Southern cooks have been doing it for generations but growing up in the north I had never heard of saving bacon grease until I was an adult and became interested in traditional foods.
Bacon grease is a healthy animal fat that adds amazing flavor to any recipe. Best of all, it comes free with your bacon. Don't let it go to waste!
After you fry up your bacon and remove it from the pan you can pour the fat directly into a container or let it harden and scoop it out.
|Photo by Robert S. Donovan|
Traditionally southern cooks kept their bacon grease in old coffee cans or "tins". But I don't recommend storing food in aluminum if you can avoid it.
The best options for storing your bacon fat are glass and ceramic. The little jam sized mason jars work great as well as coffee mugs.
If you're using glass you may want to cool the grease before pouring it into the container so as not to break the glass from extreme temperature change. I use coffee mugs to avoid this problem.
When the grease is cool it will be an off white to brown color depending on how the bacon was cooked and at what temperature.
Cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap to keep outside smells from flavoring your grease. Many people claim that it can be kept indefinitely on the counter top but I keep mine in the fridge just to be sure. You can also freeze it for longer storage.
Bacon fat can be used to make eggs, saute veggies or rub on a roasted chicken. It gives a wonderful flavor to whatever you use it with and makes average dishes amazing!
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