Bacon – the thought of it is enough to turn all meat-eaters into a quivering wreck! The sound of sizzling fat in a hot pan, and that delicious smell that wafts through the air and drifts outside, so that even if you are far away from the kitchen, you will be lured in, salivating at what is to come!
And don’t forget to wipe up the bacon grease left-over in the pan, with a thick slice of freshly baked bread – the best way to begin any day on the homestead!
Does Bacon Grease Go Bad?
Sadly, if not stored correctly, bacon grease can go bad.
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Signs that your bacon grease has gone bad are:
- Unpleasant odor
- Off taste
If you see any of these, throw it out – your bacon grease has gone bad.
If, however, you follow the guidelines correctly for storing bacon grease, this should not happen for a very long time.
As with all fats and oils, bacon grease can go rancid (smelly or foul-tasting as a result of being old and stale). This can be a result of incorrect storage conditions or from being stored for too long in a container that has not been sealed properly.
Although rancid fat is harmless when eaten, it doesn’t taste very nice, which means that the food that you cook with it will taste awful – the only thing to do with it is to throw it away.
Always smell (and taste, if it smells OK) the bacon grease before you use it – it is better to throw it away if there is any doubt.
How To Store Bacon Grease to Keep it Good
Bacon grease can be stored in many ways for later use. It is possible to store it at room temperature, but it will go rancid much quicker than if you store it in the fridge.
To store bacon grease at room temperature, use a dark-colored, tightly sealed container.
- Strain the bacon bits out first to keep it fresher for longer – a great way to use up the strained bits is to eat them quickly!
- Wipe down the outside of the container with hot water to avoid any excess grease – pests love bacon grease too.
- Do not store near any heat sources as the fat will solidify and liquefy, which is not good for the quality of the fat.
You can get nice bacon grease storage containers, designed for the purpose! Check out this one:
- GREASE HOLDER SET: Convenient bacon grease keeper with built-in strainer and lid
- COLOR: Distressed white enamel farmhouse style
- SIZE: 6.5 X 4.4 X 7 inches tall; CAPACITY: 3.25 cups
- MATERIAL: Enamel over steel, food grade; CARE: Hand wash for best results [dishwasher...
- AULDHOME COLLECTION: Part of the AuldHome series of enamelware for kitchen and home which...
And this one, which is a great price too:
- Get a handle on your bacon grease with this bacon grease container. This cooking oil...
- Add flavor just like Mom did. Fry your tasty bacon, then pour the excess fat thru the oil...
- Simple old-fashioned design that works. Use the hidden strainer as a separator for all the...
- Just the right size. This bacon grease can is good for 5 cups (1.25 quart or 40 fl oz) of...
- Enjoy cooking even more or get your money back. With the 30 day money back guarantee with...
There are tons and tons of other bacon grease containers, check them out on Amazon!
The best way to store the bacon grease is in the fridge.
- Store bacon grease in a glass jar, as it will retain its quality for longer, and the fat will stay soft enough to scoop. You can scoop a spoon from the jar every time you need to use it.
- Pour fresh, used, strained fat into a new jar, using up what is in the old jar first – do not pour old used fat from your old stock on top of new fat.
How Long Can You Keep Bacon Grease?
So, how long can you keep bacon grease?
- Homemade bacon grease stored at room temperature can last for up to 6 months in the pantry.
- Bacon grease stored in the fridge will keep for 1 year.
Bacon grease can be bought commercially packaged, so if storing the fat seems like too much hard work, you can still enjoy it on your favorite foods by buying it.
- Store-bought bacon grease can last for up to 2 years in the pantry.
- Bacon grease can be frozen in tubs in your freezer indefinitely
How to Use Bacon Grease
Other than eating bacon grease as soon as it has melted from the bacon, it can be used in several ways around the homestead:
- Lip Balm – tasty! Once the bacon fat has melted, strain out the bits, and add a little veggie oil to the bacon fat (this is optional, but it increases the nourishing properties of your lip balm). Pour into a container and wait until cooled. Rub onto lips as needed.
- Soap – Pour melted fat into water and boil with salt. Dissolve lye in water and add to the fat solution. Allow to cool and cut into squares – instant soap. Lye is caustic so make sure you learn more first.
- Firestarters – roll up paper towel and place it into a paper cup. Pour a little bacon fat into the cup and refrigerate until the next time you make a fire. Light the paper cup, and the fat will act as a great fire starter!
Of course, using bacon grease for cooking can also add that extra deliciousness to anything:
- Eggs – Cook your eggs in melted bacon grease instead of using cooking oils
- Fried potatoes – simmer you sliced potatoes in hot grease in a pan over an open fire
- Popcorn – pour melted bacon grease over popped corn
- Grilled cheese – fry your cheese sandwich in hot bacon grease, melts into the bread, and infuses with the cheese!
- How about coating your cold skillet with bacon grease and popping it in the oven for a few hours? Repeat often, draining off the excess, and every time you use the skillet, that delicious bacon flavor will come through!
Bacon Grease Doesn’t Last Forever…
Bacon grease, although absolutely delicious, does not have an indefinite shelf life and will not last forever!
It does have many uses, and even though we have only listed a few in this article, with a bit of imagination and planning, your left-over bacon grease can be enjoyed for many years to come, either in your cooking or by being used for DIY projects around your homestead!