Notice how so much grease stays on your skillet when cooking your bacon?
Don’t ditch the grease! There is a long list of ways to store it for future use.
What’s more, with the right techniques, you can turn it into something useful.
How to store bacon grease? Storing bacon grease is relatively straightforward. After cooking the bacon, allow the grease to cool before moving to a storage container. You can keep it at room temperature for several months as long as you put it in a sealed container. For even longer storage periods, you can keep your bacon fat in the freezer.
What is Bacon Grease?
Bacon grease is the fat or lard by-product of cooked or rendered bacon. But why even bother storing bacon grease?
Bacon grease is a very flavorful cooking fat you can use to prepare different types of dishes.
It is one of the most fundamental oils used in Southern cooking and has plenty of other uses. You can use it for frying, sautéing, and even for adding flavor to other dishes.
Many Southern US or British recipes use bacon grease to enhance the flavors of cornbread, salad dressing, and gravy.
While there are different types of specialty oils and fats in grocery stores, you will mostly find it difficult to source bacon fat.
How do you save bacon grease for later?
Whenever you cook some bacon bits or strips, you can save the rendered fat for later use.
Allow the grease to cool in the pan at room temperature so you won’t have burn accidents while handling it.
Pour the grease into a mesh sieve above another container to strain out the solids.
To prevent contamination, ensure that the bacon fat you plan to store is free of bacon bits.
Choose a fine mesh material such as a paper towel, a coffee filter, or a cheesecloth to filter out even the finest particles.
Once you have a cup of fat, you can explore several ways of storing it to use it for different purposes later.
Different Ways on How to Store Bacon Grease
Before delving into the different places where you can store bacon fat, let’s check out the best food safety containers.
Glass Containers and Alternatives
If you have a lot of experience working in the kitchen, chances are you already know that piping hot oils can easily melt and destroy most plastic containers.
You probably also know that plastic containers absorb odors and are very difficult to clean after holding some oils or specialty fats.
The best containers for rendered fat are airtight, lidded ceramic or glass jars, and stainless steel canisters.
Glass can also break under extreme heat, so be careful when handling hot substances with glass containers.
It is always best to leave the grease to cool in the pan before transferring it to a storage container.
On the other hand, stainless-steel containers completely block out all light that can affect the quality of bacon fat.
You can also put the stainless steel container directly above any heat source to melt or reheat the grease.
You can always keep bacon grease at room temperature as you would any cooking oil or specialty fat.
A cool, dark place in your kitchen or pantry is the best place for it.
If you have too much light or sunlight in your kitchen, consider using an opaque or a dark-colored container.
Always keep the outside of the container clean to avoid attracting pests.
Keep your bacon grease in a container with a tight lid when storing in the fridge so it would not affect other food in storage.
The tight lid will also prevent contaminants from altering its quality indefinitely.
If you have so much rendered bacon fat and you won’t be using most of them anytime soon, keep them in the freezer.
However, be careful about using glass jars as substances expand when frozen.
This expansion can cause pressure changes and glass breakage, so allow space for expansion within the containers.
You can also use tempered glass or canning jars that are much tougher than regular glass.
How long can you store bacon grease?
At room temperature, we recommend keeping bacon grease up to six months only as long as it is covered and away from light most of the time.
If you regularly use bacon grease in your kitchen, you will notice some of them will go rancid in around three months.
You can keep bacon fat in the fridge for up to nine months.
You can still use it for up to a year, but the quality will not be the same.
Finally, keep bacon fat in airtight containers in the freezer indefinitely.
Other Uses of Bacon Grease
You can always cook with bacon grease, but there are other non-culinary uses for it.
All of these uses have been proven effective and functional in many homesteads.
Homemade Cosmetics and Medical Remedies
You can use bacon fat to make your own formulations of soap, lip balm, or callus softener.
It can soften the skin around a splinter to help remove it. Apply over the affected area and cover with a Band-Aid overnight.
The splinter should come off easily the next day.
Flavor-Rich Bird Feed and Dog Treats
You can use bacon grease to add flavor to DIY bird feeding trays and dog meals.
Bake some bacon-flavored dog treats when you infuse some bacon fat with cookie dough.
Candles and Fire Starters
Save bacon grease until you can fill up several small jars.
At room temperature or while the fat is liquid, suspend a candle wick at the center of each jar using some toothpicks.
Let the grease harden in the fridge for several minutes.
Bacon fat is also a good fire starter. Pour some over wood or paper to keep a fire going.
Bacon-infused bourbon is one great invention you should not miss.
With some bacon grease and any bourbon, you can experiment with some crazy, delicious infusions right at home.
Cast Iron Skillet Seasoning
Instead of opening a new bottle of vegetable oil to season your cast iron cooking equipment, you can also use bacon grease.
Like most oils, it can keep your cast iron from rusting while maintaining that easy sheen.
Homemade rendered bacon grease is a great way to maximize the delicious flavor of bacon.
So save bacon grease and never throw it away.
You can do a lot with it, and you now know several ways of storing it.
Cook with bacon grease any day, or play around with your kids and make some bacon soap or bacon-flavored dog treats.