Most people just toss that prepackaged pound of bacon into the refrigerator without giving it another thought. Here’s what to do to make your bacon more user-friendly.

When you bring home the bacon (literally), roll the package lengthwise into a tubelike shape, and put a rubber band around it to keep it that way. Then refrigerate it. When you’re ready to use it, the bacon slices will be easier to separate.

Once the package is open: Bacon won’t keep long in the fridge, especially in its original packaging (which usually does not provide an easy reseal). It’s best to freeze uncooked bacon. Place separated slices flat on foil, four to six slices adjacent to each other, making sure to leave some space around the top, bottom and sides of the foil. Top this layer with another piece of foil and create another layer of bacon slices. Cover your layers with a final top of foil, fold over the edges, and it’s ready for flat storage in your freezer. Grab a slice or two of frozen bacon when you need to add it to recipes (such as roasted vegetables…yum)—it chops up a lot easier than unfrozen bacon. Or, if you’re ready for some breakfast bacon, just take a layer or two of the bacon-topped foil out of the freezer and place it on a baking sheet. Pop it in a 400°F oven, and in 10 minutes or so your bacon should be ready to eat…with no messy pan to clean. (Just throw out the foil.)

Thick-cut, smoked bacon will keep for up to three months in the freezer. Thinner cuts should not be kept for longer than a month.

More help with food storage…

• How to Make Cheese Last Longer

• Answers to Common Questions About Mold and Food

• How to Declutter Your Fridge

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