Whether you’re looking for substitutes for bacon grease because you want a vegetarian/vegan alternative or simply because you can’t find it, you’ve come to the right place.
Here we’ll talk about all the possible replacements for bacon grease. Then, you can find the one that works best for you and what you’re trying to make.
Substitutes for Bacon Grease: Animal Fats
Since we’re talking about substitutes for bacon grease, let’s first check out which animal fats will work best. If you’re looking for the vegan replacements, check out the next heading.
It’s much easier to make your own bacon grease at home than it is to make lard. Although, if you get pork fat and melt it, you’ll be able to make as much lard as you want.
Lard is excellent for making flavorful and flaky pie crusts.
But it’s also used for adding flavor to many dishes. There’s nothing like the sweetness of lard, especially when you’re cooking vegetables in it.
You can even make spreadable lard but you’d have to be used to eating fatty things in order to truly appreciate what a delightful appetizer it can be.
It also has a low smoke point, just like bacon grease. As one of the best substitutes for bacon grease, you should know that cooking methods are the same.
They match in everything, with the exception that lard has no smoky flavor at all.
I also recommended lard as one of the best substitutes for corn oil for those who want an alternative to vegetable oils.
If you make your own lard at home, you can keep the price very low, it might even be cheaper than using vegetable oils, like canola, safflower, sunflower or soybean oil.
2. Duck fat
According to duckchar.com, duck fat is actually considered to be the healthier substitute for bacon grease.
Duck fat French fries might be the dish that made it famous due to its flavor and texture. This might be the dish that made a lot of amateur cooks interested in duck fat.
If you want to expand your horizons, you should make duck fat popcorn.
I’m pretty sure you’re already planning on making some duck fat vegetables, once you get your hands on it.
Once you have the chance, you could also make some bacon grease vegetables and then make a comparison and see which is the winner of these two.
It also has the same low smoke point.
3. Goose fat
Just like duck fat, goose fat is also delicious. Full of flavor, it can be used pretty much in the same way.
If you can’t find bacon grease or you’re looking for other animal fat substitutes than pork, go for either duck or goose fat. They’re both delicious and worth giving a shot at least once in a while.
Or try chicken fat. That’s a thing, too. Also delicious and creamy.
4. Beef fat
Since we’ve covered pork and domestic birds, let’s cover our favorite meat for burgers. Or our favorite for one of the best hams in the world – beef bresaola.
The best way to use beef fat is to mix it in with ground meat for burgers, sausages, meatballs for more depth of flavor.
It has a slightly higher smoke point.
When you don’t have any fat on hand, use butter. You can even use the organic kind.
Butter is the perfect bacon grease substitute for vegetarians.
There are also plenty of options to choose from. You can pick one made from cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s or buffalo’s milk.
The other option is between salted and unsalted butter. Unsalted is said to be fresher and to have a sweeter taste, which is why it’s very good for desserts.
For cooking, I prefer salted butter.
6. Clarified butter/ghee
If you want a substitute just for frying, I recommend getting clarified butter because it has a higher smoke temp.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter. I’m sure you’ve heard of it but I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to cook with it yet. It’s highly used in Indian dishes.
Substitutes for Bacon Grease: Oils
When we’re talking about substitutes for bacon grease, there are a few options that work perfectly for vegans. One of the most famous is olive oil but there are plenty of other oils, too.
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is really good for us and our bodies. It’s already a known fact across the globe.
It’s also one of the best substitutes for bacon grease if you’re a vegan.
Extra virgin olive oil is especially praised for salads and dippings and any cooking that doesn’t involve heat. It’s also a lot more expensive, which is why many of us just use it in these circumstances.
For cooking dishes on the stove, grill, in the oven, most of us use olive oil.
Or you could be buying olive oil pomace if you’re on a budget and you do a lot of cooking at home.
Moreover, olive oil has a low smoke point, just like the majority of the above animal fats.
2. Vegetable shortening
This won’t add any flavor to your cooking, it’s just hydrogenated vegetable oil.
It’s very popular for making pie crusts but can be used for making all kinds of dishes.
3. Toasted sesame oil
This oil is kind of limited in its uses and a few drops is all it takes to add a unique flavor to many dishes.
If you love Asian foods, you’ll want to have it around.
4. Peanut oil
If you enjoy frying most of your foods, peanut oil is an excellent substitute for bacon grease.
It has a high smoke point so it’s just perfect for frying and deep frying.
Those with allergies should stay away and go for canola oil or sunflower oil instead.
What Is Bacon Grease?
To better understand what works as a substitute for bacon grease, it would be better to explain what exactly is that we’re trying to replace.
Well, just as the name says, this is bacon fat. If it’s chilled, it takes a creamy, white color, just like pork fat.
Unlike pork fat, this one definitely has that smoky, savory, bacony flavor. It’s highly flavorful and can make your taste buds addicted.
The flavor will depend on how the bacon you’re using to render the fat tastes.
Which is why, if you’re using any kind of oil as a substitute, it won’t be the same because there will be no smoky, bacony flavor.
How to make your own bacon grease
You can buy bacon grease or you can make your own.
For making your own, you’ll just have to fry plenty of bacon on medium-low heat. The trick is to fry it slowly. You can use any pan you want.
After the frying is done, remove the bacon and just pour that fat into a jar. If you put it in a fridge, it will turn solid quite quickly.
Strain out the solids before pouring the liquid fat into the jar, if you want to store it for longer.
If you filter the tiny meaty bits, bacon grease can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. It won’t last that long, you’ll be tempted to add a bit to most recipes.
In order to clean your cooking dishes of bacon fat, wait until it solidifies, gather it with a spoon or a tissue paper and throw it in the trash. If you pour liquid fat down the drain, it will get clogged at some point.
What can you use bacon grease for?
It has plenty of uses, like any other fat. This one has the bonus of a smoky, savory, bacony flavor.
Bacon grease can replace any other fat in a recipe: butter, oil or other fats.
Just don’t use it for high-heat cooking. It’s a bit like extra virgin olive oil in this respect. It has a low smoke point. The smoke point is at about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a lot of bacon fat and you want to see how French fries or sweet potato fries would taste fried in it, you’ll need to fry them on medium heat.
Basically, you can use it to fry anything you want in it. Eggs and omelets and scrambled eggs should be at the top of your list.
Or to roast vegetables in the oven: carrots, parsnips, asparagus, sweet potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, make all sorts of combinations.
Or to quickly cook up some fresh vegetables. Peas cooked in bacon grease are totally different from the peas you’ve eaten up to now.
Or to make biscuits. It can replace butter.
If you’re in the mood for experimenting, you can replace half of the butter in chocolate chip cookies or gingerbread cakes with bacon grease.
You can even take your dressing recipes to the next level by adding just 2-3 tablespoons of melted bacon grease.
Bacon roasted tomatoes are the perfect garnish for grilled meats or chicken. Or you can use any of the above substitutes for bacon grease to cook dishes like that and much more.