Whenever I visited my grandmother's house she always woke us up with a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. After cooking up fatty pieces of bacon in the cast iron skillet, she would pour off the bacon fat into a small container in the shape of a pig. When I got older and started cooking with her, I would always pour the grease into the jar, always wondering what we were saving the leftover bacon grease for.
Later in the evenings, my grandmother would solve the riddle by scooping a tablespoon of the bacon grease into a pan and sautéing small rounds of potatoes. The scent would be heavenly and the slight hint of bacon flavor brought those potatoes over-the-top delicious.
Along with cooking potatoes there are many ways to use bacon grease in both savory and sweet recipes. Just a take a look at these creative recipes.
1. Bacon Fat Gingersnap Cookies
We've never thought of putting bacon grease in cookies, but seeing this recipe, it makes perfect sense. Complex flavors make these delicious leftover bacon fat gingersnaps are perfect served with a mug of hot coffee. Rich with a hint of spice from cloves and cinnamon, these beat out chocolate chip cookies in a heartbeat.
2. Bacon Fat Cornbread
Cook up a loaf of this cornbread and you'll never go back to making it with a box. This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of the liquid gold, which is heated in a cast-iron skillet. Pour the cornbread mixture on top and bake until golden brown.
3. Bacon Fat Popcorn
When frying up your morning bacon, make sure to save some of the leftover bacon fat for this savory popcorn. The popcorn is actually popped using the room temperature bacon fat, incorporating the bacon flavor into every single kernel. For an extra bacon taste consider adding chopped cooked bacon into the popcorn.
4. Bacon Fat Chicken Alfredo
Delicious bacon makes this pasta dinner gourmet and damn delicious to boot. First render the bacon then add in butter, chicken broth and a splash of heavy cream for richness. Pour the sauce over the pasta and garnish with small bacon bits (which you cooked earlier) and enjoy.
5. Bacon Fat Tortillas
Homemade tortillas are already drool-worthy, but when you add bacon to them, it's like you've died and gone to tortilla heaven. Make the tortilla dough with bacon fat, milk, baking powder, salt and flour and shape into small balls. Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, roll the dough into rounds then cook on a griddle or a comal.
Serve with seasoned steak and chilies. Yes, please. Get the recipe here.
6. Crispy Cheese Bacon Potatoes
Nothing goes better with bacon and potatoes than ooey gooey cheese. Cook the bacon, then add the potatoes to a baking sheet and top with the hot bacon fat. We recommend cooking the potatoes until they are nice and crispy. Don't be afraid of getting a little char on those babies!
7. Collard Greens in Bacon Grease
If this is what Momma meant when she said, eat your greens, I would have eaten them all the time. Sautéed in a mixture of bacon grease, garlic and olive oil, these collard greens are tender and tasty. Serve these greens with fried chicken for a complete Southern meal.