First question: How long can cooked bacon set out at room temperature? - I regularly repair equipment in a popular fast food chain. They have strict food safety practices. Yet, they'll have a rack of precooked bacon setting out that's not kept at any certain temperature as their other foods. There may be some time monitoring that I don't see, but everything else they sell has stickers for expiration - even their iced tea. - As a side question to the above, years ago a friend and I had a bunch of folks over. All the requisite finger foods were available. One of those snack items were sausage balls. Well, that was on Saturday. On Sunday, the leftover sausage balls still sat - on the unused stovetop. Come lunchtime, my firend snacked on a few with a lunch. I said that's nuts and was told there wasn't anything wrong with those ba...uh...sausage balls. Okay, now my real second question: If I marinade a meat (presently a steak) before grilling (direct heat), is it okay to do so at room temperature? -The reason I ask is, well...I always have. I usually stick to some time constraints based upon the meat and the marinade I use. The longest I'll marinade WITHOUT refrigeration is usually two hours. So, what I'm getting at is that allot of you set your meats out for at least thirty minutes before grilling or smoking anyway. I always felt I got better penetration of the marinade into the meat at room temperature. YET - many instructional videos/programs/website references will state that you should marinade in the refrigerator. I can't see any harm NOT doing that so long as I'm well within the 40 to 140 (or 135) in four hours window.