After you’ve finished cooking a batch of bacon the right way, you’re going to be left with a heaping helping of grease. Having fully gorged on too many slabs of the stuff, you might be tempted to toss the remnants of your bacon feast, but I’d urge you to save most or all of that rich pork fat for future use. 

Bacon grease is packed with a salty, slightly smoky taste that you can use to add an umami bang to any number of dishes and recipes. And because it’s so dense with flavor, you’ll only need a small amount to make your next stir fry or skillet of scrambled eggs sing.

Bacon in an air fryer

You’ll hang on to some of that leftover bacon grease if you know what’s good for ya. 

David Watsky/CNET

Here’s how to store leftover bacon grease and seven amazing ways to use bacon fat in the kitchen.

What to do with leftover bacon grease

Store it properly

solid bacon fat in bacon bin

Most nonmetal containers will melt or crack when hot bacon grease is poured in, but this silicon bacon bin is resistant up to 500 degrees F.

Bacon Bin

First things first: You’ll want to store your bacon grease properly for future use. While it shouldn’t spoil, we still recommend keeping it in the fridge since it may have pieces of pork running throughout. 

Keep it in a metal can and cover it since the pungent bacon smell can permeate other foods in the fridge. If you’re going to store it in a glass or plastic container, wait for the grease to cool completely before you transfer it.

This $16 silicone bacon bin has a built-in strainer to sift out the bacon bits.

Season a cast-iron skillet

cast iron pan seasoning

Use a bit of bacon grease mixed with your go-to seasoning wax to pack your cast-iron skillets with flavor.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Seasoning your cast-iron pan is key for keeping the surface of the skillet nonstick. Doing this regularly, along with washing cast-iron cookware properly, will also build a base flavor that the pan imparts to certain foods such as steaks, burgers, chicken and hash browns. To season with bacon grease, add a small amount of the fat to your favorite cast-iron seasoning wax — I like Knapp — and proceed as you normally would. 

Add smokey pork flavor to a stir fry

stir fry in skillet

Add a teaspoon of bacon fat to your next stir fry and thank me later.

Kilito Chan/Getty

The next time you’re whipping up a quick stir fry for dinner, toss in a teaspoon of bacon grease to punch up the flavor. Don’t go overboard or you’ll end up with an overly greasy dish and a bacon flavor dominating all. 

Add savory richness to a batch of cornbread or cookies

easy skillet cornbread recipe chowhound

Cornbread will benefit from a small hit of that leftover bacon grease.

David Watsky/CNET

Bacon and cornbread are another magical combo. Since cornbread can easily dry out, adding a teaspoon of bacon fat to the mixture along with butter, will ensure the bread is moist with a hint of delicious bacon flavor. 

You can also add some bacon grease to a batch of chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. Bacon works with a lot of other flavors — maple, chocolate, vanilla — so don’t be shy about trying it with your favorite cookie recipe. 

Make bacon-washed bourbon

free spirits nonalcoholic bourbon

Add bacon fat to bourbon, shake and freeze. Then separate the solidified fat from the booze and you’ve got something special.

Free Spirits

I don’t know who originated the concept of adding bacon fat to bourbon, but I’d like to buy them a drink. Fat-washing booze is simple, just add an ounce or two of liquified bacon fat to a bottle of bourbon. Shake and let it hang out in the fridge or freezer for a few days. Strain the solidified fat out of the bourbon with a mesh strainer and you’re left with seriously smoky brown booze to drink neat or use in cocktails. 

Use bacon fat to make scrambled eggs

Scrambled Eggs James Bond

Bacon and eggs? Who would have thought?

CNET/Brian Cooley

Bacon and eggs make as good a duo as any other in the breakfast universe. Add a small bit of bacon grease to your pan with butter before dropping in the beaten eggs and stirring slowly. 

Mix bacon grease with another cooking oil to sear steaks or saute chicken 

three pieces of meat

Add some bacon fat to your cooking oil the next time you fry a piece of meat.

Getty

You won’t want to use bacon grease alone to saute foods, but you should consider adding a little to your cooking oil of choice, be it olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil or another.

Make bacon air fryer Brussels sprouts

brussel sprouts

Toss a pound of Brussels sprouts with some bacon grease and olive oil and pop them in the air fryer. 

Brian Bennett/CNET

Brussels sprouts are dense and make a good candidate to be air-fried. Toss them with a little bacon grease and then into the air fryer for 20 minutes. They’ll taste so good, you’ll forget you’re eating a vegetable at all.

What you can’t do with leftover bacon grease

Pour it down the drain

drain

Don’t put bacon grease down the drain. It’s about the fastest way to clog it up.

Alina Bradford/CNET

If you pour even one batch of bacon grease down the kitchen sink, you’ll likely be on the phone with a plumber before the week’s over.

Compost it

mill kitchen bin with food scraps inside

Bacon grease can’t be turned into viable compost. 

Mill

Bacon grease and other super oily foods can’t be composted. So keep them out of your home compost pile or electronic countertop composter.

Pour it into the garbage while it’s still hot

Do this and you’ll burn a hole in the bottom of the garbage bag. It won’t be a pretty scene when you try to take the trash out next. If you’re going to trash it, pour it into a metal can and let it cool before discarding it.

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