In this article, we will answer the question “How long does bacon grease last?”, and how to render bacon fat at home?
How long does bacon grease last?
The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of store-bought and homemade bacon grease under different storage conditions.
|In the pantry||In the fridge|
|Store-bought bacon grease||2 years or 3-6 months past the Best-by|
|Homemade bacon grease||6 months||More than 1 year|
How to store bacon grease?
Whether the bacon grease is store-bought or rendered at home, it must be safely stored to preserve its freshness.
Let the bacon grease drop to room temperature before storing it. Let it stay in the pan until it solidifies. Scoop out the solid bacon fat and store it. It contains flavorful bacon bits and pieces.
If you like the fat smooth without the leftover bacon bits, filter the bacon grease, while it is still in liquid form, to the container and store it.
Do not store the bacon grease in the plastic container. It will absorb the bacon odor. The hot bacon grease might also melt the plastic making a hole in it. Always use a ceramic, glass, or stainless steel container. Bacon grease stored in stainless steel can be heated directly on the stovetop.
It is not recommended to reuse bacon grease because it will absorb the odors of the food from the previous cooking and lose some of its own in the process.
In the fridge
Storing bacon grease in the fridge will extend its shelf-life. Keep it in the fridge in ceramic or glass containers with a tight lid.
In the freezer
If you do not plan to use bacon grease within 6 months of storage, it is best to transfer it to the freezer for longer storage. Frozen bacon grease will be too hard to scoop. Remove it from the freezer and let it soften at room temperature before using.
How to collect bacon grease?
To render bacon grease at home, you need the following ingredients.
4 strips of raw bacon
- Place a large skillet on the stovetop and heat it on low-medium heat. Once hot, spread the bacon strips in the skillet. Let them cook for 10-15 minutes or until crispy. Turn the strips frequently to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.
- Remove the crispy and evenly browned bacon strips from the skillet using tongs or fork and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
- Let the remaining fat in the pan come to room temperature. Now transfer this leftover fat to a container. The fat will solidify to an off-white or creamy color once cold.
- The bits and chunks of bacon in the leftover fat can be filtered using a cheesecloth or muslin cloth before pouring it into the container or you can just leave them as-is for rich flavor.
How to cook with bacon grease?
Bacon is expensive food. The extracted fat from it is full of flavors and must not go to waste. It can be used to sautee vegetables, used for popcorns, or make scrambled eggs. Bacon flavored crackers, fried rice, warm bacon dressing are just some of the long list of recipes that can be tried with bacon grease. Following are some of the recipe ideas to try with bacon grease.
Slathered baked potato
For this recipe, potatoes are baked and cut lengthwise from the center and the potato is mashed. Caramelized onions in bacon grease are stuffed into the center of the potatoes where the cut was made.
Bacon’d Parm Popcorn
In a pot, add the bacon grease followed by popcorn. Let the maize pop inside of the covered pot stirring occasionally. Toss well with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and black pepper powder.
Any type of greens including spinach leaves or collards, kale or chard, etc. in a frying pan, sautee garlic with chili pepper flakes until aromatic. Sautee vegetables and you are done. Vegetables prepared this way to incorporate a lot of flavors and it is the best way to enhance the kid-appeal of the vegetables.
How to tell if bacon grease is bad?
- Look for any signs of mold growth near the lid of the container and on the surface of the fat.
- Discolorations are also a common sign of spoilage.
- Like any other fat, bacon grease can go rancid. If the bacon grease gives off a rancid odor. Rancid fat is safe to eat but It is best to discard it because it won’t impart the flavor to your food.
In this article, we answered the question “How long does bacon grease last?”, and how to render bacon fat at home?