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Jan 13, 2004 12:59 PM

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 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.