8 great ways to cook with leftover bacon fat

Bacon frying image by Shutterstock

I believe one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not throw away leftover bacon fat.” Why? Well, we all know how delicious bacon is – crispy or chewy, maple-infused or plain, for brunch or for dinner – it will always be a monument to all that food can aspire to be. But, there is a byproduct of bacon that is oft-overlooked, and that is bacon fat. When makin’ bacon, always save its sweet nectar. Here’s why…

8 You can drizzle it over popcorn

Popcorn image by Shutterstock

Who needs butter when you have the smoky flavor punch of bacon in every bite? Hell, you can even drizzle the rendered bacon fat over your popcorn and then sprinkle crumbled bacon all over it and watch it stick to the fat that it now covers like a warm taste blanket.

7 You can make a salad dressing out of it

Bing, Flickr

Bacon vinaigrette, anyone? Throw some bacon fat, a tap or two of hot pepper flakes, some red wine vinegar and a splash lemon juice together and you’ve got a delicious salad dressing to treat your greens with.

6 You can fry things in it

Neil Conway, Flickr

Mmm…savory French toast-grilled cheese with bacon… Or how about bacon fried chicken wings that are finished off in the oven and then coated with a mixture of bacon fat and hot sauce?

5 You can enhance veggies with it

Prince Roy, Flickr

Sautéed onions and garlic in bacon fat would make the perfect base for just about any Mexican dish, Asian stir fry or Italian sauce. You can also drizzle it over cauliflower, broccoli or brussel sprouts with some Kosher salt and black pepper and roast them in the oven for a smoky, delicious side dish.

4 You can bake with it

Mike McCune, Flickr

Replace half of the oil or butter in your favorite cake, cookie, bar, bread or popover with bacon grease and you will know the meaning of happiness.

3 You can improve breakfast with it

Tristan Ferne, Flickr

No, not in the regular way just by serving some bacon with your breakfast. Instead, try cooking your pancake or waffle batter in bacon fat instead of butter for a very complete breakfast treat. Hell, what am I saying? You should also serve this with bacon.

Here’s some more:
— Fry your eggs in the bacon fat after cooking the bacon
— Use bacon fat to sauté all the ingredient that will go in your frittata
— Mix bacon fat with maple syrup and pour it over French toast.

The possibilities are endless…

2 You can make soup with it

closari, Flickr

Add bacon fat and reduce the amount of butter, cream or oil in creamy or hearty soups. And then top with crumbled bacon, I guess. I mean, why not?

— Bacon clam chowder
— Bacon lobster bisque
— Bacon cheddar ale with garlic bread croutons

1 You can top ice cream with it

opacity, Flickr

Think about this: vanilla bean ice cream topped with whiskey bacon caramel sauce. Or chocolate ice cream with bacon fat-infused marshmallow topping, chocolate sauce and peanuts. I really need to arrange a meeting with Ben & Jerry.