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what to do with bacon fat?

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i drained off some bacon fat (about 1 cup full) - it is nice and clean - no bits in it - and it is still quite white (i don't like to burn bacon to a crisp).

it is from bacon made at a place that does not use nitrates -

should i freeze it for next winter bird feeder treat on really cold days - or ....

we don't really fry anything usually so is there anything else i can do with it?

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  1. So many uses...

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/442117

    1. Freeze, that stuff is pure gold. Can use to make homefries, sautee veggies, make a warm vinegarette etc.

      1. Bacon mayonnaise.

        1. Bacon cream gravy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Antilope

            That's the second mention of that in the past coupla days. I've never had it or, sadly, even heard of it. Now, I really want it!

            1. re: MGZ

              Mom would make it when we were kids. To me it's a comfort food.

              Here's how I make it. Very similar to sausage gravy.

              Bacon Creamed Gravy

              4 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings (grease)
              4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
              2 cups milk (2% or whole)
              2 Tablespoons butter
              3 or 4 slices of cooked bacon
              about 1/4 teaspoon of table salt or seasoning salt (or to taste)
              about 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

              Melt and heat bacon dripping over medium heat in a deep skillet or saucepan.

              Stir in the flour slowly, keep stirring to avoid lumps.

              Cook the bacon drippings and flour for about 4 or 5 minutes until the mixture is a light brown.

              Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

              Reduce heat to medium low.

              When gravy is bubbling stir in the butter.

              Simmer gravy, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom to avoid scorching. A rubber spatula works well for this.

              Simmer the gravy for about 5 minutes until thickened.

              Crumble the cooked bacon and stir into the gravy.

              Season to taste with salt or seasoning salt and ground black pepper.

              Makes 2 cups.

              Serve over biscuits, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, buttered toast, etc.

          2. I don't fry anything either, but I use it in the place of butter or oil often... usually a tsp or so is all that's needed. A chicken breast sauteed in bacon fat is delicious.

            1. Also Here is another thread with ideas that I started a bit ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875997

              1. I rub it on my chest before going out to a bar - total chick magnet!

                Seriously, though, juliejulez, has some good thoughts.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MGZ

                  I would be the one sidling up to you wondering "What IS it about this guy?"

                  Being Southern-ish, I always keep by bacon grease and use it in a variety of ways - usually just a glop goes in the green beans to add flavor. But a little glop subs for butter when I'm frying eggs or onions. Ditto to the cornbread comment as well.

                2. Tomorrow morning I'm using the bacon fat reserve to prepare red potato home fries. Flavors them nicely and we like the nice crusty bits that form on the skins.

                  1. use instead of butter or shortening in a biscuit dough; replace 1/2 of the fat in flaky pastry; melt and brush on whatever other protein you're roasting or grilling; poach garlic in it and then brush on bread; start sauteed aromatics for any dish with pork... I just keep it in a jar in the fridge.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: KarenDW

                      Me too on keeping some in the fridge all the time. Great as the cooking fat for fried or scrambled eggs, and to sauté aromatics for soups and braises, a small amount gives a lot of flavor.

                      1. re: KarenDW

                        Similar use: I use some bacon fat in pie crust when I'm making a savory pie. Delicious.

                        1. re: pine time

                          That pie crust idea also works beautifully with peach or pecan pies!

                          I love having it on hand for sautéing greens.

                      2. Hmmm.you got me to thinking. Haven't done this yet, but might the next time I do some bacon.

                        1 part bacon grease to 3-4 parts softened cream cheese (or maybe mayo). Mix well, add in some garlic and herbs. Use as a spread/dip. Might be really good on bagels or English muffins or with veggies. Of course, only good for a few days

                        Not sure I'd use for birds You can't control the temps of mother Nature ( if you're in Georgia), and it may end up attracting the wrong type of critters

                        Rubbed over chicken parts or a whole chicken before roasting might be good too

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                          "Rubbed over chicken parts or a whole chicken before roasting might be good too"

                          It is.

                        2. OK, so for what's it's worth, I thought of this thread last night when I approached the last of the scallops I had in the house. I melted about three (or maybe more) tablespoons of leftover grease in the skillet and seared off several of those "cupcakes from the sea". I threw in some fresh tarragon at the very end of the finish basting. We loved it.

                          Next time I get some monk tails, I'm gonna do the same thing.

                          1. I used some when making cornbread once - total yum!

                            1. When our ground venison is ground without added beef fat (depending on which hunter gifts us with venison after it's been processed), bacon fat and finely chopped bacon end pieces are the ingredients that keep my venison meat loaves moist.

                              1. Bacon caramels

                                1. Manhattan Clam Chowder

                                  1. I keep it in the freezer and use it to brown ground beef for chili or chuck for beef stew.

                                    1. Made homemade refried beans last night, and I added a spoonful of bacon fat. Really good.

                                      1. I use bacon fat in my Ceasar Salad dressing. You don't need much but it gives it a lot of flavour. YUM!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Quinnish

                                          Brilliant!

                                        2. I strain it and let it set until it's firmed up slightly. I then spread it atop a sheet of parchment, roll up the parchment and freeze it. That way I can cut off as much as I need.

                                          I tend to use it most in place of oil or butter for frying, sautéing or roasting.

                                          I melt it w a little garlic then toss bread cubes in it then bake to make croutons.

                                          I put a thin layer on less fatty meats to add moisture and flavour (eg. filets for the grill or tenderloin for roasting)

                                          Spread atop bread then grill for sandwiches or burgers.

                                          Great rubbed on whole potatoes before baking or grilling.

                                          Use instead of butter for making grilled cheese.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            There is not a thing you noted that I don't want to eat. Though, admittedly, I've used bacon grease for croutons. But, I'm too old to have not had a grilled cheese sandwich fried in drippings. What's the sound for smackin' your forehead?

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              Enjoy that grilled cheese MGZ. mr bc won't eat them any other way now!

                                              When I told him about this thread he said I should also have mentioned:

                                              - Fried Green Tomatoes are especially good when cooked in bacon fat

                                              - Sauteed mushrooms love bacon fat (especially for burgers or to be served alongside steak)

                                              - French Toast cooked in bacon fat

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                Oh god YES to the mushrooms!!

                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                  Ahh, you have just possibly changed my world! I am a mushroom addict but why did I never think to saute them in bacon fat - an umami paradise! Thanks for the idea.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    debbie and fid, be warned...it's a slippery slope! Once you try mushrooms in bacon fat you'll likely never want them any other way!!

                                                    It's a running joke w a friend of mine who used to be my neighbour. We'd grilled steaks one night and invited them over. I sauteed my mushrooms (in bacon fat) as usual and my friend's husband said "will you marry me?" after his first bite! Every time they've dined w us since my friend asks "are you going to propose again?!!

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      I hate those slopes, I fall down them all every time!

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        I started down that slope 2.5 years ago, quite soon after I left my vegetarian life behind. The only mediator I have is that I'm not head over heels in love with the local bacon in my new town.

                                            2. I just filled up my first jar of bacon fat and am quite proud of my accomplishment. We don't use it much which is why the jar is probably now full, but it's very useful for a lot of things. I mostly use it as a cooking oil when I want a smoky flavor so it's often the fat I choose to saute garlic and onions for cabbage or smothered green beans and collar greens. It's great to sear scallops or chicken breast and my all time favorite which I probably use it for most is to drizzle on popcorn. I store it in the fridge and it keeps well. I haven't noticed any off smells yet.

                                              I just thought of a few more...I think I use it more than I thought...it's great as the fat used to cook eggs, in cornbread, and one of my favorite salad dressings is a warm bacon vinaigrette. The dressing usually involves pan frying bacon and using the rendered fat but I'm not the biggest fan of bacon that I want all that bacon in my salad so sometimes I'll make the dressing and toss in a tsp or so of bacon fat instead of frying up bacon.

                                              1. Literally everything. Fried eggs and hash browns tomorrow? Bacon fat. Roasted veg? Bacon fat. Out of butter? Bacon fat.
                                                In all seriousness most savory dishes could that don't involve super high hear could do with replacing normal oil with a but of bacon fat.

                                                1. Waffles. Just experimented this morning--in place of the vegetable oil, used an equal amount of bacon fat. Heaven.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    Oh yum.