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Jul 10, 2013 10:40 PM

Bacon grease

One of my roomies is on a bacon binge. I've been cooking bacon too -- I like bacon bits in my green pea salads, so I fry up a whole pound of bacon and freeze the crispy bits. We have been making a lot of bacon grease.

We're not supposed to pour it down the drain, as it clogs the condo drains. We've been pouring the grease into a jar on the kitchen counter, then throwing out the jar when it's full. I wrap it in paper towels, two plastic bags, and put it in the condo dumpster.

I don't like doing that either; a lot of the grease stays liquid, and the jar will doubtless break when the garbage is picked up, drenching everything in grease. It is true that it will go to a garbage-to-energy plant, but still ...

Does anyone have any ideas as to safe and green disposal of bacon grease?

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  1. First of all, bacon grease is great for frying other things like potatoes, onion, chicken......lots of people keep it on the counter but I put the jar in the refrigerator.

    Search the Home Cooking board for threads on baking bacon, which you may find gives you more even cooking, with flat, well-rendered rashers.

    If you still want to toss it, put it in a plastic jar, not glass, or in a plastic bag filled with cat litter or shredded paper.

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      If I put it in a plastic yogurt tub, still hot, it will melt the tub. Perhaps a tin can, if I could find a lid that fit ...

      I don't want to turn on the oven just to make bacon bits. Heating up the oven in my electric stove uses a lot of electricity, which is extremely expensive here in Honolulu.

      I don't do much frying at all. When I do saute -- say, a sofrito -- I use canola or olive oil. I cook vegetarian and East or South Asian, for the most part, and bacon grease is not the best thing for a stir-fry or curry :) I have a container of bacon grease in the refrigerator, been there forever, never used.

      1. re: Felila

        If I'm not keeping it I pour it in a small bowl until it solidifies (put in freezer to speed up the process), then scoop it out and throw in the trash.

        1. re: Felila

          I was going to suggest haunting local thrift stores--every one here in the Ozarks has bacon grease jars fairly often--but if that's not part of Hawaiian culture your mileage may vary. They can be metal or ceramic; heck, coffee mugs work.

          Bacon grease is used hereabouts for seasoning beans as well as for the usual frying applications; one could probably season lentils, split peas, anything along those lines during the cooking.

          Otherwise you can always make candles:

          Edit: another source, as commenters on the lifehacker recipe seem to think it's questionable:

          1. re: Felila

            I have no way of testing but I would think that the 15 min in a 375F oven that it takes to bake a whole pound of bacon at once (cooked bacon lasts for months in the fridge; freezing is unnecessary) uses less electricity than frying a pound on the stove, which means doing it in several batches. No grease spattering kitchen surfaces, either.

          1. re: Soul Vole

            PLUS FRIKKEN 1 ! Your damn iphone battery is more harmful to the environmnet!

            1. re: Soul Vole

              Plus a lot! There are some places - my city is not yet one of them, alas - where you can put basically any food scraps in a special composting bin to be picked up by the city's composting program.

              Otherwise, I put mine into a metal can left over from tomatoes, keep the can in the fridge, and either use the fat for cooking, or when I get too much for one can, put in the regular garbage. The critters in the landfill will appreciate it :)

              eta: when it comes down to basics, pork fat isn't that far from the current foodie fave, duck fat, so use it for frying potatoes, etc.

            2. Put a tablespoon of it in your coffee in the morning. Or pour it over ice cream as a dessert in the evening.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jpc8015

                Pork butter makes everything taste better...

              2. 1. Ask around your condo until you find someone (non-Jewish, non-Muslim, non-veg*n) from the American South.

                2. Give them your bacon grease. They should thank you.

                1. YOU'RE THROWING IT AWAY?????? That's just WRONG!! It's great for cooking eggs in. It's the ONLY thing my grandmother ever used to shallow fry crab cakes. Great for making home fries. Make REAL popcorn with it... a few T in bottom of heavy pot (WITH LID) and sprinkle on kernels. Will pretty much last "forever" in fridge.