The house I grew up in always had an MJB coffee can under the sink – with no lid I might add. And I think it was years before I realized it was what my mom stored her bacon grease in. I’d watch her carefully pour liquid into the can, and put it back under the sink. And because a handful of cleaning supplies were also down there, I assumed it was to be thrown out at some point, perhaps after it solidified. We know pouring hot grease down a sink is a bad idea because it can clog your drains like hardened arteries. In fact a few years ago city workers in London, England discovered a 15 ton, bus-sized lump of grease in the sewer system. Gross.
But I digress…anyway as a kid I of course had no appreciation for the magic that a spoonful of the beige stuff could create, but all that’s changed.
I keep my bacon grease in the fridge, and use it whenever it makes sense – you’d be so surprised at how a little bit can make a huge changed. But it’s not about making everything taste like bacon. It’s about adding a little extra flavor to whatever you’re making. Instead of just using oil or butter to sauté veggies, I’ll add a teaspoon of bacon grease. Scallops seared with a little of the magic is quite unbelievable. And of course it’s transformative when cooking any kind of egg dish.
And because I want you to have your own bacon grease, here are a few tips for collecting and storing.
- Let it cool down enough in the pan so you can handle it without buring yourself
- Choose a container to store in – Ceramic is good as is glass, like a mason jar
- Pour the grease, once cool through a piece of cheesecloth or even a couple sheets of paper towels into your container to strain out any teeny bits that might be there. This isn’t crucial, but you’ll end up with nicer looking grease.
- Refrigerate - I like keeping mine in the refrigerator. It’ll stay for about 6 months, and can easily scoop some out when needed. The freezer will hold longer, like maybe 10 months but then it’s hard to get a little bit out when needed.
But the real point is: start saving and start using. You’ll be glad you did.