As you already know, each time you prepare bacon, a lot of fat leaves in the pan. You can store it and use it later in baking or cooking. The primary questions are how to keep bacon grease, does bacon grease go bad, and how long does bacon grease last. Let’s discover it together.
Does Bacon Grease Go Bad?
Even though bacon grease is a long-lasting product, it will spoil over time like other fats. However, it won’t be too quick if you store it appropriately. That way, you can use this fat for preparing many dishes instead of oil and butter.
Some experts claim that bacon grease theoretically can’t spoil unless external factors impact it. They will make it go rancid due to fat oxidation, which occurs in contact with oxygen. Therefore, you should store it covered, regardless of the way you keep it.
How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?
You can use grease for up to six months when stored at room temperature, but it will be edible for additional few months if you put it in the fridge. Remember that these are just rough calculations, so your bacon grease can last much longer if you store it adequately.
How Long Does Bacon Grease Last (Chart)
|Bacon grease type||Pantry||Fridge|
|Store-bought||Best by date + 6 months||For years|
|Homemade||6 months||One year|
The shelf life of store-bought bacon grease is usually two years. Since it is a rough estimate, this product may last for months after the estimated date but can lose some standard features.
Keep in mind that homemade bacon grease will spoil more quickly than the store-bought one because it is not thoroughly cleaned and without residual bacon bits. On the other hand, you probably continuously add new grease and take it from the jar for months. That will directly affect its shelf life.
The best decision is to check the freshness of the bacon grease you have before using it. That way, you will be sure that it is edible and tasty the way you like.
5 Tips to Tell if Bacon Grease Has Gone Bad
As I have already mentioned, bacon grease probably won’t go bad if you follow the instructions and store it well. If there is any reason to be suspicious and believe that its freshness is compromised, you should check for obvious spoilage signs. Let’s see.
Any discoloration is a reason to believe that bacon grease is spoiled. On the other hand, a blue, green, gray, or brown tinge definitely indicates rotten fat. In such a case, throw it away just in case to prevent possible health issues.
Any other smell other than the scent of fresh meat is a sign that you shouldn’t use bacon grease. Once spoiled, it can have a sour, rotting, or fishy odor that makes it inedible.
- Rancidification – It is a process of fat oxidation or hydrolysis after exposure to light, air, moisture, or bacteria. The result is an unpleasant odor because of the aldehydes and ketones occurrence.
If you are not sure if your bacon grease is spoiled or not, touch it with clean hands. Any slimy and sticky layer you can feel on the surface is a sign that you should avoid using this fat.
Each time you want to use your bacon grease to prepare a meal, try to check its taste. Any change will warn you that something has gone wrong, which will help you stay in good health.
As you have probably known, fresh bacon grease has a pleasant, rich, and salty flavor. In case you notice any unusual taste, there is a significant chance that it has gone rancid. Since such grease is not safe to use, you should get rid of it.
It is quite unlikely for mold to grow on fat, but you can notice it on your bacon grease under certain circumstances. If it happens, throw it out and get another one.
Tips to Store Bacon Grease
After preparing bacon, you can collect grease and store it appropriately for future use. Pour it into a mason jar, airtight container, or special grease container. After cooking the bacon, let grease cools down for a few minutes, but take care not to solidify entirely.
Then pour it through a strainer into the container to remove small chunks and prevent it from rancid. High-quality bacon grease should be solid and creamy white when entirely hardens. In the end, store it well until you need it to prepare the meal.
Try to avoid adding and scooping grease from the same jar over and over again. Instead, change the container every few months. Only that way can you keep bacon grease healthy and fresh. Plus, you can use fat only once and then throw it away.
How to Store Homemade Bacon Grease
After pouring the grease into a ceramic container, you can keep it at room temperature. Make sure to close the lid tightly and use the fat when needed within a month or two, depending on your kitchen’s temperature.
Always clean the container’s outside surface to avoid attracting pests. Once you notice an unpleasant odor, your bacon grease has likely spoiled, so you should get rid of it.
You can store bacon grease in the pantry at the temperature of 50 to 70 F (10 – 21 C). Pour it into a dark, airtight container and change it every few months. When properly stored, leftovers will be prepared to use for half a year.
Pour cooled bacon grease in the heat-proof container, jar, or bowl wrapped with an aluminum foil. Then, please put it in the fridge and use it for the next six months. Then, clean the jar and start over with fresh grease.
Keep in mind that fat solidifies at low temperatures, but it quickly melts after taking it out of the fridge.
When you have plenty of bacon grease or won’t use it for a while, the best option is to freeze it. That way, it will last at least a year. Make sure to store it in an airtight container, take it out a day before you need it, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Never refreeze bacon grease again once you thaw it.
How to Store Commercially Packed Bacon Grease
Storing commercially packed bacon grease is even simpler than dealing with a homemade one. If you close it tightly after using it, you can keep it for months without fear of spoilage.
Kitchen cabinet or pantry
Store grease in your kitchen, but keep it away from a cooker and oven. That way, it won’t soften when the kitchen temperature increases above 80 F (26.5 C) and harden when it decreases. Too many changes are not suitable for grease quality.
There is no need to refrigerate commercially packed bacon grease. The only exception is when you buy a product with specially indicated instruction to do that. Always make sure that the package is closed tightly.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Bacon Grease
In most cases, people won’t eat spoiled bacon grease since it smells terrifying and tastes sour because of bacteria forming on its surface. If that happens, though, you may face the risk of food poisoning with characteristic symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Can You Freeze Bacon Grease?
Sometimes, it is necessary to freeze bacon grease. Basically, you should do that if you have plenty of it and can’t use everything at once. Since it is entirely fat, it won’t go bad in the freezer for at least one year, and low temperatures won’t affect its taste and flavor.
However, be aware that the frozen grease will become more solid, so you may have some difficulties to scoop it out of the package. Therefore, it is crucial to pack it properly. Let’s see.
- Airtight container – It is an excellent solution to pour bacon grease into an airtight container. Seal it tightly and place it in the freezer.
- Tray – Cool the bacon grease on a tray until getting the desired consistency. Then, take small balls of fat with a spoon and put them into an airtight container. Such portioned grease is prepared for cooking without prior thawing.
- Ice cube tray – This method is perfect when you plan to use only a piece of frozen bacon grease to prepare your meal. Pour grease into an ice cube tray, freeze it, and then transfer cubes to an airtight container.
Once you need to thaw a bigger bacon grease package, you should place the container in the fridge overnight. Use thawed grease within a few days and never refreeze the thawed product since the repeated temperature changes affect the grease taste and speed the rancidness process.
Bacon grease is a tasty byproduct of cooking bacon that you can use for preparing delicious meals. It is not an easy process for bacon grease to go bad when you store it adequately. So, you can use it for months without any concerns but always check for mold before every cooking.