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Bacon fat uses?

  • f

I baked a rasher of bacon the other day and now have a jar of all the fat that cooked off...ordinarily I toss the fat (as I usually fry it in a pan) but I wondering if there's any reason not to keep it and use it as I would any fat.

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  1. It will keep well in your refrigerator for about a month. Possibly even longer.

    Use as you would any fat -- I particularly like it for eggs. The options are pretty limitless.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Mrs. Smith

      The only reason not to use it is because it isn't so good for you....it being a saturated animal fat and all.

      That said, I will useit because it gives incomperable flavor to food. Use it anywhere you want a smoky pork fat flavor. You can use just a bit of it, and make up the rest of the oil with peanut or olive oil for health, too.

      It will keep longer than a month in your fridge, too, btw. About two or three, I estimate.

      You can also freeze it.

      1. re: BarbaraF
        esteban guillermos

        Where *wouldn't* you want a smoky pork fat flavour? I agree with the previous posts, particularly fried potatoes, fish (esp. trout...I actually woke up thinking about a trout 'n' bacon breakfast this morning), and eggs. I also put bacon fat in mashed potatoes. I actually fry bacon just for the fat when I make mashed potatoes sometimes.

        1. re: esteban guillermos

          My great-grandmother (born 1865) learned to cook from her grandmother (born 1824). Salty, smoky bacon fat was kept on a tin can on the stove and was used in just about everything: for frying potatoes, for frying meat or fish, for seasoning all green vegetables, as shortening in cornbread, for frying eggs, for frying corncakes (lovely cornmeal pancakes on winter mornings). Sometimes after she had fried meat in bacon fat she would fry slices of white bread in it and eat those with the meat. I would think these habits would have blown her cholesterol all to hell but she lived to age 99.

          1. re: N Tocus

            I love hearing stories like this. Thanks NTocus, for your far-reaching family cooking memories.

            It never ceases to amaze me that so many things that we now think of as "bad" kept people alive and healthy for a long time. The bacon fat that your great grandma had for normal cooking and for a treat is now, we are learning, miles and miles better than the icky, artificial trans-fat that so many of us were told for so many years was the "right" fat to eat. Even with the cholesterol, the bacon fat is at least a natural food that our bodies can use and metabolize, unlike the transfats which have no known use in the body (and in fact may cause cell mutation!). She was free, too, from so much of the crap we all ingest all the time (especially our kids) like high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and all the other food preservatives and additives that they tell us are "harmless".

            I'd much rather, for taste and health, take my risks with cholesterol from natural fats than the alternative! At least my body can recognize the substance.

            I think my message is: use bacon fat (or pure leaf lard, which is free of nitrates and even better tasting
            ) and throw out your can of Crisco and all those refined oils!

            (Stepping down of the soapbox :)

            1. re: Mrs. Smith

              Do realize that there is a difference between the lifestyles of our ancestores and ours.

              There was a recent study of the health in an Amish community in Southern Ontario (I am currently looking for the actual study) that was trying to explain two phenomena.

              Why do the Amish have longer lives?
              Why do the Amish have a fraction of the diabetes despite suffering from obesity at the same rate of the general population?

              Obsevations included:

              Amish men walk 18,000 steps per day.
              Amish men do strenuous tasks 12 hours per week.
              Amish men do moderate physical tasks 43 hour per week.

              That might explain some of the difference. Our ancestors had much more physical activity that we do.

              1. re: jlawrence01

                Thank you! I can see the benefit of using more natural foods, but we have to recognize that yes our lives are much different today than yesterday and well, they may just not do the same good as they once did in those quantities. Everything in moderation. Our lives whether we like it or not are fast paced and we live by machines hence this computer and this bulliten page... its all really fascinating though. So incorporating yesterday's technology without knowledge can do harm to your one and only body.

    2. Fried potatoes, potato cakes, or hashbrowns cooked in bacon fat. Yum!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Colleen

        Oh yeah. Thin, brown crispy coating on thinly sliced potatos - doesn't get any better. Also I use it to fry perogies (eaten with bacon and bacon-fat fried onions anyway)

        1. re: Colleen

          Bacon fat adds great flavor to greens!
          Cook onions in some bacon fat. Add a pile of chopped greens (turnip greens, collards, beet greens, chard, mustard, or a combination) and a little broth or water. Cook until tender. Add a TB or two of cider vinegar.

        2. Smear a scant 1/4 t. on top of biscuits before putting in the oven.

          Use a little to fry corn cut off the cob in. Add 1 T. half and half per cup of corn, a little salt, pepper and sugar to taste and you have the BEST creamed corn ever!

          1. Beans, especially refried.

            1. Bacon fat has, for years, been an essential ingredient in making homemade soap.

              Link: http://waltonfeed.com/old/soap/soapre...

              1. Would your cat like a smear of it on his paw - outside?

                1. 2 words: Fish Fry.

                  This is the Thousand Islands way to do it...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dude

                    Classic fat for frying fish. Dust fish with flour and fry in bacon fat serve with browned butter and caper sauce.

                  2. When I make them, which is not too often, I love to fry eggs in bacon grease. Just flip some of the hot grease up on the yolk. Sunny side down without flipping it.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RibDog

                      I keep some around for putting in the bottom of the cast iron skillet before I make cornbread.


                      1. re: RibDog

                        Exactly! It also goes into my green beans, greens and pinto beans.

                      1. Boy aren't you lucky to have a whole jar of the succulent rendered fat. All the wonderful things you can do with that glob of concentrated flavor and comfort...

                        I like to use it for browning anything where I want to boost the flavors sky high. Whenever I make a carbonnade I only do it when I have a whole bunch of bacon grease to brown the meat in. Yummmmm.....!

                        1. c

                          My wife brought home a big bag of frozen sugar snap peas from the store. Now I realize that fresh is better but I sliced up a fat onion sauteed it in bacon fat and added the peas a little salt and pepper. She got on my case for the extra fat, but they were all gone.

                          1. add a little to your baked goods, like biscuits and muffins.

                            Also in anything involving corn. or other meat.

                            around here it is called Choctaw Seasoning.

                            Bacon Grease is always in a can between the two sides of the stove. Our can has a filter part on top so the grease on the bottom keeps really well. forever, actually. it hasn't been refrigerated in generations. (my cholesterol is 208, so it can't be all that bad, right?)

                            1. Use for virtually anything, really. I agree with all the suggestions made by other chowhounds. Try frying chicken in half lard and half bacon drippings. Unreal!

                              1. I'll only offer a suggestion for what NOT to do with bacon fat. Don't pour it down the drain! A few weeks ago, defying both common sense and the advice I must have received dozens of times in my life, I poured a good half cup of bacon fat down the drain. I can't even say why I did it. Laziness? Curiosity? Rebellious streak?

                                The drain was fine for a few days afterwards, then it got slower and slower, finally becoming completely clogged last night in spite of my vigorous efforts with a plunger. Thanks to a late night visit from the Roto Rooter guy, my wallet is significantly lighter, I got to see what years of cooking greasy foods does to a pipe (not pretty), and I've got my drain back. Lesson learned.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Tom Meg

                                  The secret when pouring it down the drain is to chase it with hot water. My husband reminds me of this often. You probably could have just poured some boiling water in the sink and it would have flushed it out. Thats what I had to do the other day, when my husband wasn't around!

                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                    Yep, chasing with hot water. I keep most of my pork and beef fat, or scrape it into the garbage if it's been rendered twice. But there's always some left in the pan. There's 2 reasons we turn the hot water heater all the way up -- for steaming carpets and for cleaning cast iron. Never had a problem.

                                    Whoops, I didn't realize this thread was OLD. Wow, ten years old.

                                2. Without being too specific, anything that can use a boost of subtle smokiness benefits from bacon fat. Which covers a lot of ground. I just used some today in mixing up a batch of chile. Browned the shredded chuck steak in it. In small doses, it's one of those background flavors that improves just about anything savory. In large doses, it makes everything taste a little like bacon -- which ain't half bad.

                                  1. a friend of mine told me about this little decadence last week, and i tried it over the weekend -- twice since it was soooo good.

                                    i poured what remained of baking 2 slices of bacon into 2 eggs i had beaten with a bit of milk and s&p.

                                    the texture was unbelievable -- unbelievable.

                                    1. Are you talkling about American cured and smoked bacon or the engilis or Irish type?

                                      1. Can't believe nobody's suggested this yet. So I will: Make popcorn with it!

                                        -- Paul

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Paul Lukas

                                          As the cooking fat or to melt over it?

                                          1. re: Colleen

                                            As the cooking oil.

                                          2. re: Paul Lukas

                                            That's the only way I knew that there was to pop popcorn when I was a kid. My dad would still do it to this day if he wasn't so darned health conscious now.

                                          3. Believe it or not I've got a recipe for cookies made with bacon fat instead of shortening, margarine or butter. They are flavored with cinnamon, they're delicious and people can't quite figure out what they're made from until you tell them.

                                            I got the recipe from my grandmother. I think it was a depression recipe -- from the time when fats (among other foodstuffs) were rationed.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Dorothy

                                              Ok, I WANT this recipe. Would you be willing to post?
                                              Thank you, Kim

                                            2. Country-fried potatoes, fried cabbage, fried corn, cornbread, fried onions-and-apples, eggs, pork chops, mixed into hot grits in place of butter, you name it. I use it for frying anything unless I use lard, and even then I may use half lard and half bacon grease.

                                              1. I like bacon fat on toast sometimes, with or without bacon. Also good on spinach salad with hardboiled eggs and some apple cider vinegar. My finicky chihuahua likes a little added to his dry kibble sometimes, a little animal fat will make his coat nice and shiney after a long dry winter!

                                                1. I cannot believe that no one has suggested this yet. About a half teaspoon of bacon grease should be rubbed into the skin of dry potatoes before they are baked. It goes without saying that a potato should not be wrapped in anything to be baked. The bacon fat makes the skin crisp when you are finished baking.

                                                  1. Use as a pie crust shortening for savory pies.. even apple pies. Snickerdoodle cookies taste heavenly with half bacon fat, half butter or shortening. My grandmother "washed" the bacon fat in boiling water.. skimmed the fat.. and made soap with it.

                                                    1. I use bacon grease for frying green tomatoes - they are so good!!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                        There is NO substitute for bacon fat in fried green tomatoes!!

                                                      2. In the words of Emeril Lagasse "Pork Fat Rules"

                                                        1. I hope I didn't miss this in the previous posts, but bacon is great for FRIED RICE! Stir fry some overnight rice with eggs in the bacon fat, add some sweet soy sauce before you eat. Then, one bite, you are in heaven!

                                                          One time my mom stir fried some rice with the fat left over from the jamon iberico bellota ham that we purchased...I am telling you, that was the best fried rice I had ever tasted!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                                            YES! RICE!
                                                            Although, my Italian born aunt made it a little differently....she fried it in the bacon fat, even added some of the crumbled bacon in there with caramelized onions and of course, a nice sprinkling of romano. It was divine and I can't believe I haven't had it in over 20 years!! Must try this again.

                                                          2. Another thread brought back from the dead! Four years, three months between posts - is that a new record?

                                                            Anyway, I have to wonder why the OP is so concerned about this bacon fat when (s)he states at the outset that it's just from one rasher of bacon. That's hardly enough to fry an egg in.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                              Amazing how these old threads get resurrected...must be from search functions on Extremely popular topics...like Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

                                                              Anyway...I think the word 'rasher' was misused in the OP, as it was followed by 'a jar of all the fat' -- I think this was a a Lot More than one slice. (Bacon is like potato chips: Betcha can't eat just one.)

                                                            2. Mmm... bacon fat. Get a large plastic sheet, douse it with the fat, put on a bathing suit, and roll around in it. Guaranteed to gross your daughters out!

                                                              1. Combine w/ birdseeds & peanuts, roll into balls, tie into old onion bags, hang on trees in back yard and feed the poor birdies in the winter. Do not put in back yard when bears are coming out of hibernation. Last April a bear destroyed 5 feeders.

                                                                1. Saute asparagus that is on sale now.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    works wonder on brussels sprouts too!

                                                                  2. From over on the Homecooking Board-most unusual I've seen.

                                                                    Grilled lamb chops are wonderful - they come out so tender and juicy! I use two recipes - one is my father's speciality: marinate the lamb chops all day with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of crushed garlic, lots of sliced onion and lots of freshly cracked peppercorns. My other favorite I got from an Italian grilling cookbook - salt the chops generously and while grilling baste frequently with bacon grease (it's amazing). In both cases grill over medium high heat about 4 minutes per side for 1 inch thin=ck chops.

                                                                    Permalink | Reply
                                                                    lupaglupa Apr 09, 2008 03:05PM

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mexivilla

                                                                      Hot bacon salad dressing hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

                                                                      1. re: micatee

                                                                        Oh man, the Pennsylvania Dutch in me is drooling? Is it vegan?
                                                                        Welcome to Chowhound Never, Never Land, micate.

                                                                        1. re: micatee

                                                                          This is also what I was thinking of micatee, yum.

                                                                          1. re: micatee

                                                                            Exactly what I was thinking. We also used to make something called "wilted lettuce" when I was a kid. We'd take the fresh leaf lettuce out of the garden. Heat up some bacon "grease" as we called it. Add a splash of vinegar and a little bit of sugar and throw the lettuce into the skillet until is just starts to wilt. I can almost smell and taste it now.

                                                                        2. I always have some bacon fat laying around!

                                                                          - add to beans when making rice and beans
                                                                          - sautée Brussels sprouts in bacon fat with onions
                                                                          - fry perogies in bacon fat
                                                                          - great for soups in general


                                                                          1. Many Southern dishes feature bacon lard (fat) prominently. We always retain ours in a sealed jar in the 'fridge. We've been known to render bacon, just for the lard.

                                                                            Wife used a bit in three dishes, just last night: fried catfish, black-eyed peas and collard/mustard greens, along with bits of bacon.

                                                                            Unfortunately, bacon is so easy to do in the mic, and wife places the strips between paper towels, so the lard is lost. Still, a it of rendering does the job.


                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                              the micro bacon pan is good -- quick micro cooking, but fat is available for using later. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details...

                                                                              btw, has anyone tried this gadget? http://www.seenontvproducts.net/bacon...

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                Neat! My wife has something that looks a bit like that, though much smaller. It has a metal piece embedded to "crisp" the bacon. One caveat, unlike most dishes in the mic, this one IS hot. Very, very hot. I used it once and still have the pattern of the bottom of the dish on my hand. I'll look into one of these. The size of the existing one is too small to really do much.

                                                                                One of the best utensils, that we've ever had, was a "bacon cooker." It was a wedding present, and both of us thought it hokey. After some years, it surfaced in a kitchen cleanout, and lo! it worked like a charm. It was essentially a toaster, but the top opened in a clamshell fashion. The bacon was placed over the an inner metal inverted U-shaped plate, and the clamshell was closed. The bacon was done perfectly, though in a U-shape. The fat went into a removable tray at the bottom (like a crumb tray). It was used constantly for many years, but died, and I have not seen another. Ours was avacado-green, so you can guess the circa of this unit and our wedding. If you did not mind the shape of the bacon, it was excellent and you got the drippings for later use.


                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  there is one for the micro like you describe -- draping the bacon over a "vee"

                                                                                  another trick without the rack is just placing bacon on a micro-safe plate, and only put paper towel on top. it basically sizzles in its own fat and gives a more traditional (i.e., frying pan) texture to bacon. lets you keep some leftover fat. now i am wondering if i used only a vented plate cover, how that would work? (probably too much steam retention, though....)

                                                                                  gosh, now i am thinking of some good eggs and grits! and of avocado green appliances.... and shag carpet rakes! ;-)

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    What a resource! You have given me two great links. I gotta' get out more.

                                                                                    Sorry about the avacado green and the shag carpet dreams - sleep well tonight!


                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                      just remember, "google is my friend." cheers, Hunt, and happy bacon to you and yours!

                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                If you microwave bacon is there a risk of it popping and sending fat all over the inside?

                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                  typically, just place a loose paper towel over it.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Microwaving bacon is the only way I cook it any more. So much less messy, and I can make it nice and crispy and have lots of good bacon fat left to do all these other wonderful things with. The paper towel over it does the trick. I need to get a new cooker though - one of my "t racks" broke, so now I can only do about 6 slices at a time.

                                                                              3. might have already been said but didn't see it, when boiling potatoes and about a tablespoon and will keep them from foaming over

                                                                                1. I am about to go sautee some Cabbage & Texas Sweet Onions in yesterday's bacon fat... it will be tucked into a hot dog bun with Roasted Jalapeno salsa... Niman Ranch hot dog on top of the that... then fished off with diced tomatoes and a little bit of Crema.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                    1. When I make salmon and green peas, I sometimes fry a couple strips of bacon, and then cook the salmon in some of the leftover fat. Then toss the peas in the pan to finish and serve with the bacon crumbled over the top.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: WCchopper

                                                                                        OMG! Now I know what I'm going to do with the next batch of salmon I thaw out. We brought back 10 whole salmon from Alaska last summer that my husband fileted then I vacuum sealed and froze. I'm always looking for new salmon recipes.