Bacon Drippings, or Bacon Fat, is the fat that comes out of bacon while cooking and collects in the pan. It is a thick fat that is semi-solid at room temperature, and liquid when heated. It has the flavour of the bacon that it came out of.
For the most part, you cannot buy it: it is a by-product of cooking at home. Every four pounds of American-style bacon will produce about 1 cup of bacon grease.
The flavour from a little bit of Bacon Drippings goes a long way, much further than an equivalent amount of butter does. Think of Bacon Drippings as a “flavouring agent”. When you’re frying something you want its taste in, use mostly canola or light olive oil, and just a tablespoon or so of Bacon Drippings for the taste, so that the bacon taste doesn’t overwhelm things. It is very good for frying onions, cabbage, or potatoes in, and to add to any kind of bean dish. You can make gorgeous Brussel Sprouts by steaming or boiling them till they are just about ready, then finishing them off with a quick sauté in Bacon Drippings.
Bacon fat is lower in saturated fat (by about 42%) than butter, and higher in the good monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Like all fats (including oils), it needs to be used in moderation.
|Type of Fat||Saturated||Monounsaturated||Polyunsaturated|
|Butterfat from butter||66 %||30 %||4 %|
|Drippings from pork||38 %||46 %||7 %|
Source: Sue Snider, Ph.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist, Food and Nutrition Facts, FNF-18 .University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, March 1997.
Choose a jar with a mouth wide enough that you can easily get a spoon into, to take out a bit at a time. The jar should have a tight-fitting lid. Pour the liquified Bacon Drippings into the jar through a strainer (or skip the strainer, if you don’t care about the crispy bits getting in). Keep the glass jar refrigerated. Or, you can freeze it if you like in a plastic container, if you don’t use it all that often.
Bacon Drippings Container
You used to be able to buy Bacon Drippings containers. They were 3 piece containers. The bottom part was the container, the middle part was a strainer, and the top was a lid. You would take the lid off, and pour your Bacon Drippings through the strainer.