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I cook so much bacon ya’ll. Steve loves to take it on the truck with him plus what the girls and I eat and we go through 5 lb of bacon a month easily. This means that you can walk into my kitchen at almost any given time and find a jar of bacon grease sitting in the fridge or by the stove. Why? Cause it’s amazing! There are so many uses for bacon grease that I can’t just toss it! Instead, I find as many ways to use bacon grease just to keep it from going to waste!
Bacon grease has been a treasured addition of granny’s everywhere for decades and there’s a reason why; it really does add an amazing depth of flavor to certain things and can even be used outside of cooking.
For real ya’ll. It’s like semi-liquid gold.
Uses for Bacon Grease
Bacon grease, when it’s filtered correctly, turns a sort of cream white color. It will solidify when it cools and can be used in both it’s melted liquid state or it’s solid state.
How you use it will depend on what you’re using it for.
For cooking uses, obviously it will be melted most of the time. For non-cooking uses for bacon grease, chances are it will be solid at some point.
How to Filter Bacon Grease for Storage
Bacon grease is incredibly easy to save and while most people will tell you that you can simply pour it out of your pan into a jar or other container with a lid, I am not one of them.
The reason is shelf life. I want my bacon grease to last as long as possible and if I pour it off with bits of bacon left in it, that can shorten the shelf life. I store mine in quart sized mason jars with lids to help maximize that shelf life as well.
So to prevent that, I filter mine out with a coffee filter placed over the mouth of the mason jar. Slowly pour the bacon grease through the filter then allow it to drip into the jar until it’s finished.
What you’re left with is pure, unadulterated bacon grease; also known as liquid gold.
How to Store Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is quite easy to store. You will want to use either a metal or glass container with a tight fitting lid as it will be hot when you pour it off.
I can remember my Momma using metal coffee cans to save her bacon grease in.
Once you have it poured off and filtered into your container, store it on the shelf or in the fridge as you desire.
What is the shelf life of bacon grease?
Bacon grease, like lard or shortening, is shelf stable for a time. On the counter, it will last approximately 3-4 weeks.
Honestly, this has always been more than enough time for me to use a jar, but if you’re like me and end up with a few jars a month, you’ll want to store the excess in the fridge.
When stored in the fridge it will last at least 6 months.
I have seen people say it will last as long as 2 years in the freezer, but frankly, I’ve never done it and since grease is oil based and I would think it may go rancid after a time.
If you have done it, I would love to hear how it worked for you!
Ways to Use Bacon Grease
Okay, now that we have all that our of the way, are you ready to talk about these amazing uses for bacon grease? I sure am!
1. Make Fried eggs
If you have never had fried eggs cooked in bacon grease, you are missing out on one of lifes most simplest pleasures.
2. Season green beans
3. Fry potatoes
I love fried potatoes with a little bit of gravy as a side of comfort food, but fry those potato slices in bacon grease and I am in Heaven! Try it once and you will be too!
4. Pop popcorn
I recently taught my girls how to pop popcorn on the stove without a stove top popcorn popper, but I showed them my secret ingredient. A little bit of bacon grease mixed in with the regular oil for popping! It gives it such an amazing flavor!
5. Season cast iron cookware
Cast iron cookware is the holy grail of cooks everywhere including myself. I absolutely adore my cast iron skillets! Keeping your cast iron skillets in good shape is quite easy and bacon grease can help! Use it in place of vegetable oil or lard to help season them.
6. Fry hamburgers
Mix a little bacon grease in with your ground beef before you make hamburger patties. Your’ll kick the flavor up a notch.
7. Roast vegetables
Have you ever eaten bacon wrapped asparagus or jalapenos? Cook them with a little bit of bacon grease in the bottom of the roasting pan and the flavor is even better!
8. Make Homemade Biscuits
Homemade biscuits are a staple in our home, but I can never seem to keep them around long. Why? Because I replace part of the shortening with bacon grease! The flavor is delicious!
9. Make loaded mashed potatoes
10. Make Bacon Gravy
My Momma always served biscuits with bacon gravy and bacon gravy is made with bacon grease. In fact, it’s considered a country staple where i’m from.
Self Proclaimed Foodie has an awesome recipe if you’re looking for one.
11. Make Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with a Kick
One of my favorite meals hands down is my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe with Authentic Alfredo Sauce, but one of the variations I love to do with it is a bacon version.
How? By adding just enough bacon grease to the sauce to give it a smokey bacon flavor!
12. Make Bacon Soap
Some homemade soap recipes (Here are 33 homemade soap recipes for you!) use lard or tallow as an ingredient and bacon grease can be one of them.
Soap Queen has a great tutorial on how to render bacon grease for use in soap making.
Or you can just buy bacon scented soap if you don’t want to make it.
13. Make Bacon Fat Candles
Fresh bacon fat makes a great cemergency candle.that is super quick to make.
All you need is a jar, a candle wick and a toothpick. Pour the melted bacon fat into the jar. Tie one end of the candle wick to the toothpick and place the other end down into the grease.
Use the toothpick to hold the wick over the top of the jar and snip the wick once the bacon fat has solidified.
14. Make a Bird Feeder
Yes! Bacon grease makes a great bird feeder and the birds will love the extra protein treat! To make a bacon grease bird feeder, simply mix melted bacon grease with wild bird seed in an empty tuna can and add a way to hang it.
Once the grease solidifies, pull it from the can and hang in your nearest tree.
15. Cook Tortillas
Love tortillas? Use this recipe to make them with bacon fat.
16. Bake Cornbread
17. Make bacon fried rice
Making fried rice soon? Use bacon grease instead of regular vegetable or canola oil. The flavor is amazing!
18. Make Baconnaise
Homemade mayonnaise is so easy to make and super easy to customized. In fact, you can use melted bacon grease to make homemade baconnaise! Just replace the oil in THIS mayo recipe with slightly cooled bacon grease!
Or you could just buy a jar of baconnaise.
19. Make fire starters for camping
Going camping? Swipe a paper towel or cover a dry pine cone with bacon grease to use as a quick fire starter. Light it then light your firewood. It will burn nice and hot.
You can also use a dried corn cob covered in bacon grease. Dried cobs make a great fire starter anyhow and the bacon grease makes them burn even hotter for a great fire.
20. Make grilled cheese
Want to take your grilled cheese up a notch? Replace the butter you normally use to make grilled cheese with bacon grease.
Trust me on this one.
21. Make homemade dog treats
22. Make bacon flavored lip balm
23. Moisturize hiking books
In a pinch, you can moisturize leather hiking boots with bacon grease. I wouldn’t recommend using this method often and you should not use it in an area where you are likely to run into wild animals.
Also, do not use it on canvas.
24. Make a delicious potato soup
Making a pot of potato soup? Add a dollop of bacon grease to give it a smoky flavor that can’t be beat! Even better, add some crumbled bacon to it too!
25. Spice up corn chowder
Corn chowder is great on a cool night by itself but add bacon and a spoonful of bacon grease and you’ll soon find that you’ve been missing out every other time you’ve eaten it.
26. Grease baking pans
If you’re doing some baking, grease your baking pans with bacon grease instead of butter. Even with cakes and other sweets, the smoky bacon flavor will add a depth of flavor that can’t be matched.
27. Bait small pest traps
Have small pests? Bait their traps with a bit of bacon grease.
28. Make lamp fuel
Have oil lamps? You can make lamp fuel from bacon grease. HERE is an easy tutorial.
29. Use as a chicken treat
Have backyard chickens? Yes. They are carnivores. Use bacon grease as a special treat for them. They’ll love it!
30. Use as a cat treat
Want to give your kitty a special treat? Give them a small amount of bacon grease. Just be careful not to give them too much.
31. Add weight to a dog
Have an underweight pup that you want to add weight to quickly? Mix some bacon grease in with their regular food. Just don’t give it to them without mixing it into their regular food. It has far too much sodium and not enough nutrients to be fed by itself.
32. Flavor sauteed onions
Sauteed onions add so much flavor to a recipe, but saute them in bacon grease and that flavor has a new depth that will add a new layer to your recipe that you might not expect.
33. Use in place of butter for chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are Steve’s favorites. One of my favorite ways to surprise him is by swapping out the butter when I make them with bacon grease.
Try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
34. Fry cabbage
I love cabbage but I especially love it fried in bacon grease. I know. It makes it not as healthy but it also makes it twice as yummy.
35. Make french fries
Do you often fry french fries? Fry them in bacon grease for an extra tasty treat.
36. Make a Bacon Cheddar Sauce
If you make a roux for a cheese sauce, replace the butter with bacon grease next time. What you’ll end up with is a smoky bacon cheddar sauce that tastes amazing. This works especially well with mac and cheese.
37. Make pie crust
My favorite pie is my peanut butter meringue pie but when I want to make it extra special, I swap the shortening in the pie crust for bacon grease. The peanut butter and faint bacon grease flavor mesh together to create a flavor bomb that my family just can’t get enough of!
38. Indian Fry Bread
Growing up where I did, Indian fry bread was common. It’s a native american quick bread that is delicious on it’s own – especially with those fried potatoes and gravy I mentioned earlier on the side.
However, fry it with bacon grease and the flavor it through the roof! If you’ve never made it, The Pioneer Woman has a great recipe HERE.
Do you have any other uses for bacon grease? My husband Steve says you can lube anything that squeaks with bacon grease, but I think I’d be too worried about it going rancid to do that.
I’d love to hear your ideas too! Leave me a comment and tell me what you use it for!