Social Question

Strauss's avatar

How can bacon grease be repurposed?

Asked by Strauss (21176points) February 12th, 2016

I’m trying my best to be less wasteful, and to come up with creative ways to reduce waste by recycling, re-using, and/or repurposing things in my daily life. I know bacon fat can be used again for cooking, and I also know it’s not healthy to use it excessively. Are there any other things it would be good for?

Also, do you have any other repurposing tips for everyday household items that have outlived their original purpose?

Note: I’m classifying this Q as ” social” so we can be as creative as we want to be.

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21 Answers

2davidc8's avatar

I understand that soap can be made from grease, although I don’t know exactly how.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, I do use it for cooking. I pour it off into a small jar that used to hold spices and use it when I cook eggs. It seems to keep practically forever. My mother, with her Southern background, used to add some to green beans when she cooked them.

Jars and containers of various kinds typically have a second life and maybe more. Some of them get adopted into standard household use and serve until they wear out. We also get double duty out of supermarket paper bags, which become recyclable trash bags (with an empty egg carton lining the bottom).

I’m happy to tell you, though, that we no longer drink out of jelly glasses.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

We have a half pint of bacon grease in the refrigerator right next a pint of duck fat. Both are good for cooking. Oh, I have a quart of lard in the lower section of the fridge.

My wife does crepes in bacon fat, duck fat roasted root veggies are out of this world.

Zaku's avatar

You can use it to oil/grease pans instead of butter or oil.

It makes for very nice fried eggs, for example.

You can also use it as fuel for incendiary home defense.

Strauss's avatar

Yes, I know about the culinary uses for bacon grease. I probably should have mentioned it in the OP. I seem to have an more than a quart on the counter next to the rangetop.

I’m looking for something completely different, like @zaku’s suggestions for an incendiary device, or possibly some type of lubricant?

janbb's avatar

Bacon fat lubricant – ooh!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

One hundred years ago it was invaluable as a household lubricant. Door hinges, bicycle chains —any metal-against-metal, even wagon wheels in a pinch. It was used as a lotion to prevent sunburn. Orange, Lime, or Lemon oil or freshly crushed zest was mixed in to keep it smelling nice. It was used to bring life back to old, drying wood surfaces. A balm made from a combination of bacon grease and citron keep the mosquitoes away. A little kerosene and bacon grease would also work. It was used as a base for home-made poultices, balms and medicinal creams. As a lubricant, it lasts longer than chicken fat and breaks down faster than petroleum products—which required hard money to get. It was used quite often in the 19th century home and during the depression.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You could use it as fuel for an engine. Or as compost. My grandpa used it on his toast

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My dogs love bacon grease in their dry food and it’s good for their digestion and helps keep their coats shiny, healthy and better able to repel water.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I pour bacon on bread and leave it for the 4 legged animals who visit.

I make suet cakes for the birds by heating it in the microwave and mixing it with bird seed. Then I pour the mixture into empty tofu containers and put them in te freezer to harden. The birds love it.

I pour left overs onto crumpled newspaper in my wood burning. That makes it much easier and quicker to light.

Coloma's avatar

You can also use it as suet to feed the wild birds, especially if it is very cold.
Oops, I see @LuckyGuy beat me to it. haha
Liquefy your bacon grease and stir in hulled sunflower seeds, chopped peanuts, millet, cracked corn etc.

@LuckyGuy I also have made a cornmeal and peanut butter dough and stuff it in pine cones or drill out a little log, maybe a foot long and about as big around as your forearm with one inch holes and stuff them with the mixture and hang the log from a tree. You could do the same with the suet.

ibstubro's avatar

DIY bird feeder:
Cover a pinecone in bacon grease, then cover in birdseed and hand outside.

Bacon candle.
Cut a natural fiber wick so it can suspend from a stick to the bottom of a jelly jar
Fill the jar with bacon grease
Suspend the wick (might need a weight)
Cool and burn the candle

Bacon infused bourbon

Yeah, so I cheated a bit.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You can shine your shoes with it. Rub it into your workboots to season them and as a water repellent. When there is no saddle soap around for your baseball glove, tack and leather, use bacon grease instead. Back in the fifties, some guys used it when they ran out of Brylcreem. Use it on pipe threads to make fittings easier.

kritiper's avatar

Strain it, save it, and fry your eggs with it. Or potatoes.

ibstubro's avatar

I was going to mention, @Espiritus_Corvus, that bacon grease could be used as a substitute for bear grease in a pinch.

I have at least one of those bottles.

Coloma's avatar

Hmmm…well, I wouldn’t shine my boots with bacon grease and go hiking in bear or cougar country. Talk about a walking far Side cartoon. lol

JLeslie's avatar

If I make frijoles charros how it should be made it requires bacon fat. Basically, black bean soup (or pinto bean soup) that’s more delicious. You can use dried beans and cook from scratch, or use a can of beans. I like Goya brand black beans.

First, diced tomato, water, diced jalapeƱo, and diced onion, in a pan for a few minutes. Then some bacon fat, and the can of beans, simmer 5–10 minutes. Last, add some chopped cilantro if you like it while it’s still simmering a minute or two before you’re ready to eat.

The real deal is to add some pieces of bacon and pork rinds once the soup is in the bowl. I don’t do that.

I make this soup also without bacon far and substitute Knorr or Maggi (I need to check which it is) chicken bouillon. You could do a little of both chicken bouillon and bacon fat to reduce the amount of fat you use.

cazzie's avatar

As far as the soap suggestion goes, I urge you, Don’t. It is very difficult to clean bacon fat and saponifiying it properly because there are probably other oils or fats mixed in along with water and salt, well, you’re not going to get a good soap. I’ve been making soap for over 10 years, so please heed my advice.
Back in the old days they did use bacon fat and such because they didn’t have much to work with. If you want to make your own soaps, I can help you with that, but don’t try starting out by using bacon fat. You can use lard, which is fat from pigs and you can buy it in the supermarket.
During the depression, when my mother was growing up, they had bacon grease on bread to save on butter.

marinelife's avatar

I love to cook with bacon drippings. They are wonderful in baked bean recipes, a spoonful in vegetables (like sauteed summer squash with onions), lima beans, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

One thing to consider, as far as fat and cholesterol, bacon fat, if I remember correctly, has less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter. So, if you readily use butter for cooking, health wise it isn’t much different in my mind. If your curious you might look up the nutritional information of both and compare. I avoid cholesterol when I easily can, but that’s me and my specific situation, so I don’t use much of either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, hell. Just take it far from the house and pour it in the yard! It’ll recycle OK. Or feed it to your dogs.

The only real use I have for old bacon grease is in making tortillas.

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