5 Uses for Bacon Grease (Other Than Going Down the Drain!)
Mmm… Bacon. The greatest of breakfast meats. The best reason to wake up in the morning. The hardest thing to cook shirtless. Bacon is truly a delight for the senses, from beginning to almost end. There’s only one problem… the grease.
What do you do with that grease? It’s thick, slimy, and hard to deal with. In their desperation to be done with the stuff, we’ve seen many an intrepid breakfast cook simply dump their grease down their kitchen sink. This is a tragedy for two reasons: One, bacon grease clogs up pipes like almost nothing else. The gunk conceals to the inner walls of your pipes almost immediately upon being poured down a sink, and stays there until we get in a scrape it out. Two, almost worse: When used properly, bacon grease can be a wonderful, tasty tool. Here are a few things you can do with bacon grease instead of using it to clog your kitchen sink.
A Million Ways to Cook
First, the obvious one: a big part of what makes bacon so tasty is that it soaks up all that grease it’s cooking in. You know what else gets tasty if you cook it in bacon grease? Everything. Grease up a skillet or pan, or fry something up in bacon grease, or use it instead of vegetable oil, or add to a soup, or… you get the idea. Breakfast foods like eggs, pancakes, waffles, or sausages are great when cooked in bacon grease. You can even save it for later and make popcorn with it. Fry vegetables in bacon grease and you’ll even like eating vegetables!
Make a Candle
Scented candles are great, but we can never find a scent we really like. “Spring time meadow”? How are we supposed to know what that smells like? Now bacon, on the other hand… Everyone knows what that smells like, because it smells like the best smell in the world. Well, with the help of that trusty bacon grease, you can have a scented candle with the best smell in the world, and you won’t have to pay crazy scented-candle prices, either! First, cook some bacon (of all the instruction lists we’ve come up with, this is the first step). Next, eat the bacon (best second step). When you’re done, pour the grease from the pan you cooked the bacon in into a jar you’re not using. An empty jam jar would work great. Once the jar is full, float a candlewick at the top of the grease. Suspend it with a toothpick so it doesn’t fall into the grease all the way. Then, all you have to do is refrigerate the grease for five minutes and voila! The world’s greatest scented candle.
The only problem with this candle is every time you use it, your urge for bacon may become uncontrollable. Trust us.
You know what this is about–who hasn’t started a little grease fire in their day? Huh? Just us? Um… Ok, so: grease is highly flammable. If applied to a burnable substance, it will help that substance catch faster, faster and burn hotter. That’s why your stovetop crackles and pops when you’re cooking bacon and the grease flies onto it. If you pour a little grease onto a piece of newspaper or your firewood before you start a fire, you’ll find it’s a very helpful way to get a fire started. We have to stress, however, that you be careful. Have you ever poured gasoline or lighter fluid on a fire? No again?! Well, it’s bad news. Fire will burn up grease fast, often faster than the grease can pour down. That means, if you’re not careful, you may end up with a couple less eyebrows. Apply the grease before you light the fire, and do not light the grease directly. Light an area nearby and allow the flame to naturally spread to the greased area.
Always practice fire safety responsibly.
Creaky hinges are really annoying, and they’re easy to fix. The problem is usually a combination of laziness and convenience. Who has grease just lying around, ready to be applied to creaky hinges? You open a door, cringe at hearing the creeeeak, and then promptly forget about the problem until the next time you have to open that door. But now you have grease on hand! Delicious, bacony grease! Track down that creaky door and apply your leftover grease to the hinges using a brush for immediate results. Bacon grease works just as well for lubricating joints as any other kind of grease, plus the joints will smell faintly of bacon for a day or two after you apply it. Mmmm…. bacon door.
This is a fun and easy home project you can do yourself or with your kids. First gather up a good-sized pine cone or two. Then, roll that pine cone in your bacon grease or pour the grease evenly over the cone. Then all you have to do is put the bacon-y pine cone somewhere you can see it and figure out a way to keep it stationary. Like everyone else, birds love the taste of bacon, and they’ll flock to the cone to get a little taste of the grease. Don’t worry: bacon grease isn’t bad for birds like it is for your pipes. You get to look at pretty birds, they get a tasty treat; your kids get a fun home project, and you get to momentarily distract your kids. It’s a win-win-win-win.
We’ve only just scratched the surface of what you can do with bacon grease. With all of these excellent and often delicious uses in mind, we hope our first point will be easier to remember: don’t flush your bacon grease down your drain! In fact, you really shouldn’t dump a lot of breakfast stuff down the drain. As much as we like seeing you, we’d rather you didn’t have to constantly get gunk scraped out of your sink for fear of an overflow. That’s no fun. If you do wind up needing help with a sink problem, or virtually any other home repair problem, give us a call anytime. You don’t even have to share your bacon…. but you could, if you wanted. Please?
This blog post was edited on January 17, 2017, to remove our suggestion that you put bacon grease in your dog’s food. One of our Facebook readers informed us that feeding bacon grease can be harmful to dogs. We apologize for the error, and have replaced the suggestion with a different, better one–also inspired by our excellent readers! You guys rock.
The new candle suggestion will not be harmful to dogs; in fact, they’ll probably like it as much as you do! Thanks very much to the thoughtful reader who pointed this out for us; we know toilets and drains a whole lot better than dog care, apparently, but we’re learning!
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