How to Store Bacon Fat
Once again, when we talk about cooking with bacon fat, we mean the clear (or white, when cooled) rendered fat that results from cooking bacon slowly (like in the oven), not the burnt, particle-filled grease that comes from frying bacon in a skillet on the stove.
To ensure that it is free of cooked bacon, you can pour the liquid fat through a piece of cheesecloth into a clean, heat-proof ramekin. Be sure not to pour the hot fat (which, if it’s pourable, it’s still hot) into any vessel that might crack or melt.
Although it might be tempting to add freshly rendered bacon fat to whatever container already contains a previous batch, this is not a great idea. Bacon fat has a fairly long shelf-life, but it won’t last forever. Exposure to heat, light, and oxygen can cause it to turn rancid, and adding new fat to rancid fat (or nearly rancid fat) will just ruin all of it.
Use a fresh container to store each batch of bacon fat.
You can store it in the freezer for up to a month as long as it’s in an airtight container like a glass jar.
A half-pound of bacon may yield anywhere from 4 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of rendered fat and, assuming you can go through this amount in a week or two, it will remain perfectly fresh stored in the fridge like butter. Simply cover the ramekin with a piece of plastic wrap.
Cooking with Bacon Fat
A great way to think about bacon fat is to view it as a substitute for butter, shortening, and margarine. Anywhere you’d use these products, you can use bacon fat instead—whether it’s spreading it on toast, using it to make pie crust, or frying your eggs in it.
A few suggestions:
Drizzle it on popcorn
Add it to rice
Make biscuits or cornbread with it
Note that we mentioned the pie crust above. Lard (which is another name for bacon fat) is treasured by pastry chefs for the light, flaky pie crusts it produces. The only difference between bacon fat and lard is that bacon fat will taste of hickory or maple or whatever sort of wood smoke was used to cure it, whereas lard won’t.