I have always been a lover of bacon because of its fantastic taste, and we eat it regularly. While it was once considered a slice of cheap meat for breakfast, it's now quite expensive.
This is why I make sure I make maximum use of my bacon and every bit of it worth the money. I've learned that the best way to do this is by saving the bacon drippings and using it as grease in my cooking.
I'm glad I've started it! It not only saves my grease money but also adds lots of flavor to my dishes!
If you wonder how and where I use the bacon grease, well, I use it for cooking my morning eggs. I use it to sauté veggies and even use it to sauté some meats like pan-fried pork chops.
I have also found out it gives a great taste to soups and stews I start with it. You can also make some excellent gravy with it to serve on toast or biscuit.
How to get the bacon grease
You get bacon grease as you cook it. So try frying it in a skillet on the stove and then keep the cooked bacon aside and pour the rendered fat into a jar.
The other alternative you have is to bake the bacon in the oven.
I especially love doing this. I bake the bacon and then take out the cookie sheet, keep the bacon aside, and then pour the leftover grease into a jar.
I store all the bacon grease in a glass jelly jar every time I cook bacon. I use the fat in my cooking and clean the jar out every six months to start again.
I suggest and find that glass jars are the best for storing the grease because it retains the flavor, and is easy to clean.
Options in storing bacon fat
Once you have your bacon fat stored in glass jars, next are its storage options.
1 Keep it on the counter.
You can always keep it next to the stove on the counter. If you do this, do first strain all the bits and pieces of bacon from the grease before storing it. You can do it using a strainer and cheesecloth. The fat stays good for about a month on the counter, after which it goes rancid.
2 Storing in the fridge
I prefer storing my grease in the fridge, out of the way, without any cluttering of counters. Besides, it also lasts longer in the refrigerator for as long as six months.
You now know why I always have a store of bacon drippings in my fridge, where I keep adding to it every time I cook bacon. I then use what I have every six months and clean the jars to start over.
3 Storing in the freezer
Freeze the bacon grease if you don't use it often or if you want it to last longer. The bacon fat lasts for as long as a year in the freezer. I, however, have never frozen bacon grease because we never have a chance to do so!
However, I agree that it's a great storage option if you won't be home for a few months, and have some leftover bacon grease.
How long bacon grease lasts
Bacon's shelf life depends on how it's made and stored. You need to know how long the grease is useful if you want to experience its best taste quality.
Homemade bacon grease generally lasts for six months. However, store-bought fat lasts for as long as printed on its packaging. It usually lasts for a year if stored in the refrigerator.
However, this is an estimation, and you can use it for an additional 3-6 months as cooking oil.
Besides, homemade bacon grease's useful life is challenging to detect. It's because we tend to keep adding drippings or fats to the same jar, making it challenging to reach rough shelf life estimation.
Does bacon grease need to be refrigerated?
It all depends on how you stored it.
If you keep it at room temperature, then it will last for at least six months. However, it will last for a year if stored in the refrigerator.
Does the bacon oil subside?
Now, if you wonder if bacon oil subsides, there's nothing wrong in wondering because you need to avoid disputes, mainly because you will be ingesting bacon fat.
The years or months it lasts are all estimates, and there's a possibility of it ending up less effective in cooking.
Bacon grease generally has a shelf life of 2 years. There is a risk of fat losing its quality after these two years.
So if you want an answer to your question, well, yes, bacon grease does subside and get spoiled at a certain point in time.
Does bacon grease go bad?
No, unlike other foods, fats don't spoil because bacteria don't live in fat. But it may go rancid as a result of a chemical reaction wherein fat molecules break down.
Exposure to oxygen, light, and heat are the most significant factors for rancidity.
Fats go rancid faster if more light gets in. Rancidity also occurs when the fat is oxidized. The less exposure to air, the fat's lifespan can last longer.
You can minimize these issues by transferring the fat into a tight-closed, opaque container. Use an amber color glass container when storing the liquid oils to prevent more lights from hitting the fats.
While you can use dark-colored bottles for liquid oils, bottles are not practical for solid fats.
You can instead just strain the grease into a jar, close it and store in a cupboard. The grease's shelf life should be for a few months or at least a year.
You don't even have to worry if you get something nasty if the grease goes bad without realizing it. It's because rancid fat isn't dangerous, so it's ok if you invest it in small amounts.
There's no problem using the grease, as long as it doesn't' stink. Throw it out the moment you realize it stinks.
However, all of this applies only on pure, strained fat. Even tiny pieces of fried meat leftover in the fat are a safety risk.
How to cook with bacon grease
I prefer using bacon grease for all my dishes because it adds an entirely different flavor to my recipes. And if you ask me, bacon grease is a way better fat than any other regular cooking oil or spray.
The only reason there's no bacon grease if I'm cooking something that doesn't compliment the bacon's flavor. If I go for a vegetarian dish, I use coconut oil then.
I store any remaining bacon grease after cooking in a mason jar, and place or leave it on the kitchen counter. I move it in the jar if and when we will be afar for some time.
You can cook eggs in bacon fat to enjoy its wonderful flavor. I also use bacon grease to make pan-fried potatoes and soup. The base of most of my soups comprises of chopped onions and garlic fried in bacon fat.
You can then add some water or broth to the dish, and the remaining ingredients.
Take a look at this video, presenting you with additional ideas for cooking with bacon. I'll even bet that you can make a plate of delicious French fries in the same manner!
How to store bacon grease properly?
It doesn't matter if you buy your bacon grease or you make it at home. You need to store it so that you can use it longer for your cooking correctly.
So I have here a link showing you where you can buy ready-made bacon grease. You can then preserve it in the fridge or at room temperature in the following manner:
1 Cool it down first
Homemade oil will be hot after pan-frying your bacon. So make sure you let the grease cool down for a few minutes before storing it. You need to store it before it hardens. Use a strainer to pour the fat into the container, without any small bacon bits or chunks.
2 Use the right container.
You can store your grease in mason jars, glass or ceramic containers, and even in jelly jars. They make the perfect containers because they are easy to wash, reusable, and, most importantly, don't absorb odors. Don't forget to close the lid tight after pouring to avoid unnecessary leakage.
3 Storing it
You can store bacon in the fridge or at room temperatures using the following approaches.
- Bacon grease will solidify if you store it inside the fridge. Don't worry because it melts within a few seconds when you take it out. The shelf life of grease stored in the refrigerator extends by a few months.
- It's great to store your grease in glass or ceramic jars for as long as six months. You can make the fat last for as long as nine months by storing it in the freezer at 0°F.
- If you want to store your grease at room temperature, then it's better to keep it in darker and tightly-sealed containers. Wipe the container with hot water to get rid of any oil on its outside.
- It may otherwise end up attracting pests. And for best results, your storeroom should have a temperature of 50° to 70°F temperature.
Creative uses for bacon grease
I have to say; I don't usually end up with so much excess grease to creatively use it elsewhere! I use it mainly for cooking, and it is much quicker than we make the fat by cooking bacon!
However, if you don't use much of bacon grease and have a lot of it, you may use it to make a candle if you don't have one. Of course, I have to add that the candle will be bacon-scented!