I raise my own pork, so I want to be sure to save all that wonderful, bacon grease. Bacon grease is really just flavorful lard.
It is a treasure to have on hand. First, because it’s delicious to cook with. Second, because if you are crazy enough to live with 3 pigs (or 17 pigs depending on the year and who’s pregnant)- they are more of a health food than a health hazard.
Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Has the world gone crazy?
Does this girl know what she is talking about?
Won’t lard cause heart failure, high cholesterol, and heart disease?
When I told Mamaw I was rendering my own lard, this is what she said,
“It’s delicious. It makes the best pies, but you shouldn’t eat it. It’ll clog your arteries.”
Is Mamaw right? Yes, and no. It all depends on how the pig was raised. What it was fed. Where it lived. If it had pasture or concrete. If it ate corn or veggies or raw milk. If it was exposed to drugs, antibiotics or hormones. Was it processed with MSG and nitrates?
If your bacon comes from a grocery, it is probable that the pig (the bacon came from) was raised on concrete, never saw the sun, and is full of nitrates.
Don’t eat it. Don’t save the grease. Don’t cook with it. It’s probably gonna do more harm that good.
BUT – if you are a nut like me who spent 4 months last summer loving, nurturing, and growing 3 piggies on a whole, raw, Jersey-milk based diet (and other goodies). Please, save the grease & put it in everything! It’s good for you. Not to mention – unbelievably delicious in just about everything savory.
Lard (rendered from pork fat) from pastured pigs is incredibly healthy.
Bacon grease is really just lard. Lard marbled with pork.
Pig fat from pastured pigs has been shown to contain CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). CLA is a superfood that you want in your diet. It is cancer preventing, grows muscles, reduces body fat, helps with insulin problems, keeps you from getting sick, and even can lower cholesterol. Good, good for you. More on CLA here.
If you ever have a recipe that calls for the drippings from “2 strips of bacon” you can use a couple tablespoons of this leftover, bacon grease instead.
Here are 10 things to do with all that wonderful Bacon Grease:
- Fry eggs in it for breakfast – Nana (my grandma) always kept a tin, coffee can full of bacon grease next to her stove. She scooped about a tablespoon out every morning to fry her egg.
- Fry potatoes in it – think breakfast potatoes, fried potatoes as a side dish.
- Make salad dressing with it – Bacon grease, vinegar, salt, sugar, Oh MY!
- Add a couple of tablespoons of it to your green beans, or lima beans, or pork beans, or soup beans, or any beans.
- Grease your cast-iron pan with it before you pour in the cornbread batter.
- Fry burgers in it in a cast-iron skillet on the stove top. We like them better than grilled.
- Fry pork chops in it.
- Fry steaks in it.
- Fry venison in it.
- Fry chicken in it. Fry anything in it! You won’t regret it.
As long as you start with a healthy animal (pig in this case) that was raised in a pasture with plenty of sunlight, eating a healthy diet, without exposure to chemicals or icky stuff; it will be a beneficial, nutrient rich food for you and your family. You will want to use every drop of the goodness (even the grease).
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