Bacon Grease 101

Bacon Grease tips

Ahhh, bacon. Is there any better thing on the planet? We think not. Here at Bensa, we’re often asked about bacon’s inevitable by-product, bacon grease. Our members wonder if it’s okay to cook with bacon fat. They ask us about the best way to save it, and the best way to discard it.

So today, we’re happy to tackle the topic of bacon grease and answer those questions definitively. Let’s begin with the toughest question of all:

Can We Cook With Bacon Grease, Or Is It Unhealthy?

Bacon drippings are commonly used in Southern cooking, in recipes from cornbread to green beans to popcorn. In moderation, bacon grease can add flavor like nobody’s business. We feel especially good about saving the fat from top-quality bacon prepared without chemical additives and preservatives, made from pasture-grazed/humanely raised pigs.

What’s the Best Way to Save Bacon Grease?

Just cool it to room temperature and strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a lidded glass container like a Mason Jar. Then cover the jar tightly and keep it in the refrigerator. Now it’s ready to drizzle over spinach or greens, add to cornbread, or stir into refried beans. Covered, strained bacon fat will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

What’s the Best Way to Discard Bacon Grease?

Our mothers used to collect bacon grease in a coffee can, but these days most folks recycle cans. If you’re not going to save your bacon fat for cooking, we suggest this simple method for easy bacon grease disposal. Cut a piece of parchment paper in a circle to fit a bowl:

 

Parchment to fit a bowl for bacon grease

 

Pour the grease in the parchment-lined bowl.

 

Bacon fat gets poured in a parchment lined bowl

 

Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate the bowl until the bacon grease hardens.

 

Cooled bacon grease

 

Remove the paper and grease, and discard. No muss, no fuss!

 

Discard hardened bacon grease

 

How about you? Do you save your bacon grease? We’d love to hear how you cook with this flavorful fat.

~ Your friends at BENSA


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of five books, including "101 Things To Do With Bacon" (Gibbs Smith, 2012) now in its third printing. She is the founder of the bacon enthusiasts' society BENSA International, and she makes a point to eat bacon at least once a week.

2 comments to Bacon Grease 101

  • Elaine

    I always have a jar of bacon grease in the fridge. Since I microwave-cook my bacon, it is already strained. (I place the strips in paper towels on a handy microwave bacon plaquet). I use it in so many things, like: sauteing fresh green beans; when cooking limas or other horticultural beans; as the fat in savory scones or biscuits (especially good with cheese added, too); roasting winter squash (acorn halves or my favorite: chunks of kabocha with maple syrup and bacon fat); browning meats (deglaze the pan with white wine and you have a killer sauce base)…I could go ON! The trick is not to use too much, too often. A wonderful ingredient!

  • Thanks for these great tips for cooking with bacon fat, Elaine! Your winter squash with maple syrup and bacon fat sounds DIVINE.

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