Rendering Bacon Fat

How ToBacon

A guide for how to render bacon fat for use in cooking.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Rendering Bacon Fat

  • Cook time: 10 minutes

Never pour bacon fat down the drain! It will solidify as it cools and clog your drain. Either soak it up with paper towels and discard or pour the rendered bacon fat into a jar to save.


  • Strips of raw bacon


1 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.

2 Pour the remaining fat in the pan 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.

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.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Rendering Bacon Fat on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


Looking for recipes calling for bacon fat? Use Food Blog Search to look up "bacon fat" and find recipes from hundreds of food bloggers.

Showing 4 of 76 Comments / Reviews

  • Jane R Anderson

    This is the only way to cook calves liver and onions

  • Bob Lintner

    I fry bacon in a fry pan and after the grease cools a little I pour it into a mason jar and then refrigerate it. I use it in recipes and it tastes great. I’m going to season cast iron fry pans after I clean them outside. Some are old Wagners and one is a new Lodge I just ordered. Everything tastes better with bacon!

  • Mark

    One way of getting rid of bacon grease is to spray it on the lawn. It used to drive my neighbor’s dog absolutely crazy!

    I don’t fry bacon anymore. It simply makes no sense. I bake it. You don’t have to deal with all that bacon grease erupting from the frying pan and making a huge mess. You also get bacon that’s cooked more uniformly. Use a boiler pan and you still have all the grease. I drain it off and strain it and it goes into the fridge to live to fight another day.

    I typically buy a package of thick sliced bacon. I will then spread out the slices on a broiler pan with a rack. I set the oven to 300 degrees and bake (not broil) a total time of 90 minutes, flipping the bacon over halfway through (45 minutes). Flipping helps to degrease the bacon.

    You’ll need to monitor the cooking process towards the end. Your oven could be hotter or cooler and some people like bacon crispy and some like it fatty.

  • Jack Johnson

    Bacon grease has been a kitchen essential in my family forever. I’ve only seen one other poster who uses the freezer for storage and that’s how I store mine… with a twist.

    My method:

    1. Pour up skillet grease into a container (I use an empty coffee can under the counter) until I get about 2/3 of a can…3 cups +/-.
    2,. Strain grease through cheesecloth into a 4 cup measuring cup.
    3. Pour grease into plastic ice trays, Each tray holds about one cup. Freeze trays.
    4. Store solid cube sized pieces in ziplock freezer bags.
    5. Long shelf life.
    Easy to make and store,. handy to use. Toss a cube or two into a pot of greens or beans or in the skillet for frying

  • Kristine Henshaw

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned making gravy from bacon drippings. We grew up on it. Make a roux with flour. Add milk. Serve with biscuits or on toast. Yum!

View More or Leave a Comment/Review
Rendering Bacon FatRendering Bacon Fat