Rendering Bacon Fat

A Simply Recipes reader recently asked in the comments, “Where do I get bacon fat?” Great question, especially considering that we use bacon fat (also called bacon grease) around here in many of the recipes. I remember as a kid looking into the fridge and seeing a jar of solid white stuff and wondering what it was. When my mother told me it was bacon fat, well that somewhat grossed me out for a while, for decades actually. It wasn’t until I got into cooking again in my 40s, that I gained a new appreciation for this readily available, highly flavorful cooking fat. Just last week mom used a little bacon grease to cook up some spring peas. I would have eaten every one of them if manners allowed.

To answer our reader’s question, you make bacon fat by cooking bacon.

Method

Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Lay out several strips of raw bacon. Let the strips cook for 10 or 15 minutes, turning them occasionally. When they are nicely browned and crispy, use tongs or a fork to lift the bacon pieces out of the pan and place them on paper towels (to absorb the excess fat) on a plate. With the remaining fat in the pan, do not pour down the drain! Either soak it up with paper towels (after it has cooled a bit) and discard, or pour into a jar, and put the jar into your refrigerator. The bacon grease will solidify to a slightly off-color white. When you cook bacon again, pull out the jar and add more of the excess fat to it.

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When cooking with bacon fat, spoon it out from the jar. Usually half a teaspoon is all that is needed to give a flavor boost to what you are cooking.

If you make more bacon fat than you end up using, just throw out the whole jar and start a new one. Do not ever pour bacon fat down your sink drain; it will cool and then solidify, stopping up your pipes.

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