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-   -   Bacon grease: I saved it. Now what? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=822930)

Leaffan 03-31-2017 09:11 PM

Bacon grease: I saved it. Now what?
 
I learned a few years ago here that some of you save bacon grease for further cooking.

So, I've saved some from 3 weeks and 2 weeks ago. It's stored in the fridge.
I'm going to add more to my cache this weekend.
1) How long is it good for?
2) What should I do with it?

All I can think of is frying potatoes or frozen French fries.

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running coach 03-31-2017 09:15 PM

Frying eggs or hamburgers.

Ukulele Ike 03-31-2017 09:31 PM

Apply it directly to your arteries.

My mother saved the bacon grease, but I think it was out of habit, having lived through WWII, when you saved the bacon grease to GIVE OLD HITLER A BLACK EYE. I don't remember her ever digging it out and cooking with it.

I cook in it once in a while -- generally the eggs I'm having with the bacon or, if I'm frying chicken, I'll throw a rasher or two into the skillet to flavor the oil. But that's always freshly-rendered grease.

Leaffan 03-31-2017 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 20106580)
Frying eggs or hamburgers.

Ohh. Burgers sounds good!

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gkster 03-31-2017 10:06 PM

Put a tablespoon on a skillet and when it's hot, fry a slice of bread in it. "Fried bread" is part of the full English breakfast:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/08/g...gredients.html

Bayard 03-31-2017 10:06 PM

My dad ate two fried eggs and three strips of bacon every morning for about 50 years. We always had a container of bacon grease in the fridge. It made lovely fried eggs and fried potatoes. I'm not entirely sure, but I seem to recall my mom fried damn near everything in it.

When I was a teenager, I had a late night snack of fried egg sandwiches almost every night. I always fried the eggs in bacon grease. I'd fry them at about midnight in our big square electric skillet, the eggs floating in a layer of bacon grease. Slip those eggs onto some white bread with some cheese ("when you say cheese say Hautly and smile!"), and go back to homework. Mmmmmm.

Son of a Rich 03-31-2017 10:17 PM

A little bit of bacon grease transforms green beans into something actually delicious.

guestchaz 03-31-2017 10:20 PM

OOOOOOHHHHH Bacon Grease.

What gkster suggested is very nearly what I like to do as one of my extremely rarely indulged vices, and is exactly what Ukulele Ike said about applying directly to your arteries (for all practical purposes)

I like to take a piece of bread (or however many), and soak it in still-warm-from-cooking bacon grease, just enough to sop up a bit of it without making the bread totally soggy with it, and eat it that way. I only do this with fresh bacon grease though, since I never save it. I don't know how the flavor would hold up in grease that has been saved and refrigerated, then later reheated.

moes lotion 03-31-2017 10:20 PM

My parents were also children of the 1920's great depression, and saving bacon fat was part of my mother's routine. I no longer have the recipe, but she made dynamite cornmeal muffins, using the bacon fat in place of shortening. Ditto for frying bread in it, the other classic snack food was grilled cheese sandwiches with a filling of grated cheddar mixed with Helman's mayonnaise, grilled in bacon fat. I'm starting to drool just typing this...

Rushgeekgirl 03-31-2017 11:08 PM

I brush it on chicken and potatoes before I broil them. It also does something magical to green beans. It's good for greasing the pan for cornbread.

I keep mine in the fridge. It doesn't last too long so I'm not sure how long it keeps.

jtur88 03-31-2017 11:30 PM

Fridge not necessary. My mom kept a crock of bacon grease on the countertop the whole 18 years I lived at home, and for many years after that. But then, that was real bacon grease from the Roosevelt administration (Franklin, I'm not that old).. Maybe the drippings are something else now.

Inner Stickler 03-31-2017 11:54 PM

Any time you would normailly fry in butter or oil, try substituting the bacon grease. I agree with Son of a Rich, bacon grease is wonderful for cooking green beans. I also like using it in place of oil in stovetop popcorn. Gives the popcorn an extra kick of savoriness.

harmonicamoon 04-01-2017 03:14 AM

To make re-fried beans ya gotta have bacon grease.

My dog loves bacon grease on his dry food.

kambuckta 04-01-2017 03:44 AM

Wilt some (real) English spinach, toss with pine-nuts then douse with your bacon fat!

Then invite me for dinner. :D

eulalia 04-01-2017 04:09 AM

I used some the other day to brown the onions I put in my dirty rice. I use it for eggs, for O'brien potatoes, for browning meat before it goes in the crockpot and for grilled cheese sandwiches. My mom puts it in her mustard greens. Also good for spinach salad dressing and German potato salad.

TriPolar 04-01-2017 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20106601)
Apply it directly to your arteries.

Even while eating pancakes made with and cooked in bacon grease, then slathered with hot grease, with a side of buttered bacon, I'll still have an IV of bacon grease in my arm. I'd take a bath in it except I can't save up that much without eating it. Also use it to dissolve that black baked on stuff on cookware if you can spare it.

N9IWP 04-01-2017 06:25 AM

It is great on popcorn.
Use it like butter -- on sandwiches, rolls, biscuits, etc.

Brian

Mean Mr. Mustard 04-01-2017 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 20106774)
Fridge not necessary. My mom kept a crock of bacon grease on the countertop the whole 18 years I lived at home, and for many years after that. But then, that was real bacon grease from the Roosevelt administration (Franklin, I'm not that old).. Maybe the drippings are something else now.

We kept ours at room temperature my entire childhood as well. In fact, the cast iron skillet, stored in the oven, always had a quarter inch of congealed bacon grease in it, ready to go.


mmm

Shoeless 04-01-2017 06:54 AM

The only time I use bacon grease is when I'm actually cooking something with bacon. The only reason I save the grease is to keep from pouring it down the drain. When the can gets full it goes in the trash and I start a new one.

Athena 04-01-2017 06:58 AM

All of the above, and also, like moes lotion mentions, you can use it in baking. My dad makes a mean loaf of bread using bacon fat instead of butter or shortening.

carol235 04-01-2017 07:15 AM

My grandmother used it in place of butter or shortening to make cookies.

Common Tater 04-01-2017 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20106601)
My mother saved the bacon grease, but I think it was out of habit, having lived through WWII, when you saved the bacon grease to GIVE OLD HITLER A BLACK EYE. I don't remember her ever digging it out and cooking with it.

During the 2nd installment cooking fats were a big deal, because everything was rationed, used cooking grease was collected and sold back to grocers, who paid the equivalent of a couple bucks a pound. It was needed to make explosives for the militaries.

Chronos 04-01-2017 07:40 AM

Personally, I've never quite gotten the concept of saving bacon grease. If I'm making something with bacon, then I'm using the grease right then and there, because that's the reason for making bacon in the first place.

pulykamell 04-01-2017 07:53 AM

I use it mostly the same way I use lard: to fry the onions in that start off about half the recipes I make. But it depends on what I'm in the mood for. Right now, I'm out of bacon grease and all I have is lard and chicken schmaltz in the fridge. (ETA: Actually, just checked and this is wrong. It's schmaltz I'm out of; I have bacon fat.) All are delicious for any type of stewy application. I pretty much insist my Central/Eastern European arsenal of dishes to be made on an animal fat of some type.

I also like it spread on rye bread with some thinly sliced raw onions and salt and pepper on top as a snack.

pulykamell 04-01-2017 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20107057)
Personally, I've never quite gotten the concept of saving bacon grease. If I'm making something with bacon, then I'm using the grease right then and there, because that's the reason for making bacon in the first place.

If you're frying up a package of bacon for breakfast, you end up using all that fat that renders? I'm usually left with a huge pool. I can't imagine consuming all of it or using it all in the other breakfast items.

Chronos 04-01-2017 08:06 AM

I don't usually make bacon for breakfast, and I certainly don't make a whole package at once (I'm single). But, for instance, when I make BLTs, I fry up the bread to sop the grease, instead of toasting it. And my chili recipe starts with about a half a pound of bacon, all of which (protein, grease, and connective tissue) stays in the vat.

pulykamell 04-01-2017 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20107082)
I don't usually make bacon for breakfast, and I certainly don't make a whole package at once (I'm single). But, for instance, when I make BLTs, I fry up the bread to sop the grease, instead of toasting it. And my chili recipe starts with about a half a pound of bacon, all of which (protein, grease, and connective tissue) stays in the vat.

Sure, but you seemed a little unclear that there would be such a thing as leftover bacon grease. Frying up bacon for a family is one common way people would end up with a lot of bacon grease. Or if you're just frying up the bacon for the bits to sprinkle over a salad or something. There's plenty of times one is frying bacon for the meat and not for the fat.

Chronos 04-01-2017 09:19 AM

Quote:

Or if you're just frying up the bacon for the bits to sprinkle over a salad or something.
Then you mix in some vinegar, and you've got your dressing, too.

puzzlegal 04-01-2017 09:27 AM

I don't cook enough bacon to keep bacon grease around. But I save fat from my annual roast goose and I currently have some duck fat. Goose fat keeps for a year or two in the fridge, I'd expect the same of bacon fat.

I use the goose fat to fry potatoes, cook popcorn, and saute vegetables. It's delicious for all those. I tried using duck fat in corn muffins, and didn't love it, but I think bacon fat would be quite nice. Bacon fat might be overpowering for popcorn... Bacon fat is awesome for fried eggs.

Any recipe that calls for fat or oil, that you think might taste good with some bacon crumbled into it, will be good with bacon fat.

Common Tater 04-01-2017 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by puzzlegal (Post 20107178)
Bacon fat might be overpowering for popcorn.

Doesn't seem to, it works fine. To be clear it's used to pop the corn. Somebody mentioned drizzling it on popped corn, haven't tried that.

Chefguy 04-01-2017 10:07 AM

Bacon fat usually ends up with impurities in it, unlike rendered goose fat or duck fat that you buy at the store, so it will likely develop mold over time. I used to store mine in the freezer in a plastic container and just chip out whatever I needed for cooking, but nowadays just fry up some bacon and use the resulting fat for whatever I'm needing it for.

kaylasdad99 04-01-2017 10:15 AM

My mom used to put the bacon drippings in a coffee can (after transferring the Maxwell House to the canister), for later cooking. One morning she messed up and put the bacon grease in the percolator instead of the coffee. Dad wouldn't have noticed, except his toast kept sliding down this throat before he got a chance to chew it.

Okay that was a joke I stole from an Alan King book (Help! I'm A Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery!, I think). My serious recollection is that I vaguely recall mom using the bacon grease as the oil component of the batter when she made pancakes.

Leaffan 04-01-2017 11:31 AM

Great answers so far. Thanks!

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Projammer 04-01-2017 12:01 PM

A tablespoon or so in stovetop white gravy kicks it up nicely.

TubaDiva 04-01-2017 12:29 PM

While I would not advocate pouring bacon fat over your breakfast cereal every day, the lines about "hardening your arteries" really have no merit these days and have been generally proven to be untrue for the majority of people. (I'm not talking about people who have body chemistry that makes handling fat difficult -- like my uncle who is on three statin meds and lives on the Seventh Day Adventist Diet -- I'm talking about Joe and Jane Average here.)

Fat phobia keeps people from a lot of nice living and good eating.

"All things in moderation" is not a bad idea and if you use common sense you can eat a varied diet with occasional bits of excess and no harm done. There has been a tremendous amount of hysteria around food and the demonization of food substances has led to no real health advances that I can see but has caused a whole lot of misery. Choking down something you don't like may give you nutrients but no joy.

Bacon fat is a staple of Southern cooking and I grew up with the coffee can of fat on the stove, so I don't see it as anything else but a delicious part of good food. Strain the bacon fat as you take it out of the pan; it's cleaner and tastes better and lasts longer, not that it stays around here long in any event. I don't keep a can on the stove; we don't cook bacon every day and use what we generate usually the same day.

Again, don't use it every day, don't eat it at every meal, but when appropriate it's just the right thing. This evening my dinner will be a big wilted salad; bacon fat in the vinaigrette, crumbled bacon on top. (Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, hard boiled eggs; dressing is bacon grease, vinegar, touch of brown sugar, a bit of mustard, combine in skillet, pour hot dressing over salad, YUM. Might have a pork medallion on the side.) I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't know how good this is.

"Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death!"

Rick Kitchen 04-01-2017 02:30 PM

Cook greens in it. Any greens, though spinach is best.

Biggirl 04-01-2017 02:37 PM

Cut Brussels sprouts in half, cut garlic in thin slivers. Fry in bacon grease with some pepper. Yummy!

WildBlueYonder 04-01-2017 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N9IWP (Post 20106986)
It is great on popcorn.
Use it like butter -- on sandwiches, rolls, biscuits, etc.

Brian

Never thought of popcorn. I dont think I'd do it


Quote:

Originally Posted by moes lotion (Post 20106693)
My parents were also children of the 1920's great depression, and saving bacon fat was part of my mother's routine. I no longer have the recipe, but she made dynamite cornmeal muffins, using the bacon fat in place of shortening. Ditto for frying bread in it, the other classic snack food was grilled cheese sandwiches with a filling of grated cheddar mixed with Helman's mayonnaise, grilled in bacon fat. I'm starting to drool just typing this...

as I recall, the depression was in the 30's, but I could be wrong, I wasnt there and I always will admit if I am wrong :eek:


I love bacon! Not had any in months. I'd like to avoid it the rest of my life. I cant eat anything in moderation (*if it tastes good, I keep eating!) so I have to just go cold turkey on these things but I know I'll have more, before long

Otherwise, bacon grease can be saved for eternity. Keep in tight container though

I make baked beans, I fry the onions in a little bit of the bacon grease. Any leftover bacon, goes in the beans of course.

When I do buy bacon I try to break it into three packages. I've tried four but bacon tastes good--(see* above):D

oh and incidentally I should save the grease but I dont.

Leaffan 04-01-2017 04:48 PM

Oh. Baked beans. Now I am definitely considering that in a slow cooker for next weekend. With bacon!
Perogies are probably good fried in bacon grease, I assume.

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FoieGrasIsEvil 04-01-2017 06:36 PM

As mentioned upthread, coffee cans work great for storing grease. Mom had a rotation...one on the stove at room temp, one in the fridge, and one in the freezer.

Just remember what they are or mark the containers though. For some reason one time Mom stored some leftover frosting in a coffee can in the fridge and I picked the wrong can to get a huge fingerful out of. Boy was I surprised.

snfaulkner 04-01-2017 06:46 PM

Collect enough then sculpt a pig from its own rendered fat....

But yeah, use bacon grease for cooking anything your would norally use oil for to make 50,000% better.

stillownedbysetters 04-01-2017 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guestchaz (Post 20106692)
OOOOOOHHHHH Bacon Grease.

What gkster suggested is very nearly what I like to do as one of my extremely rarely indulged vices, and is exactly what Ukulele Ike said about applying directly to your arteries (for all practical purposes)

I like to take a piece of bread (or however many), and soak it in still-warm-from-cooking bacon grease, just enough to sop up a bit of it without making the bread totally soggy with it, and eat it that way. I only do this with fresh bacon grease though, since I never save it. I don't know how the flavor would hold up in grease that has been saved and refrigerated, then later reheated.

This reminds me of something my dad used to do. He would let the grease settle just a bit, pour off the thin part on the top, then dunk bread in the sludge of grease and bacon detritus that remained. He called it "lick daub" or at least I think that is what it was. I never saw the term written down.

It was darn good, but I am sure it was hellaciously bad for you.

Cub Mistress 04-01-2017 09:39 PM

My mom grew up in Germany in the 20s and 30s, a place and time that was even more poor than America at the same time. When I was a young person, I used to make fun of her for spreading bacon drippings (bacon grease) on bread. Now, I am aware how delicious that is.
I use bacon grease for frying potatoes, cornbread, and seasoning vegetables.

aceplace57 04-01-2017 09:49 PM

We save a little bacon grease to season green beans, turnip greens etc. A teaspoon in the pot of green beans flavors them nicely.

It goes bad pretty quick. We keep it 2 to 3 weeks. Then replace with fresh. It's never an issue because we cook bacon several times a month.

excavating (for a mind) 04-01-2017 11:18 PM

Get some sodium hydroxide and learn how to make soap. It's pretty easy and by choosing additional oils (coconut oil, shea butter, etc...), you can make some pretty interesting soaps. There are plenty of websites that will help you get the right proportions and combinations of ingredients.

Baker 04-02-2017 12:26 AM

I have a recipe from my grandmother, from the depression/rationing days, called "Eggless, Butterless, Milkless cake" It has fat/oil in it, but the recipe says that can be of any kind, even bacon grease.

I've made the cake any number of times but never used bacon grease, just vegetable oil.

I do love bacon greased though, nothing better for frying potatoes or eggs. I have fried bread, but very lightly, using just enough grease to crisp the bread.

Girlundone 04-02-2017 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind)
Get some sodium hydroxide and learn how to make soap. It's pretty easy and by choosing additional oils (coconut oil, shea butter, etc...), you can make some pretty interesting soaps. There are plenty of websites that will help you get the right proportions and combinations of ingredients.

This is what I was going to say. Render the fat first by boiling it with about twice the amount of water to grease for about 10-15 min. Put that in the fridge and when it's cool, lift the firm grease off the top. Do that like 3-4 times. After that, melt it and strain it through a coffee filter. Voila...nice clean fat for soap making. <3

guestchaz 04-02-2017 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stillownedbysetters (Post 20108395)
This reminds me of something my dad used to do. He would let the grease settle just a bit, pour off the thin part on the top, then dunk bread in the sludge of grease and bacon detritus that remained. He called it "lick daub" or at least I think that is what it was. I never saw the term written down.

It was darn good, but I am sure it was hellaciously bad for you.

I actually got the idea from eating at an "Italian restaurant" (forget which one). For appetizers they would serve sliced baguette with olive oil for dipping.

I've been known to eat an entire loaf of bread with fresh bacon grease.:o

And I agree, anything that yummy, that can tempt me into eating that much in one sitting, has to be bad for you. Its like a universal law of nature or something.

hmmm, all those posts about substituting bacon for other oils in breakfast dishes...gonna try that with waffles I think, sometime this summer

ThisSpaceForRent 04-02-2017 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bayard (Post 20106670)
... ("when you say cheese say Hautly and smile!"), .... Mmmmmm.

You know you got the best in the whole midwest....

Mmmmm....nothing better than bacon grease and cheddar!!!

DrCube 04-03-2017 12:02 PM

Bacon grease is just salty lard. So it will work for anything you can use lard for. And since people for some reason don't seem to use lard much anymore (poor, ignorant fools), you can use it for anything you use vegetable oil, shortening, olive oil or butter for. Or if you're a hipster, use in place of coconut oil.


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