Bacon grease is just a leftover for some people but an amazing thing for many. It can be used as a flavor enhancer for a number of different food dishes. Cooking food with bacon grease ends up so delicious with a bacony mouthfeel. But how long can bacon grease sit out? Does it go bad? And, how can you store bacon grease to make it last longer?
All this and much more about bacon grease comes right ahead, so let’s move on. Bacon grease is not just a leftover fat of cooked bacon but a great thing to cook your favorite recipes. And the good thing is that you can store it for a long time. Here, we’ll also tell you some ways of storing bacon grease. So, read on.
How Long Can Bacon Grease Sit Out?
Bacon grease can last longer without going rancid if stored properly. However, bacon grease can last for weeks if just sit out at room temperature.
The approximate shelf life of bacon grease is about 2 to 4 weeks. Thus, it goes well and can be used again and again still if left on the pantry. However, homemade and store-bought grease is also a matter of concern.
Homemade bacon grease can last for about 6 weeks if sit out at room temperature. On the other hand, store-bought grease can last for up to 2 months if sit out on the pantry. Or simply use it according to the best before expiry date label.
This difference is just because of product quality. Homemade bacon grease may contain significant bacon residues or bacon bits that directly influence the shelf life.
Can You Use Leftover Bacon Grease If Sitting Out?
Yes, why not. As you see above, bacon grease can last longer even if sit out at room temperature. And, its shelf life increases if you tightly pack it in a container and put it away from direct light or heat.
However, there’s also no harm in using bacon grease left as is in a skillet after cooking because you’ll definitely put at least a lid on the skillet. So, don’t worry if you’ve forgot bacon grease as is overnight.
You can use it in other food recipes to make them extra special and vibrant to taste. The complex salty yet smoky bacon hues give your dish umami flavor and aroma.
Does Bacon Grease Go Bad Ever?
Bacon grease, just like other fats can and does go rancid or spoil until you store it properly. Fatty substances go rancid if sit out longer at room temperature. This way, fat molecules get oxidized and break down.
And the same goes for bacon grease too. There’s no involvement of microbes in the rancidity of grease because that’s not the optimum condition for their thriving growth. But the fat molecules break down with time and produce unhealthy substances.
However, you can definitely enhance the shelf life of bacon grease by storing it either in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
How To Tell If Bacon Grease Gone Bad?
It’s quite challenging to tell if bacon grease goes bad by just looking at it because there will be no mold or fungus growth at all. So, if you really want delicious yet healthy cooking, you must have an idea how to differentiate rancid bacon grease.
There are a number of signs by which you can indicate if bacon grease would be right for use or not. For instance, discoloration, foul smell, watery texture, and sour taste are clear signs your grease is no longer best to use.
Such signs appear when bacon grease sit out on the pantry for a longer period.
Freshly stored bacon grease is light brown in color, while refrigerated or stored grease solidifies and appears white. However, if you notice any other color tinge in your fat, discard it, otherwise it can harm you.
Rancid or spoiled fat isn’t lethal to consume but can cause stomach upset or other health issues. So, avoid using it.
It’s a sign that you can take into account immediately after opening the grease container. Rancidity produces chemical substances that ultimately lead to a bad or pungent smell.
Rancidification is a process of oxidation of fats either by the exposure of air, microbes, or moisture and causes the formation of bad-smelling chemicals that are usually aldehydes and ketones.
Grease texture makes the whole concept when no sign seems to be helpful. The unusual slimy, watery and sticky texture tells your bacon grease is not so good to use.
Such texture alterations occur if bacon grease sit out on the pantry for a long time.
Spoiled bacon grease may taste bitter and sour due to rancidity. You can easily get this change because fresh bacon grease tastes much like bacon that’s goes really great in any food dish.
So, if you find any significant alteration in taste, know that your delicious flavor enhancer is not good to be used in any food.
Read Also: Why Is Bacon So Expensive?
How To Store Bacon Grease To Make It Last Longer?
If you have already got your bacon leftover in an air-tight container, you may think of storing it. The storage can be done by various methods, either refrigerated, freezing, or just sitting it next to your stove.
No matter whether you store bacon grease by any method, it’s quite essential to cool it down. Otherwise, you’ll provide enough warm temperature and moisture for the massive production of microbes. So, be careful at that step. Let’s discuss some methods of storing bacon grease.
Keep It On The Pantry
The best and easiest method of storage is just to keep bacon grease on the pantry. This way, you can save this precious condiment next to your stove.
First, remove all the bacon bits or leftover residues from grease and then pour it into an air-tight container. Let it cool, and then place a lid on it.
But make sure you place the container away from the direct sunlight or stove heat. This way, bacon grease can last fresh for 2 to 4 weeks even sit out on the pantry.
Keep It In The Refrigerator
If you want to store bacon grease longer for months, try to store it in the refrigerator. The method of storing is almost similar as I mentioned above.
After sealing the container tight, put the bacon grease in the refrigerator rather than sitting it out. Refrigerated grease can last for 4 to 6 months and goes great in your favorite food recipes.
Keep It In The Freezer
Freezing make the bacon grease last even longer for up to years. This method could be handy for you if you have a lot of bacon grease after cooking a great family dinner.
Simply put the storage container in the freezer to make it worth eating even after months.
So, How Long Can Bacon Grease Sit Out?
Bacon grease can last for about 2 to 4 weeks if sit out at room temperature. After that, this bacony fat goes rancid and bad eventually. However, you can increase the shelf life of bacon grease by storing it properly in the fridge or freezer. Moreover, you can store both homemade and store-bought grease and use it according to the best before the expiry date label.