Cook Your Canned Green Beans In Bacon Fat And Never Look Back

Canned foods are easy and affordable, but flavor-wise, foods like canned vegetables aren't always as appealing as the fresh ones. That's why you need to take them up a notch by adding some seasoning or cooking them in a way that infuses them with other flavors. In the case of canned green beans, try cooking them in bacon fat for a fuller, richer flavor — once you try it, you'll never cook them another way.


If you've ever cooked bacon in the oven or in a pan, you've likely noticed it creates a ton of liquid fat as it heats. Although you can certainly drain the fat and throw it away, it also provides the perfect medium for cooking other dishes while offering a ton of smoky flavor. Bacon comes in a few different forms: Hickory, applewood, or maplewood smoked, just to name a few. And each one builds a different kind of flavor when it's used to cook something else.

Cook your green beans in bacon fat

Often, when green beans come out of a can, they're mushy with less bite to them than fresh ones. Since oil is used to crisp or fry foods, that's just what those canned beans need to shine. But rather than using a more neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, try imparting flavor with bacon fat. Not only will it give those beans some nice texture, but that smoky flavor will build on the beans as they cook.


To do this, you can cook the bacon first in a pan on the stove. Let it crisp up as much as you'd like, but try not burn it; burnt bacon bits (and bacon grease) won't taste great with those beans. Once the bacon is done cooking, remove it from the pan, but keep the bacon fat in there. Before cooking the beans, make sure they're not full of moisture; pat them dry, which will help them crisp and also prevent any water from mixing with the hot grease. The grease will be extremely hot, so turn the heat down to low to prevent it from burning the green beans.

You can also cook green beans in the oven

While the stove-top method means you don't have to transfer any of that bacon grease, you can also use the oven to cook the green beans. To do this, remove the green beans from the can, and pat them dry to remove moisture. Then, spread them evenly on a sheet pan, and drizzle them with the bacon grease (if you've just cooked the bacon, be careful as the grease will be very hot). Gently toss the green beans in the fat to coat them, then roast them at 475 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes to make sure they get nice and crisp on the outside; you can check them after 15 minutes since oven cooking times can vary.


Believe it or not, bacon grease has a long shelf life. If you don't need to use all of the fat at once for your green beans, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for between three and six months as long as all of the leftover bacon pieces have been strained and removed. Bacon fat can also be frozen for use indefinitely; just properly seal it to protect it from air or moisture.