There is nothing like the smell of bacon cooking to make you want breakfast…or just bacon, really! You can use bacon in a number of foods all day long. From bacon and eggs for breakfast to a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich for lunch, to bacon-wrapped scallops for dinner. Yum, yum, yum!
Many people do wonder if there is anything they can do with bacon grease other than carefully throw it out so it doesn’t eventually plug up your pipes. Well, I have good news for you.
I have compiled a number of different things you can do with your bacon grease. Some of these ideas are so good you will be looking for more reasons to cook more bacon!
Using Bacon Fat in Cooking
1 – Chicken Alfredo with Bacon Fat
If you enjoy cooking at home, the addition of bacon fat can bring this chicken Alfredo dish up a notch without too much extra work. All you need to do is cook your chicken breasts in bacon grease and the bacon flavor will be infused giving the creamy Alfredo sauce a nice smoky, tasty flavor.
2 – Warmed Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Instead of roasting your Brussels sprouts next time, try sauteing them in a pan with bacon fat and butter. Just shred them first then cook them in a pan with extra pieces of sliced bacon that have been cut into small pieces. Shred a couple of apples that have been peeled and shredded for a sweet and salty slaw.
3 – Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Spinach salads are the tastiest way to eat your greens. Make a salad with fresh spinach leaves, 2 hard-boiled eggs that have been sliced, 2 ounces of blue cheese crumbles and 6 slices of bacon. To make the bacon dressing you will need:
- 1/4 cup warm bacon fat
- 3 tablespoons vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 slices crumbled bacon
Cook bacon in a frying pan. Remove bacon and when it crisps up break it into pieces. Remove bacon grease from the pan and measure out 1/4 cup. Return it to the pan and add the rest of the ingredients. Once it emulsifies into the bacon dressing you can add in the pieces of bacon and drizzle it over your spinach salad.
4 – Candied Bacon
This yummy treat is made by cooking your bacon in the oven but before you bake it, you put the bacon in a bowl with a little bit of ground black pepper and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar.
Coat the bacon then put it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook the bacon at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully let it cool when it is completely cooked and candied all the way.
5 – The Loaded Baked Potato
A good baked potato is topped with butter and sour cream but a fully loaded baked potato is drizzled with some warm bacon grease and topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon and some chopped chives.
6 – Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables take on a whole new taste as opposed to the steamed version. They are delicious and easy to do. Take a cookie sheet and spray it briefly with a non-stick spray.
Pile on your vegetables – choose from broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots, slices of Japanese or regular eggplant, or whatever your favorites are. Brush with warmed bacon grease (you can just microwave a small amount in a small glass cup).
You won’t need to salt it but you can add fresh ground pepper and cook it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Keep turning the mixture and you can add sliced mushrooms at the end because they cook quicker.
7 – Bacon-Infused Bourbon
For this unusual delicacy, you just need a bottle of bourbon and 4 slices of bacon. Cook the bacon and when done pour the fat into a small bowl. You should end up with about an ounce of bacon fat.
In a large glass bowl mix the bourbon, the bacon fat and 1 slice of the cooked bacon. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter at room temperature for about 6 hours. Next, put the bowl in the freezer for about 8 hours until frozen solid.
8 – Bacon Potato Salad
Bacon and potatoes seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Potato salad is a staple at just about every picnic or outdoor cookout so why not teem this yummy side dish with the great tasteof bacon?All you have to do is cook a pound of bacon cut into 1-inch pieces. When the bacon is cooked remove it from the pan and save 3 tablespoons of bacon grease.
Put your cooked potatoes and hard-boiled eggs in a bowl. Add the three tablespoons of bacon grease to your mayonnaise mixture and add it to the potatoes and eggs. Combine thoroughly then add in the bacon bits. You’ll never want the plain old version again!
9 – Cornbread Baked in Bacon Grease
All you need for this delicious baked good is your favorite cornbread recipe (or if you are not yet a seasoned cook, pick up a boxed mix), grease your pan, preferably a cast-iron skillet, with bacon grease and substitute the shortening with bacon grease.
It should call for about 3 tablespoons of shortening or vegetable oil so just use bacon grease instead. This should make your kitchen smell extra homey and definitely yummy.
10 – Southern Style Green Beans
For this Southern staple you will need:
- 2 pounds of fresh green beans, cleaned and ends snipped off
- 4 pieces of bacon cut into pieces
- 2 cups of water or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Saute bacon pieces in a skillet until done. Add chicken stock, green beans, salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using. Bring it up to a boil then cover with a lid. Turn the heat to medium or simmer and let it cook for an hour or two.
11 – Bacon Popcorn
Make popcorn the old-fashioned way – in a pan on the stove. Instead of using oil, use bacon grease. Popcorn already smells great when it’s popping, can you imagine when it is paired up with the yummy smell of bacon?
12 – Bacon Mayonnaise
When you find out how easy it is to make mayonnaise you may never buy it from the store again. This version includes adding bacon grease instead of oil and the flavor is amazing.
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 1 cup of bacon grease (liquid but not overly hot)
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
In a food processor mix your egg yolks with 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice until completely combined. Put the food processor on the lowest level and start to add the bacon fat a little bit at a tie.
Once the mayonnaise starts to emulsify it will begin to thicken up. Once all the bacon grease has been added, add in the mustard and the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Add in salt to taste and keep your mayonnaise in the refrigerator.
This mayonnaise would be perfect on a BLT, a bacon burger, in potato salad – the uses are endless and delicious!
13 – Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette
You won’t want to ever go back to bottled salad dressings again once you try this bacon balsamic vinaigrette. It’s quick and easy. Here is what you’ll need:
- 5 slices of thick bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of shallots minced
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
Put bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until crispy. Take the bacon out of the pan and put it onto some paper towels to drain. Take 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan and remove the rest of the grease to save for future use.
Put the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon grease back in skillet and add in the oil. In a small whisk vinegar, shallots, garlic, and brown sugar. Add this mixture to the skillet and heat over medium heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Quickie Additions – No Recipe Needed, Just Add Bacon Fat to Taste
14 – Grilled Cheese with Bacon Sandwich
Next time you get your grilled cheese sandwich ready to grill, put some bacon grease in the pan to melt down before adding your sandwich. Cook on a medium heat so your cheese will melt and the bacon grease won’t burn.
For a nice change of pace add a thick slice of a beefsteak tomato. Salt and pepper it before grilling.
15 – Bacon Barbecue Sauce
Take your favorite bottled brown sugar barbecue sauce and add about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease to taste. Add more if you want a deeper bacon flavor.
16 – Bacon Milkshake
Bake 4 slices of bacon that you have dredged in 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a 350-degree oven for 18 minutes or until well browned. Let cool and break into pieces. Add to your milkshake mixture in a blender and add just a touch of vanilla before blending.
17 – Grilled Bacon Corn on the Cob
Break 4 pieces of corn on the cob in half. Mix together 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/4 cup honey. Wrap each half-piece of corn with a piece of raw bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
Put the corn on the grill and brush with honey-butter mixture and cook until grilled completely, about 20 minutes. Make sure to turn the corn over every couple of minutes so it cooks evenly.
18 – Chocolate Covered Bacon
This is perfect for the chocolate lover or the bacon lover. Cook bacon until crisp let it cool then pat with a paper towel to get any excess grease off the bacon. Line up bacon on a plate covered with a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips or candy-making chocolate. Take tongs and dip bacon into melted chocolate. Lay on the wax paper or you can leave the bacon on the plate and brush or drizzle chocolate over the bacon. Sprinkle with some sea salt to balance the sweetness.
Non-food Uses for Bacon Grease
19 – Bird Feeder
This is a fun and easy project you can make with your kids. Find some pinecones in your yard or pick up some at your local craft store. Brush on some bacon grease on the pinecones, then roll them in some birdseed.
20 – A Bacon Candle
All you need to create your own bacon candle (some are calling it a bacon “mandle”) is to save up enough strained bacon grease to fit in the jar you would like to make your candle out of. When you have enough grease, warm it so it is liquid and put it into the jar. Put in a wick.
You may want to wrap the wick around a pencil so you can rest the pencil across the top of the jar until the grease sets. Let the candle set in the refrigerator until solid.
21 – Season a Cast Iron Skillet
Keep your cast iron in top shape by seasoning it with bacon grease. Add your bacon grease to a pan that has been cleaned and dried and warmed on the stove on medium heat. Rub the grease with a paper towel and set it aside.
22 – The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Bacon Grease
If you ever discover a squeaky chair or a door that just won’t settle down and you don’t have any of the spray solutions, take a piece of paper towel and dab it into your saved bacon grease. Apply the bacon grease to the squeaky situation and all will be quiet in just a few minutes.
23 – Get Your Heels Smooth Overnight
While there are plenty of foot creams on the market, you can easily find your heels softened first thing in the morning. Apply some saved bacon grease on your heels and put on some thin cotton socks. You will have heels that are soft as silk in the morning.
24 – Pull a Splinter Out in a Snap
If you have ever had a splinter in your finger, you probably wondered how such a tiny thing can cause you so much pain. There is a way that a touch of your stored bacon grease can help you remove your splinter easily this time.
First, make sure you clean the area with an antibacterial cleanser. Take a small amount of bacon grease and apply it to the area. Put a bandaid on the splinter area and don’t touch it until the next day. By morning your splinter should be softened and when you use tweezers it should slide right out without any pain.
25 – Shine your shoes
If you wear shiny leather shoes and you want to look your best at all times, dab a little bacon grease on the leather and they will brighten up right before your eyes.
What is the Best Way to Cook Bacon?
If you find that you don’t make bacon for breakfast as often as you like because it feels like too much work, there is an easier way. Set your oven temperature to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then arrange your bacon slices on the paper.
Cook for about 15 minutes or until evenly browned. Let drain on a large plate that has pieces of absorbent paper towel on the bottom and when the bacon cools it crisps up perfectly. Save your bacon grease as you normally would then just toss the parchment paper. No splattering or messy cleanup.
Another easy way to cook bacon is to use your trusty waffle maker. You have probably already seen the many different ways you can use this specialty appliance and it’s not just for waffles anymore.
Do You Know How to Render Bacon?
If you have ever been using a recipe that called for you to render bacon fat you may have wondered what exactly were they talking about. It is really something very simple, you just cook your bacon low and slow in a pan so that the bacon cooks evenly.
When the bacon is completely cooked, remove it from the pan and when cooled, strain the fat and pour it into a glass jar.
What is the Best Way to Store Bacon Grease?
You can keep bacon grease in a glass jar on your kitchen counter for about a week. If you want your bacon grease to last longer, make sure to strain it first. Once it is strained you can store it in your refrigerator for up to a year.