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Bacon Grease Anyone?

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  • WVMountaineer Aug 6, 2005 05:45 PM
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I love to cook with bacon grease, but as I'm sure anyone that agrees with me knows, its a pain to get it... especially if you're not a huge bacon fan. Is bacon grease comercially available anywhere? You can buy everything else in the supermarket it seems you should be able to get it too. If anyone has ever seen any please let me know. I'd love to just buy a case and save the headache. Thanks.

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  1. WVM, I don't know about commercially available bacon grease, but you can buy goose fat in jars at gourmet shops. Goose fat takes the benefits and cooking flavors of bacon grease to the next level. (I think it will also substitute for tanning oil in a pinch.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Leper
      m
      Michael Rodriguez

      Whatever goose fat can do duck fat can do better. Besides, ducks are more available than geese. (I live in an Asian nieghborhood. If one lives in Alsace perhaps geese are easier to find.) Duck fat makes everything better. Everything. Try frying potatoes in duck fat, or scrambling eggs in duck fat, or wiping a little duck fat on toast. Or brushing your teeth .... You get the idea.

      1. re: Michael Rodriguez

        Why choose? Try cooking with Duck *bacon* grease!

      2. re: Leper

        I'd be afraid of being chased by wolves and foxes if I used it as a tanning oil.

      3. w
        Wayne Keyser

        How about Salt pork (fatback?)

        1. why not lard mixed with saved drippings?

          1. Go to any deli and tell them you need some bacon grease. They can give you gallons of it, and be happy because they usually have to pay to get rid of grease. Maybe offer them a couple of bucks?

            2 Replies
            1. re: coll

              That's a clever suggestion. In my great-grandmother's home ca 1930's and 1940's a tin can was kept on the stove to receive and collect bacon grease, which was used to saute EVERYTHING and was added as flavoring to vegetables, cornbread batter, etc.. Mostly now I avoid it for health reasons but when I have wanted it I find that bacon nowadays doesn't seem to produce as much grease. Has anyone else noticed this? I guess it's related to pork in general being so much more lean now.

              1. re: N Tocus

                Well, I have an old mayonnaise jar 3/4 full of bacon grease in the fridge. Collected to dispose of in the garbage, rather than pouring it down the sink.

                The San Francisco area finds restaurant dumping of grease into the sewers very problematic. So the idea of asking if you can take it off restauranteurs' hands is a good suggestion.

                I read an article once about environmentalists installing a second fuel area in their diesels that can run on grease. One said sometimes the car would get a little bacon smelly, but found it a pleasant odor.

            2. Burger's Smokehouse (www.smokehouse.com) sells a product called "Country Skillet Seasoning" that's basically bacon grease, with perhaps some ham grease added.

              1. w
                Wayne Keyser

                Also, restaurant-supply stores sell concentrated flavors like "beef base," "lobster base" and "bacon base" - extraordinarily concentrated and exttemely salty. Minor's is the big brand - plus similar products are available on Amazon made by "Better Than Bouillion".

                1. The easy thing would be to get a pound or two of bacon and fry it up. I have 2 packets worth of bacon drippings/grease from the pan in the fridge and it filled about 16+ ounces (fluid). Takes all of hald an hour and maybe $10 of bacon tops. That will flavor up a whole lot of greens, etc. It will last for eons in your fridge. Not to say that the goose and duck suggestions below look bad at all....

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Torty

                    To get decent bacon fat, stuff that will keep well and cook well, you need good dry-cured bacon. Niman Ranch is what I use out here in California, though I've seen a dry-cured bacon at Costco as well. Back in Tennessee I had several brands to choose from. If you're collecting drippings from water-injected bacon the fat will have too high a moisture content unless you heat it long enough to drive the water out, and then you run the risk of overheating it. You can do it okay, it's just tricky.

                    Worrying about how healthful bacon grease is vs vegetable shortenings is misguided. Hydrogenated shortenings such as Crisco are much worse in the cholesterol department that either bacon fat or lard. None of this stuff is health food, but a good clean animal fat that hasn't been overheated or that isn't too loaded down with random carcinogens is much better for you than the hydrogenated stuff.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Yes. Absolutely avoid hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        There seems to be a rethinking of bacon grease these days.
                        A handful of years ago I was told by someone (who doesn't just go around spouting things) that, left at room temperature, bacon grease can separate into a clear (ish) liquid on top and an opaque sludgy glob on the bottom. The stuff on top is about as unhealthy as EVOO.
                        I've asked a couple people for clarification and they didn't know. A dietician suggested there may be some truth to that as fats that are liquid at room temps are generally considered to be better.

                        DT

                    2. A large Mexican grocery near my house sells a fabulous lard that was used to make carnitas. It's really cheap, too. I wouln't have even thought to look for it but I was cooking something from Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen (that might not be the exact name) and he mentioned it for a lot of his recipies. I think he called it "rich lard'. Anyway, look for this product in your local Mexican grocery. I found it on top of the meat case. It was so tasty, and it probably wasn't made with smoked meat but it did have that well- browned pork flavor to it.
                      I only bought it the one time because I find I have enough bacon/duck fat in my fridge most of the time, but I remember I made this really yummy smashed fried potatoes with onions and green beans thing with it...

                      1. I gave up trying to find bacon grease in the stores. We use it a lot for cooking and seasoning, so every time I run out I buy a 10# box of slab bacon. I cook it all down, cool it and put in containers in the refrigerator for use as needed. I crumble all the fried bacon put it in another container and give it to the pets as a treat every once in a while, they love it. It is a lot of work but that 10# box last a long time.

                        1. http://charleston.craigslist.org/for/...

                          LoL

                          1. Do you or anyone in your family like bacon bits?? Just buy, as torty suggested, a couple lbs and make bits. Put them in the fridge and keep the goodness.

                            DT

                            1. One market I use occasionally has big packages of bacon ENDS. Not necessarily pretty, random lengths and thicknesses, random meat to fat ratio, and inexpensive. Will periodically buy a package or 2 (when available), render out fat and use bacon as REAL bacon bits. Bacon grease was the ONLY fat my grandmother ever used to shallow fry crab cakes in.

                              Try making REAL popcorn with BG instead of oil!

                              1. since my grandparents always had a jar in their frig I always thought (as with anything else that was a constant in there) that it was a must in anyone's repertoire.
                                I use it relatively often in many ways

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  The problem with bacon fat is the danger of scorching/burning the bacon. This will sore the flavor of any other fat it's added to. Only takes 1/2t and you may as well throw the rest away.
                                  IMO duck fat rendered from the low and slow roasting process yields the best quality fat.
                                  I rarely use bacon anyway so it's moot.

                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    well I'd love df too but I don't have access to duck ;:-/
                                    my grandfather was a master at cooking any pheasant duck goose or bird of choice. and let's it French fries fried in duck fat are duh bom, dipped in mayo made of df even bett-uh

                                2. I laughed when my SIL asked the same question, but then I saw it for sale online somewhere, maybe Amazon? If only they'd start selling cheap ham bones too: Bacon grease, I have at least 4 or 5 jars in the fridge, can never bring myself to throw it away; maybe I could trade someone on Craigslist!

                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: coll

                                    For some huge (and meaty) ham bones, check out your local Honey Baked Ham store. I buy about half-a-dozen bones a year from them for use in stocks, greens and the like. Sometimes they have "buy 3 get one free" deals. Check 'er out.

                                    1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                      Thanks, but the only one on Long Island is at least an hour away from me, and with the way traffic is here let's double that. Otherwise I would!

                                      But from what I have read here, a bone at Honey Baked is around the same price as a whole ham anyway, if they even have them at any given time? Wonder if I would be so lucky to catch it on sale. So I went hog wild and bought a whole ham locally on sale mid January, and made a nice pot of bean soup with it. If I'm ever near Levittown with time to spare, it's on my list to check out though, thanks for reminding me!

                                      1. re: coll

                                        coll if you are anywhere near Ridge, give The Steer Seller a call. I'm not sure if he still does this, but he used to roast some meats, possibly including ham, so it's possible he's got some bones around.

                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                          Wow I am only one town away, but never heard of the Steer Seller. Off to look him up, thanks!

                                          Now that I've read the reviews, I can't believe I never heard this place mentioned; will be visiting very soon to check it out. Between this and Miloski, I think I'm covered for great meats and their byproducts now! Thanks so much!!

                                          1. re: coll

                                            Don't miss their sausages, made in house. SO GOOD.

                                            1. re: Chris VR

                                              Good to know: Italian? Because I do go to Del Fiores in Rocky Point for mine most of the time.

                                              1. re: coll

                                                He's got a variety of types. He does a parsley/cheese wheel that is great for bbqs. He does some really interesting other ones as well as some neat chicken sausage too.

                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                  I'll let you know how it goes, we'll be passing right by there on the way to an appointment on the 28th. Thanks for all the info!

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    I hope you post on the NY State board if you do! We've dragged this poor thread way off topic.

                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                      You're right, the next post will be elsewhere........

                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                        You guys are right. I thought we were talking about bacon grease.

                                            2. re: Chris VR

                                              Visited yesterday and wow! Not just the meats but the whole deal. I will start a new thread on NY State, thank you so much for mentioning.

                                          2. re: Steve2 in LA

                                            The ham bones with some meat on them sell for $2.99/lb. I can buy a bone-in ham for half that price or less. I know the quality of the ham might not be as good, but for making ham stock it's good enough for me.

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              Yeah I got my ham for $1.45, bone, meat and all; that was my thought too.

                                        2. Cheaper bacon ends and pieces make great grease. I prefer coconut oil as bacon fat may not be as healthy. One link of many: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/... I get Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil at Winco for about $6.50 for 14oz which lasts me a long time.

                                          Bacon ends often come 3 pounds at at time. Was $69 cents a pound a decade ago, then went to 99 cents a pound. I think Winco and Grocery Outlet now want $3.98. Anyway cut the package in half with a knife. Then take it out of the wrapper keeping each vacuum paced half as together as possible. With a sharp knife chop it as small as you can get it raw - I use a a sharp knife to saw off thin slices of the pile. Put it in a cast iron pan - If you don't have a big one with a lid you may need to fry it in two batches. Cook it on a relatively low fry temp just above low - the trick is to not get the bacon fat above about 350 or so because it will hit its smoke point at 370 or so and not be as tasty. Same if do bacon in the oven. I like using a cast iron pan where can use an old knife to further chop larger pieces into bits as cook without having to worry about damage the non-stick surface.

                                          When bits are crispy. Tilt pan and harvest the gold with a big spoon. I put it into small mason jars I can put a lid on or into little tea cups I never use then put a non-BPA sandwich-sized ziplock around. It lasts many weeks possibly months - never have mine around that long.

                                          The bacon bits are a bonus and you will have the grease way longer. My grandma who lived to be 97 taught me to save bacon grease for later use. She told me her mom used coconut oil when inexpensive in Astoria (the local coconut oil supply dried up in WW2 when Japan invaded the Philippians and is when vegetable oils and margarine grew in popularity on the US market when butter became scarce). Note before WW2 my great grandfather Abram decided to fatten his cows on coconut oil. Thinking it is saturated fat right? His cows loved the stuff, ran through the fences, had lots of energy, and were slaughtered underweight. When heard that have always thought coconut oil was good but could not find until about two years ago after requesting it at several grocery stores. A bit expensive, but coconut oil is what I like to saute-fry in (is when I sometimes use bacon grease or EVOO for the flavor). Avocado oil with a 525 degree smoke point now available at Costco is what I high heat fry in - for example to brown french fries, hash browns, or sear a steak (when too cold outside for a lump charcoal and fruit wood fire). I don't eat many potatoes and like my meat over fire so I borrow a little Avocado oil from others when want to fry potatoes.

                                          1. I have been in several "Amish" bakeries/stores that sell bacon grease in mason jars. These stores were in Indiana and Tennessee. I guess it's worth checking around.

                                            1. What a good question!

                                              I keep my bacon grease in the freezer- it might be years old but it's still good. Maybe you could give a bacon-loving friend a can and have them save it for you? Or a breakfast restaurant nearby?

                                              1. i just can't get over people using bacon grease and not liking bacon all that much!

                                                one thing that i love crispy bacon bits on is "korean spinach salad" -- online and in so many community cookbooks. it is always devoured.

                                                1. Early spring always makes me hungry for Wilted Lettuce, for which bacon grease is essential.