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Favorite uses of bacon fat/grease

juliejulez Nov 2, 2012 09:05 AM

So I have a container of bacon fat/grease/whatever you want to call it that I've collected. There's not a lot, maybe 1/2 or 3/4 of a cup. Other than making potatoes or eggs, what are some of your favorite uses of bacon fat?

Like for example, can I use it for cooking a steak in a cast iron pan? I also have a spice cake recipe that calls for bacon fat but I can't have a cake sitting around my house, there's only 2 of us.

  1. biondanonima Nov 2, 2012 09:15 AM

    Yes you can use it for steak. I love it for roasting vegetables, general sauteing of anything that could use a little porky goodness, and most especially for making popcorn. There really isn't anything I don't love with a little bacon grease!

    1. j
      jester99 Nov 2, 2012 09:18 AM

      basically anything, i used it in bread before, roasted veggies or even just sauteeing veggies. I like cooking cabbage with a bit of bacon fat, because it gives it a bit of smokiness to it.

      1. tcamp Nov 2, 2012 09:45 AM

        If you really want to make the cake, a dense, unfrosted cake cut into squares freezes nicely. Just thaw a square when you want a small sweet treat.

        Bacon fat - fried eggs, potatoes, many other veggies, fried rice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tcamp
          pine time Nov 18, 2012 09:07 AM

          Only 2 of us, also, and I often make just 1/2 a cake recipe. Bake in an 8" pan. When cool, cut the layer in half (vertically!) and frost, then stack. Voila, 1/2 a cake. Even then, tho, sometimes I'll have to freeze the last couple of slices.

          Bacon fat: required to put a spoonful into simmering green beans.

        2. b
          Bigley9 Nov 2, 2012 10:39 AM

          Grilled cheese in bacon fat is good! Just about anything benefits from bacon!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bigley9
            lynnlato Nov 3, 2012 10:02 AM

            Bacon fat grilled cheese sandwiches aren't just good - they're DAMNED GOOD!

            I also fry potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, Hell.... just about anything that calls for oil or butter. Did I mention hot bacon dressing? ;-)

            1. re: lynnlato
              shoo bee doo Feb 11, 2013 01:25 PM

              My toaster broke, so now I toast my bread in butter or bacon grease in a cast iron pan. Delicious. I don't think I'll buy another toaster.

              1. re: shoo bee doo
                lynnlato May 23, 2013 11:06 AM

                Nice! I just made the kids bacon fat grilled cheeses yesterday in my cast iron skillet. I told them that there was a whole lotta love in the sammich. ;-)

          2. j
            jeanmarieok Nov 2, 2012 12:02 PM

            Cabbage and onion in bacon grease is delicious.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jeanmarieok
              scunge Nov 2, 2012 12:24 PM

              Corn bread .Bacon fat in the skillet and in the batter. With greens or beans .and hot sauce .Trout or any fish especially when camping.Fried tube biscuits or hush puppies.

              1. re: scunge
                jeanmarieok Nov 2, 2012 01:19 PM

                Scunge - I'd eat that. I wish I had a plate full of all that right now!

                1. re: scunge
                  Betty Nov 2, 2012 04:07 PM

                  Yes, corn bread. Melted in an otherwise empty cast iron skillet in the oven then pour in the batter. It will spit and sizzle and give the best crunchy crust ever.

                  A little bit when making mayo is good, and of course in cooked greens. I always have a jelly jar full in the fridge.

                  1. re: scunge
                    Tripeler Nov 2, 2012 05:53 PM

                    +1 on scunge's recommendation for bacon fat in corn bread. I also use corn meal to dust cut-up okra with and fry it in bacon fat. Not only does this cooking style cut the slime, it also results in a rich, flavorful crust.

                2. letsindulge Nov 2, 2012 12:08 PM

                  Pan-fried or roasted potatoes, sauteed greens, and making a roux for gumbo.

                  1. l
                    Lady_Tenar Nov 2, 2012 12:14 PM

                    Refried beans, Creole red beans, almost any kind of beans! Beans love pork fat. Also greasing pans for cornbread and corn muffins, making roux for gumbo, and chilling it and using it as the shortening for baking powder biscuits.

                    1. Nastallion Nov 2, 2012 12:53 PM

                      Agreed to the natural ideas of eggs, potatoes and vegetables. However, I am surprised no one mentioned that bacon fat makes those hard-to-love veggies fantastic.

                      Starting a pan of bacon fat for your Brussels Sprouts is a hands down winner in my kitchen. Everyone is always surprised that they love brussels sprouts when I make them this way.

                      The other thing that seems to work well is using it lightly on a skillet when you make pancakes. The aroma is just incredible. Essence of bacon without bacon.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Nastallion
                        aching Nov 2, 2012 04:01 PM

                        Ooh, Brussels sprouts - I think that's what I'm going to do this weekend!

                        1. re: Nastallion
                          mwhitmore Nov 2, 2012 04:38 PM

                          Is that it? Sauteed Brussels Sprouts in bacon grease? Slow or fast? Blanching, shredding, liquid, anything?

                          1. re: mwhitmore
                            Nastallion Nov 2, 2012 04:54 PM

                            Just about it. First I quarter them and give them a rinse. The skillet should be hot with bacon fat when you toss the sprouts in. Let them go till they brown. Salt to taste. If you want to kick it up a notch just a sprinkle of red chile flake.

                            1. re: Nastallion
                              pine time Nov 18, 2012 09:10 AM

                              Also consider throwing in a handful of carmelized bacon itself (I use maple syrup). Even I like Bussels cooked this way.

                            2. re: mwhitmore
                              aching Nov 4, 2012 02:33 PM

                              I did mine last night - I quartered them, sautéed them in the bacon fat until they started to brown, added a half cup of white wine and let them steam until tender, then added a splash of balsamic, S&P, and red chili flakes. I served them sprinkled with Parmesan. Delicious!

                            3. re: Nastallion
                              Shadmin Feb 10, 2013 12:09 AM

                              Asparagus is fantastic when sauteed in bacon fat, try it with some lemon pepper or paprika with it!

                              1. re: Shadmin
                                pine time Feb 10, 2013 01:34 PM

                                Intriguing. I'm guessing it would work just as well with roasted asparagus with bacon fat? I now use olive oil, but can see the bacon adding great flavor.

                            4. weezieduzzit Nov 2, 2012 01:17 PM

                              Its great in dark leafy greens like kale and chard.

                              1. e
                                ellabee Nov 2, 2012 02:57 PM

                                My most frequent uses:

                                - A tiny smidge to grease the cast iron skillet that will sear pork chops.

                                - A couple of teaspoons to saute chopped onions and bell pepper for German potato salad.

                                - A couple of teaspoons for sweating chopped onions as the base for rot kohl (German red cabbage cooked with onions and thinly sliced tart apples, with balsamic vinegar as a finish).

                                And, as others have said, in the skillet in which cornbread is baked. Nothing leaves the skillet silkier than bacon fat.

                                1. juliejulez Nov 2, 2012 03:12 PM

                                  Thanks all! So many great ideas! I'm trying to clear out my fridge/freezer/pantry to prep for thanksgiving foods, so there's definitely a lot here I can use. I have stewmeat in the freezer that I can make beanless chili with and serve it with cornbread, also have some frozen brussel sprouts I can saute with, and a couple bags of pork chops also. The grilled cheese and popcorn ideas are great too!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                    Moggiesx2 Nov 3, 2012 09:50 AM

                                    Fried bread just one side with a poached or fried eg on top Delish.

                                  2. pinehurst Nov 2, 2012 03:15 PM

                                    I use it when cooking beef liver sometimes when I don't have so much as a pat of butter in the house. It plays well with onions and....more bacon...for liver. Sigh.

                                    1. petek Nov 2, 2012 03:21 PM

                                      French toast fried/cooked in bacon fat is real good!!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: petek
                                        juliejulez Nov 4, 2012 11:16 AM

                                        I did this this morning as I already had french toast on the menu. It was delicious!

                                      2. chowser Nov 2, 2012 04:02 PM

                                        pan fry chicken nuggets
                                        fried rice

                                        1. mariacarmen Nov 2, 2012 04:07 PM

                                          did anyone see this: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30155-bac...

                                          you'd probably need more bacon fat, tho...

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                            biondanonima Nov 2, 2012 04:28 PM

                                            I've made it before - I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. Because bacon grease is solid at fridge temp, it made the mayo weirdly hard out of the fridge and it had a very heavy, greasy mouthfeel. And this is coming from someone who enjoys eating butter straight up.

                                            1. re: biondanonima
                                              mariacarmen Nov 2, 2012 04:53 PM

                                              oh, that's not good!

                                              i had no idea, kindred spirit.... i'm a straight butter-eater too.

                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                mwhitmore Nov 2, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                I would think this is more like a Hollandaise than a Mayonnaise. Good warm when you make it (fat cooled only a few minutes, so still warm) but no good to save and refridgerate. I haven't tried it but it is now on my to-do list.

                                          2. thymetobake Nov 2, 2012 05:26 PM

                                            Flour tortillas. Either use in the dough for home made, or grease the skillet when heating up store bought. Makes a lot of difference.

                                            1. k
                                              kseiverd Nov 2, 2012 05:31 PM

                                              After a use cast iron, and if I have to rinse it out rather than just a paper towel wipe, will get the pan HOT on burner (to dry it completely) and then a dab of bacon grease rubbed around to recoat.

                                              My Grandmother always used bacon grease to shallow fry crab cakes... only way I do them.

                                              Try making REAL popcorn with BG instead of oil.

                                              Actually had "breakfast for dinner" tonight... pancakes. Recipe called for 2 T oil... I subbed melted BG.

                                              Fry diced up potatoes/onions/carrots in BG... I call that "hash browns".

                                              Remember "old" lady nextdoor when I was a kid. She'd make fried cabbage. She'd start with a few strips of bacon... cooked till crispy, pulled outta pan and crumbed to be tossed over top. Then lots of chunked up cabbage (onion can be added) in sam big HOT cast iron skillet till "done" and a bit browned. Crumbled bacon tossed back in and a liberal splash of cider vinegar.

                                              1. g
                                                gordeaux Nov 2, 2012 05:44 PM

                                                Add a good spoonful of it to your normal oil just before throwing veggies into the wok for a stir fry.

                                                1. JonParker Nov 2, 2012 06:09 PM

                                                  A couple of weeks ago I posted this recipe that specifically calls for a roux of flour and bacon drippings: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/874080

                                                  1. s
                                                    sandylc Nov 2, 2012 06:49 PM

                                                    I drizzle it over washed/torn kale pieces before toasting them into chips.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                      Lady_Tenar Nov 2, 2012 07:26 PM

                                                      ooh! What a brilliant idea! The oven is not too hot for the drippings? I tend to make kale chips at a pretty high temp so they get nice and crispy but I'm worried the drippings would smoke and/or give the kale a nasty taste if the oven is too high. What's your method?

                                                      1. re: Lady_Tenar
                                                        sandylc Nov 2, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                        425 for about 10 minutes. I only use a little bit of bacon fat. Keeps well in a glass container in the fridge. Really light and crisp! And I love the irony of bacon and kale, healthwise....!

                                                    2. jmcarthur8 Nov 3, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                      Hominy cooked in bacon fat is one of my morning comfort foods.

                                                      1. hotoynoodle Nov 3, 2012 07:24 AM

                                                        you can use it to grease the pan for scallops, shrimp or salmon too.

                                                        it keeps in the freezer for about forever too.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                          Lady_Tenar Nov 3, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                          Ooh, I forgot about scallops! You can use it to make a warm bacon vinaigrette for the scallops served over greens too.

                                                        2. Berheenia Nov 3, 2012 07:44 AM

                                                          I would never think of making chili or beef stew without having bacon fat to saute the meat and onions in. I keep it in pyrex custard dishes in the freezer.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                            Lady_Tenar Nov 3, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                            Another excellent use that I forgot to mention! Although if I don't have bacon fat on hand for chili, I will just use lard. Pork fat is a necessity, though.

                                                          2. Antilope Nov 3, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                            Bacon gravy over biscuits or potatoes or even toast. Made just like you would make sausage gravy (hot drippings, flour, milk, salt & pepper and even a pat of butter as a finishing touch). Crumble some bacon into the gravy.

                                                            1. gansu girl Nov 3, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                              I grew up eating lots of things cooked in bacon grease - my parents were cheap (ahem, "frugal"). All the suggestions for greens are great, but the number one thing I used to love as a kid, and still crave, is popcorn popped in bacon grease. It is just so flippin' good. But really, in my mind, there is not much that a lil' kiss of bacon won't improve!


                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: gansu girl
                                                                Chef_Ben Nov 17, 2012 09:55 PM

                                                                New England clam chowder is one, add some in that, it will make it loads better. Also use it in red sauce. To make a simple red sauce in minutes, get a 24 oz can of tomato sauce, a tiny can of tomato paste, dried oregano, basil, garlic powder and onion powder. Heat up the sauce, add about 1tsp basil, a dash of oregano, 1T onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 to 2 T bacon fat, and drizzle a little olive oil in it for good measure. Let it all simmer a few hours, then add the tomatoe paste to thicken if desired. Just add, then whisk till it breaks up, keep doing that until its thick enough for you.

                                                                Bacon fat coats the mouth, that's why it's so good, same with butter. Use it in gravies, soups, and sauces. It's hard to go wrong.

                                                                Just remember, health food nuts that preach how horrible it is, are simply nuts. No food will kill you, just eat if in moderation. Steak, bacon, pork chops, bread, it's all health food just don't gorge yourself. You could eat 4 or 5 pieces of crisp bacon a day every day of your life and live well into your 80's or 90's. eat 2 or 3 pounds of bacon a day and you'll have a heart attack before your 40th bday lol. A trick to getting full with less food, use smaller plates. The food on the plates, even if it's a smaller serving will seem like it's a lot more than it is. Before you know it, you'll be eating less and won't be able to come close to eating large servings of anything.

                                                              2. tcamp Feb 10, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                Throw some in the pan whenever you are preparing to sautee onions.

                                                                Fried rice.

                                                                Warm bacon dressing for spinach or kale salad.

                                                                1. l
                                                                  laserbeams Feb 11, 2013 01:40 PM

                                                                  OMG we make these gingerbread cookies with the bacon fat that are simply amazing!!


                                                                  1. l
                                                                    lcarls May 20, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                    Sorry I'm so late to the game! After reading the replies, there is one important suggestion I feel is left out: using Bacon love on the skin and inside the cavity of a roast chicken or turkey. Also, use it in the pie crust (in addition to butter/lard) for your quiche!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: lcarls
                                                                      Bigley9 May 22, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                                      Oh and you reminded me that there are wonderful ginger snap recipes that call for bacon fat!

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      pine time May 23, 2013 09:42 AM

                                                                      I'm making flour tortillas today, and I'm subbing part of the lard with bacon fat.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: pine time
                                                                        jeanmarieok May 23, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                        I like it in scallion pancakes....

                                                                      2. rcallner May 23, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                                        Here's an unusual one. I found that when horses scrape their coat raw (ill-fitting tack, mishap with a fence, etc), smearing some bacon grease on the bald spot helps it come back thicker and in the right color. Strange, but true.

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