Name three things which make you say, “Yum!?”
For me, it would be cookies, a good cup of coffee, and bacon. I love the sweet, the salty, and the caffeine. You don’t even want to know me before I’m caffeinated in the mornings.
Since I obviously cook a ton of bacon (more than I care to admit) I also get the wonderful by-product of bacon grease.
Bacon grease can be used in many resourceful ways. But then you also need to know the correct way of storing bacon grease.
If you love your bacon and dislike waste, and want to know how to store it for later use, here’s everything you must know:
1. Ouch! It’s Hot!
We all know you can’t cook on a cold stove. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise bacon grease is hot when you finish frying your bacon.
Don’t ever pour hot bacon grease into anything else. You’re asking to burn yourself. Whether you burn yourself on the grease when pouring, or the container gets too hot to handle, it’s not going to be fun.
If you’re going to store bacon grease, allow it to rest. Move the skillet off the hot burner in a safe location where it can’t scorch anything and wait until the grease cools down before handling it.
However, don’t leave it until it solidifies, then it can’t be poured, and you don’t want to spoon all the bacon grease into a container. It takes much longer.
2. Proper Containers for Storing Bacon Grease
When storing bacon grease after waiting for the grease to cool off a bit, it’s going to be warm but not scalding hot. If you try to store a warm liquid in a plastic container, you’re going to end up with a melted plastic container.
Therefore, it’s important to store bacon grease in a glass container. I use leftover pickles or marinara jars, or I’ll use a mason jar.
Choose a glass container which has a tight-fitting lid. This will keep unwanted guests out of your grease and help keep the bacon grease fresh longer.
3. To Strain or Not to Strain, That is the Question
Depending upon how you’re going to store your bacon grease will depend on whether you strain the grease before you store it or not.
When frying bacon, there are usually small pieces of bacon left in the grease.
Some people prefer to keep the leftover bacon bits in the grease because it adds even more flavor when they use the bacon grease.
However, if you’re going to store the bacon grease at room temperature, it’s important to make sure all the bacon bits have been removed.
There’s nothing to keep the bacon from spoiling inside the grease. This will make the bacon grease unsafe to use and will ultimately turn the grease rancid even faster.
If you decide to strain the bacon bits, use a cheesecloth or a small strainer when pouring grease into the storage container.
This will allow the bacon bits to be captured and keep your grease safe for consumption at room temperature.
4. Portion Sizes
When storing bacon grease at different temperatures, it can either make the grease pliable or hard enough to bend a spoon.
This makes it difficult to work with when you’re using it to cook. If you know you’ll use specific quantities of bacon grease at a time, try storing the grease in proper portion sizes.
One way of doing this is to allow the grease to cool drastically and store it in ice cube trays. You can put the trays in the refrigerator to set.
When done, store the grease cubes in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator or wrap them in non-stick paper before freezing them in a freezer bag.
The next time you’re going to use grease, instead of spooning it out, you can pull out a cube and have the perfect portion for your culinary adventures.
5. Storage Options
There are three different ways to store bacon grease.
If you choose to store bacon grease in the fridge, make sure it’s stored in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid or pre-portioned in an ice cube tray.
Ensure the cubes are stored in an air-tight container or bag before storing in the refrigerator and be sure to smell the grease before using it.
Bacon grease stored in the fridge should last approximately six months, but you’ll know for sure when you smell it. If it has an ‘off’ smell to it, don’t use it.
The next way to store bacon grease is in the freezer. Again, the bacon grease should be stored in a glass jar with a lid, or in pre-portioned sizes in an air-tight container or bag.
Use caution when freezing grease in a glass container because the glass could explode. Make sure you understand how to safely freeze items in glass containers when using this method.
Bacon grease can last approximately nine months in the freezer. If you store your bacon grease in either the freezer or refrigerator, you may have to sit it on the counter approximately one hour before using it to soften.
Otherwise, the bacon grease may be too hard to scoop from the container and will be difficult to use.
3. Room Temperature
The last way to store bacon grease is at room temperature. The best way to prolong the life of bacon grease at room temperature is to store it in a dark glass jar.
This will block light from getting to the bacon grease and causing it to turn rancid faster than it would on its own.
Be sure to remove all bacon bits if storing bacon grease at room temperature and be certain you smell the grease before use.
There’s a risk of bacon grease turning bad quickly when not being refrigerated or frozen.
Storing bacon grease isn’t a complicated process. As useful as bacon grease is, it’s important to know how to store it to prolong its lifespan and get as much use from the byproduct as you possibly can.
Hopefully this will help you to save money and avoid wasting any product which comes through your kitchen.