In this brief article, we will answer the questions how long can you keep bacon grease, how to store it and three factors affecting its shelf life
How long can you keep bacon grease?
A bacon grease when stored properly in refrigerator has shelf life of 3 months and when stored in freezer has indefinite shelf life
Bacon grease is the leftover fat after the slow and low cooking of bacon. It is obtained as bacon does not need scorching and slow cooking doesn’t burn it as well. The rendered fat after cooking of bacon is crystal clear, it tastes creamy and is white in color.
How to store bacon grease?
The bacon grease obtained after cooking of bacon is the white crystal fat not the burnt fat. To obtain the white crystalline fat you can drain the liquid fat through a piece of cheesecloth into a clean ramekin. Pour it after cooling off the fat not right after cooking.
After clarifying the white crystal clear bacon grease from burnt fat of bacon, close the lid of ramekin. Make sure the container is free of any moisture, and air. Store this bacon grease in a refrigerator for one week or so, even though its storage life is up to 3 months but it depends on storage conditions
Factors affecting storage life:
Bacon grease is a fatty liquid obtained from a thermal process. No matter how long it remains in the refrigerator, some factors can still affect its quality. It is better to protect bacon grease from these factors, which are:
Bacon grease is kept in the refrigerator because it needs cold temperature for storage. Some people store bacon grease in a dry, warm place, like a kitchen shelf or even near the stove. It is quite dangerous and should be avoided
Exposure to heat:
Bacon grease is just like any other fatty liquid and upon heating there are many chemical changes in it. It is better to store bacon grease in a cool place where there is no exposure of heat
Exposure to oxygen:
Oxygen is a gas found in air, it reacts with the molecules of fat to cause rancidity in them. The rancid fat smells bad and loses its chemical properties. It is better to keep bacon grease in air tight containers to avoid exposure of oxygen.
Benefits of bacon grease:
Bacon grease is bacon fat and is used for many purposes and in many recipes. It is used in many ways and is an essential part of many people’s kitchen. Some of the uses of bacon grease are:
- It is used as shortening, in margarines and a substitute of butter.
- It is also used as a spread on toast, pin making a pie-crust and frying eggs in it to give them a bacon like taste.
- You can also use bacon grease in baking biscuits or cornbread, in adding taste to popcorn by drizzling some bacon fat on it and you can add it in rice too.
Bacon fat finds its application in many food products and recipes, one thing to remember is to use white, crystal clear bacon fat. It adds a characteristic light, flaky crust over pies, and is used in industries because of that.
How to identify Spoiled Bacon grease?
The shelf life of bacon grease is indefinite when stored in a freezer and it reduces to 3 months when stored in refrigerators. But sometimes the conditions aren’t followed strictly and bacon grease loses its effect.
When bacon grease goes bad it hardens and starts to smell bad. One thing that happens is rancidity, the oxidation of fats in the bacon grease. The rancid fat has a very bad smell and ruins the flavor if added to food, It is best to discard spoiled bacon grease.
Discarding Bacon Grease:
Once bacon grease expires, it is of no use and it is best to discard it. Some people also discard fresh bacon grease if they don’t want to use it. But bacon grease is not just discarded like other liquids. As bacon grease is made of fat, it is better to discard it in a good way.
One thing you can do is to wait for it to cool down or harden, then fold it in foil paper or paper bag and discard it then. Do not throw hot bacon grease directly in the trash can or drain. It is best to let it cool and then discard it if you want to.
How long bacon grease last:
Bacon grease usually lasts forever if stored in a freezer in required conditions. Homemade bacon grease lasts for about 3 months in an airtight container stored inside the refrigerator. If you have bought store-bought bacon grease, it will last about 6 months in a pantry. A store bought bacon grease has preservatives chemicals and can last for years in the refrigerator.
In this brief article, we have answered the questions how long can you keep bacon grease, how to store it and three factors affecting its shelf life