Bacon is like no other protein. As a type of salt cured pork, bacon has a unique flavor profile that is above all savory and salty. Made crunchy or chewy, it compliments nearly every type of food ingredient we throw at it.
Through its humble beginnings as an accessory for eggs and clubhouses, bacon has ascended to new heights to become an obsession in its own right.
We now have bacon donuts, chocolate covered bacon, bacon ice cream, chicken-fried bacon, and bacon milkshakes.
One of the reasons bacon is so delicious is its composition of fat, running in long, alternating layers along the meaty muscle. As it heats up in the pan, the fat liquefies into drippings that help cook and flavor the bacon.
When the bacon is done sizzling, don’t toss the fat away!
Bacon fat can be used on a slew of other baked and sautéed goods that adds a depth and richness of flavor to many kinds of foods. You can use it in practically any recipe that calls for butter. It also has several practical uses around the home as well.
How to Properly Render Bacon Fat
There is a world of difference between the blackened grease left in the pan and the pure white fat of properly rendered bacon.
To achieve the creamy buttery type of bacon fat, the key is to cook it slow and low on the stovetop:
- Arrange bacon in a single layer in a cast iron pan.
- Turn heat to low or medium low. Reduce heat if bacon starts to sizzle and pop.
- After a few minutes, flip each piece.
- When most of the fat has liquefied and the bacon is browned, remove bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease.
- Allow fat in the pan to cool somewhat before pouring it into a container. Use a fine mesh screen or cheesecloth to remove little bits of bacon from the finished fat.
When chilled in the fridge, bacon fat transforms from transparent grease into a pristine white butter imbued with a smoky flavor.
Store it in the refrigerator and it will keep for at least one month. For a much longer shelf life, pour bacon fat into ice cube trays or muffin molds and freeze for quick and easy individual portions.
Read Next: How To Properly Render Lard On The Stove
30 Ways to Use Bacon Fat
1. Fry Up Some Eggs
There’s no better food duo than bacon and eggs! Add some extra baconyness by greasing the pan with bacon fat before dropping in the eggs.
2. Bread Spread
On toasted sandwich bread, biscuits, English muffins, cornbread, bagels, and any other kind of bread that calls for butter, bacon fat provides a new and wonderful buttery spread.
Try it slathered on dessert breads like banana bread or cinnamon bread to really rock your world.
3. Roasted Vegetable Drizzle
Heat up some bacon fat to liquefy it before lightly dripping it over potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and other oven roasted vegetables.
4. Pan Fry Burgers
When it’s too cold or rainy to hit up the barbecue, pan fried burgers in a cast iron skillet are the next best thing. Add a dollop of bacon fat to the pan to infuse the patty with some savory smoke flavors.
5. Buttery Steak
Do as the steakhouses do and add a generous pat of butter to your perfectly grilled steak! But for the ultimate in decadence, use that bacon fat.
6. Popcorn Topping
If you normally dress your air popped or stovetop popcorn with butter, try drizzling bacon fat over the kernels instead for an altogether different snacking experience.
To elevate regular mayonnaise to baconnaise status, simply substitute some of the vegetable oil for bacon fat.
Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.
8. Mashed Potatoes
For a smoky mashed potato, use bacon fat instead of butter when mashing until potatoes are creamy and smooth.
9. Ultimate Grilled Cheese
Keep it simple by using bacon fat to grill your cheese sandwich – or take it to the next level by adding a fried egg, strips of bacon, Swiss cheese, and avocado slices.
Get the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
10. Caramelized Onions
Using bacon fat in lieu of butter will create the most savory and tender caramelized onions ever.
Get the recipe from Our Everyday Life.
Bacon fat just makes everything taste better, especially in pancake batter! Also try adding a some drippings to the pan before frying for extra yumminess.
Get the recipe from Color Me Green.
12. Bacon Bread
For nearly endless sandwich making possibilities, this recipe uses bacon fat and bacon bits to create a super tasty sliced bread.
Adventurous bread makers could also substitute the oils for bacon fat in their favorite doughy recipes.
Get the recipe from Restless Chipotle.
From scratch tortillas are actually really easy to make at home, and you’ll never find this kind of savory wrap at the store!
Get the recipe from Domestic Fits.
14. Pie Crust
Replacing some – or all – of the butter with bacon fat will create an amazingly flaky and flavorful pie crust.
Get the recipe from Instructables.
Using a lard like bacon fat instead of butter makes a superior biscuit that’s both soft and flaky.
Get the recipe from the Unmanly Chef.
16. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Is it possible to create an even better cookie? With a little bit of bacon fat mixed into the batter, you can take the average chocolate chip cookie to new chewy and slightly salty heights.
Get the recipe from Something Swanky.
A thickening agent for soups, sauces, gravy, and stews, roux is made from equal parts flour and fat. Any type of fat will do but bacon drippings offer impeccable flavor and texture.
Get the recipe from Allrecipes.
18. Vinaigrette Dressing
Served warm or at room temperature, this bacon vinaigrette dressing combines bacon fat, garlic, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey or maple syrup for a sweet and spicy salad topping.
Get the recipe from Foodie with Family.
When your sweet tooth demands a blend of salty, sweet, and savory, these bacon topped, bacon fat caramels will do the job!
Get the recipe from the Cooking of Joy.
A sinfully delicious concoction of bacon fat, whole milk, maple syrup, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream – garnished with bacon pieces.
Get the recipe from Bacon Today.
21. Bacon Infused Bourbon
To infuse your booze with bacony flavor, simply add an ounce of bacon fat to the bourbon, along with one slice of bacon. Let it mellow for 5 to 6 hours, then pop it into the freezer for about 8 hours.
Once the fat is completely frozen, remove the bacon slice and skim the fat from the top. Strain the bourbon well with two layers of cheesecloth.
Get the recipe from Foodie Misadventures.
22. Season Your Skillets
Properly seasoning your cast iron cookware creates a wonderful and natural non-stick surface to grill on, and using using bacon fat to grease the pan is one of the best ways to do it. Unlike butter that is 15% water, bacon grease is a pure fat that is long lasting, durable, and easily absorbed by the alloys.
An excellent way to use up a large supply of bacon fat, these candles burn clean and for a long time – and shockingly do not smell of bacon.
Since soap is a mixture of fat and lye, you can use bacon grease as the fat component. While you can add fragrance during the process, bacon fat soap will not smell like bacon once it cures.
Get the recipe from Little House in the Suburbs.
25. Fire Starter
Thoroughly soak paper towels, cotton balls, or dryer lint in liquid bacon fat. Wait until all liquid has been absorbed before balling them up and storing in an airtight container.
Note: Fat soaked rags carry a risk of spontaneous combustion, so keep them in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to start a fire.
26. Remove a Splinter
Got a stubborn splinter? First carefully clean the around the splinter, then gently dab some bacon fat on it. Cover it up with a bandage and let it sit overnight.
The bacon grease will help soften the skin around the splinter, allowing it to come up much more easily.
27. Suet Cakes for Birds
Keep the birds fat and happy over winter by making up some homemade suet cakes. You’ll need 1 part fat (bacon fat, lard, peanut butter, or a combination thereof) and 2 parts dry (birdseed, unsalted peanuts, turbinado sugar, cornmeal, oats, and the like).
Blend fat and dry together and pour into a cookie sheet. Place in the fridge or freezer to solidify before slicing them up and putting them outside for the birds.
28. Fix Squeaky Hinges
Bacon fat is an excellent lubricant for loud and squeaky hardware. Simply dab a bit of bacon grease on a rag and rub it on the offending noise-maker.
29. Leather Conditioner
Protect your leather goods from drying out by adding a thin layer of bacon fat.
Not only will it help moisturize and condition leathers, it will also make your jacket or boots much more water resistant.
30. Insect Trap
To lure unsuspecting bugs to their demise, combine bacon fat with a bit of vegetable oil in a shallow container, such as a pie tin.
This sticky substance is attractive to flies and other bugs. Once they land in it, they can’t get out. Discard and replace as needed.