I am pretty confident that for bacon lovers out there, we are highly satisfied with bacon just as it is. But what if our favorite home-cooked delight could also help us save money and be useful for many other things? Get ready to learn the simple process for saving your bacon grease and some of the magical things it can be used for!
Do you remember her doing it?
Maybe you have these in your early memories, or perhaps your parents do, the wise elders living a very different life of stewardship and self-sufficiency. Sometimes it was in times of war, but most often, it was a way of living responsibly and getting the most out of what they had. Our single-use and throw-away culture has taken over so much of American life, some of these simple strategies seem miles away from the lives we are living now.
This is what I love to do when I write and teach, to help bring better living to each of us for #RealLife.
The Simple Life
I don't know about you, but there is something deep inside me that longs for a simpler life. For me, that means being connected to nature, growing or producing many of the things I need myself, and living in that stewardship of reusing and recycling.
I'm no expert, but I have shared simple things like foraging locally to make your own Dandelion Citrus Jam. I've shared a number of foraging and wildcrafting adventures and I can't wait to share even more!
So let's start that journey to simplicity by making our already amazing morning bacon something even better!
Saving Bacon Grease
It's as simple as cooking up your favorite bacon, and when you're done, let the grease in the pan cool a bit so you can save it to reuse! #Boom
Ah, Ron Swanson... love that guy!
This is a point of debate for sure, but the idea is that you don't need to filter your bacon drippings from the pan if you are going to store in an air-tight container and use them quickly (like within a few months when refrigerated, or a few weeks unrefrigerated). When filtered for a cleaner fat, then it can be refrigerated much longer, up to a year in the fridge or freezer.
For me, I use an unbleached coffee filter to strain mine pretty clean. Side note, these brown filters are worth the extra money to have far less chemical yuck in them for coffee and grease alike. I've even helped process essential oil during the distillation process with them!
I then give the bacon meat bits to the pets to enjoy (and lick the inside of the filter), and then I have a longer-lasting grease to store and use. You could also filter with something like a metal strainer to keep the small bits with the grease, again just know it makes your shelf-life shorter.
Here's me keeping it simple in the photo. A washed-out wide-mouth jar to reuse (this will make it easier for me to spoon it out as I start to use it), and put a rubber band around the coffee filter to hold it in place while you pour the warm grease in.
And now, how do we use this delicious elixir?
- Anywhere you want a boost of flavor in your cooking!
- As a replacement for butter, such as in grilling vegetables or on popcorn
- Frying and roasting at medium-heats (be careful to avoid using for too high of heat, it can burn)
- Partial replacement for cooking oils (pair with neutral-flavored vegetable oil for instance) or in baking
- Our friend the Pioneer Woman is a convert to bacon grease storing and has her favorite cooking tips for use here, check them out if you want more ideas like for eggs and cornbread!
I have kept mine in the kitchen for cooking thus far, but I can't wait to try out even more uses such as firestarter, bird feeders, candle making, and more. Jump on Pinterest or the inter-webs for lots of other great ideas and recipes!
P.S. if you are on Pinterest, let's connect there!
Okay, you have this simple new life hack ready to go in our lives, where to now?
I hope that this has been helpful and you have added one more tool in your toolbox for your home. Save money, use as much of our food products as possible, and be creative in your re-use!
Next up I'll be sharing another cost-saving tip to help you reduce your grocery shopping list and make something healthy and simple to use... broths! Veggie and chicken broth, let's make and preserve our own together shall we?
Have you saved bacon grease before? What are you excited to try with it, or how do you use it now?
Comment and tell us below!
Information courtesy of Echo Alexzander