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The Southerner’s Guide to Bacon Grease

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What do readers cook with bacon grease? (Short answer: everything.)

Cornbread, collards, black-eyed peas, meatloaf, roux for gravy, and most of all fresh baby butter beans.—Jane Hall Harmon

You just can’t season green beans without it.—Sharon Kurfman

My grandma made biscuits every morning. She would stick her hand in the grease and wipe some on the top of every biscuit just before she put them in the oven.—Russ Cherry

You never tasted fried chicken till you taste it fried in bacon fat.—Jim McDonough

My dad used to make popcorn with bacon grease. Best. Popcorn. Ever.—Billy Joe Davis

Made Chex Mix with it this year and it was AMAZING!—Donna Tanner

Good cornbread requires two things: a good cast iron skillet and bacon grease.—Lee Kennamer

When I get a quart saved up I make a big pot of chocolate brown roux in the oven for gravies and gumbos. Keeps forever like that, too.—Marc Wayne Jenkins

Tip: Buy generic bacon when it’s on sale, then render it for the precious fat and use the bacon bits left in Caesar salad, omelettes, pancakes, pasta, or waffles.—Lyle Beaugard

Kicks smoothies up a notch.—Warren H. Strange

 

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My Mum always had a stone jar of lard and one for dripping in the fridge and she always saved the turkey fat for making eggs in the hole!

 

Young people now turn their noses up at the thought.

 

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My poor step-dad wasn't the brightest in some things - we were going to go pheasant hunting one day when I was in sixth grade... a typically drizzly, wet, sopping Washington week.  Not wanting to ruin his good leather hunting boots, he came to the decision that they needed to be waterproofed.

 

You guessed it... he brushed on melted bacon grease, and kneaded it in well.  And it sorta worked, too!  Water beaded right up and dashed away!  :rolleyes:

 

'But about a week or two later, them grease-soaked boots turned rancid and OH my Lord ~ I'm just glad I wasn't in the line o' fire when Ma sailed 'em out the back door!  :lol:

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20 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

My poor step-dad wasn't the brightest in some things - we were going to go pheasant hunting one day when I was in sixth grade... a typically drizzly, wet, sopping Washington week.  Not wanting to ruin his good leather hunting boots, he came to the decision that they needed to be waterproofed.

 

You guessed it... he brushed on melted bacon grease, and kneaded it in well.  And it sorta worked, too!  Water beaded right up and dashed away!  :rolleyes:

 

'But about a week or two later, them grease-soaked boots turned rancid and OH my Lord ~ I'm just glad I wasn't in the line o' fire when Ma sailed 'em out the back door!  :lol:

He was lucky the dog didn't eat them :)

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9 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

He was lucky the dog didn't eat them :)

 

Dog gagged when he got a whiff... after Pop's feet, they were bad b'fore the bacon fat!  :o  :lol:

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I have a question.

How do you store Bacon Grease to keep it good?

I have some in a small can in the refrigerator. Should it be in a tight sealed container?

 

CJ

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18 minutes ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

I have a question.

How do you store Bacon Grease to keep it good?

I have some in a small can in the refrigerator. Should it be in a tight sealed container?

 

CJ

 

Some sort of cover.  A Baggie held on with a rubber band.

 

I tend towards pint or half pint Mason jars.

 

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3 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Some sort of cover.  A Baggie held on with a rubber band.

 

I tend towards pint or half pint Mason jars.

 

Thank you. I will get it covered. I hesitated to pour it into a glass jar because it was hot and I didn’t want the glass to crack.

 

CJ

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5 minutes ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

Thank you. I will get it covered. I hesitated to pour it into a glass jar because it was hot and I didn’t want the glass to crack.

 

CJ

 

I usually let it cool a bit before I pour it into the jar the first few times.  And set the jar on a cutting board or on a folded paper towel in a cake pan or something. Just in case.  In all the years I've been doing it I can only recall one time the jar broke because if the hot grease. I had kept the burner turned way up and let it get smoking hot and poured about half a cup of grease into a cold jar sitting on a cold counter.

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Mine is usually sitting in a small cast iron pan on top of the stove       GW

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My Mom would make bacon then fry sliced corn mush in the grease. We’d have bacon and fried corn mush covered in maple syrup. 
 

My Mom kept a can of bacon grease in the fridge with a plastic snap lid on it. She used it for a variety of things. Often she would use 1/2 Crisco and 1/2 bacon grease for frying eggs, ham, skirt steaks, etc. pretty much everything fried. 

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In a pinch use lard , The hogmeat grease tastes good because of the curing and smoking process in which it was prepared , without the flavor it is just plain ol' lard .

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Mine sits in a Mason jar on the counter next to the stove. What did folks do before the 30's when refrigeration became a thing?

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Mama had a can. Three pieces. It had the can, and it had a lid, but under the lid on top of the can was a sieve. She just poured her bacon grease right out of the hot pan, and any bits and pieces got caught by the sieve. Then she would scrape them into the dog food.

 

That can sat on the stove top as long as I can remember. She never put it in the refrigerator.

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2 hours ago, Alpo said:

Mama had a can. Three pieces. It had the can, and it had a lid, but under the lid on top of the can was a sieve. She just poured her bacon grease right out of the hot pan, and any bits and pieces got caught by the sieve. Then she would scrape them into the dog food.

 

That can sat on the stove top as long as I can remember. She never put it in the refrigerator.

These are still available.    Stainless steel and look like a small coffee pot       GW

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9 hours ago, G W Wade said:

These are still available.    Stainless steel and look like a small coffee pot       GW

From this information I went to Amazon Prime and found several the least expensive is $9.99. The description is below. 

Bacon Grease Container with Strainer, 1.4L Oil Keeper Storage Can with Stainless Steel Fine Strainer for Kitchen Cooking Storing Fats Frying Oils

 

CJ

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1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Don't reuse modern tin cans. They have a thin plastic coating inside that can melt and contaminate your drippings.

What about aluminum soda cans?
I cut the top off and crimped the edge down so as not to get cut by the ragged edge.  

Not to advertise any specific product, but it’s initials are CC. 

I ordered the container/strainer, waiting on that to decant the bacon grease I saved so far. 
If it is contaminated I will trash it and start from scratch. It’s just that we don’t use that much bacon with just two people.

 I bake the whole package on racks in a earthen ware baking pan. Then I freeze part of the resulting slices for later use.

So I have the grease of one whole package in the fridge in a aluminum can right now.
 

CJ

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Growing up, there was always a tub of bacon grease in the fridge.  I can't remember ever seeing a lid on it, and I lived thru it ok.  Well, not everybody may agree, some still claim i'm not 100% right.  :P  

 

In any event, for many years, it was an aluminum drinking glass that probably came full of jelly or was a give away somewhere.  After that, it was a stainless steel bowl.

 

To fridge or not to fridge... that is the question.  More than likely that is a generational question.  Grandma kept the bacon grease next to the stove and the butter in the cupboard.  My mom kept both in the fridge.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

What about aluminum soda cans?
I cut the top off and crimped the edge down so as not to get cut by the ragged edge.  

Not to advertise any specific product, but it’s initials are CC. 

I ordered the container/strainer, waiting on that to decant the bacon grease I saved so far. 
If it is contaminated I will trash it and start from scratch. It’s just that we don’t use that much bacon with just two people.

 I bake the whole package on racks in a earthen ware baking pan. Then I freeze part of the resulting slices for later use.

So I have the grease of one whole package in the fridge in a aluminum can right now.
 

CJ

 

Aluminum cans have the same coating.

 

If it was just warm when you poured it in it's fine. The problem arises when you pour the grease into the can when it is really hot.

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Coffee mug dedicated just for this purpose. It won’t crack from the heat. If it fills up to the point I need to start another I set it into a pan of hot water to melt it all back down and separate off any crumbs, then pour off the clean grease into a pint jar. 
 

Grease from regular store bought bacon doesn’t seem to stay good nearly as well as the stuff I cure myself. I know the bacon itself from the store can start to mold after about 2 weeks (happened more than once when work sent me out of town on short notice. On the other hand I wanted to see how long the stuff I cured would keep, and it was still good after 2 weeks with no refrigeration. 

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