How long does bacon grease last?
At ambient temperatures, bacon grease could last for between 2-4 weeks, and if it is stored at room temperature, in the fridge it could last for a full year, possibly even longer. A properly frozen bacon grease can last for many years.
Bacon grease is an unnoticed hero in the world of cooking fats and oils.
Although it was a staple ingredient for chefs of the past, however, it’s not as commonly used in the present. It’s mostly because the majority of people don’t know how to make it, or even to store it!
However, even if you’re keeping track of the bacon fat, you might be thinking about its shelf-life.
Many people believe that since it’s unprocessed, animal-based products, they will last for one or two days. But, it isn’t far from reality.
In this article, we’ll examine everything bacon grease! From the definition and how it is made and what it’s used for and, most importantly what you can do with it, and the length of time it will take to make usage of the grease.
What Is Bacon Grease?
Bacon grease, also known as bacon fat, as a lot of people are aware is the fat released from bacon after it’s cooked in a certain manner.
This technique is known as rendering and is the method of cooking fat to let it release fatty liquids to create the most useful and practical ingredient.
If bacon fat is cooked, it becomes a clear (almost opaque or even milky) fat liquid. When the temperature drops, the liquid begins to solidify and forms a semi-hard hard white mass. Bacon grease behaves very similarly to coconut oil in this manner.
Due to the method by which bacon grease is made, and mostly due to the meat source (cured or smoking pork meat) the taste that bacon grease has is unmatched.
Many people say that olive oil is better tasting than canola, while butter is better than margarine. Well, that’s how we feel at bacon grease!
The fat is a lubricant for your food but also provides a lot of flavors. The most appropriate method to define it is an incredibly balanced blend of umami flavors, with noticeable salinity and smokey hues being evident.
It can transform any bland food to taste fresh and distinctive Even simple eggs fried!
Bacon grease has similar cooking characteristics to the lard (another fat derived from cooking pork). It has a smoke point of about 374degF (190degC). This isn’t a lot and we’d definitely not suggest deep-frying food with it, but it’s not too low either.
This smoking point is the point at which you can prepare, fry in shallow, and sauté almost any food without worrying about it beginning to smoke. However, it does have an increased chance of burning before it starts to smoke.
Where Can You Buy Bacon Grease?
This is a question we receive quite often. The bacon grease can be usually prepared at home in the process of making bacon, but recently we’ve seen more and more shops stocking the product.
As always, we strongly suggest making your own with bacon fat, it is something you have each time you cook bacon and it’s just a matter of placing it in the jar and storing it for later!
We also appreciate the bacon grease being an unprocessed fat which makes it healthier (and healthy) in comparison to processed oils and fats such as margarine and seeds oil blends.
There are several methods to cook bacon to get the best outcomes. If you cook bacon at high temperatures, the fat that is released typically burns before it evaporates, leaving one or two teaspoons of grease.
It is recommended to cook your bacon at an extremely low and slow temperature to make the most grease that is as clear and undisturbed.
Make Your Own Bacon Grease
While you are technically able to purchase bacon fat, there’s no reason to buy it most often. If you’re planning to make bacon once at a time then you could harvest that bacony goodness and store it for rainy days!
Here’s how you can get bacon grease after cooking bacon as you would in the pan:
- Make sure to heat a non-stick frying skillet or skillet made of cast iron over moderately low heat. It is possible to add a few drops of butter or olive oil to help grease the bacon and keep it from burning, however, due to this cooking method the bacon will not stick, so it’s not needed.
- Place the bacon in the pan in one layer. The bacon should cook for around 5 to 10 hours and until bacon is fully cooked. If the bacon is cooking too fast at any time you can reduce the temperature.
- Take the bacon out of the pan and put it aside. When the fat is hot and still in liquid form put it in an unbreakable glass container and let it cool completely, covered.
If you make your bacon with the oven (hey we get it that sometimes you’re just too busy to keep track of breakfast at the beginning of the day) it’s possible to conserve the bacon grease for the future!
How to extract bacon grease from cooking in the oven:
- Preheat the oven up to 300degF (150degC).
- Put a single layer of bacon on the wire rack. The rack should be placed over a cookie sheet or drip tray (any kind of tray that can collect all the drips).
- Set the tray and rack in the oven. Cook the bacon for about 8-12 mins or until it is fully cooked.
- After the bacon is cooked, take the baking tray from the oven, put aside the bacon, and then pour all the grease from the bacon into the glass jar. Let the grease be completely cool and unattended.
Tips To Storing Bacon Grease
If your grease has become solidified (meaning it has cooled significantly) then warm it before placing it in a container. Transferring it into the container in a liquid state will take lesser space, compared to filling the container with solid pieces.
Glass containers or jars (like mason jars) mason jars) work best because they are sterilizable and aren’t a magnet for staining or odors that have accumulated from food items that have been used previously.
This will extend the shelf time of your bacon grease when compared to storage in metal or plastic containers. Glass will not affect it in any way!
How Long Can Bacon Grease Last?
If the bacon grease is stored according to proper methods, free of any impurities or temperatures, or light changes It is likely to last for a long time; you are likely to use a batch before when it is due to expire.
|Storage Method||Shelf lives|
|Room Temperature (68-72degF 20-22 degC)||2 to 4 weeks|
|Refrigerator (40degF / 4degC)||6-12 months|
|Freezer (0degF / -18degC)||1-year-olds|
The precise expiration date of bacon grease is difficult to determine because of numerous variables that impact the date of expiration. These are just estimates, and you should be sure to check your grease for indications of spoilage before use.
The bacon grease you buy from a store can last about the same period unless it’s processed to the point of being used up, then adhere to your “use-by” or expiration date in the package.
In general, we’d suggest that bacon grease lasts about 2-4 days at room temperatures, and 6-12 months when stored in the refrigerator.
We’ll show you how to properly store bacon grease by using the following methods Keep following to ensure that your favorite ingredient is properly stored to last for a long time!
How Do I Tell If Bacon Grease Has Gone Off
Since bacon grease can be a product of animals it is not advisable to consume rancidly, or even suspect spoilage of products.
There are a few evident signs that tell you that bacon grease is bad However, there are other less obvious indicators:
The initial and most prominent indicator of spoiled bacon grease is the smell. The grease that is spoiled by the bacon has an obvious unpleasant, rancid smell. This smell is directly translated into the taste and if you don’t feel it, you’ll certainly and instantly be able to taste it!
Another visible change is the color. It’ll change from milky white color to a yellowish and occasionally brown.
Other indications of bacon grease that has been spoiled are variations in texture. The bacon grease can become hard, crumbly, or even fluid. The exact cause is dependent on the number of bacteria within the fat.
This is why it is crucial to strain your grease and eliminate any solid particles, especially if you intend to store them for a prolonged period. The particles can spread bacteria which can cause a rapid loss of flavor.
If the bacon grease you have expired by the estimated date you should not consume it. Expired animal products may lead to severe food poisoning and even death in the most extreme of cases.
If you are concerned about the bacon grease has spoiled be sure to throw it away. It’s cheap to make since it’s a by-product, but it’s always safer instead of regretting.
How To Keep Bacon Grease
Once you’ve cooked bacon and poured the fat liquid into glass jars, you need to let the fat cool completely, completely unattended (meaning there are no lids for the jars and no lids made of plastic) before even considering storage.
When you store warm food items that have been sealed this creates an ideal atmosphere for bacteria that can flourish and cause food items to spoil. This can result in severe food poisoning.
Similar to all food the main enemies are air, light, and moisture.
Whatever method of storage you select, be sure the container is kept away from direct, bright light or air (so it must be shut) and moisture (which can occur due to condensation during storage in hot climates).
How To Store Bacon Grease In The Refrigerator
It is possible to save your bacon grease quickly and easily by placing it in the refrigerator. All you have to do is to take some steps to make sure that it is stored safely:
- Pour the hot liquid bacon grease into a glass container. Allow it to cool in the room, covered.
- After it has completely cool, cover the container or jar with the lid (or wrap it in plastic or saran wrapping if there is no lid). When the liquid cools, it will solidify and then turn milky white.
- Put the bacon grease into the fridge and away from any moving or changing temperatures.
How To Store Bacon Grease In The Freezer
You can also store your bacon grease if you don’t think you’re going to cook using it anytime soon.
- Pour the grease’s liquid into an appropriate glass container that is freezer safe.
- Once it is completely cool when it is completely uncovered, seal the container using the cover or plastic.
- The container, or the jar inside your freezer within a secure location that is not subject to fluctuations in temperature.
- The bacon grease isn’t supposed to constantly melt and then solidify. It decreases your bacon’s quality and decreases the shelf life. This means that you need to have an extremely stable freezer and fridge temperatures. You should also avoid removing the refrigerator from its container for extended durations. Bacon grease melts at temperatures of 80 deg (26degC) which is just above the temperature of the room.
- Keep your food in smaller sizes to make it easier to use, and also to prolong the shelf life of the batch.
- If you intend to store the fat for a long period for a long time remove any pieces or chunks of solid material before the storage. Solids like these are impure and can affect the shelf life of the bacon grease.
- Labeling your containers or jars is vitally important. The label should contain the following information: what the product’s nature comprises (bacon grease) at the time it was created and its approximate expiration date.
- Do not continuously refill the same container with fresh oil. This causes the old fat in the bottom of the jar to turn rancid as it is never utilized. Instead, you should start a new small jar for each batch, so that you can use FIFO (the first-in-first-out technique of stock rotation).
Can Bacon Grease Be Stored At Room Temperature?
Bacon grease can be kept in the refrigerator at ambient temperature however be aware that the shelf-life will be significantly smaller than when it is stored in the refrigerator.
The temperature of your room is best to be between 68 and 72degF (20-22degC) to keep bacon grease in a container.
The method of storage is identical, however, instead of putting it in the refrigerator, it is possible to put it in the pantry or the food cabinet.
Make sure to keep the container away from sources of heat (so don’t store the container next to an oven, microwave, or stove, or close to the fridge). Make sure to keep the container far from direct light and sunlight sources.
How To Use Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is a versatile ingredient, the same as other cooking fat or oil.
It is used mostly to fry or brown and cooks meals like vegetables, meats, and even spices and herbs however, it can be used in different cooking techniques.
It’s ideal for grilling food and ingredients quickly or even deep-frying food items. It can also be used to roast meats and vegetables since it gives an amazing smoky taste.
Here are a few of the more unusual ways to use bacon grease in food items:
- Create savory popcorn with grease in the pot, instead of oil.
- Create biscuits (or Scones) with grease instead of butter.
- Make sauces, such as mayonnaise, gravy, marinades, and almost any other dip sauce.
- Cook rice and pulses using it, for instance, prepare egg-fried rice. You can also make quinoa or couscous.
- Create a pie with a savory and quiche pie crust.
- You can make a myriad of delicious soups.
Interesting Facts & Questions
What Is The Difference Between Lard and Bacon Grease?
Both are alike, as they both come by rendering fat from pork. The major distinction is that lard is made through making fresh fat from the meat while bacon grease is derived from rendering bacon, which is a previously processed (cured and smoking) piece of meat from pork.
How To Thaw Frozen Bacon Grease?
You can allow your bacon fat to defrost the fridge ( never at room temperatures the chance of bacteria growth is too high) for a couple of hours, or melt it in cold water.
The speed of cold water is significantly more efficient, however, it does require some effort. It is recommended to change the water each 30 min or more. fresh cold water. Within 1 to 2 hours bacon grease is prepared to use.
Can You Freeze Bacon Grease Twice?
Contrary to what most of us recommend about freezing food twice bacon grease is among the rare other exceptions. It’s possible to freeze bacon fat provided that it was not microwaved or heated again.
However, we recommend keeping bacon grease frozen in small containers instead of freezing, heating, and then freezing. The repeated freezing of bacon grease will impact the shelf life significantly and surely impact the quality.
Heya, I’m Norah! The foodie editor here at YummyTasteFood! I love absolutely everything to do with food, baking, and eating! I earned my stripes in the hospitality industry as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. I’m now a freelance writing nomad. I do not miss the hospitality industry! Be sure to join our Facebook group – it’s free to access!