Going out on a limb and stating this is “Grandma’s Best Kept Kitchen Secret” may be a bit of a reach, but I am sure that most home cooks will agree with what I am going to share, whether they want to or not.
Over the last few years, bacon has gotten a really bad wrap. Admittedly, my mother did not serve pork to us growing up, therefore, I didn’t really feed it to my family until recently, but moving to the south, I found out all the delicacies that I had been missing out on, and yes, pork was one of them.
My food philosophy centers around balance and moderation, therefore, serving bacon to my family every once in awhile brings great joy to our culinary palette. Yes, I’ve shared how I cook bacon in the oven for ease, but one of my favorite things about bacon is all the many bacon grease uses.
We’ve all had the problem of what to do with our bacon grease after we’ve made it in the skillet. Next time, save some. You will not regret it. I keep mine in a cute little mason jar right in the fridge, and reach for it often. (Use 51 for my 50 fabulous uses for Mason Jars.)
(I am ducking now from some of you who are gasping and screaming HEALTH, but I’ve heard the story from my grandpa how he ate a pound of bacon every day growing up, and that amazing man lived a long and incredibly healthy life. Again, it’s about balance, and just a little dab will do you.)
Any time I use butter in a recipe, I ask myself if bacon grease would increase the flavor or be a unique option. Most often, I just put it solidified into a skillet, but if adding it to a recipe, I just reheat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and it is back to liquid form.
Another benefit of bacon grease is that it keeps for up to six month in your fridge and nine months in the freezer. With the cost of butter and oil having sky rocketed, I appreciate having a flavorful option to consider.
Bacon Grease Uses
Most morning I make eggs for someone in the family. Quite often, instead of butter, I use a tiny teaspoon of bacon grease to coat the pan, and wow, does it make a difference. Fried eggs with bacon grease is definitely one of my favorite uses. This is the same for many of my egg recipes. I tiny bit goes a long way.
Whether a bit is added to my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes – Freezer Potatoe recipe, skillet breakfasts, Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole, or Twice Bake Potatoes, a bit of bacon grease pops flavor into every bite.
3. Biscuits, Corn Bread, Corn Muffins, Pancakes or Waffles
Bacon grease adds a delicious addition to many baked goods. The dynamic of sweet/salty is spot on. Bacon Grease can be substituted in baking for butter with a 1:1 ration.
What’s a pot of pinto beans without a dab of bacon grease? Add it while it’s cooking and they will explode with additional flavor.
Fry up your steaks in a bit of bacon grease for an amazing new marinated flavor.
6. Green Beans
With the holidays approaching, Green Bean Casseroles will be on everyone’s mind. Just imagine how a dab of bacon grease will increase the flavor. I love green beans fresh and raw from the garden, but when your family desires cooked beans, using a little bit of bacon grease to cook them, rather than butter is a treat.
7. Dressing Base
I love a great spinach and hot bacon dressing, and yes, bacon grease is a fabulous way for home cooks to attempt to copy the restaurant flavor.
8. Sauces and Gravies
With Thanksgiving approaching, gravies and sauces will be made in abundance. Consider swapping out the oil or butter base for some bacon grease. It makes a fabulous base, adding a smokey, savory depth to the flavor for those delicious sauces and gravies.
9. Stop Pan from Boiling Over
Do you know the quick trick to stop your pans from overflowing? Drop a bit of oil into the pan when boiling pasta and it will not boil over. Yes, it’s a little kitchen wonder, but it works, and so bacon grease would work as well.
10. Season Cast Iron
I’m trying to incorporate more cast iron pans into my kitchen. A well seasoned pan will be a work horse for years, but it needs to be seasoned properly. I have done this by coating my pans completely with bacon grease.
Hopefully, you’ll glean culinary ideas from that wonderful generation before us, who knew just how wonderful the many bacon grease uses were in our foods.
Do you ever use Bacon Grease?