Do You Store Bacon Grease in the Fridge? A Guide to Properly Storing and Using Leftover Bacon Fat

Bacon grease is the oil leftover after cooking bacon. It has a delicious smoky salty flavor that makes it a prized ingredient in many recipes. But improper storage can lead to rancid, funky bacon grease. So do you store bacon grease in the fridge? The short answer is yes. While you may have memories of leaving a bacon grease jar out on the counter food safety experts agree refrigeration is best.

Read on for a complete guide to collecting, storing and cooking with bacon fat. With these tips you’ll keep your bacon grease fresh and delicious for months.

Why Save Bacon Grease?

Reusing bacon fat adds big flavor to everything from fried eggs to roasted veggies. So saving the leftover oil is a smart move for any home cook. As an added bonus, reusing bacon grease reduces waste. Plus, it saves you money by stretching expensive bacon farther.

Bacon fat is loaded with umami richness and smoky notes that enhance many savory dishes. Its high smoke point (375°F) also makes it a good choice for frying and sautéing.

How to Collect Bacon Grease

Start by cooking your bacon, You can pan fry or bake it Baking on a rack over a sheet pan makes cleanup easier

Next, let the hot grease cool slightly so it’s safe to handle. Then strain it through a mesh strainer to remove any crispy bits. Cheesecloth or coffee filters also work for straining.

Finally, transfer the clean grease into a storage container. Glass jars or metal tins work best. Avoid plastic, which can absorb flavors and odors.

Proper Storage

Experts recommend refrigerating bacon grease. The fridge prevents bacteria growth and rancidity. Here are some storage tips:

  • Use a clean glass jar or metal tin with a tight lid. This locks out air and odors.

  • Store in the back of the fridge, where temperature is most consistent.

  • For longest life, freeze bacon fat in silicone molds or ice cube trays. Transfer cubes to a freezer bag.

  • Don’t add new grease to an existing jar. Always use a clean container.

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?

Properly stored bacon fat keeps well in the fridge or freezer:

  • Refrigerator: 3 to 6 months

  • Freezer: 6 to 12 months

Check for signs of spoilage before using, like dark flecks, foam, or rancid smell. Discard if bacon grease smells off or tastes bitter.

Tips for Extra-Fresh Grease

Follow these tips to keep your bacon fat as fresh as possible:

  • Strain very well through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter. This removes dark solids that can cause off-flavors.

  • Use a clean container for each batch. Don’t keep adding to the same jar over time.

  • Portion into ice cube trays or molds before freezing. Pop out cubes and store in a freezer bag.

  • Always keep refrigerated or frozen. Don’t leave bacon grease out on the counter.

  • Label jars with the date to track freshness. Use within 2 to 3 months.

  • If storing a large amount, divide between two smaller containers. This reduces air exposure when you scoop out portions to use.

Is Bacon Grease Different Than Lard?

While lard and bacon grease are both solid fats, they aren’t interchangeable. Lard has a neutral flavor, making it ideal for baked goods. Bacon fat contains smoky, salty notes that enhance savory dishes. Stick with lard for pie crusts, and use bacon grease for flavoring veggies or dressings.

Creative Uses for Bacon Grease

A little bacon fat can add tons of flavor to all kinds of recipes. Try these tasty ways to use up leftover grease:


  • Fry eggs in a blend of bacon grease and butter for diner-style flavor.

  • Make a breakfast potato hash with bacon fat instead of oil.


  • Toss potatoes or Brussels sprouts in bacon grease before roasting.

  • Sauté greens like kale or chard in bacon fat.

Beans and grains

  • Use bacon grease to sauté aromatics when making bean soup.

  • Flavor rice pilaf or farro by cooking it in the fat.

Salad dressings and dips

  • Whisk bacon grease into vinaigrettes instead of olive oil.

  • Mix it into ranch dressing or sour cream for dips.


  • Brush bacon fat on chicken or pork before grilling or roasting.

  • Use it to baste pot roasts and braises as they cook.

  • Sauté shrimp or scallops in a blend of bacon grease and olive oil.

Baked goods

  • Replace some butter with bacon fat in cornbread.

  • Brush biscuits or scones with grease before baking.

  • Use a spoonful to enhance the flavor of baked beans.

Tips for Cooking with Bacon Grease

Bacon fat has a rich mouthfeel, so blend it with lighter oils. Start with a 75/25 ratio of canola or olive oil to bacon fat. Adjust to taste.

Bacon grease smokes at medium-high heat. For the best flavor, cook over medium low to medium heat. This prevents bitterness.

The leftover browned crispy bits contain lots of flavor. Crumble them into dishes like fried rice, pasta, or scrambled eggs.

When baking, substitute bacon fat for about 1/4 of the butter or oil in a recipe. You want just enough to impart flavor without overpowering.

Get Creative with Your Bacon Fat!

With proper storage and handling, bacon grease can be a kitchen superstar. Use these tips to keep your bacon fat fresh and delicious for months. Then get cooking with leftover grease. A little goes a long way in adding rich flavor to all kinds of dishes!

How to Save Your Bacon Grease


Can bacon grease be left unrefrigerated?

Though previous generations of home chefs kept bacon grease on the counter, experts recommend storing yours in the refrigerator or the freezer. “It’s best to not keep the bacon grease at room temperature because any microparticles of the bacon can cause the grease to go rancid,” says Abbott.

Do you have to refrigerate bacon up grease?

Refrigeration is optional for Bacon Up. Bacon Up will change from solid to slushy to liquid (and back again) as its temperature rises (and falls). That’s normal and does not reduce its quality. For long-term storage, we recommend keeping Bacon Up at temperatures below 80°F.

What to do with bacon grease after cooking?

You can use a dab of bacon grease in stir-fry, cornbread or make a bacon vinaigrette. Bacon grease is packed with a salty, slightly smoky taste that you can use to add an umami bang to any number of dishes and recipes.

How should I store bacon grease?

To store bacon grease, first get rid of any small bits of bacon: Place a coffee filter or cheesecloth over the mouth of a glass container, like a Mason jar or a container made for bacon drippings. Press the filter down so that it fits snugly inside the mouth of the jar.

How long does bacon grease last in the refrigerator?

While bacon grease can last for a long time in the refrigerator, it’s best to use it within 6 months to a year for the best flavor and quality. Home » Learn » Should you keep bacon grease in the refrigerator?

Can bacon grease be stored in a mason jar?

Grandmothers might have stored bacon grease in a Mason jar on the counter or the back of the stovetop in the past. However, according to current food guidelines, it is recommended to store bacon grease in the fridge or freezer to keep the fat fresh for longer.

Can you store bacon grease in a ramekin?

To store bacon grease, you can pour the liquid fat through a piece of cheesecloth into a clean, heat-proof ramekin. Make sure not to pour hot fat into any vessel that might crack or melt.

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