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Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Two-fold Benefit of Not Wasting the Fat

Yesterday, I cooked a couple of pieces of bacon at breakfast. Doing so left me with several tablespoons of flavorful bacon fat. I poured off the fat into a custard cup to use later, and afterward sauteed some onions in the greasy pan. I didn't have immediate use for the sauteed onions, so I scooped them onto the top of a large container of frozen soup. They'll add flavor when I reheat this as supper some evening.  I typically do this when I cook bacon, pour off what I can and then saute onions or celery in the greasy pan, to add to something later, freezing if I need to (great for doing the onions and celery ahead of time, for stuffing).

I do this (make sure I use every bit of the flavorful fat) for two reasons. When you buy bacon (or any meat, for that matter) you are paying for the fat as well as the lean portion. In frugal terms, it makes sense to use the fat as well as the lean (obviously, health issues trump frugality). I don't want to waste something for which I have paid good money.

After pouring off most of the fat, it only takes about
1/2 cup of diced vegetables to de-grease a pan.

In addition, I have to wash that greasy pan. Cooking some vegetables in the greasy pan removes some of the fat from the pan. This means that not only is my washing chore easier, but I use less detergent, hot water and elbow grease. It's a win all around.


CTMOM said...

Makes total sense, great tip to saute off some veg to use every bit of the reserved fat up. Currently on animal fat restrictions, as my cholesterol shot up 50 points due to a new RX. Hoping that my new cooking methods will bring it back down, plus I am no long on the aforementioned RX, and I can avoid adding a cholesterol lowering RX to my day.

Live and Learn said...

Just did this very thing yesterday with some bacon and mushrooms that needed to be processed before they went bad. I don't save all fat, but bacon is just too good not to save every bit of it.

Alice said...

we've been eating BLTs a lot lately. I cook the bacon in the oven in a foil lined pan. I also keep all the bacon grease in a glass jar in the freezer. I use that bacon grease for a lot of things--beans in my instant pot, fat for baking potato wedges and even fried eggs. I get the taste of bacon with no bacon at all. I use a rubber spatula to get every last bit of grease into the jar and then throw away the foil. That part isn't frugal but then I don't have an entire stovetop to clean either.


Lili said...

Hi Carol,
Wishing you well and hoping your cholesterol levels drop, now that you're off the other prescription.

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
oh yum -- bacon AND mushrooms. 2 of my favorite foods. I bet those were delicious mushrooms.

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
The bacon fat adds such a great flavor to savory dishes, doesn't it? I'm glad you have a way to cook bacon that minimizes clean-up.

Cheryl said...

You need bacon fat to make carnitas in a recipe I found online with one pound of lard. Not too low fat but a very nice treat once in awhile. Cheryl

Anne in the kitchen said...

One of my friends who has a restaurant calls bacon fat liquid gold. I strain it and keep it in the freezer in small mason jars.
I generally pour a little hot water or milk in the leftover pan grease to deglaze the pan. Then it is frozen to become bean soup liquid (water) or gravy (milk)

EcoCatLady said...

You brought me back to my childhood. When I was a kid we always had a coffee can on the stove for bacon grease, and that's what my mom used whenever she sautéed anything. Sorta makes me cringe now since I'm not entirely sure how healthy it is to eat fat that's been sitting out unrefrigerated for who knows how long, but that's what we did.

Anyhow, that bacon fat also won me a jr. high school science prize. One of my teachers had us do a whole series of contests and bacon fat helped me win two of them!

The first was a "marble in motion" contest. The basic idea was to see how long you could keep a marble moving without adding any energy to the equation. Other kids built huge race tracks or elaborate pendulums, but I just greased a baking tin with bacon fat and set it at a slight angle. Then I rolled the marble down it and it took over an hour for the marble to roll to the bottom! They didn't say how fast the marble had to move!

The other contest was the egg drop. You had to build a contraption that would allow a raw egg to be thrown off the top of the local stadium without breaking. Once again, other kids built huge contraptions... me? I just took one of those lunch sized milk cartons, put the raw egg inside and packed it with bacon fat. It was the only egg that didn't break!

Never underestimate the power of bacon fat!!! :-)

Lili said...

Hi Cheryl,
that sounds like a good use for leftover bacon fat!

Lili said...

Hi Anne,
Deglazing the pan to save for a soup is similar to what I do with veggies. It cleans the pan and saves the flavor for something else. Awesome!

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
I wonder about saving meat fat on the stove top. Even back in the days of cooler indoor temperatures in winter, on the stove would still be too warm for food safety, I would think. Somehow people survived. Your science projects sounded very inventive. Good job!

Belinda said...

Those onions look so good! We love sauteed onions here. :)

Kris said...

Like Ecocatwoman, my mom had a covered container for bacon grease that lived on our stove top for who knows how long. I was thinking about that the other day when I made BLTs, so I poured the grease into a small, uncovered bowl to cool before popping it in the fridge. I have since discovered that my cat seems to have a palate developed to savor the intricacies of flavor of bacon grease. Needless to say, the rest of the fat went into the trash.

EcoCatLady said...

Ha! Kitties in the bacon grease! I have to be really careful with the butter because if I leave any out and uncovered, Jasper will find it!

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