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Aug 16, 2010 05:20 AM

Bacon fat

When I was a kid growing up in the southern part of the United States we cooked everything, I mean everything in either Crisco or bacon fat. We had an empty can Folgers coffee next to the stove that the bacon grease got poured into waiting for later use. Fried eggs & pancakes - bacon fat. Fried chicken - bacon fat. Fried okra, onions, peppers, sausages, chicken, hush puppies, cat fish - bacon fat.

Then one day someone told us it was bad for you.

And we discovered cold pressed virgin olive oil.

And we were told that you shouldn't be eating things like fried chicken and hush puppies anyway.

And so now we love our sautéed vegetables served without butter and our baked fish.

But every once in a while I get a craving for biscuits and gravy with fried eggs and sausages - all cooked with a healthy dollop of bacon fat!

Surely I am not alone????

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  1. You are definitely not alone! I use a dab of bacon fat quite often - and I follow weight watchers! Mix a bit with butter the next time you eat corn on the cob, it' s genius.

    1. Everything in moderation. I have a jar of bacon fat in the fridge. You are not alone.

      8 Replies
      1. re: roro1831

        Does it need refrigerating? I've always just left mine out in a jar next to the stove - the easier to access it!

        1. re: KailuaGirl

          Mine is on the counter next to the stove. Has a lid on it.

          1. re: KailuaGirl

            Unless you use it up fairly quickly, I would store it in the fridge so it won't go rancid. It's the same for olive oil and others, however, I don't keep olive oil around long enough for that to be a problem, so I store it inside my pantry.

            1. re: Awwshucks

              You should *never* put Olive Oil in the fridge, quick use or not.

                1. re: pdxgastro

                  There is nothing wrong with keeping olive oil in the fridge. It will partially solidify but it will "melt" when it warms back up to room temp.

                  In fact it will keep longer if you do refrigerate it. Both because of the cooler temp and because it protects it from exposure to light.

                  Once it warms back up it's as good as ever. You can keep a small amount of olive oil at room temp (so it's pourable) and keep the rest in the fridge, it'll last longer and be of higher quality that way.

                2. re: Awwshucks

                  Honestly, I have never heard of bacon grease going rancid. Unlike all of my nut oils and vegetable oils that go rancid no matter where I store them. Dark cabinet, refrigerator, doesn't matter. They still go bad.
                  As for bacon grease, that doesn't ever seem to go bad. My mom, aunts, grandparents kept their bacon grease on the counter or stove constantly, for years even. I have been known to keep it in my cabinet for months or maybe years and rarely touch it. It never changes. My guess is that between the meat being smoked, salted and loaded with.... whatever that preservative is that gives us cancer. I can't think of it right now. That maybe it just never spoils.

                  Of course in my parents young days, smoking and salting was all that was done to their pork. And it kept until next hog killing day. Hog killing was done late fall or winter when the weather was cold. The meat had to last until the next years hog killin time.

                  Anyway. Though bacon grease is very tasty, I have no doubt it is very unhealthy. I only use rarely now for me to eat and when I am cooking for the older members of my family. For they insist that the greens (that would be turnip greens, mustard, collard greens, poke, green beans, etc) and dried beans "just ain't fittn' to eat without being cooked in some bacon grease or a chunk of hog jaw thrown in the pot." They will not eat any of that without the grease to flavor. LOL
                  And yea, some of them are now suffering from poor circulation due to clogged arteries. But, not all of them. At least not that you can tell. Some people seem to eat it all their long lives and not suffer from it.
                  I too grew up eating everything flavored with bacon grease, and ever so often, I just have to have some. Wish I could find bacon that was was cured by just smoke and salt, and leave off the preservatives.
                  You know, if all that bad stuff can preserve bacon that well, you'd think it could preserve us too. :o)

                  Thanks for the memories of the bacon grease sittn' on the stove. I am thinking of resurecting that practice at my house.(just for occasional use and to season my cast iron with) I have not seen a grease container in years, except at flea markets and antique stores. I just keep mine in a fruit jar. I think I am going to switch to a wide mouth one though. I think it would be easier to pour it in.

            2. About once a year I crave a good calves liver meal amd the liver HAS to be fried in bacon grease. Niether one of those items is good for you but a couple of times a year won't hurt. It took me 20 years to wean myself off of lard for Mexican food but I do cheat once or twice a year for my cheese enchiladas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                New studies seem to indicate that lard isn't so bad for you! Go figure!

              2. You surely are NOT alone.

                I don't like bacon fat with veggies, but for things like corn bread, potatoes, and liver and onions, it's indispensable.

                We are all going to die one day, and until that one day comes I'm going to make sure I absolutely maximize each bite I take.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I agree. This weekend I cooked bacon, and then fried the potatoes in the fat. Yummy! But not something I would do every day, or even every weekend.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Sounds like a plan. The way I see it, I can die happy, or I can die hungry. I'll take quality over quantity.

                  2. At least you know what is in the bacon fat. If it's imported cold pressed virgin olive oil who knows what it is adulterated with. A recent study showed 90% of imported extra virgin olive oils didn't meet the international standard for extra virgin.