How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?

If you love making bacon for breakfast, you are probably familiar with the oodles of bacon grease left in the pan when you’re done cooking. Most people like to store bacon grease to use later in cooking.
It has a great flavor and can be used in various dishes. If you are new to using and storing bacon grease, you’re probably wondering how long it lasts and how to store it properly.
If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together everything you need to know about the shelf life of bacon grease and how to store it the right way.

Related: Is Bacon Bad for You? Health Benefits of Eating Bacon

Storing Bacon Grease Properly

If you don’t cook bacon that often but like having bacon grease on hand, you can also buy packaged bacon grease. Storing it is pretty easy, just put it in your kitchen cabinet or in your pantry and use it whenever you want. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Just ensure that it is stored in an air-tight container and don’t put it near the stove or anything else that gets hot. It will start liquefying when it gets too hot and will solidify later when it cools down.
Going through this process is not good for the bacon grease, so keep it in a place where the temperature is more or less stable.
Homemade bacon grease is a little more complicated when it comes to storage. You can go old school and put it in a mason jar or opt for any kind of air-tight container. It is convenient to use a container you can scoop the bacon grease out of.
Once you settle on a container, you need to pour the grease into it. Do not do this right after cooking your bacon. Pouring sizzling bacon grease into the container might crack it.
While you should wait until it has slightly cooled down, avoid waiting too long so that the bacon fat solidifies. To catch any little bacon pieces in the fat as you pour it, use a strainer.
Bacon grease may be kept at ambient temperature since it is a kind of fat. However, if you store it in the fridge, it keeps fresher for longer. The majority of people prefer to keep it chilled.
Bacon grease is typically stored and used again in the same container. This may be effective, but it does result in a drop in quality. Changing the container every three to six months aids in maintaining the product’s highest quality.
Definitely change the container when you store new bacon grease. This way, there is no chance of using bacon grease that is years old.
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people have this question. Do not try to reuse bacon grease after using it once. It will take on the flavor of whatever you were cooking and it won’t taste the same.
It also picks up microbes from whatever you were cooking in it and storing it again will make all your bacon grease go bad faster. Using it once is enough; dispose of it after that.

How Long Before Bacon Grease Goes Bad?

If you’ve got packaged bacon grease, it should have an expiry date on the label. Best-by dates are usually an estimate, it should be good for a few months past the date. If the label only has the production date, you can assume that it is good for 2 years after that.
The life of bacon grease made at home is a little more difficult to estimate. Many households keep adding and taking from the same jar of bacon grease for years with no issues.
There is no exact time period as it all depends on the condition of the bacon grease and how you store it, but there are some rough estimates to help you out.
If you keep your bacon grease in the kitchen at room temperature, it should be good for about 6 months. If you keep it in the refrigerator, it will easily stay good for a year. Bacon grease kept in the freezer will last even longer.
There is a good chance that it will stay good for a lot longer than these estimates, but these are just a ballpark to give you an idea of its longevity.

Identifying Spoiled Bacon Grease

Bacon grease lasts so long that it often seems like it stays good forever. But it does go bad after a certain point of time and needs to be discarded.
The most obvious sign of spoiled bacon grease is mold, discoloration or strange odors. If you’ve stored the bacon grease properly, there is little chance of this happening as it will get used up before it goes bad.
Bacon grease can also go rancid. All fats can go rancid if not stored properly or if the container wasn’t sealed properly.
Bacon grease has a very distinct smell after it goes rancid. You will be able to recognize it immediately. Rancidity is technically not harmful, but the taste is affected significantly. There is very little point in using bacon grease that has gone rancid.
There isn’t anything you can do with rancid bacon grease, so you should just throw it away.
If the bacon grease has been stored for a while but smells and looks fine, it is probably good to use. If you are doubtful, use a spoonful of it first. This will tell you if the stored bacon grease is okay or not.
Bacon grease has a generally long shelf life. If you’ve followed all the instructions on storing it properly, it should stay good for a very long time.
A lot of people have stored and used bacon grease for years, so unless there are any signs that it has gone bad, you can use it with no worries even if it has been a while.

Wrapping Up

Everyone loves the sound of crackling bacon in the morning. Cooking bacon means that bacon grease will be left over. It can be an amazing ingredient to cook with and the best part is that it has a very long shelf life.
You can also use store-bought bacon grease. It has the expiry date on the label and will probably stay good for a couple more months if you store it properly.
Bacon grease made at home will keep for a year or more in the refrigerator. If you choose to store it at room temperature, make sure to use it in about 6 months as it can go bad after that.
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