Bacon fat is unparalleled as a cooking medium. “Bacon grease (in moderation) is a culinary weapon of interstellar magnitude,” extols Hungry Celeste. “Save it every time you cook bacon.” To strain bacon fat, pour it through a coffee filter set in a funnel. Store it in the fridge; it’ll last a long, long time.

Here are a few of Chowhounds’ favorite ways to cook with bacon fat:

Put a couple of tablespoons in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat to make cornbread, then pour the batter into the sizzling fat and bake; you’ll have a delicious crunchy crust.

Fry eggs in bacon fat; use melted bacon fat in place of butter in pancake batter.

Roast or fry cut-up potatoes in bacon fat, or rub a bit on potatoes before baking for delicious, crispy skins.

Sauté vegetables in bacon fat, or add a bit to the water when you blanch vegetables for flavor without added grease.

Use it as the base for your roux when making gumbo or to add a smoky dimension to a cheese sauce; brown meats or vegetables for soups or stews in it.

Use bacon fat in place of butter or shortening when making pastry for chicken pot pies and other savory pies.

Use it as the fat component in vinaigrettes: Melt it and mix it hot with vinegar and a bit of sugar or another sweetener if you want a wilted salad, or melt it and let it cool so it’s liquid but not hot and make a dressing with vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallots, and herbs—or whatever strikes your fancy.

Board Link: Bacon Fat–do you use it? How?

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