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.