How Long does Bacon Grease Last in the Fridge?

Let’s discuss how long bacon grease lasts, how to store it, and how it degrades.

Let’s say you’ve had some bacon grease in storage for a few weeks and want to be sure you can still utilize it. Can bacon grease spoil?

Or perhaps you want to know how long bacon grease lasts so you can estimate when you’ll need to use your own.

In either case, you’re looking for a concise introduction to bacon grease that will provide you with all the information you require without any that you do not.

You’ve found it if that’s the case. Let’s start now.

What is Bacon Grease?

Bacon cooked slowly in the oven or on the stovetop produces bacon fat, often called bacon grease or bacon drippings. Bacon grease should be kept in the refrigerator since it solidifies into a semi-solid state at room temperature.

Bacon fat is a butter-like cooking ingredient with a smokey flavor that can be used for baking, sautéing, roasting vegetables, and as a gravy foundation. Bacon grease includes more monounsaturated fat (good fats from plant and animal foods) than regular butter and, unlike margarine, does not contain trans fat, a type of fat linked to severe health risks.

How Long does Bacon Grease Last in the Fridge?

In the refrigerator, bacon grease can be kept for several months. For the greatest flavor, it is advised to use it within a few weeks. Bacon grease should be kept in a closed container to avoid absorbing other flavors or scents from your refrigerator. If the bacon grease smells or tastes rancid, it hasn’t gone well and needs to be thrown out.

Your container will last three months in the refrigerator and indefinitely in the freezer if you store it there. The easiest way to ensure that soft fat is always readily available is to keep the grease in the refrigerator.

The Best Way to Save & Store Bacon Grease

Follow these instructions to conserve and store your homemade bacon fat the next time you cook a packet of bacon:

  • Use aluminum foil to cover a baking sheet: Cleaning up will be simpler, and the bacon grease won’t go down your sink drain if you line the sheet.
  • Bake on a rack: To ensure that the pool of bacon fat collects on the baking sheet covered in foil, place a baking rack on top of your baking sheet and cook your bacon there.
  • Remove any bacon bits from the reduced fat by straining them through a strainer, cheesecloth, or coffee filter placed over the mouth of the grease container.
  • Transfer to an airtight container: Transfer the bacon fat to a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container while it’s still heated. The heated grease will deform or melt plastic if it is placed inside. When moving the contents, let them reach room temperature before covering them.
  • For food safety, close the lid on the grease container and store it in the refrigerator. Bacon grease kept in the refrigerator has a three-month shelf life. Always smell the grease before using it for safety reasons since it can go rancid during storage. Bacon fat can also be frozen for indefinite storage.

Where should Bacon Grease be Stored?

Even though many of us had family who kept their bacon grease in jars or cans placed on the counter or the back of the stove, food safety experts no longer advise doing so. Instead, keep the oil in the freezer or refrigerator (for up to 3 months) (indefinitely). The fat will remain soft enough to scoop in the refrigerator, allowing you always to have delicious solid drippings.

If you intend to freeze your bacon grease, portion it into freezer-safe containers in small amounts after allowing it to come to room temperature. Put the frozen food in. Before using, let it defrost overnight in the fridge.

How Long does Bacon Grease Last?

Store-bought bacon grease keeps its quality for between a year and two years in the refrigerator and for 4 to 6 months at room temperature. Homemade bacon grease lasts for a few months when not chilled and for around six months when chilled.

The recommended shelf life for store-bought bacon fat varies depending on the brand, but if you store it in the fridge, it normally lasts between a year and two years.

If you don’t, it’s challenging to determine a precise storage period. But as lard holds its quality without refrigeration for around six months, it is safe to assume bacon grease does too.

(Crisco is an option if you’re searching for shortening that lasts even longer.)

That 6-month term is an approximation for homemade bacon grease. How effectively you filter the fat, whether you tightly seal it, and your general quality of yours will determine how long it will last.

Although it might last far longer than a half-year, it might as well deteriorate more swiftly. So I recommend using yours as soon as possible, establishing a new container every two months, and using the oldest ones first.

Can Bacon Grease be Frozen?

Bacon grease needs to be frozen on occasion. It would be best if you did that. Since it is entirely made of fat, freezing won’t make it go bad for at least a year, and low temperatures won’t change how it tastes or smells. You should do that if you have a lot of it and can’t utilize it all at once.

However, remember that the frozen oil will solidify when it thaws, making it harder to scrape out of the container. It is essential to pack it appropriately as a result. We’ll see.

  • Bacon grease can be placed in an airtight container, which is a great solution. Place it in the freezer after carefully sealing it.
  • Using a tray, let the bacon grease cool until it reaches the appropriate consistency. Then, using a spoon, scoop out little fat balls and place them in an airtight container. Without freezing first, this portioned fat is ready for cooking.
  • The ice cube tray method is ideal when you intend to cook dinner using a single piece of frozen bacon grease. Grease should be poured into an ice cube tray, frozen, and then moved to an airtight container.
  • Keep the container in the refrigerator overnight when thawing a larger package of bacon fat. Use thawed oil within a few days and avoid freezing it again because doing so will make the grease taste rotten and accelerate the rancid process.

How can you Tell if Bacon Grease is Bad?

Start by checking for usual decay indicators, such as mold, surface discolorations, or an unpleasant odor. That should never happen if you’ve complied with all the recommendations from the storage section above.

Rancidification comes next. Like all fats, including oils and lard, bacon grease is prone to rancidity. It can turn rancid due to poor storage conditions or being kept in an open container for too long.

Fat is probably rancid if it smells rancid or doesn’t smell quite the same as it used to. Although most of the time, rancid fat is safe; it doesn’t taste good. And so, the meal you prepare with it will also taste unpleasant. It’s advisable to throw it away as a result.

You can test a small bit of grease before using it if everything appears to be safe.

The Risk of Using Old Bacon Grease

Consuming bacon grease that has gone bad can be dangerous since it might contain dangerous germs or other toxins that can make you sick. Bacteria might grow faster in bacon fat kept at room temperature or higher. Bacteria that can cause food poisoning may be present in bacon grease if it has been improperly handled or stored for an extended period.

Expired bacon grease may have high concentrations of saturated fat and cholesterol, raising your risk of heart disease and other health issues. Consuming expired bacon grease can also be unhealthy. To lower the danger of food illness and to maintain a healthy diet, it is crucial to throw away bacon grease that has gone rancid or been stored for a long time.

It is recommended to err on caution and discard bacon grease if unsure whether it is safe to eat. Regarding food safety, it is always preferable to be safe than sorry.

Five Uses for Bacon Grease

In many recipes, bacon grease can be used in place of butter and margarine.

1. Use it to sauté vegetables: Everything from proteins to fresh vegetables gains taste depth from bacon fat. Green beans can be simmered in bacon fat, and bacon bits or asparagus can be baked with a few tablespoons of bacon fat.
2. Add it to handmade bread: You may use bacon grease to toast robust wheat bread for a crispy grilled cheese sandwich or to enhance the flavor of a typical loaf of country bread. For a smokey flavor, stir a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease into your cornbread or biscuit batter.
3. Combine it with loaded mashed potatoes by substituting bacon grease for the butter in your mashed potato recipe. Add shredded cheese, bacon bits, and chives for a taste boost.
4. Season your cast-iron skillet: After thoroughly washing it, cover it with bacon fat using a paper towel and bake it in the oven.
5. Instead of using cooking spray while making scrambled eggs, coat the pan with bacon fat before cracking the eggs.


Bacon grease lasts a long time but finally goes rancid. It usually remains fresh for a few months after the stated date if purchased in a store. For the handmade variety, it keeps for over a year in the refrigerator and around six months at room temperature.

That also means that freezing bacon grease is unnecessary, but it is something to consider if you want it to last for a long time. Or if, like me, the idea of bacon grease sitting on the counter makes you uncomfortable.