After cooking bacon, you’ll likely be left with bacon grease in the pan. Instead of pouring it down the drain, bacon grease can be saved and reused in a variety of ways. Using leftover bacon grease adds great bacon flavor to dishes without needing to cook more bacon. Read on to learn everything you need to know about saving and using bacon grease.
Storing Bacon Grease
Before you can use leftover bacon grease, you need to properly store it. Here are some tips for storing bacon grease:
Let the grease cool completely before storing it. Hot grease can melt or warp storage containers.
Pour the grease into an airtight container, like a mason jar or freezer-safe plastic container. This prevents the grease from going rancid.
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. The chilled temperature helps prolong freshness.
For longer storage, keep bacon grease in the freezer for up to 6 months. The frozen temperature prevents spoilage.
Make sure to label the container with the contents and date. This helps track freshness.
Strain out any bacon bits or debris before storing. Bits can cause the grease to spoil faster.
Properly stored, bacon grease keeps its smoky bacon flavor for a long time. Refrigeration and freezing are key to preventing rancidity.
Cooking with Bacon Grease
Here are some of the tastiest ways to reuse bacon grease:
Bacon grease is excellent for sautéing vegetables. The smoky flavor complements many veggies like Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, and green beans. Simply heat a tablespoon or two of grease in a pan over medium heat. Then sauté the veggies until tender crisp. The vegetables will take on delicious bacon essence.
For the ultimate bacon and eggs, fry your eggs in bacon grease. The hot grease helps fry the eggs perfectly with crispy edges. Eggs fried in bacon grease have far more flavor than eggs fried in plain butter or oil.
Potatoes roasted in bacon grease become irresistibly crispy and salty. Cut potatoes into wedges, toss with bacon grease, and roast at 425°F until browned. The potatoes absorb the savory bacon flavor.
Bacon grease is the perfect base for gravy. Add flour to hot bacon grease to make a flavorful roux. Then simmer with milk or stock to create a delicious gravy for biscuits, mashed potatoes, turkey, or chicken. The bacon fat adds incredible richness.
Use a basting brush to coat meats with bacon grease before grilling. The grease bastes the meat with smoky bacon goodness as it cooks. It’s especially tasty on chicken, steak, pork chops, shrimp, fish, and burgers.
Flavoring Baked Goods
When baking, substitute bacon grease for oil, butter, or shortening. The bacon flavor comes through wonderfully in baked goods like cornbread, biscuits, scones, cookies, cakes, and muffins. Use it just like you would any other baking fat.
With so many uses, you’ll never need to waste bacon grease again!
Disposing of Bacon Grease
If storing and reusing bacon grease isn’t for you, you’ll need to properly dispose of it. Here are some tips:
Never pour grease down the sink. It can clog pipes, leading to plumbing issues.
Allow the grease to fully solidify before throwing it away. Liquid grease could leak out of the trash bag.
Mix the solid grease with other food waste, like coffee grounds or eggshells. This helps contain any leaks.
Place the grease in a sealed container or bag before putting it in the trash. This contains odors and leaks.
Wipe out greasy pans with paper towels first. Then wash normally with soap and water.
For larger amounts, put grease in a container and dispose of it in the trash, not the compost. Composting facilities can’t handle oils.
With proper disposal, you can easily get rid of bacon grease in an environmentally-friendly way.
By saving, reusing, or properly disposing of leftover bacon grease, you can get the most out of this tasty byproduct of cooking bacon. With so many uses, bacon grease is too flavorful to waste!