Reusing Bacon Fat - A Zero Waste Solution

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creative ways to manage bacon fat

Bacon is a favourite treat for many, but what should you do with the leftover bacon fat? Disposing of bacon grease must be done properly to avoid clogged drains and because bacon grease can be a fire hazard both leading to costly repairs and health hazards for you and your community. Let’s discover some fun and environmentally-friendly ways to use this tasty liquid gold.

  1. Butter/oil Substitute:

    Ever thought about using bacon fat as a substitute for butter or oil in your cooking? Well, you can. Just be sure it’s not rancid. If it’s been stored in the fridge and doesn’t smell stale or old, it’s good to go.

  2. Smalec - Traditional Polish recipes using bacon fat:

    In Poland, they have a dish named “Smalec”, which is basically solidified butter spread on bread and enjoyed with sour pickles.

  3. Flavour enhancer: Bacon fat can give your dishes a burst of flavour.

    1. Use it to make crispy fries, croutons, fried rice, or even to roast vegetables.
    2. Use the oil for seasoning potatoes, green beans and other vegetables.
    3. Cooking scrambled or fried eggs, hash browns, and mashed potatoes.
    4. Add flavour to soups and sauces
    5. Rub it on meats before roasting or grilling
    6. Bacon fat has a higher smoke point than butter, making it great for high-temperature cooking like frying and searing.
    7. It’s a great alternative for seasoning cast iron pans or as a base for gravies.
    8. Use bacon grease to make a delicious bacon-flavoured popcorn.
    9. Add a unique twist to your biscuits
    10. Homemade Tortillas: While making tortillas at home, replace the traditional fat with bacon grease. You can freeze them or store them in the fridge for up to a month.
  4. Make candles:

    Mix bacon fat with candle wax (in a 1:2 fat to wax ratio), and you’ll have an eco-friendly candle. Add whole cloves, cinnamon, or essential oils for a pleasant aroma, making it a perfect zero-waste addition to your home.

  5. Composting:

    Add cooled bacon grease into your compost or add it to the soil. Avoid adding hot bacon grease as it will kill the essential microorganisms that help with composting waste.

  6. Add to the Bird feed:

    Mix bacon fat with bird seeds and create a delightful treat for them. Hang it up in your garden and enjoy watching your feathered friends devour it. They will love it.

  7. Pet food:

    If you have pets, consider mixing bacon fat with their dry food. It can make their coats soft and shiny, and they’ll thank you for the extra flavour.

  8. Soap:

    You can use bacon grease to make your own soap. Add a few drops of any essential oil for a refreshing smell.

Is bacon fat healthy?

Using bacon fat in moderation poses no significant health risks. In fact, in comparison to butter, bacon grease is lower in saturated fat and higher in good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A tablespoon of bacon fat has 115.7 calories, 12.8 grams of fat, and 19.4 milligrams of sodium, making it a flavorful and healthier alternative.

Handling bacon fat

  1. Fire hazard: Do not pour hot bacon grease into a garbage disposal unit or flammable container as bacon grease can ignite and cause fires
  2. Do not drain the grease down the sink or toilet. Bacon grease once cooled will solidify clogging the plumbing resulting in costly repairs
  3. Remove impurities: strain and remove any impurities (bacon or other food particles) to ensure longevity and prevent contamination
  4. Store the bacon grease in air tight containers to prevent the grease from oxidizing or going rancid.
  5. Store in cool and dark places such as a pantry or refrigerator. Exposure to light and heat can cause the grease to break down and become rancid.

How to discard bacon fat?

  1. For disposal, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a bowl. Pour the cooled grease into the parchment-lined bowl and refrigerate it until the fat hardens. Then, remove the paper and grease and discard them safely.
  2. An alternative will be to dispose of bacon at a local facility that processes bacon grease or enquiring into grease collection services that usually handle oil related waste from local restaurants.

Reusing bacon fat is a clever way to reduce waste and add a unique twist to your culinary adventures. Just remember to use it in moderation, and you are on your way to a more sustainable, flavorful, and eco-friendly kitchen.


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Note: please check the ingredients list of any products that you may wish to try and check for allergies or consult a medical professional for any existing conditions being impacted by switching to new products.


Banner Image by piviso from Pixabay
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