15 Mouth-Watering Ways to Use Bacon Fat

Sauteed Spinach
​Aleksandra Piss / Getty Images

Bacon fat is a delectable and versatile ingredient you can use for baking, sautéeing, and practically anywhere you'd use butter.

Now, we're not talking about bacon grease—that blackened, smoking residue left in your skillet after you've cooked bacon in it.

No, bacon fat is the pure white fat that is rendered from bacon when you cook it slowly in the oven—which happens to be the best way to cook bacon. A byproduct of cooking bacon this way is a pan of transparent, liquid fat you can...MORE pour into a heatproof ramekin (strain it through a piece of cheesecloth to filter out any bacon particles) and refrigerate.

When chilled, bacon fat turns a pristine, creamy, white color, and it's loaded with smoky, savory, bacony flavor. It's more like bacon butter than bacon grease. Healthwise, bacon fat is higher in monounsaturated (the so-called "good fat") fat than butter. Nor does it contain trans fat ("bad fat"), like margarine does.

So what are you waiting for? Here are 15 ways to use bacon butter.

  • 01 of 15
    Toasted cinnamon raisin bread with bacon butter
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    We said "anywhere you'd use butter," and toast happens to be right at the top of that list. Try it on a crusty sourdough, or for a real revelation, something sweeter, like cinnamon raisin bread. It's truly the toast with the most.

  • 02 of 15
    Popcorn drizzled with melted bacon butter
    Karen Ilagen / Getty Images

    This, too, will be revelatory. You can skip chilling the bacon fat and drizzle it straight from the bacon pan to the popcorn. But since you might not be making popcorn and bacon at the same time, simply warm the chilled bacon fat in the microwave or a small saucepan until it liquefies.

  • 03 of 15
    Roasted sweet corn
    Laila Al Rawahi / EyeEm / Getty Images

    There is nothing like an ear of sweet corn, roasted on a charcoal grill until moderately caramelized, then brushed with bacon butter and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and maybe a dash of garlic powder. Pure late-summer magic.

  • 04 of 15
    Grilled steak topped with mushrooms
    Matthias Häberlein / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The French have been serving grilled steak topped with a pat of butter since, roughly, the beginning of food. And the only way to improve on that is substituting bacon butter for ordinary butter. But that's not all. Try a pat of bacon butter on a grilled burger. Life will never be the same.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Fried egg cooking in cast iron skillet
    Michael Grayson / Getty Images

    Bacon and eggs—only the most famous food duo ever. You'll notice that bacon fat doesn't sizzle in the pan the way butter does. That's because butter is about 15 percent water, whereas bacon fat is pure fat.

  • 06 of 15
    Caramelized onions
    D. Sharon Pruitt Pink Sherbet Photography / Getty Images

    Caramelizing onions involves cooking sliced onions in fat over a low temperature, which means it takes a while to do it properly. Bacon fat, which has approximately the same smoke point as butter, is perfect for this. 

  • 07 of 15
    Crimping homemade dough
    Wanwisa Hernandez / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Bakers have long sung the virtues of lard when it comes to making flaky pie crust. Bacon fat imparts the same flakiness, while making your crust taste like bacon.

  • 08 of 15
    Homemade biscuits with bacon butter
    Carl Tremblay / Getty Images

    Just like with pie crust, bacon fat will make the flakiest biscuits ever. Your biscuits and gravy will never be the same. (And see below for bacon gravy.)

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15
    Greens sauteed in bacon fat
    Aleksandra Piss / Getty Images

    Because of bacon fat's lower smoke point, combine it with an equal part high-heat oil like refined sunflower or safflower. The bacon flavor will still shine through, making your sautéed greens irresistible.

  • 10 of 15
    Roasted root vegetables
    Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

    If you like a swirl of melted butter on your steamed or boiled veggies, wait till you try bacon butter. And if you roast or grill your veggies, try tossing them in melted bacon fat in place of the usual olive oil. This works for roasted potatoes, too.

  • 11 of 15
    Chocolate chip cookies
    Fitria Rifki / Getty Images

    Obviously, make chocolate chip cookies with bacon butter in place of some (or all) of the ordinary butter. 

  • 12 of 15
    Jeff Kauck / Getty Images

    This just in: bacon and maple pair well. You can either stir a tablespoon or two of liquid bacon fat into your pancake batter, or spread bacon butter on your cooked pancakes right before pouring the maple syrup. 

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    Making homemade mayonnaise
    Iain Bagwell / Getty Images

    Or should that be baconnaise? You can't use all bacon fat for making mayo, because your fat needs to be liquid. And it can't be hot, or it'll cook the egg yolks. But if you combine 1/4 cup melted bacon fat with 1/2 cup canola oil, you can use this blend to make mayo. For bacon aioli, substitute olive oil for canola.

  • 14 of 15
    Biscuits and gravy
    Leah Maroney

    This is simply a matter of using bacon butter instead of ordinary butter for making your roux. Your biscuits and gravy will thank you.

  • 15 of 15
    Thomas Barwick/Getty images

    Combine one cup of rice, 11 fluid ounces of water, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon bacon butter, and 1 bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 39 minutes for brown rice, 17 minutes for white. Enjoy.