Tip: Save Your Bacon Fat

published May 6, 2009
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(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

This is one practice we think all of our grandmothers probably did that’s fallen by the wayside in our generation. But saving the grease left from cooking a batch of bacon isn’t just frugal, it’s a great way to add flavor to future dishes—and it makes cleaning the pan easier…

Rather than pouring the hot grease into a container, which can be tricky (and painful, if you splatter), we let our pan sit on the stovetop for a while, until the grease solidifies into a pale, cloudy layer of fat.

Then we use a spatula to scrape it out, which we think leaves the pan cleaner than if we’d poured off the liquid. It also allows us to pick up miniscule bits of bacon, which we like. If you don’t want any residue, you can pour off the fat while it’s hot and leave the remnants in the bottom of the pan.

How can you use leftover bacon fat? The list could go on and on, but a few ideas:
• In place of butter when scrambling eggs or frying potatoes.
• Adding pork flavor to caramelized onions (using it in place of oil or butter).
• As the base for sautéeing vegetables that will go into a frittata.
• Rubbed on chicken breasts before roasting.
• Spread on a pizza crust before you add the toppings.

See a theme? Essentially, use a spoonful of bacon fat anywhere you’d use a pat of butter or a glug of olive oil.

Do you save your bacon fat? What do you do with it?