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Bacon Fat - do you use it? How?

In the past I have tossed this just because I've wanted to really watch my fat intake, but last weekend after making some great bacon, looked at it sadly I quickly found a tiny jar, while it was still hot, slid it in then stored it the fridge. I need to think about it (and check the damage for the fat of 1 T) I mean I do bet that I eat some things that are worse.
So I wanted to consider the possibilities first before I just throw it away.

Growing up my parents had a cannister set and in the smallest stainles steel one, was stored the bacon fat. I know my mom and dad used it, how? I'll never know, their both gone it's an unanswered food question now, that and why my mom saved her potato water to thicken her sauces. I forget to that too.

Do you save the bacon fat and if so, how do you use it?

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  1. Dice some boiled potatoes, toss with the bacon fat, and bake at 400. Most of the fat renders off, leaving a nice crips brown skin.

    Or just slice raw potatoes flat, place in a hot pan with a cup of water and the bacon fat, cover and boil. By the time the water's evaporated, the potatoes are cooked and sizzling. Works with olive oil as well, but bacon fat gives it that tasty brown skin.

    1. I just used some this morning to make cornbread. Put a couple of tablespoons in a cast iron skillet and place in the preheating oven while you mix up your batter. Pour the batter into the sizzling fat and bake. You will have a delicious, crunchy crust.

      7 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        Do you worry about getting the fat on the sides of the pan? I usually give it to my skinny old cat, but this sounds tempting.

        1. re: Glencora

          The fat obliging sloshes up the side when you add the batter.

        2. re: pikawicca

          Yeah, besides wanting to just roll around in it...I use it for cornbread in my cast iron skillet also...ex-spouse threw my jar of saved drippings away once that I had in fridge; jeez, it wasn't HURTING anyone, and it wasn't rotten but it was damned good for some specific uses--I wanted to cry (I think I did!)...sort of like the day he combined the 3 different mustards I had in the fridge "so that we don't have so many containers of the same thing!" I had Creole mustard, the yellow cheap stuff and Dijon and he found it unacceptable...oh, dear!

          1. re: Val

            it is a good thing you got rid of him!

            1. re: Val

              Oh my...an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond had Frank throwing out a container of Marie's "good fat."

              I can relate. Touch not the fat!

            2. re: pikawicca

              oooops, this was supposed to go under the crunchy cornbread post! Once, not twice!

              1. re: pikawicca

                +1!!!!!

              2. I do save it! It's wonderful stuff.

                I don't use it for many things, but primarily for eggs and frying cabbage with a bit of onion. If I'm making pork chops, I'll sometimes add a bit along with the oil for the extra flavor.

                You can also use it in a bacon dressing for a salad, spinach or hot German potato.

                I know it's frowned on (dietary police and my doctor who just told me last week my cholesterol was too high) but... as you said, I bet I eat some things that are worse.

                I don't know about the potato water to thicken the sauces but I bet it's because of the starch in the water.

                You're going to get some wonderful suggestions on how to use that fat. I'm going to keep checking for my own information! ;-)

                1. Hi Chef Chicklet --

                  We do save our bacon fat... My DH uses it to fry up eggs, but this summer I have discovered the best use for it -- added to burgers! OMG, melt a little bacon fat (not much is needed, maybe 1 Tbs per pound of meat) and add to your usual burger recipe (I make mine with the addition of some bread soaked in milk)... If you do the burgers on the grill, most of the fat will render anyway, but the bacon fat just makes the burgers more luscious... Its not that you taste bacon in the burgers, just that the burgers taste better!

                  Emily

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fearlessemily

                    mmmm....a hint of bacon in every bite!

                    1. re: fearlessemily

                      We do the same with burgers. Our red meat of choice (habit) is venison, but it's far too lean for some applications calling for ground meat. The bacon fat really helps.

                      I keep my bacon fat in the freezer - pretty easy to hack off a knob.

                      Also, it's brilliant as the fat component for a vinaigrette to put over a warm beet salad.

                      1. re: cayjohan

                        I like to make a venison chili using either good lard or bacon fat. Tasty!

                    2. Bacon fat's almost as good as duck fat!. I put bacon grease in my cheese grits. It's good stirred into a pot of white beans or into soup, too.

                      1. I just made bacon yesterday for the main purpose of using the fat in my ceasar salad dressing. Of course the kids gobbled up the bacon. I only use a T but it makes the dressing that much tastier. I also use it to fry up the eggs like other posters . Yum!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chocchipcookie

                          WHAT!!!! OMG! I love that idea! I'm so one-potato minded all I was thinking was adding it to my mashed potatoes!

                        2. They have mentioned most of the ways I use it. It will last longer if you filter it. I use a coffee filter tucked into a funnel placed over the jar.

                          Suspect the potato water saving was to utilize the starch and/or capture any nutritive value rather than pour it down the drain.

                          1. I use it to cook my corn or green beans. Just melt it in the pan and add the veggies, toss and serve. It makes it taste more countrified, without adding bacon, ham or salt pork.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: danhole

                              If I have some saved, I also use it for green beans and corn. I put it in the water when I blanch the beans. It seems to flavor the vegetables without coating them with the actual fat. Creamed corn tastes great with a little bacon fat, as does braised cabbage.

                            2. I use it to coat baking potatoes. A little does go a long way, since it is a fat with flavor. The better the bacon the better flavor the fat will have.

                              1. WOW, what a bunch of great ideas! Now I know why NO ONE could fry an egg like mother, she used the bacon fat. I'm sure it's used in a lot of good restaurant cooking.

                                Now I'm willing to try the duck fat too.

                                I have a glorious little jar of fat in the fridge right now, I love the thought of adding it to breads, soups, and veggies. YUM! YUM! YUM!

                                Thanks for the outstanding responses I love you people!!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  I've heard of chefs cooking up their roux for gumbos with bacon fat.

                                  You can add it to your hamburgers or if you make hamburgers in a cast iron skillet you can melt the fat and then fry the burgers in it. I imagine it would make the best grilled cheese ever.

                                  1. re: ESNY

                                    Exactly - I did this for the first time Saturday night making Shrimp Creole (http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/seriou...) It was a fantastic result, one of the best things I've ever made.

                                  2. re: chef chicklet

                                    Bacon grease is liquid gold! So versatile. Great for seasoning any green vegetable or pot of beans, refried pintos, spinach salad dressing, etc, and I always add a spoonful to my chicken frying grease. It adds a nice, salty porky flavor. Duck fat is fantastic for fried or whole roasted potatoes. It makes me happy to see how many people love it, and a little goes a long way.

                                    1. re: shecrab

                                      Several companies on Amazon sell tubs of bacon drippings, it's pricy though. Just fry your own. It's interesting there is enough of a market for these products to be created.

                                      Skillet Bacon Jam Bacon Spread
                                      http://www.amazon.com/Skillet-Bacon-J...

                                      Country Skillet Seasoning - Bacon & Ham drippings
                                      http://www.amazon.com/Burgers-Smokeho...

                                      Minor's Bacon Base
                                      http://www.amazon.com/Minors-086-Baco...

                                    2. re: chef chicklet

                                      Plenty of diners and delis use bacon fat for their fried eggs, tastes good and it's free!

                                    3. I do all of the above, seasoning veggies, it is great added to the fat to fry chicken, must have with baking cornbread, though I do sometimes use lard for it. Don't waste it. My mom always kept an aluminum tin with a strainer in it on the range top. It was stamped grease. All bacon grease went into that can and I don't think it was ever refrigerated either.

                                      1. Sautee brussels sprouts in bacon fat. They are great together. I slice the spouts in half lengthwise and sautee them until they are bright green and softened. Really good flavors together.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: sgwood415

                                          Add a little chopped mint, sirracha, and kim chee to the brussel sprouts cooked in bacon and it is wonderful.

                                          1. re: sgwood415

                                            Bacon fat and Brussels sprouts are a match made in heaven! I toss them in bacon fat, lemon zest and a bit of nutmeg and roast them until brown and a little crispy. Best winter veggie EVAH.

                                          2. I fry eggs for my husband in half bacon fat and half butter. Also anything Mexican, especially refried beans.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: coll

                                              Refried beans always begin by frying up some bacon!

                                              1. re: bkhuna

                                                In college, we fried bacon and chopped onion, added cans of baked beans and some ketchup, mixed, and served. Would be better with sweet chilli sauce.

                                            2. Great ideas. Would you save the fat in the refrigerator or on the shelf? How long is it good for?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: MeowMixx

                                                I refrigerate it, but Mom never did. The stuff seems to last forever.

                                                1. re: MeowMixx

                                                  I don't know much about it MeowM. Anybody???

                                                  My mom's had a cannister, and lifting the lid, the first piece (strainer) was under the lid, under that was the fat and it sat on the counter with the other cannisters. I don't know how often she used it, or the shelf life. My inclination was to refrigerate it and store it in a jar. There were no little bits of meat just the pure bacon fat. I would strain it though if it were necessary....maybe.

                                                  1. re: MeowMixx

                                                    In a jar with a tight lid in the fridge

                                                  2. Bacon drippings are one of the groups that make up the Southern food pyramid.

                                                    1. You have had great replies. Addressing your dietary issue I can only comment that a tablespoon of fat is a tablespoon of fat whether canola oil or bacon grease with respect to calories . But seriously- one tablespoon of bacon fat melted and tossed with a head of cauliflower and roasted (Oh yeeah!) - I think it balances out on the good side of nutrition especially cuz it is so good you eat all your 5 serving of veg.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: torty

                                                        Not quite!! Right after I had the first stent put in my heart, my doctor said to avoid animal fats. He knew it was a waste of time giving me some restrictive diet with 101 rules. Just avoid animal fats. He didn't have a problem with cooking in olive oil.

                                                        1. re: yayadave

                                                          Add some to the pot while cooking greens or peas. (Southern favorite!)
                                                          Use as the oil in O&V dressing. I did this when I was young and could eat whatever I wanted. Not so much anymore!
                                                          Add to chili.

                                                          My mom used to put it in a coffee cup and add water. After a while, the grease congealed on the top and the brown things sunk to the bottom of the water. Then she scooped the grease off the top and added it to her refrigerated bacon grease jar.

                                                          1. re: Greta

                                                            Nice trick to filter it. Thanks.

                                                            1. re: Greta

                                                              Does it need to cool a bit before you add water? I don't want it popping all over.... HOT grease!

                                                            2. re: yayadave

                                                              Around here in NC I get Ossabaw brats and save the fat. "They" say it's closer to olive oil than other animal fats. I definitely use it for browing potatoes and topping baked potatoes and I'm thinking about trying mafongo. It's almost duck fat and allegedly healthier.

                                                              http://www.tienda.com/press/articles....

                                                              But, yes, bacon fat for potatoes, scrambled eggs, fritattas, grits/polenta, shrimp and everything else offered here. I once dated someone allergic to dairy and so I had fun using it as a butter substitute for her.

                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                In terms of calories, fat is fat. In terms of heart health and other such issues, yes - they're not all the same.

                                                            3. I have a recipe for the best pancakes I ever made, and it has 2 T of bacon grease. The rest of the recipe seems perfectly normal - nothing special. Just use bacon grease.

                                                              There was recently a thread about stew and someone suggested putting bacon in the stew. I have a feeling that the idea is to chop up some bacon and put it in the pot first so that you would use the bacon grease to brown the stew meat and saute your vegetables if you care to.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                As a kid, my mom made pancakes for me almost every day of my life (and I loved them every day), but I remember on the days when we had guests for breakfast, and there was bacon, I loooooved the pancakes that were made on the griddle right after the bacon. Yum!

                                                              2. Most of our piggie fat goes into a cleaned sour cream/cottage cheese container (after it's cooled), and refrigerated, then given to my mother-in-law, who uses it in various culinary crimes against nature. My personal favorite are her fried potatoes in bacon grease, which are served under a ladle of ham and beans, with nice crumbly cornbread on the side.
                                                                On occasion, I'll sneak a spoonful into a skillet to fry an egg over-easy, or grease a biscuit pan with some bacon grease, and then flip the biscuits before baking so the top gets a thin sheen of bacony goodness.

                                                                1. Fried Eggs LOVE Bacon Grease...a match made in heaven.
                                                                  Homemade Hashbrown Potatos LOVE bacon Grease.Beans LOVE bacon Grease.
                                                                  Bisquick (yes, Bisquick) LOVES Bacon Grease...make drop biscuits, pancakes, waffles)
                                                                  Waffle Irons really LOVE Bacon Grease.
                                                                  Cast Iron Skillets LOVE Bacon Grease...pancakes love to enjoy them together.
                                                                  I LOVE Bacon Grease.

                                                                  So....Bacon Grease is either a total slutt (gets used everywhere!!!) or there is just a lotta love for the stuff.

                                                                  Grama always had an MJB Coffee can on the stove with the grease in it...was never refrigerated unless we went outta town for a while...see, it used to warm up on the stove everyday when she cooked, so maybe that help keep it safe...actually, think of confit..fat is a preservative...how can a preservative go bad? Anyway, the can was never refrigerated, neither was out pot of beans.

                                                                  I'm not dead yet...maybe it's all the bacon grease I've eaten over the years.

                                                                  1. My mom always has a jar of bacon grease in the fridge. Whenever she makes green beans she minces onions and sautes them in a small amount of the fat then adds the beans and water, salt, etc.

                                                                    One more thing, I love wilted lettuce! Use the bacon fat in the dressing (I've never actually made it, but I watched my mother. It is hot bacon grease, sugar and vinegar. Pour the hot dressing over washed greens, diced green onion and crumbled bacon. A summer favorite!

                                                                    1. No one mentioned chard yet?! I wouldn't eat chard without bacon fat, so the healthy green veggie karma must cancel out the bad bacon fat karma, right?

                                                                      Throw a tablespoon or two in a large hot skillet and add chard that's been cleaned and chopped up a bit (center rib removed unless it's fresh young chard), along with some chopped garlic. Cook until wilted and then splash a bit of balsamic vinegar over it all.

                                                                      I also use it to fry eggs and last week I was making a recipe with ground veal and added a few tablespoons to the veal to add some fat. The results were quite good- not at al dry and with just a teeny touch of piggy goodness.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                                        I use chard's coarser cousins in my bacon grease: kale and collards. Sometimes with garlic and/or fried onions.

                                                                        I also like to use bacon grease to fry my onions and garlic when I make white bean soup, sort of a corrupted caldo gallego.

                                                                      2. I was told to strain my bacon grease through a coffee filter in a funnel. The resulting bacon fat should be cleared of impurities and appropriate for myriad uses. I use it to make salad dressing, wilt bitter greens, drizzled over roasting vegetables, in savory oatmeal, to brown meat for a stew, to make roux for gumbos and soups, for pie crusts, etc. It's my preferred fat for cooking Central European foods (e.g. goulash), definitely lending a hearty and satisfying taste to autumnal and winter foods.

                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                          My Mom made a French salad dressing, she called it "French Housewife's Dressing" it was a common dressing one that she cooked, I think I now know why we remember that dressing so fondly. Over salad greens, romaine, red leaf, leeks, and since we had a huge garden, our salad base changed with the harvest. But the constant, was this dressing.

                                                                          I'll bet that she made French toast and pancakes with it as well as the eggs.

                                                                          We have the fondest memories of her "French Apple" pie. So do you just swap the bacon fat out for the butter or lard, or what?

                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                            People always ask what the secret is to my dressing. Now you know. As for pie crusts, yes, you swap bacon fat for the butter or lard, but it is best for savory pies like chicken pot pie or a pork pie. It adds another incredible dimension.

                                                                            Another great use is the simplest: on toast. There are lots of German recipes for bacon fat-based spreads with chopped sausage and meat, but I love simple fried bread in bacon grease with my English fry up. It is an utterly decadent treat.

                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                              There is no guiltier pleasure of mine than bread fried in bacon fat, which I learned to love while living in England years ago.

                                                                            2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                              I want to know what is in the French Housewife's Dressing...please.

                                                                              1. re: scuzzo

                                                                                Scuzzo
                                                                                We have tried to find it before, the recipes that are out there are not what my mom made. I have seen other recipes claiming to be French Housewifes and when I've made it, it's not the same.
                                                                                But you know how that goes when we go on a "quest" to find Mom or Grandma's recipes we search and search until we find it. Several of my Mother's recipes are like that, we are searching for what she made us. But after reading Jungmann's post, he said that he used bacon fat and it was his secret, I have a feeling that this hers too!

                                                                                Anyway, It was her standard salad dressing for whatever went into the salad bowl. She made all her own dressings, and they were all good, but we ate this one the most.

                                                                                Oil - or Bacon Fat - I know she would cook the salad dressing at times
                                                                                vinegar - redwine or apple cider
                                                                                herbs - I don't know which ones - maybe it was just parsley
                                                                                Dijon Mustard
                                                                                shallots or red onion minced fine (going by memory here)
                                                                                Perhaps a little sugar
                                                                                pepper and salt

                                                                                I wish I could give you exacts, but I need to work with it.

                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                  My dressing is pretty similar. I use 2 parts bacon fat to 3 parts balsamic vinegar and season with garlic powder, parsley, thyme, chives, 1/2 tsp. mustard, splenda, seasoned salt and cracked pepper. It is very versatile and changes based on what kind of salad I am dressing, but is always very forgiving.

                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                    Do you heat the bacon grease first? or the entire dressing? or nothing?

                                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                      You get the fat hot, so that when it's poured on the greens, they wilt. Cold bacon fat as a salad dressing would be a very bad thing.

                                                                                    2. re: JungMann

                                                                                      Do you cook it? to at least melt the fat? .

                                                                                      Yes it does sound similar, she did not use balsamic, we just didn't have access to it, hence why they made their own of "whatver" and experimented.
                                                                                      (she is an original New York Pizza maker- Pepperoni with thin crust!)

                                                                                      The dressing is tart, and there was no garlic (that I can remember), just shallots with a just a tad of sweetness to take the edge off the vinegar. It is delicous on the softer lettuces,butter, red leaf and baby beet leaves (and with blackberries).

                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                        You don't "cook" it, per se. You just heat it up enough to melt the fat so that you can emulsify it with the vinegar. If it's too hot, it'll wilt your salad which is sometimes okay, but I usually add blue cheese to my salad, which I don't want melted.

                                                                                        Your mother's salad and dressing sound great. My version is probably a little sweeter and more piquant than hers, but I think it might go well with that blackberry/beet leaf salad you described. I'll have to try it with the shallots this weekend!

                                                                                    3. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                      Thanks! Sounds great, and versatile.

                                                                              2. Swedish ginger cookies - delish! http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34658...

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: welle

                                                                                  i don't save bacon grease, but love including it in pan fried brussel sprouts with chopped hazlenuts.

                                                                                  1. re: welle

                                                                                    Welle - Whoa! these look seriously good!

                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                      I found that recipe recently and made it -- they are delicious! The bacon fat gives the cookies a wonderful richness and smokiness.

                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                        yup, i made another batch substituting with butter as the recipe suggested and it was not the same! bacon fat is the way to go.
                                                                                        I made cookies really thin, btw, it added some sophistication to the cookies, imo - delicate cookies with a punch.

                                                                                    2. re: welle

                                                                                      I know this isn't about the fat but it is about the flavor: I cook bacon in a jellyroll pan in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes and when it's crisp I put it on newspapers, pour off the fat, and loosen the browned bits in the pan with a little water. I save that liquid in small containers (an ice cube tray would work, too) in the freezer. You can add it to soups and rouxs to add a nice smoky accent without the extra animal fat. You could probably simmer it down until and add it to your warm dressings, too. Yum. I consider eating bacon and frying in bacon fat a treat; this is something I can do easily every time I bake a batch of bacon and doesn't add the animal fat to our diets.

                                                                                    3. Fried rice.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                        Gosh that could very well be the "wok hay"!

                                                                                      2. Bacon grease (in moderation) is a culinary weapon of interstellar magnitude. Save it every time you cook bacon. Strain it if you want to, I don't bother. I pour it into a recycled glass jam jar with a tight lid and keep it in the fridge, mainly 'cause I don't use enough of it to run thru it before it goes rancid (and I live in a very warm climate, which also shortens the shelf life, as my room temp is quite high). Use it wherever you would use olive oil for an added porky flavor, wonderful dark savory notes, and a nice smoky counterpoint. I use it for rouxs, added to rich bread doughs, in cooking almost all fresh veggies (just a little), as the sauteeing fat for just about any recipe that requires browned meats or veggies, etc. It is indispensible for good crusty southern cornbread and a flavorful pot of red beans.

                                                                                        Regarding its saturated fat content, eat like an old poor southerner and you'll be fine: use the bacon grease to plump up the flavor of good stuff like fresh veggies, skip the meat all together and you'll be healthier overall. A quart canister of bacon grease helped my grandma live to 94.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                          How long will it keep if in the fridge?

                                                                                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                            Hard work helped grandma too.

                                                                                          2. Yes! Save bacon fat! Add a couple tablespoons melted to pancake mix, or cornbread for sure. And yes, bacon fat is great to keep a cast iron pan in good shape. When I did this regularly, I could fry eggs and have them slide out perfectly.

                                                                                            1. Try frying thick slices of fresh tomato (ripe or green) in bacon fat and adding them to your bacon and eggs. In the UK slices of bread fried in bacon fat are a traditional part of a "full English breakfast".

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: giveittomikey

                                                                                                Hungry Celeste you are so right!

                                                                                              2. The best creamylicious smoky baked mac and cheese starts with a roux that, in turn, starts with bacon fat. Mmmmm. I add grape tomatoes to my mac and cheese too and the bursting juicy jewels with the smoky bacon background is just wonderful.

                                                                                                Also, bacon grease is excellent for refried beans and fried green tomatoes! mmmm.

                                                                                                I would love the recipe for a salad dressing incorporating bacon grease.

                                                                                                1. We cook Nueske's applewood-smoked bacon and always save the grease. Kept in the fridge it won't go bad for months, I would guess. We use it anywhere we'd normally use butter: to sweat vegetables for a soup, stew or sauce, tossed with veggies to roast, in just about any potato application.

                                                                                                  Loved the idea of including it in salad dressing.

                                                                                                  1. what to do with it???? well, all I can tell you is how my grandmother used it. Turn on the stove, put some bacon grease into a skillet, and then decide what to cook for dinner.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                      Yup, that's about what Mom did. With a largish family and some hired hands to feed, she was not about to spend good money on store-bought butter or oil. Any time a pan needed greasing, in went the bacon fat.

                                                                                                    2. One word: popcorn

                                                                                                      My parents aren't Southerners so we never had bacon fat in the house, but dear Lord, I have a Southern one-generation-from-the-farm friend who showed me the light.

                                                                                                      She just knows the proportion of fat to kernels, so I can't give any measurements, but she popped it on the stove top in an aluminum Dutch oven, constantly swooshing the pan over the burner. Once they finish popping, a little bit of Morton's salt goes on top, and you're in business.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: valdavid

                                                                                                        Oh My Stars!!!
                                                                                                        You brought back a great bacon memory...I hadn't had popcorn made in bacon grease since I was a kid.
                                                                                                        One night, after training one of my clients, she told me she had gotten my first package from the Grateful Palate's Bacon of the Month Club...we fried the bacon, opened a bottle of cab, ate some bacon while we popped the popcorn...bacon, bacon popped pop corn and a bottle of red...can life get any better?!

                                                                                                      2. Use the bacon fat to make sawmill gravy. Serve it over biscuits.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                          Hey..... I just saw this, what is sawmill gravy please???

                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                            It's a sausage gravy that you serve over biscuits. It like a cream gravy with sausage in it. My SIL makes a mean gravy that I could eat all the time - if I wanted to gain a bunch of weight!

                                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                                              Sounds like you could use the bacon grease as the fat, replacing butter, to make the roux before adding milk and then pre-cooked sausage. Some people cook the sausage and sprinkle flour over to make a roux with sausage, then add milk and thicken. When I get a package of breakfast sausage, it does not always have enough grease to make a roux. I guess that would be a good time to add a little bacon grease before dusting with flour. Makin' me hungry, here.

                                                                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                                You just use the bacon fat and crumbled bacon for the roux and gravy. Serve over toast or biscuits. For me sausage doesn't enter into it. If I want sausage gravy I make it separately.

                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                  I guess if you have bacon grease and flour and milk or broth, you could add bacon or any leftover meat and call it "biscuits and mystery gravy." Don't forget the peas.

                                                                                                                  1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                                    For me it's just bacon gravy (made with bacon drippings, flour, milk, salt, pepper and maybe a pat of butter) with crumbled bacon added on top and nothing else. You don't need to Gild the Lily. ;-)

                                                                                                        2. Last night we had rib eye's, salad, and zucchini. Pretty simple.

                                                                                                          This whole bacon fat thing is really getting me so excited! I feel I've discovered a secret!
                                                                                                          I only had about 3 T ( trust me I'm kicking myself) and wanted to use it so bad! ( that zucchini was meant for MMRuth's risotto recipe, I just couldn't stop myself, I'll get more)
                                                                                                          didn't have time to warm it and then cool it for the salad ( DH was starving) so I cut red onions and garlic up, then heated a sautée pan for the bacon. My DH, came walking inside and was at the back door, and I hear this "MMMMMMMMMM what are you making? it smells GREAT in here!!!"
                                                                                                          Then I dropped the onions, let that cook, the garlic, then the zukes, salt and pepper. MY oh MY the best tasting zucchini I have ever had.

                                                                                                          I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from everyone, THANK YOU!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                            Yea! Zuchini and bacon fat! Sounds perfect. I'll have to try that.

                                                                                                          2. I have a hard time finding good pork lard up here in Vermont, so I use it when I'm making tamales, in place of the lard.

                                                                                                            I also fry up liver and onions in bacon fat, if I"m not having bacon along with it.

                                                                                                            I use a bit for frying up eggs sometimes, hmmm pretty much any place I'd use lard where the smokiness or saltiness of the bacon won't wreck the flavor.

                                                                                                            Oh yeah, I fry green beans (haricote vert) and garlic in it, too.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Morganna

                                                                                                              i love liver and onions. I always forget about making it. Another dish my mom did great I mean what kid eats that! Me, that's who. I have got to make this, do you double soak the liver in milk twice?

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                Bacon fat to saute onions to add to spinach...maybe sauteed in the same pan. And to cook chicken livers! (with onions, of course!)

                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                  Nah, I usually just rinse off the liver then coat it in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and some sage (it's easy to get too much sage, so be careful). I fry up bacon to crispy, pull it out to drain, then put in the onions and liver. I get my liver sliced fairly thin, so it cooks pretty quickly. After it's done, I toss the bacon back in to warm it up, then serve the whole mess. :) But sometimes, if I'm just not feeling like having quite THAT much fat, I'll just use a couple tablespoons of bacon fat I have stored in the fridge, so I get the flavour without the meal being quite so heavy.

                                                                                                                  Since my husband has been off liver and onions for years and this is a very very rich meal, I only have it once every couple of years or so, when I have a craving. :)

                                                                                                              2. See this is what I'm seeing. I'm willing to bet that SO many people that are really outstanding cooks, forget to mention the addition of a little bit of bacon fat when they write a recipe out for us. I have been looking through quite a few of my cookbooks just out of curiosity, and I have only found it in a couple of recipes for cornbread. Wonder why that is?

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                  Are these southern cookbooks? If you get any sort of southern cornbread mix (like Jiffy or Martha White or White Lily), the package instructions always state "oil or bacon drippings).

                                                                                                                2. Both of my parents were second generation German immigrants, so bacon fat was almost a food group in itself. It can be used anywhere butter is used.
                                                                                                                  We used to have bacon and eggs on Sunday morning before mass and the rendered fat was placed in a glass jar for use during the week. You will notice that many northern European recipes start with "render bacon, and sauté onions in fat"

                                                                                                                  My cholesterol is high, so I have given this up, except for the rare holiday meal or a occasional splurge.

                                                                                                                  1. Has anyone made bacon fat in a spray can yet?

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                      As a saturated fat, bacon is solid at room temp, so it wouldn't exactly be easy to spray.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                                                        Sure go ahead, burst my bubble!
                                                                                                                        ok a pump then! I'm running to the patent lawyers office!

                                                                                                                      2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                        this is SO weird. i hadn't seen this thread yet and just posted to the one below about lima beans that since my mom always taught me to save the bacon fat i toss some in the water when i cook them and then pull them out when done and salt. same with green beans. and of course the eggs. i usually (gasp heresy) use turkey bacon to be healthier so i don't always have some but these are some other great ideas.
                                                                                                                        not southern by birth (although am now) but mine was definitely a irish and german heritage thing like listed above.
                                                                                                                        strange coincidence.

                                                                                                                      3. There are thousands of uses for bacon fat. Out of my top 10, my number one has to be to use it to fry southern fried chicken. My dad was from Mississippi, and an excellent southern cook, he never made his chicken any other way. Is it good for you.......well you know the answer to that. But fried chicken isn't great for you, but if you are going to do it, you might as well do it all the way.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: neelie

                                                                                                                          Here's a nifty trick for getting that bacon flavor without all of the saturated fat: use peanut oil for the frying, but fry a strip of bacon in the oil before you put the chicken in. All the smoky flavor, a mere fraction of the bad fats.

                                                                                                                        2. Not sure if this was already mentioned (this is #90 in this thread!) but when boiling frozen perogies, I fry onions in bacon fat, and when the perogies are cooked, I brown them with the onions and fat.

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Olivia

                                                                                                                            Oh now you've done it Olivia! Fess up with the perogie recipe!

                                                                                                                            And yes the onion and bacon fat thing are meant for each other. Cooked the best brussel sprouts last night. I swear all I have to do is add a tablespoon and my DH is mmmmm,and now the baby is mmmming too! It is like love potion!
                                                                                                                            Mind you I am not doing this every night, just on occassion, I do love them!

                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                              How did you do the brussels sprouts? Sauteed in the bacon fat?
                                                                                                                              I usually cook mine in butter, than swirl into a yogurt-dijon-dill sauce. Hmmm. I beth they would be great in bacon fat.

                                                                                                                              My sweety cooked some onions in bacon fat the other night and then made a *creamy pink sauce* that we used for a pasta bake with roasted vegetables. It does lend such richness and depth to a sauce like that, and it carries that flavor through the entire dish.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                                What a lame brain I am 4 years later! The brussels sprouts are briefly steamed or blanched with a tiny bit of sugar (for the bitterness), then swirl in sauteed onion, salt and pepper and ye ol' bacon fat. delicious! Yea!

                                                                                                                              2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                Oh jeeze... I wish there was a recipe involved. Sadly, I'm referring to store-brand, family pack, frozen supermarket perogies.

                                                                                                                            2. I use it for home made hash browns, frying onions,and mushrooms, among many other things I already see posted here, one thing I didn't see was one my Aunt's father told me, he grew up in the 20's and was very poor, he told me they used bacon grease as "slickum" as he put it ,in their hair...no kidding.

                                                                                                                              1. I use it in my baked beans - sauté a chopped onion in a couple tablespoons rendered bacon fat until translucent and just starting to brown, add a couple of cans of B&M's or th baked bean of your choice, a squirt of spicy brown mustard, and add back in the crumbled bacon. Cook until thick and delicious.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Pete G.

                                                                                                                                  Yep, bacon fat and cast iron are a perfect match. I save the fat and fry slices of potatoes in it--the potatoes cook up crisp and brown--and you can't get that w/ oil and stainless steel.

                                                                                                                                  Bacon fat is the base for my gravies and white sauce: bacon fat, melted in a heavy pot. Add equal parts flour, stirring constantly until smooth, browned and thickening. SLOWLY add as many (i.e., 1 tblspn fat and flour, 1 cup of milk; 2 tblspns fat and flour, 2 cups of milk) cups of milk as fat and flour, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Adjust the amount of milk for thicker or thinner sauce, depending on whether you want to make a soup, chowder, gravy or anything else. Add shredded cheese, you have cheese sauce. Add a cup of beef broth, beef drippings, beef bouillon dissolved in water and you have brown gravy. And don't forget the can of tuna and frozen peas!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MKatrinaToo

                                                                                                                                    And while you're doing that, you can add "other stuff" and have biscuits and "other stuff" gravy. "Other stuff" being chicken bits, shredded pork or left-over shredded beef or corned beef or dried beef and whatever you think of. Spam comes to mind, too.

                                                                                                                                2. My husband and I always save bacon grease in a ramekin in the fridge. I love making soups that are mostly from vegetables. I use the grease to saute onions, celery, etc at the start of each pot of soup. Gives any soup great flavor.

                                                                                                                                  Also, use it for making pancakes. Made a blueberry cake on a trip while staying in a condo (sort of like high class camping) and used bacon grease instead of butter, it was great. Think you can use it on anything w/ wonderful results.

                                                                                                                                  1. How fortuitous that I found this thread. Today I just bought my first package of bacon (Niman Ranch Applewood smoked) in many, many years for a bean soup and wondered what to do with the bacon fat. I happened upon a blogger with a recipe for bok choy wilted in bacon grease and served over grits. I happened to have some chard so I made the recipe with that instead and it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                    1. It is great for making fried rice! I also use bacon fat when making pancakes. Don't throw it out; it is a wonderful secret ingredient!

                                                                                                                                      1. We have always saved our bacon fat in an old coffee mug. We keep it inthe fridge, but my mom had an old bacon fat can that had a strainer in the top. She kept hers under the sink.

                                                                                                                                        My favorite use for the fat is to rub the outside of an Idaho potato before baking. It makes the best skin! The second favorite is to melt some bacon fat in the cast iron skillet before adding the cornbread batter. And the last is to use the fat to saute onions before adding beans (limas, black eyed peas)

                                                                                                                                        1. Ah, a topic near and dear to my heart. My mom used bacon fat to make her fried rice. She also used bacon fat to make her green onion pancakes -- not just to fry them, but also for the grease/salt/green onion layers. They just weren't the same when she switch to more "heart healthy" oils.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                            My mother did that too - gave it a wonderful smokey taste - this was her Thai fried rice.

                                                                                                                                          2. Salad dressing. Don't store the oil, use it right away fresh in the pan. Fry shallots in the fat, then deglaze the pan with vinegar (careful, boiling vinegar makes an extraordinary blast of vapor that'll feel like you're being punched in the nose if you have your face too close). Immediately drizzle the mixture over salad. Yum!

                                                                                                                                            1. Brown about 4 pieces of bacon till crispy, or cook in microwave placing strips in glass pie plate, cover with glass lid that does not fit tightly or cover with wax paper or paper towels (to keep grease from splattering in microwave) watching carefully to not burn the bacon. If using paper towels, try to wrap them around the pie plate so that they do not sit in and soak up the bacon grease. Lift out bacon when crispy and save to add later. In a large frying pan (preferably a heavy one) brown sliced or chopped onions in the bacon fat and drippings, add fairly thinly sliced yellow squash and brown this too. When almost completely done, add the bacon which has been crushed or chopped up. Put a lid on it and remove from heat and let finish cooking.Probably will not need salt, may add pepper if desired. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                              Also may be cooked in the oven as a casserole. Or may add to cooked white fluffy rice- is very good. Or you can just boil chopped squash in very little water - cover with lid, watch and do not burn- and then add bacon and onion to the boiled squash but it tastes better if the squash is stir fried in the bacon grease.

                                                                                                                                              1. Use bacon drippings or fat to brown chopped onions. I use a lot of onion. Add pinto beans which have been soaked overnight, drained and rinsed. Add cold water to cover the beans plus several more inches. Bring to boil, boil about 15 minutes watching to not let boil over. Reduce heat, add lid, cook slowly (add a little salt and some pepper after cooking about 1 hour) with heat as low as possible for about 3 to 4 hours. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

                                                                                                                                                1. http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Stoneware-...

                                                                                                                                                  Get yourself a bacon grease container that filters the grits and gives you a better grease to work with. Store at room temperature, no need to refrigerate. Lasts forever. Animal fats are better than any vegetable oil regards trans fats.

                                                                                                                                                  Venison - sliced medalians dreged in spiced flour and pan fried in bacon grease. No butter no other oils, just bacon grease. You can use it like a Ghee, Wilted salad, bacon grease. Carne Guisada? Cook the meat in bacon grease before you pour out the excess then add in your water, flour, and other spices.

                                                                                                                                                  Osso Buco - dredge the shanks in spiced flour and sear them in bacon grease. Remove the shank and throw in your trinity...continue as normal with stock and whatnot - toward the end of the cook-off, you can use a large spoon to remove the excess fats....

                                                                                                                                                  Fried eggs? Bacon grease, with or without butter, always!!

                                                                                                                                                  Irish Soda Breads? Take a thick slice of bread and spread some butter on both sides, pan sear with some bacon grease...OMG!

                                                                                                                                                  There should be a cook book just for animal fats...

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JimmyCracksCorn

                                                                                                                                                    There is! Fat: An Appreciation Of A Misunderstood Ingredient, with recipes. by Jennifer McLagan.

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Appreciatio...

                                                                                                                                                  2. I use it anytime I need fat as long as the flavor will go with my food

                                                                                                                                                    1. Cook half a pound of bacon until crisp, then remove and crumble. Peel, dice, and boil a big rutabaga, saute in the bacon grease, with a little olive oil added, until slightly crispy on the edges. Remove rutabaga. Chop and saute a big bunch of kale and a thin-sliced sweet onion in the bacon fat with a fat pinch of hot pepper. When wilted, add everything back into the skillet, and cook until the kale is nice and tender. Extra good with a dash of pepper vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                      This is on the Thanksgiving table every year and always disappears first! The one time we had leftovers, they went into a soup the next day. Now the soup is on the day-after-Thanksgiving table every year, so we have to protect some of the kale for that.

                                                                                                                                                      It's all in the bacon fat!

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: elenacampana

                                                                                                                                                        that sounds fabulous

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elenacampana

                                                                                                                                                          Mmmmmm. Dooky Chase's in NOLA does a shredded turnip hash at Thanksgiving (only time they do it) and it sounds like this and it is outstanding. Gotta try yours now.

                                                                                                                                                        2. "glazed cherries"

                                                                                                                                                          Did this, and it gave new meaning to enjoying a portion of fruit (and generated a slew of virginity jokes along the way).

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wattacetti

                                                                                                                                                            seriously. elaborate. i get the joke part so not on that....

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                              Bing cherries (or Rainier, but they're more expensive). Fat from good bacon in liquid state. Dip. Refrigerate. Repeat.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm serious about the repeat. This took me close to 2 hours to get enough fat on the cherries.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wattacetti

                                                                                                                                                                wow. that is SO something that would never occur to me to do that i might have to try it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't have any leftovers. You can get details elsewhere; just look around.

                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, Ferran Adrià dipped cherries in whipped jamón fat, but this thread is about bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                          2. It is very good for cooking German potatoe pancakes in. Cook some bratwurst in one skillet -- also using some bacon fat -- and cook several German potato pancakes in another skillet. Serve the bratwurst, the potato pancakes, and some applesauce with a nice glass of Oktoberfest bier (an amber, modestly malty bier). Maybe wait until the weather cools off some, for example late September or mid-October.

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: icookstuff

                                                                                                                                                              We used to discard bacon fat as if it were the devil incarnate. Then, last summer, I decided to make empanadas, which call for lard. I don't keep lard around and didn't want to substitute Crisco. I opted to use bacon fat, which I strained and put in the fridge until solid. The empanadas were baked, rather than deep fried, so the tasty fat was all the more important to the crust. They were divine, though laborious to make.

                                                                                                                                                              I now save bacon fat from our rare Sunday morning bacon indulgences when we have company. It has come in handy for making roux, as well as for finishing off pierogis in a pan with onions fried in bacon grease, another rare indulgence. Two pierogi faves are potato and cheese, and sauerkraut and mushroom. There is a Polish store in my city that sells innumerable brands of all different types, from fruit-filled to meat-filled to vegetable-filled.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                                                The BEST way to handle bacon is to cook the whole pound at one setting...what you don't eat put in a zip lock bag in the fridge and it will keep for weeks. Bacon is like salted ham of the 18th century, indestructible. This way, you get all the cooking done, get the smell out of the house, and you have some for all those turkey and BLT sandwiches. And if you have room mates or a family, better to cook up 2 pounds!

                                                                                                                                                                This thread is almost 4 years old...and it still tastes good!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JimmyCracksCorn

                                                                                                                                                                  It will NOT keep for weeks. By the end of the afternoon, it's gone.

                                                                                                                                                                  (You set that one up!)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                                                                                    LOL!!! MY thoughts exactly! Especially with a beautifully ripe, red, luscious tomato hanging around on the counter!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                      Why would you want the smell of bacon out of the house?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                        Really! When we sold our last house, the buyers happened to walk in on us having BLTs for lunch, and it was a done deal. (The house before that it was chocolate chip cookies....)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                          Hahah, I was just about to say, coll, people tell you to bake cookies when you're seling...I say FRY BACON!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                            And if you're too busy to cook, just put some vanilla extract on a lightbulb and turn it on just before they arrive. Oldest trick in the book! Wonder how bacon fat would work?

                                                                                                                                                            2. I do all the usual things with it...fry eggs, use it for potatoes, etc.

                                                                                                                                                              One of my favorite things is to use it to "butter" the bread when making grilled cheese sandwiches, and it's especially good when using rye bread.

                                                                                                                                                              On more than one occasion, I've also used bacon fat or rendered pork fat (in lieu of chicken or duck fat ) in my matzo balls.
                                                                                                                                                              And they are insanely tasty, too!

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                Now that's interesting, Professor. Bacon fat in Matzo balls. Sounds just krezzy enough to be perfect. I'd make it, but I'd have to keep the ingredients list a very deep, dark secret from the rest of the guests.....at least the ones who care..... :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                  I've seen Matzo Ball recipes with chicken fat in them - it has a funny name, can't think of it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                    schmaltz?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                      Traditional matzo ball recipes _always_ include chicken fat.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I don't use it much but for somethings there's just no alternative. If I want crunchy, delicious shredded hashbrowns at home, I do the 4-hour frozen potato (parcooked) and cook them in an iron skillet w/ the grease. I also use a spoonful of it in a crockpot of slowcooked green beans with ham and potatoes, and you really can't beat a hot bacon dressing to dress wilted spinach salad.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. We have 2 fat jars in the fridge, one for bacon fat and one for chicken/turkey fat.

                                                                                                                                                                    Bacon fat I use to saute asparagus, along with garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Holy cow! It's nice to see the interest in bacon fat is still going strong. I started this thread almost 3 years ago, and since then I've branched out. I now like to save chicken fat, pork fat, and beef fat. I freeze it, slice it cold, and use it as I need it. Bacon fat is just irreplaceable, and all the others, well we all know that chicken fat is glorious. All of these just give soup, stews, sauces, or veggies just a step ahead of the dish without it. It is the true mystery ingredient!

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                        I actually keep all my animal fats in 1 jar. They all taste great to me!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Ok so I am definitely not going to read through 144 replies, so I'm sorry if this has been posted already but...

                                                                                                                                                                        I like to caramelize onions in bacon fat. I use red onion, julienned nice and thin...Add to a saute pan with a generous serving of bacon fat and let them go, low and slow for about an hour. Talk about bacon-infusion! I'll put these on burgers and I get the delicious sweet onion, and the added bonus of bacon flavor, without having to cook bacon!

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: imasamurai

                                                                                                                                                                          oh yum, that's supper!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hi there - new to the board from Arkansas. I guess this is an old thread, but I'm surprised I didn't see anyone say they used bacon grease in place of lard. I use it for any savory bread or rolls, especially southern biscuits. There's absolutely nothing like fresh, flaky biscuits with specks of bacon leavings all throughout. Yum!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          Bacon grease is a fundamental part of my cooking, and I almost only ever buy bacon just for the grease. Use for a mess of greens (and subsequent pot liquor), to brown the cornbread, as a base for all gravies, in pasta sauce, sautéing veggies, etc. There is no substitute!

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emilyjh75

                                                                                                                                                                            Pasta sauce, hmmmm....I may just try that next time.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Use it instead of butter for grilled cheese sandwich, makes the bread so crisp with a slight smokey saltiness.
                                                                                                                                                                            My favourite grilled cheese is with jalapeno puree and havarti.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tearingmonkey

                                                                                                                                                                              Since someone revived this thread, I'll add what I recently did with bacon fat: since bacon fat goes with cornbread, and honey butter goes with cornbread, I mixed some honey with some bacon fat and spread the honey bacon fat on my cornbread. It was sweet, smoky and delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Damn straight. By the standards of this board, I'm practically an anti- fat crusader, but you don't throw away BACON fat.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Bacon fat is not only delicious but actually good for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                Forget the outdated information about fat being bad for you -- Check out the Weston A. Price organization for some excellent information about why it is important to eat healthy fats: http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your.... Traditional cultures used bacon fat all the time, as attested to by many of the posts here that talked about grandmothers saving bacon fat. Our current health problems, including heart disease and obesity, are not because of people eating bacon fat or other healthy fats!

                                                                                                                                                                                (I wanted to reply directly to this question, but I think I posted this note in another thread. Sorry if this is a duplicate. . . )

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I've been cooking for almost 30 years now. And I'll admit, I'm very disturbed by posts like this. The anti carb people, or anti fat people. Fact of the matter is, life expectancy is the upper 70's, low 80's. my grandfather lived into his late 80's and ate some of the most unhealthy, fatty foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                  From a chef, if you excercise, and don't go extreme, like eating pounds of bacon daily, don't worry about fat content, or carbs. It's really not what you eat, it's how often, and how much you eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As to the bacon fat, it has many, many uses. Soups for instance, potato soup, New England clam chowder, chicken corn soup, split pea. Or sauces, especially spaghetti. If you've ever had a really good Italian red sauce, chances are it had either bacon grease, lard, or crisco in it. That's just fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The thing with bacon grease is its flavor. It coats the mouth, and imparts a meat flavor as well. That's the signature of a good sauce or soup. When you eat New England clam chowder, the creaminess is complimented by the bacon grease and flavor of it. The soup coats the mouth. It's the same for the red sauce. I can make a great red sauce very quickly. One #10 can tomatoe sauce, 2 T bacon grease, dash of salt, dash of pepper, dash of oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp mashed garlic, 1 T olive oil, and either a large diced onion or 2T onion powder. Let it cook slow (low heat - just below a boil) stirring it every 15 mins or so, for a couple ours. If you want it thicker, add some tomato paste. It's a pretty good sauce, and easy to make. If you wanna make it a meat sauce, just add however much hamburger you want, and the grease with it (fry it up
                                                                                                                                                                                  Before adding it obviously).

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bacon grease, just like the grease from hamburger or the fat from fowl (chicken) is where all the flavor is. If you add some to gravy it has a much richer, and deeper flavor to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. After frying bacon I pour the grease into a jar, seal with a lid and put it in the fridge. It will keep for a long time. Bacon grease can be used for a lot of things. I love putting it into fresh or canned vegetables while they are cooking or in the case of store bought can vegetables, just add to vegetables before heating. It also is very good for steaming cabbage, cooking potatoes, sauteing mushrooms,asparagus, cooking squash and onions or just adding it to any dish you wish to add a little flavor. As you see I could go on and on with what to use bacon grease for. For another suggestion try adding a little sugar and bacon grease to baby green lima beans. You'll find they are delicious and hard to stop eating. Enjoy!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My mom kept all the bacon fat in an empty soup can on the top of the stove and it was used for everything that was fried - potatoes, pancakes, eggs, onions, dumplings, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I keep a small Ball jar, covered, in the frig when I'm making fried eggs (rarely) or fried potatoes (rarely) but I continue to save and love, love, love the fact that I have that luxury in my frig.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                                                                        My mom always kept her bacon fat in those brown crocks that Wispride comes in. Funny how I feel like I HAVE to store mine in the same crock, I actually searched one out and bought the cheese just for the jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I see it's been a while since anyone posted - my grandparents owned a fruit and dairy farm, and utilized everything and anything (that's farm life!). Bacon fat has been answered by everyone! We also keep bacon fat/chicken/turkey/duck fats as well. I use it as stock bases and for doing pretty much what everything has already said.

                                                                                                                                                                                        As far as keeping the water for the boiled potato's, it's one of a few things - he would add unsalted water it to his garden (natural starch for the summer plants!)
                                                                                                                                                                                        He also used it to make gravy, use it in bread dough's (when asked for regular water he would substitute- at room temperature) and since he was from North Buckinghamshire England he would use it to make Yorkshire pudding.
                                                                                                                                                                                        His Yorkshire pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                        In a deeper cookie sheet put 1/2 bacon 1/2 vegetable oil till it's coated the bottom of the pan and bubbling on 375 to 400 degrees

                                                                                                                                                                                        As that is in the oven, before it's bubbling in a bowl add
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                        4 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 cups milk
                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tablespoons potato water.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Mix until NO LUMPS remain!

                                                                                                                                                                                        When the oil is boiling add the batter salt it and watch it bubble up and brown! No time on this as it varies - make this with pot roast and gravy OMG it's so delicious, I love to eat it plain LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                        Freeze the potato water in ice cube trays and use it when needed :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Fry. In masa for tamales. Hot dressing on wilted spinach salad. I often add into corn tortilla dough for tacos & enchiladas.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Bacon fat one of the best things to brown food on a medium heat in cast iron pan or dutch oven. I try to keep it below the 'smoke point'. Bacon grease with butter flavored with fresh garlic (or EVOO) not burned is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Saved fresh bacon grease heated then flavored with garlic adds flavor to outside of grilled cheese (and other grilled sandwiches like: ham and cheese, Rubin, Pastrami and Swiss, Roast beef dipped in Ajus).

                                                                                                                                                                                          Fried Potato Patty Recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Grate fresh as need. Rinse. Strain to drain. Heat bacon fat stack into a mound. Press down and flip possibly multiple times as cook. Done when both sides golden brown and crunchy. Mashed potatoes in the middle. Plate and eat or reheat. Yum especially with something else or topped. Options: Can put something in the middle before fry - roasted garlic is tasty (like with sour cream and chives on top). Occasionally like 1000-Island. Do enjoy country gravy naked. Fried egg on top of the patty before sauce optional.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Country Gravy Recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Slice onion rinse then fry in bacon grease until onions start to turn golden brown remove to set aside. Fry ground meat into crumbles in bacon grease set aside to drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag. Heat more bacon grease with butter. Add equal part all purpose flour to hot fat then fry for a while as stir with a whisk. Brown and bubbly is best (a good roux). Then add 8-32 oz of 2% milk stirring constantly. Heat to boiling to thicken the white sauce. Season to taste. Then add meat, onions, and many roasted or cooked fresh garlic smashed garlic cloves. Gravy gets thicker as cools. If more thickness is required, can adjust with a small amount of corn starch in water. To be more thin add milk. Once have a thick milk sauce. Serve over biscuits, toast, country fried steak, ground meat burgers, English muffin, or pork sausage patties. Re-heats well. I often freeze individual servings. In non-BPA 'snack-sized' zip-lock-style clear plastic bags. Date with marker before freeze after fill. Burp to remove air just before zip shut.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I am a bacon grease hoarder. After finding this blog, I felt my shame melting away and being replaced with pride.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I fry cabbage in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Potato salad is the best made with crumbled up bacon bits and add about 2 T. of the grease. If you have already used the bacon for something else, its okay. Still add a little bacon grease to the potato salad, You wont really taste bacon but it gives it a lovely flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hungry for bacon and don't have any? Grab a hunk of bacon grease and put it in a skillet. Get it almost sizzling and fry bread. Yummm.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Liquid smoke is a fat-free bacon substitute. Colgin-brand mesquite with their brown label is my favorite. Colgin has many flavors. Online they sell a multi-pack of their different kinds if desire to try them all - enjoyed it here.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Moderation is always best for liquid smoke, do not use too much or will be uneatable. Remember you can always add more. Be careful as some of the other brands suck so will wreck a recipe even if add only a few drops.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Recipe example: Try a few drops of Colgin in sour cream with chives. Let set a day or two and enjoy on potatoes, on Mexican food, or dip celery / carrot sticks in it. I like as a dip even a spread.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Simple and tasty in all kinds of things including dressings, dips, and sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smaki

                                                                                                                                                                                                I love liquid smoke!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love liquid smoke, also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another bacon substitute is Bacos bacon bits. When I have been out of bacon or bacon grease, I have made bacon gravy using Bacos, cooking oil, milk and flour. Bacos are actually made from soy and are kosher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bacos nutritional info
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.generalmills.com/~/media/A...