If you use the leftover bacon grease in the pan after cooking some crispy bacon, then you are not alone! We all use bacon grease and enjoy it for its delicious smokey taste. Besides being fat, it is also used as a flavor enhancer.
Instead of counting on the leftover bacon grease, I used to have market-bought packaged bacon grease. It makes it easy to cook several things like morning eggs, and cornbread, etc.
A few months back, while I was busy trying to figure out a plant-based diet and lifestyle, bacon grease was one thing that I wanted a good substitute for. Before going vegan, I loved having bacon grease in stir-fries, for searing meat and vegetables, but then I had to look for vegetarian substitutes for bacon grease. And during my quest for those alternatives, I came across the non-vegan replacements as well. I think they all are pretty good options if you want to replace the bacon fat.
Lard, chicken skin fat, beef fat, and butter are some non-vegan substitutes for bacon grease. If you are looking for a vegan alternative for bacon fat then vegetable shortening, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, corn oil, and sesame oil are also great options.
Let’s check out the complete list and see which one of the bacon grease substitutes is more suitable for you!
Bacon Grease – Fact Check!
Too many times, I have seen people confusing bacon grease with the lard. Well, lard and bacon grease are two different types of fats extracted from the same animal. Lard is a rendered pork fat, whereas bacon grease is the excess fat released out of the bacon meat when it is cooked. Lard has a different color, texture, and taste.
Bacon grease gets its taste from the bacon meat, which is usually cured. Lard does not have the smoky pork taste that the bacon grease has. That is why bacon grease is mostly used in the making:
- Salad dressings
You will not see bacon grease used in any sweets and desserts recipe, mainly because of its porky flavor. Whereas lard is a little neutral in taste and does not taste like pork, it can also be used in baked goods and desserts.
How to Store Bacon Grease?
Do you drain bacon grease while cooking? If you do, then you are wasting a very useful ingredient! You can store this grease and use it to fry, sear, roast, or sauté several other ingredients. In a way, bacon grease can save you from spending extra bucks on other edible fats.
You can store the leftover bacon grease in a clean, sealable jar. Once you are done cooking the bacon, remove it from the pan and all the leftover grease to cool. Then pour this grease into a suitable jar then cover it. You can keep it in your refrigerator for 3 months and in your freezer for as long as you want. Keeping the bacon grease at a low temperature can prevent it from going rancid.
10 Amazing Substitutes for Bacon Grease
I couldn’t find a better match to replace the bacon grease than these 10 fats, so let’s check them out and see which are the best ones:
Lard is a pretty good substitute for bacon grease. It is a semi-solid fat, which is processed out of different types of fats. Lard comes in great varieties; some lard is plant-based, while others are non-vegan; you can get lard processed from sheep, cattle, pork, and plant-based fat. The good thing is you can pick your favorite type of lard and use it according to the needs and demands of your recipe. You can use this lard to sauté vegetables, make marinades and roast meat, and other ingredients. Replace bacon grease with an equal amount of lard.
2. Chicken Skin Fat
Several people cannot consume pork-based fat in their diet. And if that’s the case with you, then you can always try the chicken skin fat. Have you ever seen the grease that is released while cooking chicken with skin? Well, that’s the grease that you can use as fat in other recipes as well. You can make stir-fries, sauteed vegetables, and meat in that chicken skin grease. You can also make your very own chicken grease and store it for a while to use in all sorts of recipes.
It is quite similar to the bacon grease, but it does not taste like it. It does not have a smokey and porky taste, but it does add a good flavor to the recipes. You can try different spices to make it even tastier.
3. Beef Fat
Whether you are making gravy or cooking a stew, you can start with beef fat instead of bacon grease. This fat is also a solid saturated animal-based fat that can best substitute bacon grease in cooking. The beef fat is carved out of different sections of a cow, and then the fat portion is cut into chunks. To use this fat in cooking, first cook and melt it into oil and add other cooking ingredients.
I call butter a universally used fat. Why so? Because butter is used all over the world in a variety of recipes. You can have butter of different kinds. For instance, if you are vegan, you can try all the nut-based butter to sauté and fry. Butter is semi-soft and creamy in texture. So, you can melt it and use it as a good substitute for bacon grease in cornbread. It is easily available in the market. And you can also use melted butter in desserts and baked goods.
5. Vegetable Shortening
A vegetable shortening by Crisco is another fat-rich ingredient that you can use to replace bacon grease. It is flavorless baking and cooking solid fat, so if you want to substitute bacon grease with It, you will need to have other ingredients like liquid smoke and some spices to get the intense porky taste in your recipe.
6. Olive Oil
So, while exploring the vegan options to replace the bacon grease, the first option that I found the most useful was Olive oil. It simply has no parallel when it comes to good taste.
Olive oil is an unsaturated, plant-based fat, which is good for health as well. It is healthier than bacon grease. Whether you are adding this oil to a salad or using it for cooking meat, vegetables, or frying crispy snacks, this oil is just perfect.
7. Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is another good way to replace bacon grease. It has an intense flavor like bacon grease, and you can enjoy its aroma in many of the recipes. It also has a nutty taste which enriches a meal. But remember that peanut oil has a low boiling temperature, so it can burn quickly at high heat, so you need to keep the heat controlled while cooking recipes using the peanut oil.
8. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil has a unique taste of its own, and because of that reason, you can use it as a good replacement for the bacon grease. Sesame oil is extracted from the toasted or white sesame seeds. It is good to cook stir-fries, soups, roast, salad dressing, and other entrees.
9. Corn Oil
If you don’t find any other mentioned substitutes suitable for your diet, then corn oil can help you. This oil is extracted from corn kernels, and it has a slightly neutral taste. You can replace bacon grease with corn oil in a number of recipes except for sweets and baked goods.
10. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is another surprisingly neutral-flavored oil that you can use to replace bacon grease in a salad dressing or cook, fry, and sauté vegetables in a recipe.