Bacon

How to Chip Away at Your Stash of Bacon Fat

January 25, 2016

Go fishing around in the back corners of your fridge until you find your jar or ramekin or can full of bacon fat. If you eat pork, you almost certainly have one—it's the not-so-hard-won bonus-points ingredient, the culinary equivalent of being handed a winning lottery ticket.

Bacon fat is the savory, smoky, super-flavorful ingredient you may be throwing out (or just ignoring). Don't pour it down the drain (really—don't! It's bad for your pipes). Instead, use it like the infused oil that it is and make these:

Photo by James Ransom
  • Use bacon fat in place of butter in a batch of corn muffins or cornbread—or biscuits.
  • Very cold bacon fat could hold up in pastry, too—like in the crust for a quiche.
  • Instead of using oil, pop popcorn in a few tablespoons of bacon fat.
  • Use it to sauté a soffrito for chili or soup. (We're lookin' at you, split-pea.)
  • If your soup needs thickening, make a bacon fat roux.
  • For bacon-y burgers, use bacon fat in place of butter in this classic recipe).
  • Use it to sauté or roast a pan of vegetables—like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or leafy greens (like collards).
  • Stir a couple spoonfuls into a long-simmering pot of beans.
  • Smear some onto two pieces of bread and then use them to make a grilled cheese.
  • Sauté or roast potatoes with bacon fat, or use it to grease the pan for your hash browns or home fries.
  • Fry an egg in melted bacon fat for bacon and eggs even after all the bacon is gone.

What's your favorite use for bacon fat? How long has that jar of it been sitting in your fridge? (It's probably fine.) Tell us in the comments!

20 Comments

Greg January 27, 2016
I make bacon fat popcorn all the time. Plus throw in some chopped bacon and shredded cheddar cheese or parmesan. Best popcorn ever.
 
Amanda S. January 26, 2016
I love using a little under a teaspoon of bacon fat to sautee sliced mushrooms - makes cheap button mushrooms heavenly. Bacon is expensive (for me) and I'm gonna get my money's worth!
 
Stephanie G. January 26, 2016
Baconnaise! I make my own mayo with an immersion blender (so easy and amazing) and use 1 cup total of oil/fat. About 1/2 cup (or a little less) of melted bacon fat and then the rest avocado oil or a light olive oil. It's so delicious and decadent. Makes a killer tuna salad ?
 
Anne T. January 26, 2016
I'm glad to see someone else mentioned bacon fat in a cookie recipe. A favorite recipe from a family friend for Peanut cookies has bacon fat.
 
Fairmount_market January 25, 2016
I use bacon fat for making kimchi fried rice.
 
Chky January 25, 2016
They tell you right off the bat . . "Don't pour it down the drain (really—don't! It's bad for your pipes)." Go ahead and clog your arteries . . see you in the cath lab, we can compare how many stents we have keeping our arteries open. I love pork but there are some parts you just don't eat . . and keeping the worst part . . the fat . . shame.
 
Steve January 26, 2016
Proteins enhance the growth of the human body because proteins act as the building block in the body. More so, proteins provide the body with antibodies that work to prevent diseases by boosting the immune system.<br /><br />Proteins assist in the growth of human hair, bones, teeth, nails, and skin so that a person stays young for a long time. In addition, the proteins found in bacon, helps in digestion and prevention of retarded growth in little children. Apart from proteins, the bacon provides the body with the required fat. The fats in bacon helps in strengthening the bones because the fat facilitate the absorption of calcium in the bones. Secondly, the fat improves cardiovascular health because it lowers the level of lipoprotein in the body thus alleviating the risks of contracting cardiovascular illnesses. Thirdly, saturated fat also plays a role in providing the body with a strong immune system by contributing to the production of white blood cells.<br />Not to mention the fact that it tastes damn good. As with everything, moderation is the key - you wouldn't want to eat a pound of bacon at every meal, but substituting some bacon fat for other fats in cooking isn't as lethal as you imply.<br />
 
Amanda S. January 25, 2016
Love this article (and that you are its author).
 
Ling L. January 25, 2016
Mix with rat poison for efficient bait! (Sorry! I have a pest problem...)
 
Andrew W. January 26, 2016
Shit, I hope you don't have any pets!
 
Jennifer J. January 25, 2016
The Homesick Texan has a recipe for chocolate chip pecan cookies made with bacon fat. They are crazy delicious and dangerous to have around!
 
inpatskitchen January 25, 2016
A Tomato Sandwich Worthy of a Little Bacon:<br />https://food52.com/recipes/17710-a-tomato-sandwich-worthy-of-a-little-bacon
 
Jennifer S. January 25, 2016
Make a nice gravy to eat with chicken fried steak and potatoes
 
ShannonConnealy January 25, 2016
Bacon Fat Ginger Snaps! Made this recipe twice over Christmas, by brother begged for another batch. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017041-bacon-fat-gingersnaps
 
annwah January 25, 2016
I like to brown beef (stew meat or chuck roast) in it.<br />
 
HonGDB January 25, 2016
Liberally grease your sheet pan when you make frozen tots of taters! That was my mom's trick, so I've had bacony tots for over 50 years now (I've added pan-fried latkes to that repertoire (tref!!))
 
Niknud January 25, 2016
I like to cook my breakfast pancakes in bacon fat instead of butter or oil. Cause why not......
 
SpinachInquisition January 25, 2016
You really have no idea how badly I needed this article. My dog has been loving life because of all the homemade Peanut Butter Bacon treats I've been making for her... but I can't keep making those just to use up my bacon fat. I have 4 more pint jars to go!
 
Author Comment
Caroline L. January 25, 2016
so happy this came in handy! love the idea of using them in dog treats (and i bet your dog does too). let us know what you do with it all!
 
SpinachInquisition January 25, 2016
It's essentially some bacon fat, an egg, some water, and a binder like oats [I give them a whiz in the processor for a few seconds] and/or wheat germ or whole wheat flour. I sometimes add peanut butter to the wet ingredients as well. It should be a somewhat stiff but glossy dough (hello, bacon fat). Roll it out (around 1/4") and bake at 350 until lightly browned/crispy. They're pretty rich, so I try not to make them too often. Plus, the bacon fat will eventually go rancid at room temp - so make small batches or keep them in the fridge/airtight container.<br /><br />However, it will be nice to put my drippings to better use! I sense a bowl of maple-y bacon or bacon-chive-parmesan popcorn and a movie this weekend.