Often, a recipe will tell you to “render your bacon,” which sounds intimidating but is really simple.
All it means is to cook your bacon slowly over low or medium heat, so that all the fat has a chance to melt while the meat crisps. To render bacon. get a cast iron or stainless steel skillet big enough to hold all of the bacon you’re rendering without crowding it. Heat the skillet over low heat and add bacon to the pan (no need to add oil.) If you’re using pre-sliced bacon, cook the strips whole; If you’re using slab bacon, cut it into 1/4-inch cubes. Cook it slowly, until the bacon is crisped and most of the fat is liquid.
Full instructions here.
Use it immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Some recipes, like pie crust or cookies, will call for cold or room temperature bacon fat, which means that the fat will be solid and you’ll cut or beat it into the other ingredients. Other recipes, like sauces or soups, call for you to heat the bacon fat and use it as cooking fat for other ingredients, which means either melting your cold, pre-rendered bacon fat, or using warm, just-rendered bacon fat.
17. Best-Ever Potato Salad
Classic potato salad, made awesomer with the addition of reserved bacon drippings. Recipe here.
24. Bacon Fat Pie Crust
Stop arguing over whether lard, butter, or shortening are best for pie crust. The obvious choice is bacon fat. Recipe here.
26. The Bacon Milkshake
Each milkshake has a full tablespoon of liquid gold AKA delicious bacon fat. Recipe here.
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