There’s no doubt that bacon grease is decadent, flavorful, and just absolutely good. It makes sense because bacon itself tastes good by itself. Breakfast won’t be complete without bacon. We always save the grease after cooking to use for other dishes for an added flavor and aroma.
However, if you can’t eat bacon for spiritual purposes or dietary choices, there’s a substitute that works for you. You can substitute it with chicken skin grease, beef fat, lard, butter, olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil.
Substituting Bacon Grease
Here are the 7 bacon grease substitutes for your next cooking session that you should try.
1. Chicken Skin Grease
For the non-pork eaters, crispy chicken skin is our very own bacon. And that grease from that chicken skin, well we always save it for later. It’s also a perfect substitute for bacon grease when you want to use it to saute for stir-fried dishes. I personally do this at home when I have chicken fat. I first cook the chicken fat with no oil and just let its juices and fats come out.
You can make an excellent chicken oil that you can use for almost anything. As a topping, oil for sauteing, and so much more. Also, it’s flavorful and aromatic.
2. Beef Fat
Another animal-based fat you can substitute with bacon grease is beef fat. When searing steaks, I like saving the grease to make for something else. It’s a perfect ingredient for gravies because of its flavor and added spices. Just make sure you don’t burn your spices and steak when cooking it so the gravy won’t taste bitter.
You can also follow the same technique with chicken oil. You can pan-fry beef fat and let all the grease come out. Save the oil for future use and you should have a beef-flavored oil perfect for noodles, pasta, and rice toppings.
You can find a ton of lard varieties. There’s sheep, cattle, plant-based, and even pork. Pick which one works for you. I personally like sheep and plant-based lard. Surprisingly, it provides a sharper flavor but subtle aroma whenever I saute it with garlic and onions. When I don’t feel like using cooking oil, I use lard.
This can be a great substitute for bacon grease since it’s equally flavorful and aromatic. On top of that, you get to pick a healthier version that makes you feel guilt-free to enjoy your favorite dishes.
Butter quite resembles lard because of the process of extracting it. But you will notice that their physical appearance is totally the opposite. Butter is softer and creamier compared to lard. It has a more sweet taste to it and so does its aroma. I like using this for baked goods and desserts.
The good thing about butter these days is that you can almost find plant-based options in every grocery market. Vegan or not, you can always enjoy butter without having to compromise your health or dietary practices. No more bacon grease needed for sure.
5. Olive Oil
If you want to go plant-based all the way, then say goodbye to bacon grease. Olive oil is the perfect choice for any healthy dish without having to worry about cholesterol or trans fat. If you’re a fan of all Italian dishes, you will never have to worry about how to use olive oil since all their dishes use olive oil.
Olive oil is lighter and with a subtle aroma. If you like your dish to stand out especially when adding spices and meats, olive oil compliments it really well. You can also use this directly as a topping, salad dressing, and even as a savory dip.
6. Peanut Oil
If you opt for more flavor, peanut oil is also a great substitute for bacon grease. You’ll eventually get hooked to its nutty flavor and highly aromatic smell. Just be careful to cook it with high heat as it burns pretty fast. You don’t want it to taste bitter with your favorite dishes. I personally like using peanut oil for sauteing and making sauces.
It’s also great for marinades, dips, and even as a substitute for baking healthy treats. If you have the luxury of time, peanut oil can be made from scratch at home. There’s plenty of recipes and techniques that you can follow online.
7. Sesame Oil
And last not totally not least is the sesame oil. You can most definitely treat sesame oil like bacon grease. Some of us like using bacon grease as a topping for about anything. For a healthier version, sesame oil can make a cut. In Asian cuisine, sesame oil is used in pretty much everything.
From making sauces, marinades, soups, stews, noodles, rice toppings and even dessert, it’s one of the most flexible substitutes you can find in the market. Plus it’s equally flavorful and aromatic.
Can I substitute butter for bacon grease?
Yes, you can. Butter offers such flavor and aroma that you get from bacon grease. Whether it’s animal-based or plant-based, you’ll get the same effect for every dish.
Can I leave bacon grease out?
Just like any other food, bacon grease can’t be left out for more than an hour. Remember that it’s exposed to other contaminants and that’s something you have to avoid. Make sure to store it immediately and place it in a cool dry place.
What can I substitute for bacon grease in cornbread?
You can pick from any of our lists above. But I highly recommend lard, butter, and olive oil. Those three are perfect to use for any baked dish including cornbread.
How long does bacon grease last?
When stored properly, it can last for about 6 months. Just make sure you safely store it in an airtight jar in a cool dry place to avoid any contaminants from spoiling it.
There you have it! No bacon grease? No problem! Our list of 7 bacon grease substitutes will surely help you in the kitchen when the need arises. Let us know your experience in the comments below for using these substitutes.