My mom always had a grease container in the fridge that we poured bacon fat into. It was just a give, something that tasted great could be reused in other ways. Since then, fats have been banned as unhealthy, but really animal fats are a healthy kind of fat, especially compared to some manufacturer fats (trans fats) and oils.
I use bacon greases routinely to make home fries from potatoes (and we eat lots of them). Just like using duck fat, bacon grease adds a wonderful flavor to whatever you are using it in.
So besides frying potatoes, how can you use this gold? Substitute bacon fat into almost any recipe in place of oil, butter, or shortening – such as….
- crackers or bread
- pie crust
- salad dressing (
- sauteed vegetables like greens or brussel sprouts
- corn bread
- roasted vegetables, like squash, potatoes, or brussel spouts
- fried rice (or anything else fried for that matter)
- in other words, almost any place you would use a fat or oil
And other uses besides cooking
Like any other oil, there are more uses outside the kitchen:
- making bird seed balls
- grease your cast iron skillet and re-season it
- as a fire starter
- in candles
So how do I save it?
Start with a clean glass jar or metal container with a lid. Next time you fry or bake bacon, pour off the fat right away while it’s hot and liquid. Then pop it in the fridge. If you like, strain out the bits of bacon that may have adhered to the pan (I think they add even more flavor!). Just add to it whenever you make more bacon.
Use it a tablespoon at a time the way you would any other fat, though in some case you may need to melt it. A few seconds in the microwave does the trick, and then cool slightly.
This is a basic of homesteading: use what you have and find a new way to use it when necessary. And bacon grease is gold for sure.