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Bacon grease - are you a strainer or a bacon bits keeper?

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My grandmother never strained bacon grease and so I have never done it but with my new recent fascination with the stuff, and thus trying to find new ways to use it I'm reading that a lot of people strain it. Are you a strainer or a bacon bits keeper? Do you find that the bacon bits cause any issues with it perhaps getting rancid more quickly? I think I'll stay in the non-strainer camp, but just wanted to find out what others like to do.

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  1. I strain because it lasts longer.

    The first thing to go rancid are the bacon bits.

    Also, I reserve the bacon bits to mix into my Panko ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Now that sounds like a good idea.

    2. I leave the bits. I have never had bacon grease go rancid.

      A while back I witnessed someone dumping what amounted to probably 2 cups of bacon grease into the garbage. I had to go have a lie down and demanded my husband deliver cold compresses and some sort of chocolate.

      Sorry, had to get that out. I still suffer flashbacks. Talking it out helps.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Sal Vanilla

        I don't strain mine, either - it has never gone rancid on me, either.

        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          I had to clutch my pearls just imagining that. The horror! I don't strain either, and have never had any go rancid. When I last moved some friends came over to help with lamps, framed pictures, fridge stuff etc. that I didn't want to trust to the moving company. I put a (Yankee) friend in charge of the bacon grease. She is still not over it.

          1. re: NonnieMuss

            I love it! I just recently got into bacon grease and I think it'd be on my list of "in the car with me" items during a move.

            1. re: NonnieMuss

              Oh my gosh. Thanks for the laughs... beginning to end.

              1. re: NonnieMuss

                Our refrigerator died on us last week, and one of the first things I rescued was my bacon grease! I think I would have been devastated by losing that more than anything else in my refrigerator. I can buy more milk, but it took me YEARS to get all the layers in my bacon grease container!

                And to answer the OP, I don't strain, but when I'm pouring it off into the container, I stop when it gets too gritty. I don't mind a little bit of "bits" though.

            2. No, I don't strain bacon grease, but I will strain my fry oil.

              I don't keep grease more than a week out. Longer than that I will freeze.

              1. I strain it because the bis tend to burn.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  +1

                  That's exactly what I was going to say.

                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                    What's your method? Does a coffee filter work or will the grease not pass through?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      I use a fine mesh metal strainer. A few very small bits get through, but it's not enough to worry about.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        The filter would eat up the grease! You COULD pour it into a clear container and then when it hardens skim off all that is not bits (bits go to the bottom). THEN use those bits and their grease to make crust or a spinach salad dressing or fry up an egg...

                    2. filter, it's more versitile with out the debris!

                      1. Don't strain......if your keeping it long enough for it to go rancid then you need to cook something with it sooner!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          I don't strain either. And, it freezes very well. Therefore, no going bad.

                          1. re: chloebell

                            Do you keep it in the freezer all the time?

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Sure do. I've never had a problem. :)

                              1. re: chloebell

                                Can you use it straight from the freezer? I just wonder as I'm not familiar with the physical properties of bacon at freezer temperatures.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Yes. For instance, if I'm going to fry eggs and/or bacon, I stick a fork into it to break it up, heat up the pan and there you go!

                                  1. re: chloebell

                                    Easy, peasy thanks

                        2. I don't strain it but I do pour into my grease jar carefully to keep as many of the bits out as possible.

                          I keep it in the refrigerator and have never had any go bad.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kengk

                            That is exactly how I handle it.

                            1. re: kengk

                              This is what I do also.

                            2. I have this 'thingy' ...I think designed for the purpose...it catches bit's and pieces...nothing like a food strainer or coffee filter though. So in broad terms I 'strain' it. ~~ Never had any go rancid.

                              1. I don't strain, and unfortunately, I don't use the refrigerated bacon fat nearly often enough. How long can one expect to keep bit-enhanced bacon fat in the fridge? Weeks? Months? Longer? I usually end up discarding it after several months and starting over.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Tonality666

                                  I've never had it go bad. The canning jar in the frig is at least six months old and I'd have no problem pulling it out and using it.

                                  1. re: Tonality666

                                    We're only just finishing ours up and it's been in the fridge for over a month now, at least. I would definitely judge by smell; if it smells "off" at all, then don't use it, but if nothing's growing and it smells like it's supposed to, then it's fine.

                                  2. I bake mine in the oven and I typically don't have 'bits' so I'll go in the non-strainer camp. I would, however, strain if there were indeed bits. I use the fat for cookie recipes as well as greasing a pan and therefore, I wouldn't want bits.

                                    1. I found a grease container at kitchen store that has a strainer on top. I do use it and I keep mine in the refrigerator. Years ago (many) I kept grease in an old coffee can on the stove. It never went bad.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Chazz27

                                        My mom used to keep two cans on the stove. One can for her current (fresh) lard / Crisco and an empty to poor bacon grease into. Just through a lid on it and kept it there. Never remember any issues with it going bad.