Can old bacon grease make you sick?
If you love bacon and often cook it, you will know that there is always a lot of bacon fat left in the pan. Many people save this fat for later use in baking or cooking. You may have many questions like “can old bacon grease make you sick?”, “how to store bacon grease?”, “Can I reuse the bacon grease?”, etc. If you are just beginning to use and store bacon fat. You can be assured that we will address all of them in this article. Not just bacon grease! Find more on how to store food.
Bacon grease, which is fat, can become rancid or grow mold in it that could make you sick. Many people have a crock or jar with bacon grease near the stove as a convenient storage option. However, food safety experts don’t recommend this method stating that it’s not good for the fat’s quality to liquefy and solidify repeatedly.
Most people won’t eat spoiled or contaminated bacon grease because it is sour and smells bad. Well, if that happens accidentally or intensionally, you could be at risk of food poisoning, with symptoms like nausea and vomiting. So, spoiled bacon grease can make you sick. Do check for signs of spoilage in your old bacon grease.
As your convenient storage option above is not recommended, let’s get into how to store bacon grease.
Storage Tips And Techniques For Bacon Grease – How to store bacon grease?
Bacon grease, like all fats, will eventually spoil. However, if properly stored, it won’t spoil for very long. The bacon grease can be stored in the refrigerator for up six months and can be used as a substitute for butter or oil in many recipes.
- After you have cooked the bacon for a while, allow it to cool down until it reaches room temperature.
- Then strain the bacon using a cheesecloth or a sieve. If grease has cooled before it can be poured, heat it using a pan on low heat to melt the grease.
- Pour it into the container and seal it tightly.
While you may need to add more bacon grease to your container every time you cook bacon pieces, make sure to strain the larger ones out. While it is likely that some sediment will remain, this will eventually fall to the bottom as the grease cools.
Store-Bought Bacon Grease
We’ll start with store-bought bacon grease! It is easy to store. It’s fine to keep it in the pantry or kitchen. You don’t need to refrigerate it. When not in use, make sure that the container or packaging is tightly sealed and make sure to keep it away from any heat sources, such as the stove. Bacon grease begins to liquefy at temperatures above 80°F (or 26°C).
Homemade Bacon Grease
There are some things you should know about how to store homemade bacon fat. Both an airtight container and a large mason jar make excellent choices. Any container that can be easily sealed and used to scoop out the fat will work. Some popular e-commerce websites even sell grease containers with filters.
- After you have your container, add the grease to it. Do not rush to add the fat after the bacon has been cooked. Instead, allow it to cool for at least a few minutes. It shouldn’t be allowed to solidify.
- After it cools, strain it through a strainer. If you don’t strain it enough, it will contain small pieces of bacon. These can cause the fat in the container to become rancid.
- You can store it in your pantry but it will keep its quality longer if it is stored in the fridge. The fridge is the best place to store homemade fat.
Many people simply add bacon grease to the same jar and then scoop it out again and again. The fat won’t keep for long in good quality this way. We recommend changing to a new container every 3 to 6 months. This will ensure that you don’t have bacon grease leftover for too long time.
Reusing Bacon Grease
Last but not the least, once you’ve used the bacon grease stored for cooking, do not try to save it. It can lose some of the flavors of the food you’re cooking, and it will absorb some of the other flavors with which you used the grease. There may be microbes that can cause the bacon grease to go rancid. It is best to throw it away after you have used it once.
Freezing Bacon Grease
Bacon grease, which is almost entirely fat, will freeze and stay well for at least a year. Place the strained grease in a sealed container that is temperature-safe and airtight. Place the container in the freezer.
- To thaw the frozen bacon grease, place the container in the refrigerator overnight. You can use thawed bacon grease within a few days.
- It is not recommended to freeze bacon grease after it has been thawed. This is because repeated temperature changes can change the taste of the grease and make it go rancid faster.
- To make it easier to use, first, freeze the bacon grease in an ice tray and then transfer the cubes into an airtight container and put it in the freezer.
- You can also cool the grease in a container to make it scoopable. Then, use a melon baller to cut out fat balls and place them into an airtight container.
- The grease can then be used immediately from the freezer, as it is already prepared.
Signs Of Spoilage For Bacon – What does rancid bacon grease look like?
A strong rancid smell is the first sign that bacon grease is spoiled. Bacon grease will become rancid much faster at room temperature than in cold and dark places. Therefore, it is important to store the grease properly.
It is possible for mold to form on bacon grease that has been left unattended for a long time. You should always use a dry, clean utensil when you portion out bacon grease to prevent contamination and spoilage due to mold.