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

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on January 6th, 2023

Compared to vegetable oil, bacon fat is the finest technique to add richness and perfume to cooking.

It also takes effort to separate fat from fresh bacon since you have to be careful not to cook it. So it’s no surprise that, after putting in so much time, effort, and patience to gather some grease, folks may wonder: how long can you keep gammon fat?

Strips of bacon frying on a grill

Furthermore, if you are new to utilizing bacon fat in cooking and have only recently begun studying more about preserving bacon fat, you will undoubtedly have many questions such as “how to store bacon fat correctly?”, “how long does it last?” or “does bacon grease go bad?” No need to worry, people! Today, in this essay, we’ll go over all of these and more.

What Exactly Is Bacon Grease?

Bacon grease, also known as bacon fat, is the fat produced when cooked in a certain way.

Rendering is the process of heating fat to assist it releases fatty liquids and becoming a more functional and useable material.

When heated, bacon grease becomes a semi-clear (nearly foggy or milky) fatty liquid. As the temperature drops, the liquid solidifies, resulting in a semi-hard, solid white lump of fat. In this regard, bacon fat behaves similarly to coconut oil.

The flavor of bacon grease is incomparable due to the production method and, more importantly, the source (cured or smoked swine meat).

People frequently remark that olive oil tastes better than canola oil and butter tastes better than margarine – well, we feel the same way about bacon grease!

This fat not only serves as a lubricant for your meal, but it also provides a lot of taste. It’s best described as a blend of wonderfully balanced umami tastes, with noticeable saltiness and smokey undertones.

It transforms any old uninteresting food into something new and unusual – even plain old fried eggs!

Bacon grease and lard have extremely similar cooking properties (another fat obtained from rendering pork meat). Its smoke point is around 374°F (190°C). This isn’t extremely high, and we wouldn’t advocate deep-frying in it, but it’s also not very low.

With this smoking point, you may effortlessly prepare, shallow fry, and sauté practically any meal without fear of smoking. It does, however, have a larger likelihood of burning before smoking.

Where Can You Find Bacon Grease?

This is a frequently asked question. Bacon grease is generally created at home while making bacon, although we’ve recently noticed an increase in the availability of this commodity in supermarkets.

As usual, we advocate creating your own, and with bacon grease, you are already doing so every time you cook bacon; pour it into a jar and save it for later use!

We also enjoy that bacon grease is an unprocessed fat, which makes it far more natural (and nutritious) than manufactured fats and oils like margarine and seed oil mixes.

For the greatest results, cook the bacon in one of two methods. When you cook bacon on high heat, the generated fat frequently burns and evaporates, leaving you with a teaspoon of oil.

You want to cook your bacon on low and moderate heat to produce the clearest and unburnt grease possible.

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?

Unfortunately, bacon grease can spoil, but like all fats, it will take a long time to spoil if stored properly. Bacon grease may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and used in place of butter or cooking oil in several meals.

Fortunately, keeping bacon grease is a breeze.

How Long Does Bacon Fat Last?

If you love bacon as much as we do, you’ve probably noticed a lot of fat left in your pan after frying it! This is because fat people like to save to utilize later, either in frying or baking.

But, if this is something you’re used to, you might wonder, “How long can I store that fat safely?” And this issue persists even if you use professionally packaged bacon fat!

When it comes to store-bought gammon, it’s very simple: look at the best-by date on the packaging. But what about the homemade fat that’s left over from bacon frying?

Relax, we’re here to assist you! Just look at this quick guide on the shelf life of bacon fat. With its assistance, you can determine how long your gammon will be healthy before you must discard it!

Bacon greasePantryRefrigeratedFreezer
Bacon grease (store-bought)2 years or best-by date + 3 to 6 months
Bacon grease (homemade)1 to 2 months6 months1 year

However, some individuals claim that bacon fat generated at home may remain virtually indefinitely!

We are unsure about the authenticity of this assertion. Therefore we recommend you check your handmade bacon fat now and then to ensure it is of suitable quality.

In any case, it can potentially have a very long shelf life!

Is it important to keep bacon grease refrigerated?

Everything is determined by what you want to achieve in the end. You should be aware that bacon fat lasts considerably less time at room temperature than it does when refrigerated.

However, none of these preservation techniques will impact its taste, flavor, or other attributes.

How long does bacon grease keep in the fridge?

If you follow all of the criteria and restrictions and store it properly, bacon grease may be kept refrigerated for several months.

How long can bacon grease be stored at room temperature?

Bacon grease lasts shorter when stored in this manner than when exposed to frost or cold. In any case, you can retain it for at least a half-year. Only store it in a dark, opaque, and securely closed tank.

How Do You Know If Bacon Grease Is Bad?

As previously said, if you follow the directions and keep it properly, bacon grease should not go bad. If you have any cause to be suspicious and suspect that its freshness has been compromised, look for clear spoiling indicators. Let’s see what happens.


Any discoloration indicates that the bacon grease has deteriorated. On the other hand, a blue, green, gray, or brown hue suggests rotting fat. In such a circumstance, toss it away to avoid any health problems.


Any fragrance other than the aroma of fresh meat indicates that you should not use bacon grease. When it spoils, it can have a sour, rotten, or fishy odor that renders it inedible.

Rancidification is the oxidation or hydrolysis of fat caused by exposure to light, air, moisture, or microorganisms. Because of the presence of aldehydes and ketones, the outcome is an unpleasant odor.


If you are unsure whether your bacon grease is rotten, touch it with clean hands. Any slimy or sticky film on the surface indicates that you should avoid utilizing this fat.


Try to taste your bacon grease whenever you wish to use it to cover cooking. Any alteration will alert you that anything is amiss, which will help you maintain your health.

As you’re undoubtedly aware, fresh bacon grease has a wonderful, rich, and salty flavor. If you notice a strange flavor, there is a good likelihood it has gone rancid. You should get rid of such oil since it is unsafe to use.


Mold is unlikely to develop on fat, but you may detect it on your bacon grease under specific conditions. If this occurs, discard it and replace it.

Is it possible to become sick from old bacon grease?

Eating modest amounts of rancid fats may be unpleasant, but it will not immediately harm your health.

We couldn’t discover any formal information regarding the dangers of rotting bacon grease, although experts believe swallowing little amounts of rancid oils occasionally is extremely low risk.

Closer to home, if it stinks, it will damage the meal with which you prepare it. It’s probably okay to eat if it doesn’t stink.

What Is the Best Way to Keep Bacon Grease?

Storing bacon grease is not as difficult as it may have appeared to you at first.

If you want to reduce bacon fat with your hands in the kitchen, understanding a few simple storage tips can help keep this product crisp and consumable for as long as possible.

How do you keep bacon fat?

Now that you’ve got your bacon drippings in the glass jar let’s talk about storage choices.

On The Shelf

You may store that jar close to the burner on the counter. If you choose, drain any bacon bits and pieces from the fat before storing it. A sieve and some cheesecloth come in handy for this. On the counter, the fat will last around a month. Following that, you will see that it begins to grow rancid.

In the Refrigerator

I store my grease in the refrigerator. It’s out of the way, doesn’t take up much space on my countertops, and lasts a long time — 6 months. That’s why I keep a container of bacon drippings on hand, adding to it every time we cook bacon. I use what we have and clean the jar every six months before beginning afresh.

In the Fridge

If you don’t use your bacon grease often or want to keep it for a longer period, freeze it. Bacon grease may be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Because we go through bacon grease so rapidly, I’ve never frozen it. However, it’s a wonderful alternative, and it may come in useful if you’re going away for a few months and have any bacon grease left over.

Is it possible to reuse bacon grease?

It’s not a good idea. Once you’ve used some oil for cooking, it can’t be used again because of the bacteria that cause the fat to get rancid.

Even if these standards and recommendations are followed, bacon grease might become rancid. Why is this the case? Let us find out!

What Is Bacon Grease and How Do I Use It?

Aside from consuming the bacon fat as soon as it has melted, it may be utilized in a variety of ways around the homestead:

  • Lip Balm – delectable! Once the bacon fat has melted, sift off the pieces and mix with a little vegetable oil (this is optional, but it increases the nourishing properties of your lip balm). Pour into a jar and set aside to cool. As required, apply to lips.
  • Soap – Boil water with melted fat and salt. Add lye to the fat solution after dissolving it in water. Allow cooling before cutting into squares for quick soap. Because lye is toxic, you should understand more about it beforehand.
  • Start a fire – Roll up a paper towel and drop it in a cup for a firestarter. Refrigerate the cup with a little bacon grease until the next time you start a fire. When you light the paper cup, the fat will serve as an excellent fire starter!

Of course, utilizing bacon fat for cooking may provide more flavor to anything:

  • Eggs — Instead of using cooking oils, fry your eggs in melted bacon fat.
  • Fried potatoes – in a pan over an open fire, cook your sliced potatoes in hot grease.
  • Then, pour melted bacon fat over popped corn.
  • Grilled cheese – cook your cheese sandwich in hot bacon fat until the cheese melts into the bread and infuses it with flavor!
  • How about covering a cold skillet with bacon fat and baking it for a few hours? Repeat, draining off the excess, and that delightful bacon taste will come through every time you use the skillet!

How to Make Your Own Bacon Grease

Although bacon grease may be purchased, there is rarely a cause to do so. You can harvest that bacony deliciousness and keep it for a rainy day if you’re planning to make bacon at home once in a while anyhow!

Here’s how to make bacon grease from frying bacon in a pan normally:

  • Over medium-low heat, heat a nonstick frying pan or cast-iron skillet. You can add a drop of olive oil or butter to help lubricate the bacon and keep it from burning, but this isn’t essential because the bacon won’t stick due to the cooking procedure.
  • Place the bacon in a single layer in the pan. Allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the bacon is completely cooked. Reduce the heat if the bacon begins to cook too rapidly at any moment.
  • Set the bacon aside after removing it from the pan. Pour the fat into a glass container while it is still hot and liquid, and leave it to cool fully, uncovered.

If you cook your bacon in the oven (we understand; sometimes you’re too busy in the morning to oversee breakfast), you can still preserve the bacon grease for later!

How to extract bacon fat from oven-cooked bacon:

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius).
  • On a wire rack, arrange a single layer of bacon. Place the rack on top of a drip pan or cookie sheet (any tray that can catch all drippings).
  • Place the rack and tray in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the bacon is thoroughly cooked.
  • When the bacon is done, take it from the oven, set it aside, and pour the bacon oil into a glass jar. Allow the grease to cool, uncovered.

Best Recipes Using Bacon Fat

Yes, we are accustomed to thinking of bacon fat as a meal only suitable for frying. But did you know that if we add it to the dishes we prepare, the taste and fragrance of the meat will take on smokey notes?

Instead of throwing away these valuable leftover fats, try one of the recipes below to add a new depth to your dish.

1. roasted potatoes It’s a fresh take on an ancient dish.

Sounds easy, but rubbing the bacon fats into the russet potatoes, then placing them in the oven, and lastly, when the meal is finished, stuffing potatoes with red onions cooked in bacon fat will give the well-known cuisine a whole new look.

2. Bacon-flavored popcorn

Heat 14 cups of bacon fat in a saucepan and place it on the burner. When it’s melted, add a few popcorn kernels, and when they start popping, add another 14 cups. Cook, constantly stirring, until the kernels begin to pop, then continue to cook until the popping slows.

Fill the bowl with the contents and top with shredded cheese. Done! The delectable snack is ready to be served!

3. Crackers with bacon

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt enough bacon grease to coat the bottom of the skillet.

Cook flour tortillas till crisp and golden, then sprinkle with paprika. This light dish is ideal for a fast snack.

4. cornbread

It is an excellent food to prepare for any dinner. If we add some bacon grease to the skillet, the loaf will have that amazing meat taste and crispy exterior.

5. Coat your baking utensils with oil.

Tins, baking bowls, and pans — bacon grease is suitable for sweet and savory meals.

6. Infuse drinks

If you have a fat jar in the fridge, use it to flavor your drink or liquor. They claim the flavor is fantastic!

7. Put it in the dog’s food.

Yes, the bacon grease will work great in your pet’s meal! And if your dog used to refuse food, the plate will now be empty.

Of course, you may freeze some for later use.

Can Bacon Grease Be Freeze?

Yes, you can freeze bacon grease, which will keep for up to a year in the freezer. First, place the drained bacon fat in a temperature-safe, airtight container in the freezer. Next, place the container of bacon fat in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, and use it up within a few days after it has been defrosted.

It is never suggested to refreeze defrosted bacon grease since the frequent temperature fluctuations might alter the product’s flavor. It can also cause the bacon fat to burn faster than it would normally. On the other hand, Bacon grease frequently lasts long enough in the refrigerator that it doesn’t need to be frozen.

What Is the Best Way to Thaw Frozen Bacon Grease?

You may either defrost the bacon fat in the refrigerator (never at room temperature since the risk of bacterial development is too great) or thaw it in cold water.

Cold water is considerably quicker, but it takes more effort. Every 30 minutes or so, the water should be replaced with fresh cold water. The bacon grease is ready to use in 1-2 hours.

Can Bacon Grease Be Freezed Twice?

Contrary to popular belief, bacon grease is one of the rare exceptions to the rule of freezing things twice. Instead, you can freeze bacon grease if it hasn’t been microwaved or reheated.

However, we still recommend freezing bacon fat in smaller containers rather than freezing, warming, and freezing again. Freezing bacon grease twice reduces its shelf life and surely reduces its quality.


Bacon fat is fantastic for individuals who like to cook with anything other than vegetable oil! It provides your foods the deep flavor and great scent that we adore.

And, because this product is simple to use and store, you should have no issue storing some bacon grease in your freezer to use for cooking your morning scrambled eggs or toast!

Questions and Answers

Is bacon grease made of lard?

The term “lard” refers to rendered hog fat in general. Bacon grease is a form of fat. Pure lard and bacon grease, however, have distinct flavors and textures. For example, bacon grease has a smokey taste, but pure lard has a neutral flavor.

How can I harvest bacon grease and store it?

The simplest method is to strain it directly from the pan in which it was cooked. Take a glass jar since it is preferable for hot liquids, and gently filter the grease, ensuring no food particles go inside. Using a strainer might assist you in avoiding coming into touch with the leftovers.

Is it safe to keep bacon fat in the refrigerator?

This product, in reality, is much better stored frozen because the fridge will not give it adequate conditions. Furthermore, frozen fat will last longer, albeit not for years, but at least a month.

Do you drain the bacon fat while it’s cooking?

It is up to you and your recipe to drain the bacon fat. If your recipe calls for a low quantity of fat, drain the grease into a container. You may then re-use the grease as needed.

We prefer to render the bacon as quickly as possible and then cook the rest of the ingredients in that grease. So, unless the recipe expressly calls for it, we don’t drain it.

Is it OK to fry eggs in bacon grease?

You may cook eggs in the fat when you’ve finished cooking the bacon. Even if it’s the next day, as long as the pan was covered and nothing went into the fat, it’s fine.

How to Get Rid of Bacon Grease

If you want to get rid of bacon grease, don’t flush it down the toilet or sink. Because it’s heated, it’s now liquid. However, it will harden and eventually clog the drains.

It’s preferable to drain the grease into a container that you can either trash away or transport to a used oil collecting firm.


Editorial Staff

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