How to Utilize Leftover Bacon Fat

Story by Ashley Schafer
Feature Photo via Unsplash

Bacon is a staple of many dishes since it is a fairly simple meat to cook. Whether you cook bacon in the oven or on the stove, you are always left with the excess fat, or grease.

Disposing of bacon grease can pose a challenge because it must be done properly. Grease should never be dumped down the drain because when it cools dow,  it solidifies which can cause problems in your plumbing. Try to explain that one to your landlord.

Likewise, hot grease should not be immediately thrown in the garbage because it can burn through the plastic garbage bag. However, if you wait too long to dispose of it, it will be solid and harder to scrape out of the pan.

Luckily, there is another solution to this common conundrum. By saving bacon fat in a jar and storing it in the fridge, it can be put to later use.  Bacon fat will stay good for about six months, if refrigerated.

Remember, hot grease should always be handled carefully as it can cause serious burns. Carefully dump leftover grease into an old coffee tin or mason jar. Use a paper towel to strain out the pieces of meat. You want as little particles as possible so that it doesn’t go rancid before you can use it.

Grand Central has compiled a list of uses for your leftover bacon fat so that not only does it make the disposal easier, but it reduces waste as well.

Uses for Bacon Fat

  • The first use may seem obvious, but bacon fat can be used as a butter and oil substitute. Each teaspoon of bacon fat has roughly 39 calories. This is perfect if you find yourself out of butter on short notice, or you are cooking a dish that would taste exceptionally better with a hint of bacon flavor.
  • Use bacon fat to prepare your cast iron skillets and grease up your cooking pans. Fry up your favorite vegetables or pop some homemade popcorn in your leftover bacon grease.
  • Try transforming bacon grease into a delicious bacon vinaigrette dressing for salads. By adding juice from half a lemon, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and two tablespoons of melted bacon fat you’ll have created a delicious homemade dressing. The dressing tastes good served hot over fried veggies or on grilled chicken, as well.
  • If you’re feeling particularly crafty, or just have a passion for wildlife, you can make bird-feeders using leftover bacon fat. Coat a pinecone in the fat then roll it in bird feed. Hang on a nearby tree and you have a bird feeder that is sure to have the birds paying a visit.
  • Make a handy fire starter by first solidifying the bacon fat. Plop a scoop of it into the middle of a coffee filter and tie it closed with a piece of hemp string. To use: light the end of the string and throw into your fire pit. Your fire will be blazing in no time.
  • If you are in desperate need a light source or just really love the smell of bacon, you can construct a candle from bacon fat. Pour the grease into a jar with a wick, and allowing it to set, you’ve got yourself a candle that will leave your roommates thinking you’ve just made a heaping plate of bacon– wake up call!

Put a twist on traditional chocolate chip cookies by adding bacon fat. Use this recipe:


  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. bacon fat, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a mixer, beat the butter, bacon fat, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.
  3. Continue to beat while adding eggs, one at a time, the vanilla and sea salt.
  4. Add the flour and baking soda and mix until dough forms.
  5. Use a firm spatula to mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Refrigerate dough for a half hour.
  7. Form balls from the dough and place them onto a non-stick baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 8-9 minutes until just barely golden on the edges.
  9. Remove and let cool before eating. Enjoy!