I have a problem with bacon: There's just too much of it.
That may sound like an odd problem to some of you, but I know others are in the same boat. I don't often eat straight-up slices of bacon for breakfast or brunch,* but I do cook with it from time to time. Most of those times, whether it's folded into my waffle batter, tossed with spaghetti and kale, or used as a flavor base for a creamy cauliflower soup, I end up with leftover bacon without a home.
I have another problem with bacon: Slicing it is a bitch. Straight out of the fridge it's greasy, slimy, stretchy. It's hard to cut through because it stretches so much and doubly so because you're trying to grip your knife with slick fingers.
There's one solution to both of these problems: Store your bacon in the freezer.
* And the only time I put bacon on my cheeseburger is when it is in its ultimate form.
Bacon, because it is cured and has such a high fat content, actually works marvelously well in the freezer, with no real discernible difference in texture or flavor from fresh bacon. The high fat content also means that it stays relatively soft; you can slice it straight out the freezer without any need to defrost it first.
I buy thick-sliced bacon sold in stacks (not in the fanned packages intended for cooking by the strip), wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap, then pop it in a freezer bag in the freezer, pulling it out and slicing off just as much as I need for a given recipe. Stored this way it lasts for months.
Because of its high surface area to volume ratio, bacon also thaws very quickly. Cooking times for frozen bacon are not vastly different from fresh. Either way, when a recipe calls for sautéing bacon and rendering out its fat, I like to start my bacon off with a splash of water. As the water simmers away, the bacon starts to cook, getting the rendering process going.
By the time the water has all evaporated, there's enough rendered fat in the bottom of the skillet that the bacon crisps up rapidly and evenly—every piece should end up crisp at around the same time.
Bacon bits, ready to go, with clean fingers, no grease on my board, and no asking myself, "What do I do with the rest of this bacon?" any more.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.