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What are the pros and cons to using bacon fat for cooking?

Commented on March 23, 2014
Created March 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I want to invest in a good bacon fat jar. But, before I do, I want to be sure that if I use it on a regular basis to add fat to my cooking, I won't end up with adverse health effects. Also, how long does bacon fat last before I should discard it and start with fresh stock?

Thoughts?

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on March 23, 2014
at 08:10 PM

I think the only reason to add a small amount of water is to prevent the cold fat from burning prior to the pure fat rendering out. I ended up pouring most of the water out before i got started so fortunately it boiled off easily. I kept the slow cooker on high with the lid off, poured the lard off a few times and at the end i threw it all in the pan & fried the cracklings til crispy, i literally just tried my first cracklings and they are simply incredible

Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

(559)

on March 23, 2014
at 03:16 PM

Just out of curiosity why is it better to use water when rendering fat? I have rendered beef tallow several times in a crockpot without water seemed to work great.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on March 23, 2014
at 09:17 AM

I'm doing it in a slow cooker right now, i added about 1/2 litre of water and set it on high, i'm planning on leaving it for about 6 hours then straining out the cracklings (which ill stick in the oven til crispy) then cooling the fat/water in the fridge overnight/separate the fat off the top of the water, remelt, then into jars. It would be easier if i could just boil off the water then pour the fat through a filter straight into jars but i don't want to burn the fat.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on March 23, 2014
at 06:50 AM

by rendering fat like that you are significantly lowering the smoke point. The best method to render fat is the "wet method", where you boil out all of the fat using water in a slow cooker (or dutch oven). Once your fat is extracted into the water, cool it and remove the solidified fat. It will have its high smoke point intact and be perfect for high-heat sauteeing. The leftover fat from cooking pork belly should be treated more like olive oil because of its reduced smoke point.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on March 21, 2014
at 09:46 PM

You worry too much. A tablespoon of lard has 5g SFA, 5.8g MUFA, and 1.4g PUFA. That's like 13% PUFA. Not that bad. It's similar to olive oil.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culinaryreference/a/fattable.htm

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on March 21, 2014
at 05:45 PM

Well, I don't cut that out at all. Actually what I do is I render out the fat by cooking the chopped up pieces at low heat and once all the fat is rendered out, those bits of leftover meat and skin are what people call "pork cracklings" and they are absolutely delicious. The can be used pretty much the same way as crumbled crispy bacon. I strain the lard while it's still liquid into a jar and then I eat the left over crackling by themselves with a little bit of salt. You have to try it, it'll change your life lol :) Today I'm actually going to fry myself some chicken livers+onions in lard.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on March 21, 2014
at 05:16 PM

Lard is currently my favourite fat, there's no way I could see it as unhealthy as I feel great when I have a meal cooked with lots of it, the more the better, the only 'con' I can think of is that I neglect using other fats (like olive oil/clarified butter which have more nutrients) in favour of lard. I bet bacon fat has more flavour than pure lard, so is even better!

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on March 21, 2014
at 05:13 PM

When you render Lard from back fat do you find you have to cut absolutey all the skin/meat off? I've just got my first batch ready to do tomorrow but there's quite a bit of skin/meat still attached to the fat. Looking forward to having my own lard to use, whenever I cook pork I always end up using the lard in the meal rather than saving it! Pork belly for dinner tonight :)

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3 Answers

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on March 21, 2014
at 09:06 PM

There is a fair amount of PUFA in pork lard. Have you ever tried grass fed beef tallow?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on March 21, 2014
at 09:46 PM

You worry too much. A tablespoon of lard has 5g SFA, 5.8g MUFA, and 1.4g PUFA. That's like 13% PUFA. Not that bad. It's similar to olive oil.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culinaryreference/a/fattable.htm

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on March 21, 2014
at 05:02 PM

Adverse health effects from bacon fat? Hmm....well why not use plain pork fat and render out the lard instead of using bacon fat? Bacon does usually contain nitrites (whether added as sodium nitrite or naturally occurring in celery powder/juice/sea salt is irrelevant, both have the same effects) which may release some nitrosamines into the fat. Better to play it safe and just buy pork belly or fatback and render out the fat (lard), then store said lard into the jar.

Lard is perfectly healthy and high in monounsaturated fat (more MUFA than anything else), so it's very good for you. In my time using lard for cooking, I haven't noticed any adverse effects, just some weight loss, so I wouldn't stress over it. Enjoy.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on March 21, 2014
at 05:13 PM

When you render Lard from back fat do you find you have to cut absolutey all the skin/meat off? I've just got my first batch ready to do tomorrow but there's quite a bit of skin/meat still attached to the fat. Looking forward to having my own lard to use, whenever I cook pork I always end up using the lard in the meal rather than saving it! Pork belly for dinner tonight :)

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on March 21, 2014
at 04:45 PM

Pro - tastes really good

Con - tastes really good, might lead to excessive use.

Never had it around to amass a great amount, but when I have excess I freeze it in 2oz containers which I can then just pop out and into a pan for use. Dog loves it on food as well.

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