke a few holes and place it in if it still has the packaging.
Step 3 – Choose The ‘Defrost’ Option
While this may sound obvious, a lot of people will immediately turn the dial and start heating up the frozen bacon without choosing the defrost option first. This can end up taking a lot longer than it needs to while also removing a lot of the nutritional value.
The defrosting option uses magnetrons to retain the nutritional benefits of the food, keeping the bacon juicy and flavorful when it’s finally cooked, while also using enough heat to thaw out the meat in a much quicker amount of time.
Step 4 – Select The Correct Weight
If you are using a microwave that requires you to insert an exact weight measurement, take the number that you get from the kitchen scales and type this in.
Step 5 – Start Defrosting The Bacon
The bacon should start heating up for about 5 minutes, however, depending on how long it has been frozen, and how much bacon you’re placing in at one time, the time for it to be fully defrosted can change, so you will need to continuously check on the meat until you can be sure it’s ready to cook.
The best way to do this is by opening the microwave each minute, and then removing the dish from the microwave using your microwave gloves. Flip each piece over using the tongs, and place them back into the microwave so they can continue to defrost.
Step 6 – Determine When The Bacon Is Ready To Cook
Continue this pattern of removing the bacon each minute and checking on it until the meat is no longer rock-solid and is much softer in its texture.
If you have a chunk of bacon that was frozen together, it should now separate easily when being moved around with the tongs, but if the pieces are a little stubborn and are still sticking together, just use a knife to cut in between them and make sure that both sides of each piece are soft.
Now, your bacon will be fully defrosted, and ready to sizzle up!
Alternative Methods Of Defrosting Bacon
Using a microwave is undoubtedly the easiest and fastest way to defrost bacon, though with that being said, there are a few other alternative methods you can try if you don’t currently have access to a microwave, or if you don’t need it to defrost right away.
One method is to use cold water from a sink. Simply place the bacon in a resealable bag if it’s already been removed from its packaging before placing it on a plate and into the sink where you will want to leave the tap running with cold water.
Don’t worry about plugging the sink since this will just lead the water to build up which can end up causing more mess. Simply let the water splash over the sealed bacon for about an hour until it is fully defrosted.
Cold water will slowly raise the temperature of the bacon from the outside to the center, so for many people, it is considered the most natural and correct method of defrosting meat.
The other option you have is to refrigerate the bacon which will take about 24 hours. Of course, if you need the bacon for that day, then this isn’t going to be the best method to choose, but if you just want to cook it up for breakfast in the morning or for when you’re expecting guests the next day and want to use it in a recipe, this is when the refrigerator would be the best option.
Using a microwave is the fastest and easiest way to defrost a few pieces of frozen bacon so that you can get cooking up a heart and crispy meal in no time, just always make sure that you are checking on the meat frequently and turning it over while it defrosts so that you can determine when it is ready to cook and use as part of a delicious recipe or breakfast meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to the USDA safety guidelines, bacon should always be cooked straight after it has been defrosted in a microwave and should never be stored back in either the freezer or refrigerator.
With that being said, if you defrosted the bacon in the refrigerator, then you will be able to re-freeze it if you have not yet cooked it, but when using a microwave, you will need to use it right there and then, so it really depends on how you defrosted it the first time which will determine whether you can place it back into the freezer.
The biggest deciding factor for this is how long you keep the bacon frozen and when you decide to defrost it.
The general rule of thumb is that you want to avoid keeping bacon frozen for any longer than 6 months if you want it to still retain that savory and slightly smoky flavor when you come to use it.
The flavor and texture of the bacon will still be there in some capacity after 6 months, but it will be a lot less noticeable when you come to bite into it.
If the bacon is defrosted after a year of being in the freezer however, it’s going to taste a lot more hollow and flavorless, so it’s never advised to keep it stored away for this long.
You are able to freeze cooked bacon as long as you use a heavy-duty or zip-top freezer bag so that it can stay fresh.
It will remain fresh to eat for up to 5 months, but it will lose a lot of the flavor and texture if you leave it this long, so it’s usually best to take it out within 3 months.
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