How long does rendered fat last?

I keep jars of rendered fat on hand all the time. I always have some bacon & chicken fats and sometimes have some pork & duck fats. I render the fat from its protein, strain until clean then store in canning jars. I use the fat whenever I want to add a little flavor to sautes & to make gravy & sauces. Just as my mother and grandmother before me, I have done this for years without issue.
A friend who told me her mother kept bacon fat in a coffee can under the sink (where the windex goes!!) but I refrigerate mine. Another friend told me her grandmother would confit big batches of chicken and keep it in a crocks in a second frig they had in the garage. She said they would still be eating it months later. While I don't store food this way I understand the principle of using confit to preserve foods.

Recently a chef told me I shouldn't be storing any fat longer than a month. I am sure I've used fat older than that but I don't really track it.

My questions: Does anyone else toss caution to the wind and keep rendered fat sans expiration date on hand for cooking? Have you any concerns? How long does rendered fat last? Does any one fat last longer than another?

Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Posted by: JAC
  • May 4, 2016


sydney May 5, 2016
I keep mine frozen. I refrigerate or freeze anything with high oil content that's already been exposed to air and so can become rancid. I've got some duck and chicken fat, and all my nut flours in the freezer right now. All my nuts, butter, and plant-based oils stay in the fridge (except for grapeseed oil, which I use all the time and go through quickly). And I wouldn't keep fat where it might be a draw for insects or rodents.

I just have a decent (but small) separate freezer unit on my fridge. If I had a separate freezer unit I would probably be freezing more staples. Stuff goes rancid more quickly than we think, and we don't know much about where lots of ingredients came from, or when.
JAC May 5, 2016
Thank you for responding
Kristen W. May 5, 2016
Oh, forgot to mention, I do refrigerate it though!
JAC May 5, 2016
Thanks for responding
Kristen W. May 5, 2016
Put me down for throwing caution to the wind - I just use my nose and so far, so good!
ChefJune May 4, 2016
I do pretty much what my family before me did... Keep it refrigerated and use it judiciously. I find it keeps nearly forever. I say nearly because I have found stinky jars in the fridge from time to time, and I toss them...
ChefJune May 4, 2016
In other words, I don't think there is a hard and fast rule. Just use good sense.
JAC May 5, 2016
Thanks for your response
Susan W. May 4, 2016
Here's what Still says.
JAC May 5, 2016
Thanks for your response
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