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HELP!!! I am having difficulty finding bacon that renders any bacon fat lately. I fry up 1 lb of bacon and barely get 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease. I’ve noticed this in 2 different brands that I used to use. ODDLY, the bacon looks the same with what “appears to be” lots of white fat but 1 pound no longer produces over 1/4 to 1/3rd of a cup of grease, just a couple tablespoons. Is there a brand that is still unadulterated?
Hi Eva! It could be that the pan is getting too hot, so the bacon is cooking unevenly and part of it is burning. Or you could try my favorite way to cook bacon: in the oven. It’s hands off, which is great. I’d recommend our recipe https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_bacon_in_the_oven/ ! Please let us know how you do. I have also found that using local and/or organic and/or bacon (not cheap, I know, and I don’t always buy it) often yields more fat.
This is the only way to cook calves liver and onions
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!
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.
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.
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
Thank you for sharing your method Jack! Sounds like a convenient way to store bacon fat.
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!
I am from Georgia, Im 48 and my parents cooked this way my whole childhood!! Its just how we do it, I agree with lots of posters about the old days, and how no refrigeration was available. It wont kill you, but I agree that if you use is slowly in the frig is best. The bacon flavor adds so much to veggies like sauteed cabbage, squash, rice, you name it. hope this helps. Everything in moderation is a great policy.
My mother always saved Bacon fat & kept it in the fridge. However, when the fat started to look dark she would clean it. I remember her using boiling water & pouring it over so as to push the dark dirty bits through, then once the fat was set again she would pour off any liquid and scrape away the dark mess that had settled underneath. Is this the correct way to clean the fat? I have tried this method but it seems I make it far too soft & it does not look white.
From Keeping Food Fresh by Bailey, 1989.
“For best results, [animal] fats should be rendered for storage. Cut the solid
fat into cubes and melt it very slowlyin a heavy pan with a small amount of
water. When the fat is entirely liquid, .strain it through cheesecloth. You
can line a sieve with the cheesecloth and pour the warm fat through it into
a wide-mouthed container. Cover the container and refrigerate up to six
Any bacon drippings you save should also be strained through cheesecloth.
Another method is to pour the drippings into a clean glass jar and
wait for the sediment to sink to the bottom. When the drippings have
cooled and solidified, you can skim the clear fat off thetop and discard the
cloudy brown dregs. Store the clear fat, well covered, in the refrigerator
up to six months.”
Hi Jeff – I like the browned bits. They’re tasty and they store fine surrounded by the fat. They’re fine to include when using bacon fat for most cooking purposes. Now if you want to render fat for lard, for making pastry crusts, that’s another matter. But for that I wouldn’t use bacon fat, which is salted and smoked, but use pork back fat, or leaf lard, the fat that surrounds the kidneys. ~Elise
Oh Elise! This is an absolutely wonderful post. I just saw the link over at your post about greens. I am so happy to see folks cooking with bacon grease. It is good for you.
I have to tell you that I was trying to make the chopped chicken liver recipe from the Shiksa in the Kitchen blog but I did not have any schmaltz! You should have seen my butcher’s face when I asked him if I could buy the skin and the fat of the chicken. Boy oh boy…did that make me realize I wasn’t in New York anymore! LOL!
In any event, I saved up chicken fat and skin each time I made chicken until I had enough to render to get about a cup of schmaltz. Oh how delicious the chopped chicken livers were.
Thanks again for all the great recipes you share. You’re site is lovely.
Love and God Bless…and Continued Success,
From a cook’s perspective: Onions sauteed in bacon grease is absolutely necessary to start refried beans, and more-or-less necessary for chili. I’ve heard from many old-time sources that pie crusts are best half butter, half lard, but I’ve always been a little scared to try (and my butter crusts turn out very well, thank you).
From a biochemist’s perspective: Bacon grease will not support microbial growth, so “going bad” and giving food poisoning isn’t something you need to worry about. How long can you keep sugar without it going bad? A lot of microbes can grow on sugar or fat, but they need lots of water to do so. and if you remember your first lesson of chemistry (water and oil don’t mix) your jar of fat is a barren wasteland to microbes looking for home. Sugar on the other hand absorbs water from the air and will eventually grow mold, but this takes a long time. Conclusion: bacon grease is more shelf-stable than sugar.
The rancidity we hear about is actually a chemical breakdown of the fat or other impurities in the oil. This is much more common in liquid vegetable oils and oils that have already been heated up to very high temperatures (smell a grease trap from a restaurant some day). For some reason, rendered pig fat (bacon grease and lard) and clarified butter (ghee) are very heat stable and don’t go rancid quickly after frying like vegetable oil. This is possibly due to the stabilizing effect of cholesterol.
Elise, for shame!!
“Throw away the jar”??? No, never, never! If your jar is getting a little full, just use a couple spoonfuls to make popcorn. I can’t keep bacon grease in my house at all, considering how much we all like popcorn made with bacon fat.
I do bacon fat and I also render chicken fat.
I peel the skin off of the chicken legs and render it slowly in the pan, while roasting the legs in EVOO and herbs.
The chicken skin turns to cracklings – YUM! And the fat I store, covered , in the fridge and use for many things! Lasts forever!
You have not eaten an egg until you have eaten one cooked in chicken fat!
I also save the beef fat when I roast it and it hardens in the fridge. It is awesome for Yorkshire Pudding or popovers!
BTW – my total cholesterol is 117! My ‘bad’ cholesterol is 57.
Rendered fat is good for you!
I would love an expert answer on how long refrigerated bacon fat can be fit for consumption.
so far i heard 2 month maybe and smell it, you’ll know. Arrrg!
A 12-year-old girl invented something called MAKIN’ BACON. Cooks the bacon in the microwave over T-bars inserted in a catch pan and the bacon grease accumulates in the pan. GREAT tasting bacon and great way to harvest the renderings! Pour it out of the corner of the pan into a jar. EasyEasyEasy.
I have to say, that with the focus away from fatty foods, bacon has become a four letter word. My dad who grew up in Louisiana, made the best home fries that I have ever had – and the only way you can get that crisp is with bacon fat.
And an egg fried in bacon, well, it’s unforgettable…
~Banned in Boston
Just ran across this as I was trying to figure out what to do with the Kosher bacon fat I’ve saved from making my Kosher bacon. Yes, I’m a Jew who loves bacon!!!! I don’t make it often, but when I do – YUM!
I have a Jet Stream Oven, one of those old infomercial contraptions that I cannot live without (can’t even tell you how many I’ve had over the years). Anyhow, I make bacon in there, and it comes out fantastic (flat and crispy). All the fat falls to the tray underneath. Usually I’ll throw it out, but last two times I saved it. This latest batch I filtered it with a coffee filter in to a jar – clear, pure fat – but now, what to do with it all?
Does anyone know of a good website that has different recipes using bacon fat/grease? I’d like to find a few things to make that only uses a little bit for flavor. As I know it clogs the pipes in the sink, I’m afraid using too much may cause the pipes in my body to clog!
I’ve been using my dehydrator lately and put the cooked, crisp bacon in there. I’m not sure if it does much than crisp it up a tad more than it is already, but there’s not a hint of any grease at all when it’s done. It’s delish on pizza – made a bacon cheeseburger pizza the other night.
Anyhow, any suggestions to recipes would be greatly appreciated, if you know of one!
I suggest doing a search on Food Blog Search for bacon fat or bacon grease. You’ll find plenty of recipes. ~Elise
My mom kept all fats (bacon, chicken, EVERYTHING) all in one pot. She said it was wasteful to throw it out. She used a metal coffeepot like used in camping over cookfires. She kept it in a cupboard next to the stove and used it for most of her cooking. She never kept it in the fridge. Looking back, I’m not so sure that was a good idea…
Another good “warm” salad is dark greens, sauteed onions, bacon, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and candied pecans. I always sort of make a combination dressing of the bacon fat and olive oil the onions are sauteed in. You can pour straight on or mix with a little sugar. This concoction is sooo good, I ate it like once a week when I first discovered it.
Did anyone have a definite answer on how long the bacon fat will keep in the fridge? I have had a container full for a while now (like more than 6 months) and am wondering if I should toss it and start over. It doesn’t smell bad though…
I always keep bacon grease in a jar. I add a couple spoonfuls when cooking fresh green beans, navy beans, and just about anything that needs a little flavor help. I’ve never used it to grease a cornbread pan, I use lard, but I know my mother use to pour a little over spoonbread before baking and also to fry potato pancakes. It was also used in my mom’s kitchen to fry corn meal mush and and to brown rice for her version of dirty rice. Hmmmm….bacon, chicken livers, pecans, spring onions, rice…so good. I love this sight! I appreciate finding new foods to make and sharing my old recipes with others.