Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baking Bacon and Using the Grease

There have been a number of posts on Kitchen Tip Tuesday lately on baking bacon. It is my preferred way of preparing it - I line two jelly roll pans (cookie sheets with sides) with foil and spread out a pound of bacon that has been cut in half. I bake it at 350 for usually around 25 minutes, rotating the pans every 10 minutes or so. I turn them 180 degrees and switch the top and bottom racks both.

Once the bacon is done, I use a fork to move it to two plates lined with paper towels. If you no longer use paper towels, I think I saw a kitchen tip once where they used a cooling rack over newspaper.

TIP: To use the grease, fold either side of one corner up and make a little spout with it. Pour it into a clean, empty jar. You can put a lid on it if you like, I leave mine open. I store it in the refrigerator, although my mother kept hers in a pot in a cupboard for years and never had any difficulty.

To use, my mom left a pastry brush in hers and would use that to grease her pans or for pan frying. I've seen people leave a small plastic bag tucked in the jar; they stick their hand in it, scoop up a bit of grease, and use that to grease pans, then just spoon out a bit for frying. I found I ended up with grease inside the bag more often than not!

My method of use is to tear off a small piece of paper towel and fold it over, swipe that through the grease, and use it to grease my pan - then throw it away.
Note that the if you let your grease sit and cool too long, it will "harden" (it doesn't get very hard) on the pan and you won't get as much to pour off.

Regardless, the bonus is that bacon grease doesn't turn into the nasty, sticky mess that non-stick spray does. Once my jar gets full - like it is now - I pour the grease over hard end slices of bread and feed them to our farm dog and barn cats. They enjoy the treat!

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Anonymous said...

I don't exactly keep the bacon grease "for years", but it does keep a long time. (You are exactly right, I have had a "pot" of it in the cabinet for YEASRS - just not always the same grease!!!) It is lard and if you notice that lard in the grocery store is not refrigerated - however, it can get rancid. I do use a pastry brush (one with natural bristles and metal - so hot grease won't melt it), but if I am greasing a cake pan or my crock pot, I use a piece of plastic wrap wrapped around my fingers. It doesn't waste as much grease as a paper towel. IF I kept mine in the refrigerator, I would put a lid on it - because of frost free refrigerators and odors!

ace said...

Bacon grease can be almost like a seasoning itself. You can cook veggies in bacon grease and they taste yummy.

Sharinskishe said...

I have a new silicone pastry brush that I keep with my grease. It doesn't melt and is so easy to use and toss in the dishwasher when I feel I need to wash it.

I buy bacon ends & pieces and toss it into the crockpot and when the grease is rendered, I pour the grease out into my jar. I could line my crock with foil, but haven't done that, it would make clean up easier.

I will use your oven method next time I have strips of bacon to cook and render. Thanks for sharing.