If you’ve ever had questions about the right way to store and reuse bacon grease, I’ve got you covered. This quick video shows you how to save, filter, store, and reuse bacon grease.
How to Filter or Clean Bacon Grease
After cooking a big pan of bacon, DO NOT throw out that leftover bacon grease. That rendered fat is liquid gold and can be used to season greens, beans, rice dishes, saute vegetables, make dressings, etc.
But you’ll need to clean it first to filter out any extra pieces of meat or fat. If left in the grease, these pieces can cause the fat to go rancid more quickly.
To filter it, I simply place a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup and line the strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth, just the strainer should be enough. I just like the extra little insurance policy of having the cheesecloth in there, too.
Once the bacon fat is cooled to nearly room temperature, but not solidified, pour it through the strainer and cheesecloth. You want it to still be pourable, but cool enough to handle.
How to Store Bacon Grease
Now, chances are, you remember your mom or grandmother storing bacon grease in a can right on the counter or on the back of the stove. And if you’re dealing with perfectly pure bacon grease, this isn’t an issue. But being that we don’t have methods in the average home to completely purify the bacon grease, it’s best stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
I usually keep mine in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. I also have an ice cube tray with a lid that works perfectly in the freezer for keeping small amounts (like about 1 tablespoon) of bacon grease handy so I can just pop one out and add it to my favorite dishes to add tons of great smoky flavor.
- In the fridge, the bacon fat will last for about 4 months.
- In the freezer, it can last indefinitely.
How do I know when my bacon grease has gone bad?
As fat is exposed to oxygen, the molecules break down into fatty acids. This is called oxidation. And in this case, it’s not a good thing. The fat develops a foul smell and flavor and will pass that flavor off to anything it is cooked with.
The easiest way to tell if your rendered bacon fat has gone bad is by smell. Give it a sniff and if it smells sour or just off, it’s best to toss it.
Sometimes you can tell if it’s gone rancid based on the color. If it has turned from white to yellowish, it’s also a good idea to get rid of it.
How can I use bacon grease I’ve saved?
Bacon grease is a great way to add delicious, savory, smoky flavor to all kinds of dishes. Whether you’re adding a few tablespoons to peas, beans, greens, or making a delicious dressing, there are tons of uses!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes that start with a little bacon grease…