Does Bacon Grease Go Bad?

Cooking with bacon grease can be a great way to add that smoky flavor to your savory cooking, but you’re probably wondering if bacon grease goes bad.  Let’s find out.

Quick Answer

Bacon grease, which is a byproduct of bacon, can go bad.  Stored safely, however, it should last anywhere from a month or two on your counter to six months in your refrigerator or freezer.  As long as your bacon grease smells fresh, it’s safe to eat. If it doesn’t smell fresh, it should be thrown away.

While bacon grease is great to cook with, you want to be sure it’s fresh or it will make whatever you’re cooking taste bad.  Keep reading to learn how to properly store your bacon grease.

Does Bacon Grease Go Bad? How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?

Bacon grease can last for up to six months depending upon how it is stored, but after that or if it doesn’t smell fresh it should be thrown away.

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last Outside?

If stored properly, bacon grease will stay fresh on your counter for up to two months and in your pantry for up to six months.

Cool and strain:  Proper storage includes cooling your bacon grease so it’s easier to handle.  Once cooled a bit, you’ll want to strain your bacon grease before pouring it into an air-tight container, like a mason jar.  Straining the grease will remove any remaining bacon bits that may have collected in the grease.  Those bits could cause your bacon grease to spoil faster.

Counter or Pantry:  You can store your bacon grease either on your counter or in your pantry.  Given the fluctuations of light and temperature in your kitchen, however, grease stored on the counter will only last a month or two.  Grease stored in your pantry will last up to six months.

With a little care, bacon grease can be kept for up to six months.  Bacon grease is a great addition to many savory dishes and being able to reuse it a top money-saving tip.

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last in the Fridge?

Bacon grease can be safely stored in your refrigerator for up to six months if stored properly.  Bacon grease can be used to add flavor to many recipes so it’s helpful to have it on hand.

Storage Preparation:  In order to store your bacon grease in the refrigerator, you will want to cool it so it’s easier to manage.  After a few minutes of cooling, you will want to strain your grease so any remaining bits of bacon are removed.  Any residual meat could cause your grease to spoil faster.

Resealable Air-Tight Container:  You will want to store your cooled and strained grease in a resealable air-tight container, such as a mason jar.  This will ensure that as much air as possible is removed from your grease and the grease stays fresh as long as possible.

If you follow these handy tips, your bacon grease should stay fresh for up to six months in your refrigerator.

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last in the Freezer?

If you have a lot of extra bacon grease, it can be frozen for up to six months ensuring you will always have bacon grease on hand.

How to store: As you would for counter or refrigerator storage, you will want to cool and strain your bacon grease before transferring it to an air-tight resealable container.  Remember to leave some room in your container for the bacon grease to expand as it freezes.

Portion your grease:  Frozen bacon grease will freeze hard so you may want to give some thought to portioning your grease before freezing.  An ice cube tray works very well for this.  If using an ice cube tray you will want to remove the cubes once they freeze and transfer them to a food storage bag or another freezer-friendly container.  Keeping the grease cubes in the ice cube tray is not recommended.

Freezing bacon grease is a great way to make sure you always have it on hand for all of your favorite savory recipes.

How to Tell if Bacon Grease Is Bad? How To Know if Bacon Grease is Fresh?

Bacon grease is rendered bacon fat and doesn’t last forever.  Eating or cooking with bacon grease that has gone bad won’t necessarily make you sick, but it won’t taste good.  In addition, whatever you are adding it to will take on the spoiled flavor and won’t taste good either.

Use your senses:  Use four of your five senses to figure out if your bacon grease is still good.  If it smells bad, looks bad, seems slimy or sticky to the touch, or tastes bad, then it has gone bad and should be thrown away.  Other obvious signs are mold or a change in color.  Fresh bacon fat should be creamy and white.  If your bacon fat is any other color, it should be thrown away.

Fresh bacon grease smells like bacon:  Fresh bacon grease has a distinct smoky, bacon smell to it.  Given that the grease is the fat rendered from cooking bacon this makes sense.  It’s that smoky, bacon taste you want to add into your savory foods, like scrambled eggs or cornbread and you want it to be fresh.

Properly stored bacon grease should last for several months.  If you’re careful, and you check your grease before using it, it’s something you can have on hand indefinitely.

How to Store Bacon Grease?

Bacon grease can be kept on the counter, in the pantry, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for varying amounts of time. Carefully storing your bacon grease will ensure you always have fresh grease on hand.

Proper Storage:  In order to keep your bacon grease fresh for as long as possible you will want to cool and strain the grease before storing it in an air-tight resealable container.

Two containers are best:  To avoid taking from and adding to the same container of grease, it’s best to keep two separate rotating containers of grease.  One container should be just for receiving grease and one should be just for using grease in cooking.  The two containers will eliminate you from taking and adding to the same container all the time and you can easily rotate your containers as you empty and fill them.

Can You Freeze Bacon Grease? How? Why?

Bacon grease can be frozen for up to six months, so if you’re cooking a lot of bacon for a party, for instance, freezing is a great way to extend the life of the grease.

Freezer-friendly storage:  It’s important to store your bacon grease in an air-tight freezer-friendly container.  Remember to leave a little extra room in the container as the grease will expand a bit as it freezes.

Smaller is better:  If you store your bacon grease in one big container it will be very difficult to remove smaller amounts as it will freeze solid.  If you store your bacon grease in smaller containers or portion it out in an ice cube tray it will be much easier to thaw and use as you need it.  If you use an ice cube tray to freeze your bacon grease you will want to transfer the cubes once they freeze to a food storage bag or another freezer-friendly container.  Storing in the ice cube tray for a long time is not recommended as most trays are plastic and you won’t want your next batch of ice tasting like bacon.

How to Thaw Bacon Grease?

Freezing bacon grease is a great tip to help it last longer, but like most things, it should be thawed gently.  Transferring your frozen bacon grease to the refrigerator will allow it to slowly thaw and stay fresh for as long as possible all at the same time.

Bacon grease should not be refrozen once transferred to the refrigerator. It just doesn’t hold up well to the changes in temperature involved in the refreeze.

Wrap Up

Tell us in the comments below how you like to keep your bacon grease and your favorite use for it.  One of the joys of cooking is learning from others and passing down recipes.  What can you teach us?

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