The Definitive Guide to Pork Fat’s Fridge Life

Pork fat is a wonderfully versatile and flavorful cooking ingredient. From frying up crispy pork rinds to baking flakey pie crust, pork fat brings richness and texture to recipes. But like any animal-based fat, pork fat is perishable and knowing proper storage times is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into all the nitty-gritty details about pork fat’s fridge life Read on to learn how long you can keep different types of pork fat before use and storage tips to maximize freshness

An Overview of Pork Fat Types

First, let’s do a quick rundown of the main kinds of pork fat you’ll encounter:

  • Fatback – This is the thick, hard fat that runs along the back of the pig under the loin Fatback is used to make lard or pork rinds.

  • Leaf lard – Considered the highest quality lard, leaf lard comes from the fat surrounding the kidneys and loin It has a neutral flavor perfect for baking

  • Lard – Lard is pork fat that has been rendered into a soft or semi-solid fat product. It’s used for frying and baking.

  • Bacon grease – The rendered fat leftover from cooking bacon. Has a smoky pork flavor.

  • Caul fat – A lacy membrane of fat that surrounds organs like the kidneys. Used to wrap and baste lean meats.

Now let’s look at how long each keeps in the fridge.

Fridge Life of Raw Fatback

Fatback is the thick layer of fat beneath the pig’s skin that runs along the back. This fresh pork fat has a more limited fridge life.

  • Unopened fatback – 1 week
  • Opened fatback – 3-5 days

Once opened, fatback should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or parchment paper before refrigerating. It’s very important to use raw fatback within 5 days for safety and quality.

How Long Does Rendered Lard Last?

Rendered pork lard has a much longer shelf life than fresh fatback.

  • Lard in sealed container – 3-6 months
  • Lard in freezer – Up to 3 years

The key is to store cooled lard in an airtight jar or container. Glass jars or metal tins work great. Always use clean utensils when removing lard to prevent contamination.

Bacon Grease Storage Times

Like lard, rendered bacon fat can also be saved for later use. Here is how long bacon grease keeps:

  • Bacon grease in fridge – 1-3 months
  • Bacon grease in freezer – 6-12 months

Let bacon grease cool completely before transferring to a container. Mason jars or grease keeper cans are ideal for storing. Be sure to strain out any food debris for longer shelf life.

Maximizing Fridge Life of Pork Fat

To get the longest safe shelf life from lard, bacon grease and other pork fats, follow these storage tips:

  • Refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible after rendering fat.
  • Use clean, airtight containers like glass jars.
  • Never return used grease to container – it can spoil the rest.
  • If saving bacon grease, strain out any meat bits or drippings.
  • Keep away from sunlight and extreme temperature changes.
  • Follow the “first in, first out” system when using pork fat.

Proper fridge temperatures below 40°F are also key. Use pork fat within recommended time frames.

Signs Pork Fat Has Spoiled

Rancid pork fat poses health risks, so it’s important to watch for signs of spoilage like:

  • Change in texture – becomes more grainy or slick
  • Foul odor – unappetizing fishy or rancid smell
  • Change in color – darkening or unnatural hues
  • Mold growth – discard immediately if you see mold
  • Separation – fats and drippings separating in container

When in doubt, remember the old saying “When it smells bad, it is bad!” and discard rancid pork fat.

Tips for Using Leftover Pork Fats

Instead of wasting the remnants of lard or bacon grease, use it up!

  • Use smaller amounts in place of oil for sautéing veggies, eggs, etc.

  • Mix into dog food or bird seed for an added energy boost.

  • Make candles by melting fat and pouring into jars with wicks.

  • Preserve cast iron pans by rubbing with a thin layer after cleaning.

Smaller leftover amounts can go a long way. Get creative and avoid waste!

The Takeaway – Know Your Pork Fat Expiration

Understanding the different types of pork fat and properly storing them is key to maximizing shelf life. While raw fatback has the shortest fridge duration, rendered pork fats like lard and bacon grease stay fresh for months when refrigerated or frozen.

Follow the storage tips in this guide and pay close attention for any signs of spoilage. Trust your senses – if it smells or looks off, play it safe and discard. Knowing the facts about pork fat’s fridge life will give you confidence to always have this tasty cooking fat on hand.

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Does pork fat go bad in the fridge?

One of the benefits of lard is its long shelf life, lasting six months at room temperature, one year in the refrigerator, and at least two years if stored in the freezer! We’ll cover everything you ever wanted to know about how to best store lard below!

How long can you keep fat in the fridge?

Instead, store bacon grease in the refrigerator (up to 3 months) or freezer (indefinitely). The refrigerator is best because the fat will stay soft enough to scoop, so you can have delicious solid drippings at the ready.

How long can you save pork fat?

You can store frozen lard in the freezer for many years, but we advise using it within one year because it loses taste and consistency as time passes, making it difficult to cut through.

How long does it take for pork fat to go rancid?

Lard doesn’t have to be refrigerated after opening, but it will last longer if it is. It will last up to a year or even more in the fridge and about 4 to 6 months at room temperature. It’s important to close the lid tightly when you store lard, though.

How long does pork last in the fridge?

If the temperature of your fridge constantly fluctuates, the pork will have a shorter lifespan. On average, pork will last for 3-5 days as long as your fridge’s temperature remains at 40°F. This rule applies to raw pork chops as well. Unfortunately, fresh or raw ground pork has a shorter lifespan of 2 days when stored in the refrigerator.

Should pork be stored in the refrigerator or freezer?

Remember to store your pork in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get it home. The goal of storing pork is to keep it in a temperature range that will not cause bacteria to develop. Ideally, pork should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature at or below 40°F.

How long does pork last on a grill?

The best way to extend pork’s shelf life is by freezing it. As long as it’s stored properly, pork will last indefinitely. However, it would be best to eat the pork in 4-6 months as its texture and flavor will be drastically impacted. There’s nothing like firing up your portable offset grill and grilling up some delicious pork chops.

How long do pork chops last in the fridge?

Even though it is only recommended to keep pork chops in the fridge for 3-5 days, vacuum-sealed pork chops are a bit different. They can last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator as long as they are stored at 40°F. I know what you are thinking; there’s no way I can keep pork chops for up to two weeks. They will be spoiled within a week.

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