Can You Cook Sausage in Bacon Grease? Everything You Need to Know

Bacon grease is the leftover fat rendered from cooking bacon This flavorful fat can be used for various cooking applications, including sautéing veggies, frying eggs, or even cooking sausage. But is it really safe and tasty to cook sausage in bacon grease? Let’s dive into the details.

The Benefits of Cooking Sausage in Bacon Grease

There are a few potential benefits to cooking sausage in bacon fat rather than oil or butter:

  • Adds flavor – Bacon grease has a smoky salty umami taste that can infuse into the sausage as it cooks, adding extra bacon flavor. This can take an ordinary pork sausage from bland to gourmet with little effort.

  • Prevents sticking – The fat content in bacon grease helps prevent sausage from sticking to the pan as it cooks. The fat allows the sausage to brown nicely without getting that dreaded charred stickiness.

  • Imparts moisture – As the sausage cooks, some of the fat renders out of the bacon grease and gets absorbed into the sausage, keeping it tender and juicy. Sausage cooked in just oil or butter can dry out.

  • Saves money – If you already have bacon grease on hand, it’s free to use! No need to buy oil or butter just for cooking sausage. Getting multiple uses out of your bacon fat is economical.

So in many ways, bacon grease seems like an ideal cooking medium for sausage. But there are a few potential downsides to consider as well.

Possible Drawbacks of Cooking in Bacon Grease

Here are a few things to keep in mind when cooking sausage in bacon fat:

  • Salt content – Bacon contains a lot of sodium, which renders out into the grease. Sausage also often contains salt. Combine the two, and you may end up with an overly salty result. This can be mitigated by using low-sodium bacon.

  • Smoky flavor – While this can be a pro for some, others may find the smoky bacon flavor overpowering on sausage. Leaner sausages like turkey or chicken sausage in particular may clash with the strong bacon taste.

  • High fat content – Cooking any meat in pure fat increases the fat and calorie content. Bacon grease is 100% fat, whereas oils are 100% fat but butters contain some water. For health reasons, you may want to use bacon grease sparingly.

  • Burning risk – Bacon grease has a low smoke point compared to oils. If you heat it too high, it can burn, resulting in an acrid taste. The meat may also over-brown. Keep temperatures moderate.

  • Food safety – Like any raw meat product, bacon grease must be stored properly. Leaving it out too long at room temperature can allow bacteria to grow. Only keep refrigerated bacon fat for 1-2 months.

While mostly minor, these potential cons are worth keeping in mind. You can take steps to mitigate them.

Tips for Cooking Sausage in Bacon Grease

If you want to give cooking sausage in bacon grease a try, here are some tips to get the best results:

  • Use it in moderation – Don’t cook the sausage in 100% bacon fat. Mix in a bit of oil to cut the intense bacon flavor and fat content. A 50/50 ratio is ideal.

  • Cook over medium heat – Lower heat helps prevent burning or overcooking. Go for medium to medium low heat for the best texture.

  • Blot grease first – If the bacon grease is very salty, blot it with a paper towel before cooking the sausage. This removes some excess salt.

  • Flavor pairings – Sweet and savory sausages like maple or apple chicken sausage pair especially well with bacon grease. The flavors complement each other.

  • Go for pork – Pork sausage complements the porky flavor of bacon grease more seamlessly than other types like turkey. Lean turkey can clash.

  • Watch closely – Since bacon grease browns faster than oil or butter, keep a close eye on the sausage as it cooks to avoid over-browning.

  • Limit recipes – Avoid using bacon grease in sausage recipes with additional salty ingredients like soy sauce or cheese. It could push it over the edge.

With these tips in mind, you can safely cook sausage in bacon grease and get all the benefits of added flavor and moisture, while avoiding the potential downsides.

Step-By-Step Guide to Cooking Sausage in Bacon Grease

Here is a simple walkthrough for cooking sausage patties or links in bacon fat:


  • Sausage (pork breakfast sausage works well)
  • 2 tbsp bacon grease
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • Non-stick pan


  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon grease and oil.

  2. Swirl to combine and coat the pan evenly. Let heat for 1 minute.

  3. Add the sausage patties or links to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd them.

  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until nicely browned. Flip carefully to prevent sticking.

  5. If cooking links, roll them occasionally to brown all sides evenly.

  6. Cook the sausage through until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

  7. Remove the sausage from the pan and blot with paper towels to remove excess grease.

  8. Optional – Pour the sausage grease into a heat-safe container, let cool, and refrigerate to use again.

And that’s it! Perfectly cooked sausage patties or links with a hint of bacon flavor. This method keeps the sausage moist and prevents sticking. Feel free to tweak the ratio of bacon fat to oil to suit your taste preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about cooking sausage in bacon grease:

Is it safe to cook raw sausage in bacon grease?

Yes, it is perfectly safe as long as the bacon grease was stored properly and not left out too long before using. Cook the sausage thoroughly to 160°F internal temperature.

What’s the best way to store leftover bacon grease?

Let the grease cool slightly after cooking bacon. Then pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate for 1-2 months. For longer storage, freeze bacon fat for up to 6 months.

Can you use bacon grease to cook vegetables?

Absolutely! The small amount of bacon fat gives veggies like Brussels sprouts, green beans, or potatoes extra flavor. Just use a tablespoon or less per serving.

Will cooking sausage in bacon grease make it shrink?

There’s little risk of shrinkage if you blot away excess grease as it cooks and don’t let the sausage overcook. The fat helps keep it tender and juicy.

Is bacon grease healthier than cooking oil?

No. While small amounts are fine, bacon fat is high in saturated fat and not considered the healthiest option. Use in moderation and combine with vegetable oil.

What’s the smoke point of bacon grease?

Bacon grease has a low smoke point around 375°F depending on freshness and purity. For comparison, olive oil smokes at about 405°F. So use moderate heat.

Can you substitute bacon grease for oil in any recipe?

You can substitute small amounts, like up to 1-2 tablespoons per pound of meat or veggies. But don’t use 100% bacon grease or the flavor will overwhelm.

Sausage grease uses. No food waste, lots of flavor.

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