Are you a bacon lover looking to add some extra flavor to your dishes?
Look no further than bacon fat!
This versatile ingredient can be used in place of butter or oil in recipes, adding a delicious smoky flavor to your cooking.
But where can you find it in the UK?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll explore the availability of bacon fat in the UK and how you can incorporate it into your cooking.
So grab a slice of bacon and let’s get started!
Can You Buy Bacon Fat UK?
Yes, you can buy bacon fat in the UK!
While it may not be as readily available as other cooking fats, there are a few options for purchasing this delicious ingredient.
One option is to look for cheap packs of cooking bacon in your local supermarket. These packs are often more fatty than regular bacon slices and can be used to make lardons, which can then be rendered down into bacon fat. Look for clear packages so you can choose a piece with extra fat to cook with.
Another option is to purchase pre-rendered bacon fat online. Websites like desertcart offer Hot Belly Bacon Grease Rendered Bacon Fat products that can be shipped directly to your door. This is a great option if you’re looking for a high-quality product without the hassle of rendering it yourself.
What Is Bacon Fat?
Bacon fat is the flavorful grease that is left over after cooking bacon. It is a versatile cooking fat that can be used in a variety of dishes to add a rich, smoky flavor. Bacon fat is high in saturated fat, which makes it unhealthy in large quantities, but it can be used sparingly to add a delicious taste to your favorite dishes.
Bacon fat can be used in place of butter or oil when frying or sautéing vegetables, potatoes, or eggs. It can also be used to flavor soups, stews, and gravies. Bacon fat can even be spread on pizza crust before adding toppings for an extra burst of flavor.
To obtain bacon fat, simply cook bacon in a pan until crispy and remove the bacon slices. Let the remaining grease cool and solidify before using a spoon or spatula to scrape it out of the pan. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-rendered bacon fat online or look for packs of cooking bacon with extra fat content to render down yourself.
Health Benefits Of Using Bacon Fat
Despite its reputation as an unhealthy ingredient, bacon fat actually has some surprising health benefits when used in moderation.
Firstly, bacon fat is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered “good fats” that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact, bacon fat has been shown to have a higher proportion of these healthy fats than butter.
Additionally, bacon fat is a great source of flavor and can be used to enhance the taste of many dishes. Using bacon fat as a substitute for other cooking oils can add a delicious smoky flavor to vegetables, eggs, and even baked goods like cakes and cookies.
Moreover, bacon fat has been traditionally used in Southern cuisine for its rich flavor and versatility. It can be used to make everything from cornbread to gravy to popcorn.
However, it’s important to note that bacon fat should still be used in moderation due to its high calorie and saturated fat content. Too much saturated fat in one’s diet can lead to increased blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it’s recommended to use bacon fat sparingly and balance it with other healthy cooking oils like olive or avocado oil.
How To Store Bacon Fat
Once you have your bacon fat, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and safe to use. The enemies of all cooking fats are light and air, so it’s best to store bacon fat in a cool, dark place. Exposure to sunlight and oxygen will cause the fat to go rancid, so avoid leaving it out on the counter or near a window.
The most recommended way to store bacon fat is in the refrigerator. This will keep the fat solid enough to scoop when you need it, and it can last up to three months in the fridge. To store bacon fat in the refrigerator, pour the still-warm liquid fat into a heatproof container through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter. Make sure the container has an airtight lid to prevent any odors from seeping in.
If you plan on storing your bacon fat for longer than three months, you can freeze it. This will keep the fat fresh indefinitely. To freeze bacon fat, portion small amounts by letting the grease cool slightly and then strain and pour into freezer-safe containers. Make sure to label each container with the date so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored.
When you’re ready to use your stored bacon fat, simply scoop out what you need and let it come to room temperature before using. If you’re using frozen bacon fat, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Cooking With Bacon Fat: Tips And Recipes
Cooking with bacon fat can add a delicious, smoky flavor to your dishes. Here are some tips and recipes to get you started:
1. Use it instead of oil or butter: Bacon fat can be used in place of oil or butter in most recipes. It’s especially great for roasting, moderate sautéing, and baking. Just keep in mind that it has a low smoke point, so it’s not recommended for high-heat cooking.
2. Add it to sweet or savory dishes: Don’t limit yourself to just savory dishes – bacon fat can also be used in sweet baking recipes. Try replacing half to all of the butter with bacon grease for extra flavor in chocolate chip cookies, molasses cookies, or gingerbread cakes.
3. Top your dishes with bacon bits: Instead of adding sea salt, try topping your finished dish with chopped bacon bits for an extra burst of flavor.
4. Roast vegetables: Coat your vegetables in bacon fat before roasting them for a delicious and crispy side dish.
5. Make popcorn: Pop your popcorn in bacon fat instead of oil for a savory snack.
6. Fry eggs: Bacon fat is perfect for frying eggs – it adds a delicious flavor without overpowering the dish.
7. Make gravy: Add a spoonful of bacon fat to your gravy for an extra boost of flavor.
8. Cook pasta: Toss your cooked pasta with bacon fat and Parmesan cheese for a simple and delicious meal.
9. Make biscuits: Use bacon fat instead of butter or shortening in your biscuit recipe for a savory twist on a classic.
10. Fry chicken: Coat your chicken in seasoned flour and then fry it in bacon fat for a crispy and flavorful dish.
Alternatives To Bacon Fat In Cooking
If you don’t have access to bacon fat or prefer not to use it, there are several alternatives that can be used in cooking. Some of the best substitutes for bacon fat include beef fat, chicken skin fat, lard, ghee, goose fat, butter, and tallow.
Butter is an excellent substitute for bacon fat if you’re looking for a similar taste and texture. However, keep in mind that butter has its own flavor profile and works best in dishes that can handle strong flavors without becoming too overwhelming. It’s perfect for use in dishes like potatoes or popcorn and can also add richness and depth to sauces and roux.
Pork lard is another great substitute for bacon fat. While it doesn’t have the same salty, smoky taste as bacon grease, you can add a pinch of smoked salt or liquid smoke to remedy that. Chicken skin grease, also known as schmaltz, can be rendered from chicken skin and adds a delicious flavor to food. Beef tallow is another alternative that will require some time before it can be used in cooking and baking. It’s worth noting that beef tallow is the secret behind McDonald’s French fries’ flavor.
Duck fat and goose oil are also excellent substitutes for bacon fat due to their rich flavor profiles. Ghee, an Indian clarified butter, adds incredible flavor to food and has the advantage of having a very high smoke point, making it perfect for deep frying. However, it’s also high in saturated fat and not the healthiest option.
If you’re looking for plant-based alternatives, sesame oil, peanut oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening can all be used as substitutes for bacon fat. Keep in mind that while these fats and oils work well as substitutes for bacon grease, none taste precisely the same as bacon grease.