Bacon Grease Uses (and Photo Gallery of your Bacon Grease Jars!)

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Oh the wonders of Bacon Grease!!!

Southerners are known for our love of bacon grease and the zeal with which we save this “Liquid gold” but I’ve found that a lot of folks are saving bacon grease without really knowing what to do with it so I decided to write this post in hopes of giving you some ideas and letting you know how it was used in days gone by – and can still be used today.

I’d love for you to chime in on the comments thread if you have other uses not listed here and I’ll come back and add them in with credit to you of course!

Interesting facts about Bacon Grease

*Bacon grease is one of the most flavorful oils.
*Bacon grease is used as an all purpose flavoring as well as a base for many recipes.
*One teaspoon has 38 calories.
*It’s Green! By reusing Bacon Grease, you save money, avoid waste by not using store bought oil when you don’t need it, and have more flavorful results than by using other cooking oils.
*I did a series of posts entitled “Oh My Bacon Grease!” when my husband threw an ENTIRE jar of bacon grease away. I posted recipes using bacon and replenished my stash by week’s end.

 

How To Use Bacon Grease

 

Substitution For Oils In Recipes And In Frying – Bacon Grease can be used in place of oils in recipes and in frying.

Greasing Muffin Tins or Cast Iron Skillets for breads - Before you put your cornbread or hoe cake batter in that skillet, grease it with a little solidified bacon grease. To make this mess free, fold a paper towel in fourths and cover your index and middle finger with it. Dip your covered fingers into the bacon grease and wipe the inside of your skillet. Toss paper towel away when done.

Make Milk Gravy - Milk gravy begins with a base of two tablespoons bacon grease. Heat them in a large skillet, add two or three tablespoons of flour and cook until flour is browned. Slowly add milk while stirring constantly and continue cooking until gravy is thickened over medium heat. For photos on making gravy, click here.

Cornbread - Many cornbread recipes call for a tablespoon or so of melted bacon grease added to the batter for extra flavor. This makes such a big difference that it’s worth it to save your baking grease for cornbread alone! Click here for my recipe.

Seasoning Dried Beans - Traditional beans are seasoned with a ham bone or bits of ham to add flavor. If you find yourself without any of these, just add two or three tablespoons of bacon grease to the cooking water and they’ll taste just as good. Click here for my recipe.

Fried Corn- Fried corn is often called Creamed Corn. No matter what you call it, adding a tablespoon of bacon grease makes it better than ever! Click here for my recipe.

Green Beans - Whether they’re from the can, garden, or freezer, green beans taste just like Grandma’s when you add a tablespoon of bacon grease! Click here for my recipe.

Any Other Vegetable You Can Think Of! -  Just about any type of vegetable can be made better with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of bacon grease added while cooking. Try it with cabbage, greens, I’ve even seen folks fry green tomatoes in it!

Wilted Greens - Fry up some bacon and set it aside. Pour a little bit of the hot grease over fresh dark greens and then top with crumbled bacon for a wilted lettuce salad like we had in the old days.

Frying Eggs – I really and truly will not make fried eggs without bacon grease. I place a tablespoon or so in my skillet and let it melt, then fry my eggs in it.

Delicious oven fries - Spread some bacon grease into the bottom of a jelly roll pan. Cut potatoes into long wedges with the skin still on them and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place on top of the bacon grease and put in a 400 degree oven until browned, about 45 minutes to an hour. Turn every fifteen minutes to get evenly browned and allow the bottoms to oven fry in that delicious grease.

These are just SOME of the countless uses for bacon grease and I’d love to hear more ideas fro you in the comments section at the bottom of this post!

How to store bacon grease:

 

Allow to cool slightly and then pour into a container. It is important to have one specific container for just bacon grease and make sure not to put any other type of grease in it. Many people strain theirs but my mother and I don’t. I enjoy all those little yummy bits of bacon and since I store mine in the fridge or freezer, they’re fine in there.

My grandmother always kept a metal soup can on the back of her stove with her grease in it.

Counter Top or Refrigerator?

 

Bacon grease is traditionally stored on the stovetop or next to the stove, but nowadays we don’t use it nearly as often as folks used to so it is best to store it in the refrigerator. If left on the counter indefinitely, bacon grease will go rancid. This used to not be a problem because it was used and replenished so often back in the old days. If bacon grease goes rancid, you WILL know it and you will Not want to use it. The refrigerator guards against this and your bacon grease will last for months and months and months!

Having said that - If you prefer to keep your bacon grease on the counter, more power to ya! Your kitchen = your rules.

Another bonus to storing bacon grease in the fridge: Room temp bacon grease remains a little on the liquid side. Refrigerated bacon grease solidifies and becomes the consistency of shortening, making it super easy to measure and scoop out whatever you need for recipes.

 

Did you know that you can freeze bacon grease?

Every now and then a jar will fill up and I just seal it and put it in the freezer. Then, I start another jar in the fridge. It never hurts to have extra :) Bacon Grease can last indefinitely in the freezer if sealed well.

 

Interesting Bacon Grease History

During WWII, Housewives were encouraged to save their bacon grease and turn it in to help with the war effort. Disney even got on board with a propaganda movie to help promote this. You’ll notice Minnie about to pour the bacon grease over the dog food – many people still swear by this. I wouldn’t reccommend a whole skiletful but a tablespoon or so is said to help give them a shiny coat. It is also neat to note that in the film the government suggested keeping bacon grease in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid, as we discussed above. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it was being used every day, but since it was being stored up for a longer period of time, it was needed, much like we store it today.

 

Photo Gallery of YOUR Grease Jars!

I asked if anyone would like to send me photos of their grease jars from home and WOW, what an exciting response! I’ve spent about two hours going through them and uploading them to this post. More keep pouring in so I’ll try to add more as time allows later. Thank you so much! I have really enjoyed getting to see these and hope you will too!

Okay so I’m going to start with two of my photos and then I’ll move on to the ones y’all were so kind to send.

This is an example of a range set from the 1930′s – 1950′s. The center piece is the grease jar, but I use it for a salt crock because it is too rare for me to be pouring hot grease into it when I can just as easily use a mason jar. The salt and pepper shaker beside it are reproductions, and not very good reproductions at that, but I don’t have the originals and I wanted to show you what a typical range set looked like.

This is my current grease jar. I have more in the freezer :)

Now on to yours!! I loved getting to see all of these and know you will, too!

When it comes to storing up bacon grease, Becky Young doesn’t play around!

Alicia from gatewaytosaving.com keeps it simple in a half pint canning jar. Notice all those yummy bits!

Amanda Kornegay is another canning jar gal :) See that fresh layer on top?

Angie Blake uses an old jelly jar

See how we recycle? :)

Angie Gilchrist has an old spaghetti sauce jar plum full!

…and now we know that Beth Hamilton uses the same spaghetti sauce as Angie Gilchrist :) I love her list behind the mixer!

Kat Norman’s used to belong to her grandmother.

 

 This is my Mama’s grease jar. it is designed for a soup can to fit inside to hold the grease.

Brenda Parker with her red lid topped Ball canning jar

Carolyn Berryhill has a vintage model with a convenient pouring spout!

Charlene Pinke keeps it simple with a coffee cup

As does Cynthia Brandon. Nothing like using what you have on hand and what works!

Jenny Hester uses an old pickle jar

Jenn Preble looks to be using a spaghetti sauce jar as well.

I’m with y’all, I just hate to throw those things away because they’re such good jars!

Heather Dedeaux has a handy dandy bowl to scoop out of

Ginger Grayson looks to be using an old Cheez Whiz jar (perhaps) but I love the short fat size of it and wide mouth opening for scooping!

Donna Gordon has one of the vintage grease cannisters

Dianne Ledet doubles up!

Debbie has another vintage grease pot with a spout and strainer

Jill S has a nice jar of refrigerated bacon grease with a lovely scoop missing that likely made a yummy breakfast!

Rowena Giddings and her well used jar.

Some good cookin’ going on in that kitchen…

Ross Jordan has a cute jar with a reminder from whence it came… ;)

Rose Daily has a beautiful little ceramic container.

Renee HS Calls hers the “Bacon Bliss Bowl”

I love this container Paula Papen!

Melissa Jensen keeps hers in gladware containers – and I LOVE how she has two of them! One filled up and she kept on going! lol

Lisa V shows us the inside of her fridge, with the bacon grease center stage!

I’ve often thought about photographing the inside of my fridge and showing y’all but I’m afraid it would cause nightmares for all of the neat and organized folks…

Laura Morris with another fridge shot. Hey! I have that same salad dressing! :)

Laura Bailey’s jar looks kinda like a candle :)

You can actually use bacon grease to make candles ….or you can fry your veggies in it. I’d choose my stomach any day. You can buy candles :)

Kathy Malphrus posed her big old jar of grease right next to some actual bacon! Now that is a sight for sore eyes!

Sandy Rooks has a pretty stainless grease pot

How could you not love Tom Miller’s “Bacon Butter” pitcher?

Tinnah N Has another well used recycled jar. Way to go, Tinnah!

Teresa Leonard has several jars proudly posing behind some fresh bacon :)

I buy those big old packages, too!

I believe Tammy Bish said this jar was from her mother :)

Stephanie Carlton has some good looking solid grease in there!

I have MANY more pictures to post but have to get some other work done first so check back later for more of your pics! 

Be sure and tell me how you use bacon grease in the comments section below! 

“If it can’t be fried in bacon grease, it ain’t worth cooking, let alone eating.”

~ Southern proverb

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Comments

  1. Loni Wojahn says

    My first boyfriend’s aunt (way back in the 70′s) put a large dollop of bacon grease in a hot fry pan, added some chopped onions and frozen tater tots. They fall apart as they are cooking and some get a little bit of a crust or you can make them more moist. Either way… delicious! My mom always used bacon grease for eggs. She kept hers in a coffee cup in the refrigerator as do I. Love all of your suggestions.

  2. Winona Keim says

    I use my bacon grease for many of the above things, but also in the winter, I use a small amount to make my own bird suet! 1/2 c grease, 1/2 c. peanut butter, add corn meal, millet and bird seed. Fill into a small onion sack and hang!

  3. Jean says

    I use bacon grease to make wonderful toast. Use any bread that you want to toast. Put bread on baking sheet, lightly cover top of bread with liquid bacon grease. Bake in 400 degree oven until golden brown. Apx. 10 min. Serve with eggs, jelly or your choice of sides.

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  6. says

    I absolutely loved the shared images of stored bacon grease. What an amazing assortment!

    There is something about peering into another’s kitchen (and bathroom, handbag etc) that appeals to me on so many levels.

    I like to think it’s because of the journalist in me… others say I am just a weirdo. Either way, I really liked this article and photo gallery.

    Thank you.

  7. Teresa says

    Just found ur page, & this is the 1st article I’ve read, & ur a woman after my own heart!! LOL, A fan 4 Life, U’ve made! There’s just not many folks cookin’ this way NE more. I mean, in the grand scheme, ya know. My Mother in law has defended this way of cookin’ 2 her “Health conscience” daughter for years! My mom in law uses Bacon Grease 2 season EVERY Single Thing, except 4 desserts. (BTW, she always makes me french fries fried N it, & O MY!! bcuz I can never save up that much) but Every time her daughter goes N2 her “Health” rant, we just sit back & shake our heads @ her & smile! Then when shes finished I always say “Bless her heart!” LOL!!! Thought I’d share a LOL moment with y’all! Luv ur site so far! God Bless y’all!

  8. Christen says

    My dad always kept a coffee can next to our stove for the bacon grease– which he added to most things. My favorite way of using it is on grilled cheese. Spread the bread with the grease instead of butter. Fries beautifully and tastes fan-freaking-tastic.

  9. stephanie says

    While camping, I use bacon grease to help get my campfire started. Then I proceed to cook that morning’s bacon in my cast iron skillet, over my bacon greas fuelled fire, can’t get better than that!

    • RUBY PIEROLA says

      My 20 yr old grandson attends college and cooks for himself. He loves fried applewood smoked bacon and knows his granny loves cooking with it. He saves it for me in a mason jar (I like it in a clear jar so I can see it clearly and know when I need a re-fill). I season everything with it, greens, dried beans and fried eggs etc. Love your suggestions and helpful hints.

  10. Hogs'n'Quiches says

    Hi, Christy!

    I store my bacon grease in an old (1976!) Maxwell House coffee tin. I store it in the fridge so it won’t go rancid plus it was aggravating to keep cleaning up the little dribbles of liquid grease.

    I always use it melted in the bottom of my iron skillet for cornbread and use it in the recipe instead of shortening or butter. Butter goes on top after baking along with homemade apple butter. YUM!! Pouring cornbread batter into a hot skillet with hot bacon grease and hearing that sizzle is so satisfying! lol That’s when I know it’s going to be gooood!

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