8 Ways to Use Up Leftover Bacon Fat

One of the best parts about eating bacon is figuring out what to do with the bacon grease

Bacon is a beautiful thing, and bacon fat—that glistening grease rendered from bacon—is the finest form of cooking oil you can get. Best of all, this re-usable lard puts to good use a byproduct that would have otherwise been thrown out. Sift the leftover oil of solids and reserve it for bacon fat recipes, then strain for a more pure oil. This liquid gold adds richness to your recipes like no other and perfumes your recipes with a hint of smokiness. Just mind the salt, as bacon fat is saltier than other types of lard. For an even cleaner bacon fat, cure your own bacon, and add the rest to a zesty bacon XO sauce. From meatballs to fried rice, here are our 8 favorite ways to cook with bacon fat.

Supper Pancakes
Supper Pancakes
Amy Thielen's interpretation of breakfast for dinner: these delicately sweet and savory pancakes, given lift by yeast and flavored with some bacon fat. They're perfect for rolling up around crisp sausages, but are good filled pretty much everything. Get the recipe for Supper Pancakes »Matt Taylor-Gross
Corn Bread
Corn Bread
The Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina has been serving the same cornbread for almost 70 years, and it's as simple as you can get: just cornmeal and water, harkening back to the earliest days of the dish. Add some bacon fat for extra flavor (a step we've added to Skylight's minimalist recipe) and serve it with greens to moisten the crumbs. Get the recipe for Corn Bread »Matt Taylor-Gross
Spicy Cabbage Pasta With Bacon
Homemade Pasta with Spicy Cabbage and Bacon (Krpice)
Cabbage is a staple vegetable in Slovenia; here it is wilted in bacon fat and spiced with cayenne before being tossed with homemade noodle dough for this traditional pasta dish. Get the recipe for Spicy Cabbage Pasta With Bacon »Chris Court
French Baked Toast with Cream and Eggs
Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
This classic French meal of baked, cream-soaked toast and eggs is deceptively simple (and scalable) but lavish. Named for the Alpine region of Bresse, which is best known to the culinary world for its exceptional chickens, the dish is practical country cooking at its finest. As it bakes, the cream soaks into the bread and thickens to a rich sauce right on the platter, resulting in a savory French toast. Get the recipe for French Baked Toast with Cream and Eggs »Matt Taylor-Gross
Classic Meatballs
Classic Meatballs
The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce. Get the recipe for Classic Meatballs »Todd Coleman
Harvest Supper Bread Pudding
Harvest Supper Bread Pudding
Caramelized onions and mushrooms, a pinch of cayenne, and tangy crème fraiche turn this pillowy white bread pudding savory. It makes a delightful brunch, lunch, or dinner with a lightly dressed green salad on the side. For best results, use this homemade white bread. Get the recipe for Harvest Supper Bread PuddingMatt Taylor-Gross
Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk)
Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme
In a classic Danish treatment, sweet red apples are roasted with onions, caramelized in bacon fat, and served under thick steaks of smoked belly bacon. Get the recipe for Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk) »Anders Schonnemann
Bacon Fried Rice
Bacon Fried Rice
This simple fried rice is as good for breakfast as it is for dinner. Thick-cut bacon will make for more meaty, chewy bits. Cookbook writer Amy Thielen often adds a little sauerkraut for a further Midwestern touch. Get the recipe for Bacon Fried Rice »Matt Taylor-Gross