Bacon is one of the most delicious and popular breakfast foods. It is also one of the messiest, as bacon grease can be difficult to clean up. It’s estimated that the average American consumes nearly 18 pounds of bacon each year.
That’s a lot of bacon! Who doesn’t love bacon? The smell, the taste, the crispiness… mmmm! And with all that bacon comes a lot of bacon grease. But what do you do with the grease once you’ve cooked up a delicious batch of bacon? Do you pour it down the drain? Toss it in the garbage? The answer is no. You must properly dispose of bacon grease to avoid clogging your pipes and damaging the environment.
And the good news is that there are a few easy ways to safely get rid of your bacon grease. You will learn all about these methods in this article.
Why Should You Recycle Your Bacon Grease?
Recycling your bacon grease is an important step towards reducing the amount of waste in our environment. Bacon grease is high in fat and, if hot bacon is not properly disposed of and drained down, it can cause clogged pipes and water pollution. Additionally, recycling bacon grease can help save money by reusing the fat instead of throwing it out. The fat can also be used to make a variety of other items such as soap, lotion, and candles. Recycling bacon grease also reduces your carbon footprint and helps protect the environment by decreasing the amount of waste that goes into landfills.
How To Dispose Of Bacon Grease?
Americans love bacon. In fact, according to a survey by National Today, 21% of respondents said they would eat bacon every day if they could. That’s a lot of bacon! And with all that bacon comes a lot of bacon grease. So what do you do with all that bacon grease?
Now that you know all the different ways you can reuse bacon grease, let’s talk about how to recycle it and how to dispose of it properly.
Bacon grease can be added to your compost pile along with other vegetable and animal-based food scraps for a nutrient-rich boost. It is important to note that the grease should be used in moderation as too much meat or fat can attract pests like rodents or flies.
2. Animal Feed
If you have farm animals such as chickens, pigs, goats, or cows, you can add bacon grease to their feed for an extra source of protein. If you are going to add grease to their food, just make sure it is cooled first.
3. Pour It Down the Drain
One of the easiest ways to dispose of bacon grease is to simply pour it down the drain. This method is quick and easy, and it doesn’t require any special materials or equipment. However, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind if you choose to go this route.
Step 1: Make sure the grease has cooled completely before pouring it down the drain. Hot grease can damage your pipes and lead to clogs.
Step 2: Be sure to run hot water down the drain for a minute or two after you’ve poured the grease to help it along its way.
Note: It is not the most recommended way. As it can cause harm to the environment.
4. Bury It
If you have a garden and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, burying bacon grease in the soil can be an effective way to dispose of it. Just make sure that you dig a deep hole and fill it with plenty of soil to prevent animals from digging it up.
5. Use It As Lubricant
Bacon grease can be used as a lubricant for various tasks such as loosening rusty screws or greasing squeaky hinges. It will last longer than other types of oil and won’t leave an unpleasant smell behind.
6. Throw It Away
Another perfectly acceptable way to dispose of bacon grease is to simply throw it away. All you need for this method is a heat-safe container (I like to use an old coffee can) and a bit of elbow grease.
The last resort is to dispose of the bacon grease through your garbage disposal or local waste facility. Make sure that you package it properly so that it doesn’t spill out and contaminate other items in the trash. It is advisable to pour the grease into a sealed container before throwing it out.
Let the bacon grease cool until it has solidified. Once it’s solid, scrape the grease into your container. Be sure to seal the container tightly and put it in the trash; you don’t want animals getting into it and making a mess!
Alternatively, you can also mix the grease with other biodegradable items such as coffee grounds or eggshells for easy disposal.
How To Tell If Bacon Grease Goes Bad?
Bacon grease can go bad, but it takes a while. The USDA recommends that bacon grease be used within 1-2 months, but it can last much longer than that if it is stored properly. Here are some tips to tell if your bacon grease has gone bad:
1. Observe that the grease is now a different color. If it was formerly light yellow or white but is now darker, it probably needs to be thrown out.
2. There is a change in the texture of the grease. It has probably gone bad if it is lumpy or has changed its consistency.
3. Grease smells different now. There is a good chance it has gone bad if it now smells rancid or off.
If you’re not sure if your bacon grease has gone bad, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
The Disposing Method You Should Avoid.
1. Pour bacon grease down the sink or toilet.
2. Throwing bacon grease in the garbage can without a sealed container.
3. Pouring bacon grease into storm drains or ditches.
4. Burning bacon grease in an open fire or in an outdoor fire pit.
5. Allowing bacon grease to evaporate in the air.
6. Discarding bacon grease in public areas such as parks or sidewalks.
How Can Bacon Grease Be Reused? (Or Recycled)
We will discuss three methods for reusing or recycling bacon grease and reducing waste. These methods can help you make the most of your bacon grease, while also protecting the environment and reducing the amount of grease that ends up in landfills.
Method 1: Strain And Store It For Later Use.
To do this, you will need a fine-mesh strainer, a heat-resistant container, and a cool, dry place to store the grease. After cooking bacon, carefully pour the hot grease through the strainer to remove any bits of bacon or debris. Allow the grease to cool slightly, then transfer it to the container and store it in a cool, dry place, such as the refrigerator or a pantry. You can then use the strained bacon grease in a variety of dishes, such as scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, or fried potatoes.
Method 2: Compost it.
This method requires a compost bin or pile, as well as some basic tools and materials. After straining the bacon grease, transfer it to a small container, such as a jar or bottle, and secure the lid.
Place the container in the freezer until the grease hardens and becomes solid, then remove it from the freezer and carefully cut or break it into small pieces. Add the pieces of bacon grease to your compost bin or pile, along with other organic materials, such as food scraps, yard waste, and manure.
Mix the materials together and ensure that they are moist and well-aerated, and the bacon grease will break down and become part of the compost over time.
Method 3: Donate it to a local animal rescue or farm.
Many animal rescues and farms rely on donations of animal fat, such as bacon grease, to provide nutrition and energy for the animals in their care.
To donate your bacon grease, you will need to strain and store it as described above, then contact a local animal rescue or farm to see if they are interested in receiving your donation.
You can also check with local animal shelters or pet stores, as they may be able to use the bacon grease to make treats or feed for the animals in their care.
Storing Bacon Grease For Future Use
When it comes to cooking with bacon, one of the most important things you can do is store the bacon grease for future use. Storing bacon grease may seem like a hassle, but it’s actually quite simple. Here are a few tips for storing your bacon fat:
1. Cool It Down: After cooking your bacon, allow the grease to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
2. Choose a Container: When selecting a container for storing bacon fat, glass or ceramic containers are preferred as they won’t leach any chemicals into your fat like plastic cans. If you’re short on space, consider using an ice cube tray for easy, individualized storage.
3. Label and Date: Make sure to label and date your containers, so you know exactly how fresh the fat is when you come back to it.
4. Refrigerate or Freeze: Once in a container, bacon grease should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how quickly you plan on using it. Refrigerated bacon grease will keep for 3-4 months, while frozen fat can last up to a year.
5. Reuse: Bacon fat is perfect for frying eggs, sautéing vegetables, or adding flavor and richness to sauces and soups.
With proper storage, you’ll always have some flavorful fat on hand for your next cooking project.
Bacon grease is one of those things that most people just pour down the drain without giving it a second thought. But now you know that bacon grease can actually be recycled and reused. There are all sorts of different ways to reuse bacon grease, from greasing pet bowls to Chapstick as we have learned in this article.
There you have it! Three easy ways to dispose of bacon grease once and for all. So next time you find yourself with a pan full of delicious bacon fat, don’t hesitate to put it to good use! Your stomach and your plumbing will thank you.
Thanks for reading!
Gemma Alexander has an M.S. in urban horticulture and a backyard filled with native plants. After working in a genetics laboratory and at a landfill, she now writes about the environment and recycling topics.