The Naughty Joy of Bacon-Fat Frying

It's unhealthy. It's pure animal fat. But it's so very, very good. "Everything in moderation," says roro1831, who keeps a jar of bacon fat in the fridge. "About once a year I crave a good calves' liver meal and the liver HAS to be fried in bacon grease," says mrbigshotno.1. "Neither one of those items is good for you but a couple of times a year won't hurt."

"When I was a kid growing up in the southern part of the United States we cooked everything, I mean everything in either Crisco or bacon fat," says marsprincess. "We had an empty can of Folgers coffee next to the stove that the bacon grease got poured into waiting for later use. Fried eggs & pancakes—bacon fat. Fried chicken—bacon fat. Fried okra, onions, peppers, sausages, hush puppies, catfish—bacon fat."

Frying things in bacon fat occasionally can definitely contribute to quality of life. "I don't like bacon fat with veggies, but for things like cornbread, potatoes, and liver and onions, it's indispensable," says ipsedixit. "We are all going to die one day, and until that one day comes I'm going to make sure I absolutely maximize each bite I take."

One benefit of using bacon fat, as opposed to notoriously healthy ingredients like olive oil, is that you can control what goes into it. "Personally, I'd never buy bacon fat from the store," says twj. "It's too easy to make at home, I can control the quality of the bacon I use and know when it was made. Due to this thread, I have already made my local butcher shop put a hold on a few pounds of bacon ends that will be rendered down to a jar of deliciousness tomorrow afternoon."

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