If you don’t save bacon grease already, these recipes will demonstrate exactly why you should.
At this point we’re all well-versed in the joy of bacon. There’s been plenty of digital ink devoted to exposing all the wonderful ways you can take advantage of those crispy, chewy strips of cured porcine perfection. But now we’d like to focus your attention on the oft-overlooked pool of meat sweat that remains in the pan or drips onto a baking sheet post-sizzle. While it may seem natural to discard it, that liquid gold is ideal for enhancing some of your food favorites with sensational notes of smoke and salt.
Next time you’re in the mood for makin’ bacon, grab an official grease holder or mason jar (with a lid), and keep that rendered fat handy.
Bacon Bin Grease Holder, $14.95 from Sur La Table
A piggy bank for your bacon drippings.
Below you’ll some recipes to unleash the latest weapon in your cooking arsenal.
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This bacon grease-infused biscuit recipe is from “Bien Cuit,” the fabulous baking book courtesy of Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky (who, no surprise, is also the author of indispensable pork bible “Pig Perfect”). For supreme flakiness, remember to embed chunks of fat solids in the dough and avoid overmixing. Get the Cherokee Biscuits recipe.
While mayo often gets a bad rap for being the Jerry Smith of condiments, this enhanced version is anything but. It takes ⅔ cup of bacon fat to yield roughly 1 cup of the elevated sandwich spread which keeps for a few days in the fridge. Get our Bacon Mayonnaise recipe.
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Nothing goes to waste in this meaty, beer-soaked stew. Start by browning the beef. Then cook bacon in the beef fat. And then cook onion in the hybrid beef-bacon drippings. Oh, and don’t forget to add Guinness! There’s also carrots. Get our Beef Braised in Guinness recipe.
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“Seinfeld” made them famous, but this flavor-packed recipe takes muffin tops to new heights. And yes, you can buy muffin top pans because who needs those blah stumps. Happy early Festivus! Get our Bacon-Thyme Corn Muffin Tops recipe.
Next time you plan a full breakfast spread, remember to cook your eggs in the bacon left-behinds for maximum satisfaction. These Tex-Mex breakfast tacos also work well with chorizo drippings if sausage happens to be your pig filling of choice. Get the Mexican Scrambled Egg Tacos recipe.
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It’s well known that apple and cheddar play well together, but used in pastry, bacon fat can be another unconventional yet well-suited companion for the fruit and cheese combo. Ensuring the grease is thawed from frozen works particularly well here, as the colder the dough, the flakier the pie crust. Get the Apple Pie with Bacon Fat Crust recipe.
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Lard is essential for the optimal handmade tortilla, but why buy a jar of the stuff when you can just repurpose your bacon fat? Consider stuffing with carnitas for extreme pork on pork action. Get the Homemade Soft Flour Tortillas recipe.
With the help of bacon fat, these roasted root veggies will vanish faster than the turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an exceptionally tasty and easy side dish, so feel free to make it all year-round. Get the Harvest Roasted Vegetables recipe.
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Ever wished you could snack on bacon? Well, now you can. While the meaty bits add a nice textural balance to the popcorn, the potency of the drippings combined with the sweetness of maple syrup might be enough on their own to make this your new favorite munchie. Get the Maple Bacon Popcorn recipe.