How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 hours.

According to nature, any food can sit out only for a certain amount of time before the food goes bad. It depends on the type of food and also the type of season. In the same way, bacon can sit out only for a certain amount of time. According to the standards set by the U.S, any food cooked at a temperature of 40 degrees can sit out only for two hours. After two hours, bacteria start growing on it. Intake of food infested with bacteria might lead to food poisoning. 

How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out

How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out?

Everyone loves bacon. Be it in breakfast, or creamy pasta, or a cupcake. Usually, the type of food and the season is considered to estimate the time before the food goes bad. In the case of bacon, the way of cooking should also be considered. People cook bacon based on how crispy they want it to be. Usually, bacon is eaten immediately after cooking. However, taking all kinds of situations into consideration, people might leave the bacon out after it is cooked. It is suggested to either refrigerate or eat the cooked bacon within two hours. 

Difference of time taken for cured and uncured bacon:

MethodAmount of time bacon can sit out (after cooking)
UncuredMaximum of 2 hours

Below are the three ways of thawing frozen cooked bacon:

  1. Leaving bacon in refrigerator.
  2. Keeping bacon in water
  3. Defrosting bacon in a microwave.

Defrosting in the microwave is the fastest method as the microwave takes only a few minutes to cook or heat any food.

Why Does it Take That Long For a Cooked Bacon to Sit Out?

It is important to note that most bacon belongs to the cured meat category of food. Uncooked bacon is preserved with salt and sodium nitrites. This is a method of curing bacon. And when cured bacon is cooked, moisture from the skin is removed. Cured bacon can sit out for a longer time compared to uncured bacon. Usually after cooking the cured bacon is left out without eating or refrigeration. The same cannot be applied to uncured bacon. 

It is said that cooked bacon stays tasty immediately after cooking. But the taste is lost if the bacon is made to sit out. 

After freezing bacon, it is necessary that bacon is heated once again. But before eating, thawing is very important. Thawing or defrosting of bacon is done in three ways as mentioned above. 

Similar to the usual way of storing food without leaving the food out can help cooked bacon be healthy and appropriate to eat for five to six days. At the same time, thawing bacon in the refrigerator is considered one of the safest methods compared to other available methods though it is a long and slow process.

Defrosting cooked bacon in cold water is faster than doing it using the refrigerator. Before keeping bacon in water, it is suggested to make sure that the package is leakage proof that either bacteria from the environment or bacteria from water does not enter. Following this method, bacon takes one hour for defrosting, and is suggested that it must be cooked soon after it is defrosted.

The fastest way of defrosting cooked bacon that is frozen is in the microwave. As the microwave takes less time for cooking or heating the food. During the process of defrosting, some parts of bacon might get cooked which should be taken care of such that overcooking is avoided. 

Once the thawing of cooked bacon is done using the refrigerator, the same bacon can again be stored in the refrigerator. Bacon stored in this way can last for three to four days. But if any one of the other two methods is used, there are no chances of storing bacon in the refrigerator again.


When it comes to cooked bacon, the same way followed for other usual foods should be followed. Bacon should be eaten or refrigerated soon after cooking. Eating bacon that is left outside for more than two hours might lead to health issues. In the case of cured bacon there is no problem in leaving bacon out but keeping an eye on the bacon is necessary. Though sometimes bacon is left out, it is always suggested to check for any signs of spoilage before consumption.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. It’s very important to handle bacon properly, it can be dangerous for health if not. Thanks for the information.

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