How long does pork belly last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does pork belly last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of pork belly. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled pork belly.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does pork belly last in the fridge?

Raw pork belly lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in a plastic zipper bag or air-tight container on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

On the other hand, cooked pork belly lasts for about 7 days when stored properly in an air-tight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit but it is recommended to use it within 3-4 days to enjoy its optimum quality.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for pork belly’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep pork belly at?

Pork belly should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your pork belly at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does pork belly last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, the pork belly lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, pork belly left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and pork belly left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does pork belly last in the freezer?

Pork belly lasts for 6-8 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the pork belly extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the pork belly.

How to defrost frozen pork belly?

You can quickly defrost frozen pork belly by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed pork belly can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days before cooking and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting the frozen pork belly in a bowl of cold water, the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after cooking it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal pork belly? 

You may even vacuum seal your pork belly at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the pork belly in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal pork belly at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated pork belly?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen pork belly has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the pork belly goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your pork belly, and reheated pork belly should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

What are different ways to spot spoiled pork belly?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your pork belly has gone bad. To determine if the pork belly has gone bad, look at its appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your pork belly or if it is discolored (brown, gray, or green), it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy pork belly since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Texture

If you touch the pork belly and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your pork belly, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked pork belly with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled pork belly. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your pork belly and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

How to properly store pork belly?

  1. Pork belly should be stored on one of the refrigerator shelves rather than the door, as there is a lot of temperature variation at the fridge door, which might affect its quality.
  1. It’s better to keep raw pork belly on the lowest level of the fridge to avoid it dripping on other foods.
  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the pork belly, within 2 hours it is cooked, in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. Cooked pork belly should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of prepared pork belly, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked pork belly that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.

You can read how to make pork belly here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does pork belly last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of pork belly. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled pork belly.

Citations

https://www.lovepork.co.uk/how-to-guides/how-to-store-pork/#:~:text=Always%20keep%20cooked%20and%20raw,for%20up%20to%202%20days.

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