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Apr 14, 2012 12:23 PM

Cleaning Bacon Grease

What is the best way to filter out grease debris?

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  1. Just to get the bacon bits out... I just use a fine screen sieve. If I want a little more filtration, I use cheesecloth or a piece of old t shirt in the sieve. I keep hearing about people using coffee filters but it is too slow for me. I have seen another approach Here is an example:

    I would like to design something like that, sometime.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hank Hanover

      Hello Hank Hanover, Thank you, I went to check out your instructions & that is a great system. I have always used coffee filters and funnel for hot oil and that is how Istill clean it. However, with the bacon fat I remember my mum poured boiling water over the fat to clean it.. I tried that & it was quite watery afterwards? I must have done something wrong. I just thought bacon fat would be a problem.. But it is not. I see I can heat it up and strain it just like the oil. The only thing is I need to get a metal funnel.. Melted a few in the past.. Thank you.

      1. re: dianelady52

        Well, you do realize that you can get special cans with a sieve on the top. They are specially designed for bacon grease.

        1. re: Hank Hanover

          Well you live & learn! I never saw such a thing.. but one lives & learns each day! I am definitely getting ordering some of them.. Thank you so much.. I don't get into kitchen stores often... They are just perfect.. thanks

    2. I have an extra fine mesh nylon coffee filter.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jaykayen

        hello jaykayen, I appreciate your reply. I think that is a good idea instead of coffee filters. I might try to find a fine metal filter, I dont know if there is such a thing. but I have melted funnels & plastic utensils before... It is really nice to be able to throw out a question & have people help... Thank you very much. I found 'chow' by chance & enjoyed reading all the responses to all sorts of queries. So now I am a member. Great site! Thank you for your input.

      2. I can't think of anything "I" use it for that would require filtering, so out of curiosity, why filter it at all?

        (Not only do I not filter, I just keep a never-ending coffee mug going in my fridge. Also, I'm about two steps away from "bona fide redneck" so do, please, keep that in mind.)

        5 Replies
        1. re: shanagain

          We are "brothers from another mother" but my mama used to like to sieve the crumblies out so they didn't burn and char in the next dish.

          1. re: shanagain

            After a while it starts to look dirty & dark.. I have had some in my fridge since last yearor longer and thought it was about time I 'cleaned' it. I remember my mum pouring boiling water over it and it would clean it up to a nice whiter fat.. That's all. But, I see after doing all this investigating that folks just keep it going for years sometimes.. Bacon fat is great for cooking & adding to recipes isn't it? I could not imagine not having any. Thank you for your reply I really appreciate it. shanagain

            1. re: dianelady52

              When our moms and grandmothers kept a tin of bacon grease next to the stove, they were using it a lot. It didn't have time to go rancid. It sure didn't get stored in the fridge for a year.

              Nowadays, we use it so seldom that we have to render some bacon to saute some green beans.

              1. re: Hank Hanover

                I have read a few tips on this site now and I see that folks saute green beans.. I have never done that. I havent lived! Is this an American tradition? Are they blanched first? I must try them.. sounds good.. Thanks to all for the tips..

                1. re: dianelady52

                  Yes. I'm not sure. It may be a Southern thing. It certainly is a pleasant change of pace from boiling them. I can tell you that.

                  Blanch green beans in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes then take them out and submerge them in Ice water for a few minutes if you aren't going to saute them right away. If you are going to saute them immediately, just try to get them as dry as possible.

                  Chop 2 slices of bacon and saute them until the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and put aside.

                  Sweat some minced shallots or maybe a little chopped onion and some minced garlic in the bacon grease until the shallots are translucent. Add the green beans and turn up the heat. Saute the green beans, stirring constantly, until they are as soft as you want them. Add the bacon bits back in and serve. There will be plenty of salt but you will want to add some pepper to taste.

          2. The best way to clean any rendered fat after straining (even using a chinois or coffee filter) is as follows:

            1. Put it in a container you can cover tightly
            2. Add an inch or two of water to it.
            3. Cover and shake vigorously.
            4. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight
            5. Open and take a paring knife to loosen the solid fat around the edges - drain out the water. Then cut the bottom layer of the fat off.
            5. Remelt the fat to pour into its longer term storage container. Refrigerate.

            Basically, the meniscus between the water and the fat will trap the residual solids. Use for home-rendered lard, tallow and poultry fat, et cet.

            1. What a wonderful idea -- I too keep a ramekin of bacon fat in the fridge but always lament the dark charred bits that seem to sink to the bottom each time I add new fat and the old liquefies.

              I honestly never thought of straining it, but I have a small nylon sieve that'd be perfect for the task. Where's that rasher so I can try it out...