Not too long ago the average housewife would have been amazed at how wasteful we are, throwing out all that great bacon fat. After all it’s a rendered fat, just like lard or tallow, suitable for cooking and use in recipes.
I followed the lead of someone who’s done more research and started keeping mine. It’s really easy to keep, and much better than vegetable oil for frying.
All you need is a bowl and a paper towel next time you make bacon.
Pour the fat into the bowl while it’s still hot.
Lift the paper towel up by the corners and let the melted fat drain through. The hotter it is when you do this step, the faster it will drain.
The paper towel will catch all the solid bits, which is all we’re really trying for.
The finished product will be anywhere from light yellow to nearly brown, depending on how crispy you made the bacon and how hot you had the pan.
I leave this to cool for a while before transferring to a plastic container, which I then keep in the fridge.
I could go with glass or stoneware for storage, but I’d worry about shattering it by pouring hot fat into a cold vessel. You can see in the photo above that I’ve got three or four rounds of bacon fat in there. We like bacon more than we like frying, so we end up with a surplus. If you know some recipes that call for bacon fat, let me know.
In colder areas you can probably store this in the pantry, though you’d have to have a secure lid and make sure the outside is spotlessly clean or you’ll attract pests. In fact, just put it in the fridge. If you want it softer for a recipe take it out an hour or so ahead of time.
Unlike lard, this will add some flavor to whatever you’re cooking. But everything’s better with bacon.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.