For many people around the world, bacon grease is the secret ingredient for making good food amazing food. If you want to save your bacon grease for gravy, frying eggs, or other things you can cook with bacon grease, you need to make sure you store it properly until you are ready to use it.
The easiest way to store bacon grease safely is to have a designated bacon grease container with a lid that you can keep in the refrigerator. You will want to strain off all of the remaining pieces of bacon and crispy bits that may have been left behind when cooking before you store it.
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Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to store bacon grease, and even though your grandma may have kept it in a glass jar on the counter, there are better ways. We are going to talk about how to store it properly, how long you should store it, and how to tell if bacon grease has spoiled. Let’s get started!
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How to Store Bacon Grease
Traditionally, people have stored bacon grease in a mason jar or something that resembles it on the countertop near the back of the stove so that it is easy to access. However, food safety experts have suggested that this may not be the best method for storing bacon grease as it can lead to it spoiling faster.
The proper way to store bacon grease is to first let it cool a bit after you are finished making your bacon. If you are too quick to empty the grease, you could burn yourself if it pops at you.
Then you need to use something to strain the bits of bacon left behind from cooking out of the oil before you store it. You can use a strainer with small holes, a coffee filter, or even a bacon grease container with a built-in strainer.
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Once the grease has been strained, you can store it in a container in the refrigerator with a lid on it. If you have a lot of bacon grease to store and you are worried that it will spoil, you can also freeze the bacon grease in a freezer-safe baggy or container to extend the shelf life.
How Long Can You Store Bacon Grease?
Bacon grease can spoil so it is a good idea to keep track of how long it has been in the refrigerator or freezer. If you are keeping your bacon grease in the fridge, it should remain fresh and safe for up to three months.
If you decide to store it at room temperature, though it is not recommended, it can remain safe to up for about a month. The best option for storing bacon grease for a long period of time is to freeze it. If you store it in the freezer, it does not really have an expiration date and should be safe to use whenever you need it.
How to tell if Bacon Grease Has Gone Bad
Even if you do take measures to store your bacon grease properly, there is still a possibility of it going bad. It is actually pretty simple to tell if it has spoiled.
The most obvious sign that your bacon grease is no longer usable is the smell. Naturally, bacon grease smells like freshly cooked meat; like bacon. If you sniff your bacon grease and it smells like anything else, whether it be metal, sour, or even rotten, do not use it.
The second sign that your bacon grease has gone bad is if you see anything that looks like mold or if it has a slimy film on top of it. This is more likely to happen if it is stored in a non-airtight container on the countertop instead of in the fridge.
If you are still uncertain, have a little taste. If it still has the salty taste of freshly cooked bacon, it is still safe to use. If it has lost its flavor or it tastes like something other than freshly cooked salty bacon, you probably should not use it.
Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Bacon Grease
Whether you want to dispose of bacon grease or keep it for later, here are a few common mistakes you should avoid:
Never Dump Bacon Grease Down the Drain
As a general rule, you should never dump anything greasy or oily down the drains as it can stick to the walls of the pipes in your plumbing system and cause your sink to become clogged. Over time, it can cause more serious problems as well.
When you are ready to dispose of your bacon grease, the best option is to put it in a glass jar with a leak-proof lid on it and dispose of it at your local garbage dumping station. Oftentimes, they even have specific places labeled for disposing of oils of any kind.
Do not Leave Bacon Grease Uncovered
Whether you leave it on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer, you should not leave your bacon grease uncovered. If it is on the counter, it could be exposed to things like insects and other things in the air.
If it is uncovered in the fridge, it could make your fridge smell bad, especially if it spoils. Due to the confined space of the fridge, the bacon grease smell could also transfer to other foods and ruin their natural flavors.
Though your bacon grease will not spoil if left uncovered in the freezer, it does increase the possibility of getting freezer burn and that could ruin the bacon flavor we love so much that bacon grease provides. It is best to always keep it covered.
Re-Use Your Bacon Grease!
Bacon grease can be used to make biscuits, fried eggs, and even popcorn taste better. And it is a traditional cooking necessity in Southern cooking. But you have to make sure that you are storing it properly in the fridge or freezer so that it does not spoil before you can use your deliciously, salty liquid gold.