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 smell that wafts through the air and drifts outside – perfection! With as good as bacon grease is, you might want to store some away in a container after frying it up. However, to do so successfully, you’ll need to know how long it will last before it goes bad.
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?
- How to Store Bacon Grease to Keep It Good
- Uses for Leftover Bacon Grease
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Bacon Grease Go Bad?
There’s nothing better than freshly cooked bacon, and saving your bacon grease for later makes it easy to give your other foods that deliciously savory, salty flavor. However, there are some ins and outs to keeping and storing bacon grease.
Sadly, if not stored correctly, bacon grease can go bad. Signs that your bacon grease has gone bad are an unpleasant or fishy odor, mold, discoloration, and an off taste. If you see any of these, throw it out – your bacon grease has gone bad.
However, if you follow the guidelines for storing your grease correctly, this should not happen for a long time.
What Does Rancid Bacon Grease Look Like?
Rancid bacon grease looks like fresh bacon grease in many cases. However, if you did not strain the residual bacon bits from the oil, there may be small, circular colonies of mold, bacteria, or mildew on spoiled bacon grease.
While you can sometimes identify spoiled bacon grease by its appearance, that isn’t always the case.
How to Tell If Bacon Grease Is Bad
Smelling the bacon grease is the best way to tell if it has gone bad. As with all fats and oils, bacon grease can go rancid – smelly or foul-tasting due to being old and stale.
Spoiling can result from incorrect storage conditions or being stored for too long in a container that has not been sealed properly.
Although rancid grease is harmless when eaten, it doesn’t taste very nice and has a sour odor. That means that the food that you cook with it will taste and smell awful. The only thing to do with it is to throw it away.
Always smell (and taste, if it smells OK) the grease before you use it. It is better to throw it away now if there is any doubt.
How Long Can You Leave Bacon Grease to Sit Out at Room Temperature?
While bacon grease is resilient, improper storage will spoil it within the week.
How long you can leave bacon grease to sit out depends on how you store it. When left uncovered, bacon grease might last a little over a week. However, if you keep it in an opaque, sealed container, unrefrigerated homemade bacon grease can last for more than six months.
So, always seal up that oil and tuck it away in a dark place if you plan to use it later.
Bacon grease can be bought commercially packaged. If storing the fat seems like too much hard work, you can still enjoy it in your favorite foods by purchasing it. Unlike homemade bacon grease, store-bought grease can last up to 2 years in the pantry.
Still, bacon fat can last indefinitely if you store it properly. What’s the best way to do that, you ask? Well, let’s talk about it:
How to Store Bacon Grease to Keep It Good
Bacon grease can be stored in many ways for later use. It is possible to keep it at room temperature, but it will go rancid much quicker than if you store it in the fridge.
So, let’s explore different ways to store bacon grease and discuss the best containers to keep it from going bad.
How to Store Bacon Grease at Room Temperature
Room-temperature bacon grease will last around six months. Storing it in your pantry is a suitable option if you can use it within that time frame.
Here’s how to store bacon grease at room temperature:
- Use a dark-colored, airtight container.
- Strain the bits of bacon out first to keep it fresher for longer – a great way to use up the strained bits is to eat them quickly! In a pinch, you can use a coffee filter and colander or sieve to strain it.
- 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 its quality.
How to Store Bacon Grease In the Fridge
The best way to store the bacon grease is in the fridge. Refrigerating your bacon grease will more than double its shelf life.
For the best results, here’s how to sore your bacon grease in the fridge:
- First, strain your bacon grease into an airtight container to remove any residual bacon bits.
- Close the lid and secure it. Keeping the container airtight will help it retain its quality for longer, and the fat will stay soft enough to scoop. You can scoop a spoonful from the jar whenever you need to.
- Only pour fresh, 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.
However, you can also freeze bacon grease in an airtight container, and it will last indefinitely!
Use a Bacon Grease Container to Keep It From Going Rancid
You can get a special bacon grease container explicitly designed to keep your bacon grease nice and fresh! The best ones also come with a filter, making it easy to keep your bacon grease fresher for longer.
Check out this list of our favorite bacon grease storage options:
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AuldHome Grease Container, White Enamelware Bacon Grease Can with Strainer, Farmhouse Style, Keto-Friendly
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There are tons and tons of other bacon grease containers, so check them out on Amazon if you want to keep your bacon grease fresh and tasty!
Uses for Leftover Bacon Grease
Other than eating bacon grease as soon as it has melted from the bacon, you can use it 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 some 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 a paper towel and place it into a paper cup. Pour a little bacon fat into the cup and refrigerate until you make a fire the next time. 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 cooking oils.
- Fried potatoes: Simmer your 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! It melts into the bread and infuses the cheese.
- Seasoning a cast iron pan: 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!
Do you want more ideas on how to use your bacon grease? Check out this video from Lifehacker:
How to Get Rid of Bacon Grease
Whether you have a container full of spoiled bacon grease or don’t want to reuse it, there are some special steps to getting rid of it.
To get rid of spoiled bacon grease, collect it in an old jar or another airtight container. Then, take it to a local recycling center or waste disposal center. Oils like bacon fat can pollute our water and block sewage and septic systems if you don’t get rid of them responsibly.
Even if your bacon grease is in liquid form, you should never pour it down the drain. Instead, package up that spoiled bacon grease. Then, throw it away in the garbage or take it to a recycling center that accepts oil.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are a lot of misconceptions about how and why to keep bacon grease. So, let’s get the facts straight and explore some of the most frequently asked questions about this scrumptious oil:
You can freeze bacon grease. Freezing it will make the oil last indefinitely, and it won’t go rancid or spoil if you freeze it. Just seal it in an airtight container before you stick it in the icebox.
You can cook with old bacon grease as long as it is not rancid or moldy. Before adding any oil to the pan, smell the grease and look for any mold or bacteria colonies on it. If it smells or looks funky, don’t use it – it’ll make your food taste bad.
People save bacon grease because it’s delicious, useful, and hard to get rid of. If you pour it down the drain, it could damage your sewage or septic system. Plus, it’s an excellent oil for frying, baking, creating sauces, and even making soap. So there are tons of reasons to save it.
You can leave bacon grease out overnight without spoiling, but be sure to cover it to prevent airborne mold, mildew, and bacteria from floating. Then, put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible to keep it from going rancid.
Bacon grease, although delicious, does not have an indefinite shelf life and will not last forever!
It does have many uses. Even though we have only listed a few in this article, with a bit of imagination and planning, your leftover bacon grease can be enjoyed for many years, either in your cooking or by being used for DIY projects around your homestead!