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The only thing better in this world than bacon is bacon grease. Did you know that grease has a lot of uses besides just being thrown in the garbage after you cook a big fat pan of bacon? It’s used in all sorts of cooking and baking recipes and brings a lovely flavor to just about anything you add it to.
But did you know you could store bacon grease for a considerably long period of time? And that it requires no special storage treatment other than being in an airtight container?
Yes, that means storing it in your kitchen cupboards or your pantry is just fine. There are few things you should do to prep you’re bacon grease before placing it in the pantry.
You will need to filter out as much of the bacon bits and burnt pieces and other various leftovers from your delicious bacon coated pan. This is an important step that can’t be skipped. The best way to do that is with a flour sieve or a cheesecloth.
Then it is a matter of placing it into an airtight container that creates an airtight seal. A mason jar or any other glass container with a seal will work just wonderfully for this.
It’s also recommended you keep it above 26 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit so it doesn’t liquefy. If grease is allowed to liquify and solidify over and over again, eventualy it will begin to degrade. So just use spoonfuls here in there and don’t melt the entire glass of Bacon grease.
Oh and this should go without saying, let the grease cool down before you place it in your jar or you’ll end up with shattered glass everywhere.
By placing bacon grease in the pantry you can expect it to last between 3 and 6 months, although it will have a longer lifespan if it’s placed in the refrigerator instead. This is the ideal place for bacon grease and will push its shelf life to 1 year.
Once you use your pantry bacon grease do not reuse it again and do not place it back into the container. Consider it spent grease and dispose of it normally. Doing so could make you very sick from the microbes that you reintroducing into the jar. It also tends to take on the flavor or whatever you cooked in it which probably wasn’t bacon.
How to tell if your bacon grease has gone bad in the pantry?
There are a few tried-and-true indicators something has gone wrong or rancid. If there is any sorts of discoloration or mold or the smell just seems off. You already know what bacon grease smells like, so if it doesn’t smell like it should then it’s probably gone rancid. You should dispose of it.
Given the versatility of bacon grease, it is very unlikely to happen. This assumes you followed all the instructions properly and haven’t placed any older grease in with the original Grease. If it’s been stored in a dark, cool and dry place, It should be good for a long time.
Overall, if your bacon grease has started to smell rancid you’re going to notice. Even if you don’t notice when you open the jar in it’s solid form, the smell will hit your nostrils once you begin to heat it.
There is only a little bit of spoilage on the top, can I just remove it?
If you noticed that there’s only a tiny bit of spoilage on the top layer where the air reaches the grease and you’re wondering if you can just scrape it off, the answer is no. Once spoilage gets a foothold, it will quickly spread to the rest of the Grease.
So it is unwise to attempt to just remove spoilage on the surface. Much like bread, if there’s mold on the top there’s mold everywhere even if you don’t see it.
What are the effects of eating rancid bacon grease?
Using any sort of oil or grease that has gone Rancid is very dangerous for your health. Not only can it cause food poisoning and various other ailments, but some grease is also contained carcinogenic free radicals which are known to cause cancer when it begins to spoil.
So is it worth it to risk eating your bacon grease if it’s just slightly off? No no, it’s not worth it. Just replace it.