Did you grow up in a home where there was a jar of used grease sitting next to the stove? Perhaps you noticed one at an older relative’s house? Maybe you didn’t understand what it was for back then, but you get it now.
There’s some magic inside bacon grease. Affectionately nicknamed “liquid gold”, bacon fat was used in many kitchens as a staple back in the day. Still beloved by many home cooks, these days it’s usually stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
But this stuff sure can kick up the flavor in some of your favorite foods. Whether you love pork or turkey bacon, you can find a way to reuse the oil in your recipes. Let’s talk about how to render that fat in order to reap its benefits.
To get a good rendering, you want to cook your bacon over low to medium heat slowly, preferably in a cast iron pan. A regular skillet will also do, but the key is slow cooking so that the fats are collecting in your pan.
Allow it to cool and then strain the grease into a glass container (though some people prefer the meaty bits) to store for later. Here are some of the things you can do with your bacony goodness:
Plop a melted dollop of bacon fat into your cornbread batter for a tasty punch or warm some up in a skillet before pouring your batter into it.
You may already enjoy a bacon-and-eggs combo for breakfast, but cooking your eggs in bacon fat can give it the extra flair you need in the morning.
Melt some bacon grease in your pot before putting on your beans. Sauté or stew pintos, black beans, or any other sort with a bit of meaty flavoring.
Green beans, asparagus, or whatever you have in mind will love a smattering of bacon grease. Either replace your cooking oil with bacon fat or drizzle some over your veggies as a dressing. Create a warm salad dressing by adding some seasonings or fresh herbs to it when serving salad greens.
Why not treat Spot to some real bacon flavor by adding a small amount to his dish? Just stir a little bit of it into his food and he’ll lick the dish clean. As a bonus, it’s said to make dogs’ coats shinier!
Grease Your Pans
Oil your muffin tins, bread pans, or frying pans with bacon grease whether you’re whipping up something sweet or savory.
There’s a group of folks out there who love to mix bacon fat into their liquor. Try “washing” it into your bourbon or rum-based cocktail. Learn about the technique from Supercall here.
If you know you won’t use your bacon grease, right away, you can freeze it. Just be sure to pack it away in an airtight jar!
Are you a fan of reusing bacon fat? What are your favorite dishes to make with it? Is it a generational thing in your family?